Carnival Corp. Receives U.S. Approval to Set Sail for Cuba

Carnival Corporation has received permission from the United States to operate limited cruises into Cuba starting in May of 2016 – and the CEO expects the destination offering to take off.

"There’s a lot of pent up demand for U.S. citizens who want to immerse in cultural exchange and Cuban society,” Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald told FOX Business Network’s Neil Cavuto.

Recently, Carnival Corporation launched a new brand called “fathom,” which will serve travelers going to Cuba.

“This is a different type of travel… this is not a traditional tour,” Donald said. He added, “[Fathom] is a social-impact brand targeted at the Dominican Republic initially, for the Puerto Plata region. It’s to take travelers that are interested in cultural exchange and immersion, but also in having a social impact in the Puerto Plata region… When we did that, we realized we also qualified under the existing rules for travel [to Cuba].”

Donald said the company was able to meet the U.S. government’s travel requirements.

“Today, under the current travel guidelines for the U.S., U.S. citizens are allowed to travel to Cuba under certain guidelines,” he said. “There was legislation that restricted any ships that were carrying passengers to go from the U.S. to Cuba and then return in fewer than six months, so you have to apply for licenses.”

Carnival Corporation is still seeking approval from the Cuban government, according to Donald.