|Plaza Mayor in Trinidad, Cuba|
Clients Interested in visiting Cuba now have yet another tour operator from which to choose. Globus has become the latest company to obtain a license to sell Cuba legally to U.S. clients, following closely on the heels of Central Holidays, which added Cuba to its list of global destinations last month.
This was Globus’ second attempt to get approval to book U.S. clients to Cuba. Back in 2011, the operator was looking into sending Americans to the island by 2012 on religious tours approved by the Center for Caribbean Religion and Culture. Those plans, however, were scrapped after the U.S. Department of the Treasury began cracking down on who these operators were getting their licenses from.
Globus instead directed its focus toward getting a license through the people-to-people education program, an initiative that requires Americans to take part in various cultural experiences in Cuba. Essentially, as the name implies, it puts them in direct contact with the citizens of Cuba with hopes of learning about the way of life in the country.
After Insight Cuba became the first licensed tour operator to sell Cuba through the people-to-people initiative, in 2011, other operators such as Collette Vacations, National Geographic Expeditions and International Expeditions followed suit.
Globus is entering the field with two nine-day itineraries: “Undiscovered Cuba” and “Cuba’s Charming Colonial Cities & Havana.” The former lets travelers spend a week in Havana, enjoying historical and cultural sights while engaging with local people and partaking in a discussion on Havana’s architecture, interacting with artists and musicians, meeting with students from the University of Havana, participating in a hands-on experience with the workers at a silk screening studio and more. The latter offers Americans the chance to enjoy the Cuban scenery, stories and interactions with the people from Camaguey, Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Playa Giron (a beach on the east bank of the Bay of Pigs) and Havana. For more information and a full list of Cuba booking and travel guidelines, agents can visit www.globusfamilypartner.com.
Central Holidays’ initial people-to-people offering, “Discover Cuba,” enables travelers to connect with the country’s architecture, music, art and culture. The eight-day itinerary includes exploring the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Old Havana, the Cathedral of Havana (1748) and Maqueta de la Habana Vieja museum.