Sammy Mack / WLRN

It’s a bustling morning in terminal D at  Miami International Airport and 11-year-old Jonathan Mizrachi is checking in for his flight.  

“I’d like to go to Paris,” he tells the agent at the counter.

He’s not actually going to Paris. That’s make-believe. But everything else about his travel through the airport on this day is real: a TSA screening, gate agents, flight crew, boarding and eventually de-planing.

The easing of travel restrictions to Cuba could unleash a torrent of 'Yanqui' tourists, something that has the potential to transform a poor island that is rich in history, architecture and natural beauty.

Chabeli Herrera

Cuba is not foreign territory to American Airlines. It's been flying there from South Florida since 1991, though technically not as American Airlines. It flies an average of 22 of charter flights a week to the island from Miami and Tampa. It plans to launch another charter from Los Angeles before the year is over. And it wants more.


Carnival Corp.

What would a U.S. tourist invasion of Cuba be without yanqui cruise ships – especially cruise ships owned by the Miami-based Carnival Corporation?

Last summer the Obama Administration gave U.S. cruise lines the green light to drop anchor for the communist island. Pending Cuba’s approval, Carnival plans to have its Fathom brand’s 710-passenger ship Adonia heading to Havana’s port by May. It will mark the first time in more than half a century that a U.S.-owned cruise vessel has docked there.

Andy Newman / Florida Keys News Service

Since the Monroe County Tax Collector took over enforcement of unlicensed vacation rentals Jan. 1, the agency has collected $52,000 in taxes and resolved hundreds of cases, according to Tax Collector Danise Henriquez.

Carnival Corporation / Courtesy

The Cuban travel market bandwagon has recently gotten fuller.

The latest entrant, Carnival Corporation, joins multiple ferry companies and airline companies working to offer trips to the island.

Here's a list of all the ways people dreaming of Havana nights can travel to Cuba, how much they cost, and possible destinations.


1. Carnival cruises

Port Everglades To Handle Larger Cargo Ships

Jul 8, 2015
Port Everglades / Courtesy

South Florida’s main entry point for gasoline and jet fuel and one of the busiest cruise ports in the world is widening its channels.

The alteration to the port’s existing infrastructure is a response to the evolving shipping industry.

Miami Herald

The world’s largest cruise line is the latest entrant to the Cuban travel market. Carnival Corporation announced Tuesday that it had received permission from the U.S. Department of the Treasury and Department of Commerce to launch cruises to Cuba beginning in May 2016.

Franklin Reyes / AP

As part of his effort to normalize relations with communist Cuba, President Obama wants to make it easier for Americans to travel there. But there’s still some confusion. So the Administration wants folks to bring their questions to the Twittersphere.

U.S. tourist travel to Cuba is still illegal. But Americans have long been able to travel there if they obtained U.S. government permission for purposes like family visits or academic exchanges.

Alexander Gonzalez / WLRN

It was a scene from something cooked up in a Hollywood film set: A black helicopter emerged from a cloud of red smoke, and inside the cockpit was Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group.

He landed outside the Pérez Art Museum Miami, where he announced that PortMiami will house the first ship from Virgin Cruises. It is expected to set sail in 2020.

“We have always loved Miami,” said Branson at a press conference held Tuesday. “And now it will partner with us for an even bigger role in our future.”