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Carnival sets sail for Cuba

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NEW YORK (AP) – The world’s largest cruise line is getting approval from Cuba to start running “cultural exchange” trips to the island starting in May.

With hotels in Cuba in short supply, Carnival Corp.’s new brand, Fathom offers travelers another option.

A 704-passenger ship will initially visit ports in Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. The ship is relatively small for the industry; most carry 3,000 passengers. There’s no casino or Broadway shows. And guests won’t be snorkeling. Instead, they must spend at least eight hours each day involved in some type of cultural experience.

Prices for the seven-day voyages start at $1,800 per person, considerably higher than Caribbean voyages of similar length, but less than the $2,990 Carnival originally sought when it received a license from the U.S. government licensed in July.