|Havana, Cuba // Photo by Joe Pike|
From October 11-20, Phil Otterson, president of Abercrombie & Kent USA, will host "Cuba: People to People: A Special President's Journey."
A small group of just 24 clients will travel with Otterson from Havana to Cienfuegos, Caibarien and Santa Clara, with a visit to the eco-community of Las Terrazas.
In 2003, Otterson was part of the first official tourism association contingent since the revolution to be welcomed to Cuba, according to an Abercrombie & Kent USA news release. He will be able to share his insight into tourism in general in Cuba and the changes he’s seen in the past 13 years.
“I was a part of the first official tourism association contingent since the revolution to be welcomed to Cuba in 2003," said Ottersen. "Since then the country has started to see many changes, and with the new tourism developments in the works, I felt this was the ideal time to go back."
Clients can uncover the Havana only long-time residents know by exploring the city on foot with a local architect who offers insights into the charming, historic styles.
Guest also get to dine at a paladar (family-run restaurant) where the owners share their passion for Cuban cuisine and discuss what is involved in running a private business in Cuba – an opportunity that, historically, was all but unheard of. Guests can compare the distinct differences and similarities between Cuba and the United States with a briefing on the history of U.S.-Cuban relations by a Cuban policy expert.
Clients will also gain a deeper understanding of the island’s cultural traditions through its art, music and pastimes. Guests will enjoy a private studio visit and performance by Habana Compás Dance Project. Engage with local musicians during a private Buena Vista Social Club-style concert and cultural discussion. Clients will partake in a private salsa lesson and one-on-one talk with a Cuban salsa instructor. Guests will also listen to a cappella choral performance by the award-winning group, Cantores de Cienfuegos.
Abercrombie & Kent USA has been offering people-to-people travel to Cuba since 2013. In addition to this exclusive President’s Journey, Americans can travel on their choice of a 10-day or 13-day A&K Connections Worldwide Group Journey or a seven-day privately guided Signature Journey. All A&K Cuba programs are people-to-people educational exchanges that meet U.S. government requirements for travel to Cuba.