Royal Caribbean International is expanding Cuba sailings from Florida next year with two ships.

The 1,602-passenger Empress of the Seas will join 2,380-passenger Majesty of the Seas serving the island with two new destinations added to itineraries.

The ports of Santiago de Cuba and Cienfuegos on the south-east coast will be among the destinations on a series of four- to eight-night Caribbean cruises by Empress of the Seas from Miami that went on sale yesterday.

Majesty of the Seas will continue with four and five-night sailings to Havana from Tampa between April and October 2018, and from Fort Lauderdale between November 2018 and March 2019.

All sailings to Cuba will offer shore excursions that comply with the people-to-people educational exchange activities required by US regulations.

The line’s president and chief executive Michael Bayley said: “Cuba is such an important part of Caribbean culture, and we can’t wait to call on Santiago de Cuba and Cienfuegos next year, showcasing even more of the country’s scenic beauty, rich history and distinctive architecture.

“Cruising remains the easiest way to visit Cuba, and with both Empress and Majesty sailing there in 2018 and 2019, we hope to make it that much easier for adventure seekers to experience the legendary island.”