TTC Service.- Every day the news talk about visits by US citizens to Cuba, encouraged by the bilateral ” thaw” between the two nations.
This month, for many Cubans it was very surprising to learn about arrivals to Cuba of 14 planes manned by almost 30 riders and accompanying persons interested in “explore” the for so many years “forbidden island” by the laws of the US embargo.
That was the first group of Americans to fly a fleet of private planes into Matanzas, Cuba. One the pilots said that they spent one week learning about the country and its aviation system before the trip.
Jack McCormick, leader of the Baja Bush Pilots club, said that for him “it has been a dream forever to visits Cuba.”Three years ago, we said we are going to start doing it and we said, if we cannot take our planes, we will go ourselves.”
The pilots announced that they will make more trips to Cuba in the coming months. They are not the only Americans who are traveling to Cuba despite the embargo bans that Washington applying for half a Century.
The people-to-people programs approved by the United States as an exception to the blockade facilitated the enter in Cuban market in 2016 of “Myths and Mountains adventure operator” in a six-day “Touring Cuba’s Cars, Cigar, Crafts and Countryside” departs next February 2. The operations manager of the group JenKamen, assured that the deadline for signing up for the group departure is fast approaching.
The program explores Havana and the countryside. It is priced at $5,995 per person, based on four to six people per departure, although that price could drop with more participants on the tour, the organizers report in Internet.
The eight-day “Beyond Havana” program departs May 11 and visits Havana, Cienfuegos, Trinidad and the Zapata Peninsula and the Bay of Pigs. This is priced at $6,995 per person. Kamenestimated that private Cuba departures are possible, but “timing is critical, as most hotels are booked until 2017″.
Meanwhile, the American operator Grand Circle Foundation describe a new 13-day tour to the Island title “Cuba Revealed: Cultural Pathways from Camaguey to Havana”. The tour offers several departures from January through May and October through December 2016. The program is priced from $4,995 per person, including roundtrip air from Miami. The tours visit Camaguey, Remedios on Cuba’s north coast, Matanzas and Havana.
The New York Times explained recently that the People-to-people trips are educational programs that fall into one of the 12 categories of general-license travel.
They’re one of the most popular ways to go to Cuba because anybody can join a trip and your itinerary is worked out for you. Because they are organized trips with full schedules of meetings, lectures and visits to artists’ studios or small businesses or community projects, they are not cheap – about $2,500 to $4,000 per week including accommodation and flights.
About 100,000 visits were made last year by Americans, and an estimated 400,000 by Cubans and Cuban-Americans visiting family on the island. Some tour operators are already block-booking rooms through 2016, the Times added.