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Press Release

New express boat connection between Cayo Largo and mainland Cuba

Norwegian ship owner and tour operator, Norled, progresses plans for new express boat connection for excursions between Cayo Largo and mainland Cuba.

May 8, 2017 / PRZen / HOLGUIN, Cuba & CAYO LARGO, Cuba -- Norled, a market leader in Norway within fast passenger vessels, revealed during The International Tourism Fair FITCUBA that the company is progressing their plans for a new express service in Cuba. The new planned boat service, called Cayo Largo Express, will bring tourists between Cayo Largo and both Havana/Varadero (via Batabanó) and Cienfuegos/Trinidad and is organized together with Cuban partner Marlin Nautica y Marinas. This new travel product will facilitate more and new round trips on Cuba, and is also an excellent fit with the Circuit focus of the Tourism Fair.

Today's transport options in this area are limited, and with the new planned express boat in place, the connection will be regular with an estimated journey time of 3 hours one way - offering tourists a safe, reliable and comfortable service between the main island of Cuba and the beautiful island of Cayo Largo with all its attractions.

Deputy CEO of Norled, Lars Jacob Engelsen, thinks the new service has great potential: "We believe this type of express service will be attractive and of significant interest for tourists. We have conducted some market studies, which confirm the interest in a connection like this. Our new initiative fits perfectly with Norled's mission to give people 'great travel experiences' and our plans for expanding our services internationally. We see great potential in Cuba."

Kjell Ove Hatlem, Norled's Project Manager for International Transport, is in dialogue with relevant authorities in Cuba to progress the plans: "International connections like this are part of Norled's strategy to leverage on our long experience to expand into new markets. Given relevant permits and partner agreements, the intention is for us to start transporting tourists to and from the island as early as winter season 2017/2018. Norled is also in dialogue with local Cuban partners to advance further plans for the service, including options for combining boat and bus services offering tourists round trips and packages. The plan is to commercialize these excursions via Cubatur, one of the major Cuban travel agents, in addition to sales on Norled's own web page."

The number of foreign tourists to Cuba is increasing, and with approximately 4 million tourists visiting Cuba each year (2016), Hatlem expects many will find the Cayo Largo Express service and add-on products like round trips and packages attractive: "We believe many tourists visiting Cuba will be interested in seeing Cayo Largo as part of their trip, and vice versa. Cayo Largo Express will connect Cayo Largo to mainland Cuba to the benefit of not only tourists, but also other partners involved and local businesses like hotels, restaurants and other companies connected to the travel industry," says Bjorn Egil Sondena, Express Boat Manager of Norled.

About Norled:

Norled AS – proud of their seamen traditions tracking back to 1855 – has a total fleet of around 80 vessels. 30 are fast passenger vessels (catamarans) and 50 are combined car and passenger ferries. The company, with its 1100 employees and revenues (2015) of 250 MUSD, is a market leader in Norway within fast passenger vessels, one of three major players within combined car and passenger ferries, and a leading operator within Fjord tourism. Internationally Norled has gained significant attention for an innovative and environment friendly approach.

For more information about Norled, see

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Source: Norled AS
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