Cruise liner "Empress of the Seas" arrives in Havana April 23, 2017, the second vessel of the U.S. company Royal Caribbean to visit Cuba. (Xinhua/Joaquin Hernandez)
HAVANA, April 23 (Xinhua) -- The cruise liner "Empress of the Seas" arrived in Havana for the first time on Sunday, becoming the second vessel from the U.S. company Royal Caribbean to arrive on the island.
The ship, belonging to one of the world's largest cruise operators, arrived with around 1,500 passengers on board.
Measuring over 200 meters long, the "Empress of the Sea" was received with a ceremony headed by the vice-president of Royal Caribbean, Mark Tamis, and the general manager of Cuba's state-owned Aries Transportes, Angel Diaz.
Addressing the ceremony, Diaz said cruise ship visits were broadening the opportunities for Americans to visit Cuba and get to know its reality.
Royal Caribbean offers cruises from Miami with stops in Havana, which began on March 31. It is the fourth American cruise company to have added Havana to its destinations.
The arrival of Americans in Cuba has progressively risen ever since the two countries restored diplomatic ties in 2015. In the first quarter of 2017, the arrival of American tourists was up 118 percent year-on-year, according to official Cuban data.