Cruise ships to set sail for Cuba

Cuban-born Americans will be allowed to set sail for their homeland after the communist nation Friday lifted a longstanding ban on return trips.

The first cruise ship will set sail May 1. 

Carnival Cruise Corp. said it will welcome not only Americans but also Cuban-born people living outside Cuba who want to return to visit family and friends.

"We are set to sail,” said Carnival CEO Arnold Donald.

“For the first time, cruise ships will be able to sail to and from Cuba with travelers, including those who were born in Cuba,” he said.

This comes as the Obama administration is working to restore diplomatic relations with the communist nation.

The Cuban government backed off an embargo Friday that had prevented Cuban-born people from returning to the island by ship, according to reports. Previously, there were exceptions that allowed some Cuban-born people to fly, but not sail back.

The Carnival ship will embark from the U.S., and make stops at three destinations in Cuba, including Havana, before returning.

Travelers will be “emerged in the cuban experience,” Carnival said. There will be Cuban music on board, as well as opportunities for travelers to ride in antique cars and revel at the way Cuban cigars are made.

"We continue to see great enthusiasm from travelers in the U.S. who want to sail to Cuba,” Donald said.