UPDATE 3-Emotional return as first U.S. cruise in decades reaches Cuba

lunes 2 de mayo de 2016 19:19 GYT

(Adds cruise from New Orleans in 1977)

By Marc Frank

HAVANA May 2 (Reuters) - Hundreds of tourists and a handful of emotional Cuban-Americans arrived on the first U.S. cruise ship to sail to Havana in decades on Monday, spilling onto the cobbled streets of the old city where they were warmly greeted by residents.

It was another first for the two countries since U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro announced a historic rapprochement in December 2014, and comes weeks after Obama's visit to the Caribbean island.

Carnival Corp's Adonia, a small ship carrying 700 passengers, slipped through the channel into Havana Bay in the morning under picture-perfect skies, then docked alongside the colonial quarter recently visited by Obama.

The visitors fanned out on the city's restored streets for walking tours after an arrival ceremony featuring salsa and Afro-Cuban music, and lots of rum cocktails.

According to tour guides, some of the passengers were due to sample Havana's night life later at the world famous Tropicana cabaret.

But for Cuban-born Anna Garcia, the moment was more than just a holiday.

"I'm nervous and excited at the same time, I left Cuba 48 years ago, when I was six years old. So just imagine everything that I'm feeling right now," said Garcia as she stepped off the boat and entered Cuban territory for the first time since childhood.   Continuación...