First US cruise in decades arrives in Havana

A woman from Cuba waves Adonia leaves port in Miami, Sunday, May 1, 2016, en route to Cuba. After a half-century of waiting, passengers finally set sail on Sunday from Miami on an historic cruise to Cuba. Carnival's Cuba cruises, operating under its Fathom band, will visit the ports of Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. (Patrick Farrell/The Miami Herald via AP)

HAVANA (AP) — The first U.S. cruise ship in nearly 40 years has crossed the Florida Straits from Miami and docked in Havana, restarting commercial travel on waters that served as a stage for a half-century of Cold War hostility.

Carnival Cruise Line’s gleaming white 704-passenger Adonia became the first U.S. cruise ship in Havana since President Jimmy Carter eliminated virtually all restrictions of U.S. travel to Cuba in the late 1970s. Travel limits were restored after Carter left office and U.S. cruises to Cuba only become possible again after Presidents Barack Obama and Raul Castro declared detente on Dec. 17, 2014.

The Adonia’s arrival is the first step toward a future in which thousands of ships a year could cross the Florida Straits, long closed to most U.S.-Cuba traffic.

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