July 30, 2001
Festival Cruises made a big splash last week when the Italy-based cruise line announced that two of its ships -- Mistral and Bolero -- will be sailing regular Cuba-based itineraries. The Mistral, for instance, will home port in Havana; itineraries will include stops at Cuba’s Isle of Youth, Grand Cayman and Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. Cruises begin this winter. Americans who have been hamstrung, for nearly five decades, from visiting Cuba as a result of a political embargo that’s prohibited U.S. citizens without special dispensation from traveling there legally, may be getting a break in the clouds. Last week, the House of Representatives voted to lift that restriction -- a move that is said to be a first step toward ending Cuba’s isolation.