April 18, 2016 / 2:07 PM / 2 years ago

UPDATE 1-Carnival Corp may delay start of Cuba cruises

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April 18 (Reuters) - U.S. cruise operator Carnival Corp said it may delay its voyages to Cuba, scheduled to start on May 1, unless Cuban authorities allow Cuban-born Americans to travel in cruise ships as they are allowed in airlines.

Cuban-born Americans cannot visit the island by sea due to a Cuban law that dates to the Cold War era. People born in Cuba can, however, travel to the country on an airplane.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday condemned the world’s largest cruise operator for barring Cuban-Americans from its planned cruises to Cuba.

The company has now said it is accepting bookings from all travelers to Cuba, irrespective of nationality, on its ‘Fathom’ cruise, which is expected to begin sailing to three Cuban cities every fortnight from May 1.

The operator of the Carnival Cruise Line said the company is continuing discussions with Cuban authorities and is confident of a positive outcome.

Last month, the Miami, Florida-based company said it was the first cruise ship operator to be approved to sail to Cuba in over 50 years. However, the company is not allowed to ferry Cuban-born Americans according to the Cuban law. (Reporting by Abhijith G in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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