Small U.S. operator expands Cuba cruises

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Owned by a Greek company: The M/S Panorama

Owned by a Greek company: The M/S Panorama

CUBA STANDARD — One week after industry giant Carnival Cruises announced its first Cuba program, a small U.S. competitor said it is expanding its Cuba sailings in the upcoming winter season.

New York-based Group IST is doubling its previously announced eight-day cruises of western Cuba, by adding a second ship. Beginning in December, the M/S Panorama and M/S Panorama II will be sailing simultaneously in opposite directions between Havana and Cienfuegos.

Each ship — owned and operated by Greece’s Variety Cruises — can accommodate 49 passengers in a mega-yacht setting with 24 cabins. Prices start at $4,900, port taxes not included.

“The cruise offers passengers both a rich and meaningful cultural exchange program and an opportunity to relax in the beautiful natural scenery of Cuba, with chances to go swimming an snorkeling,” the company said in a press release.

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