(1:37 p.m. EDT) -- Expanding on its cruise itineraries in Cuba, Royal Caribbean has added seven- and eight-night sailings onboard Empress of the Seas that will call on Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba, in addition to Havana.
The longer, more Cuba-immersive cruises will depart from Miami in 2019. The ship already offers short, four- and five-night Cuba itineraries that call or overnight in Havana. Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas also will join Empress of the Seas this fall, sailing short cruises to Havana.
The year so far has shown increased deployment to Cuba across a number of major cruise lines. In February, Norwegian Cruise Line announced it would deploy Norwegian Sun this fall, increasing its variety of Cuba sailings.
Just a few weeks ago, Carnival Cruise Line revealed plans to sail Cuba cruises from Charleston -- a first -- as well as to deploy Carnival Sunshine, which will become the largest cruise ship to call on Havana when it sails there in fall 2019.
--By Brittany Chrusciel, Associate Editor