Royal Caribbean International has confirmed its intentions to add Cuba as a port of call.

The US-owned line has applied to both the American and Cuban governments for permission to sail to the destination.

Empress of the Seas, which is currently undergoing an extensive three month dry dock, is likely to be the first ship in the Royal fleet to sail to Cuba due to its smaller size.

Michael Bayley, president and chief executive of the line, said if given approval soon, the ship could begin featuring Cuba in its itineraries as early as August.

“We are interested in Cuba and we have applied to go there,” he said. “We’re waiting on approval at the moment

“Empress of the Seas could and can fit into Cuba, we would love to go to Cuba and we’re planning to go there. We have to receive permission from the Cuban government, they have our application form and we are waiting on a response.

“We are hoping we’ll receive approval in the not-so-distant future. We think Havana is going to be popular; it would be part of an itinerary that would feature other destinations in a traditional model (rather than the Cuban-focused itineraries offered by Carnival Corporation’s Fathom brand).”