Jan 02, 2018
Tour operators are scrambling to convince customers that travel to Cuba is still possible despite the more stringent U.S. government policy on tourism to the island nation. Indeed, not a single escorted tour operator has stopped its Cuba programs, even as a number of cruise lines have actually increased sailings to the island.
Operators with programs to Cuba include Alexander + Roberts, Audley Travel, Cosmos, Collette, Globus, Insight Cuba, Gate 1, Goway, Intrepid Travel, Lindblad Expeditions, Mayflower Tours, Southern Explorations, SmarTours, Tauck and Ya’lla Tours.
For its part, Southern Explorations points out that Cuba is still open to American travelers even though new travel rules now state that Americans traveling to Cuba must experience the island within an organized group or independently under the “Support for the Cuban People” category of travel (which is the apparently the new designation succeeding “people to people” program). “You can rest assured we’ve gone the extra mile to ensure that every element of our new Cuba Highlights trip fulfills the requirements,” the tour operator says.
Under Southern Explorations programs, travelers will learn to dance salsa, cook Cuban food, roll traditional Cuban cigars and explore the beaches and cities of this colorful nation on a nine-day trip. The Cuba Highlights Tour Includes tours of several cities, including Old Havana; exploring the Cuban countryside, coastlines and beaches; stepping back in time with a classic car tour; watching and joining in with local dancers and musicians; savoring local delicacies; tours of local organic farms.
Southern Explorations says it has created a fun, educational and interactive tour that meets all the specifications of a “Support for the Cuban People” tour. For U.S. tourists who want to visit Cuba, current regulations require entry under a Support for the Cuban People Designation. A U.S. visitor can visit Cuba as long as a licensed operator leads a trip that meets specific licensing guidelines, including being educational and involving direct interactions with Cubans.
According to Southern Explorations, under current U.S. policy, the importance of ensuring that a visit to Cuba falls within these guidelines has become even more important. The tour operator says it is committed to making the travel process as straightforward and easy as possible, even within the unique travel requirements that traveling to Cuba demands.
Southern Explorations also provides resources to travelers participating in its tours, including an interactive mobile app that shows the traveler’s itinerary even when not connected to Wi-Fi. Other resources available in the app include country-specific advice, such as essential information about money, outlets and ATM usage, all of which are different in Cuba than in other countries, especially for Americans.
In addition to the Cuba Highlights Tour, Southern Explorations is also developing a Luxury Cuba Tour that will launch in the coming months, plus several tours for Cuban adventure travel. Southern Explorations is an adventure travel provider specializing in trips to Latin America. For more information, click on Southern Explorations.