Beginning this fall, luxury tour operator Tauck will offer its guests the chance to choose between a week-long Cuba tour or an expanded 13-day itinerary to the island nation. The Connecticut-based company will operate a total of 22 departures between the two programs from September to December of this year, and Tauck is crediting continued growth and strong demand for its doubling of itinerary choices.
According to company CEO Dan Mahar, Tauck had offered its guests both the shorter and longer tours to Cuba in the past, but never at the same time. “We launched in Cuba in 2012 with an incredibly popular week-long program, which we operated with great success through 2014,” recounted Mahar. “We replaced that initial itinerary with an expanded 13-day itinerary for the first half of last year, but the cumbersome license renewal process to operate in Cuba – a process that has thankfully since been improved – compelled us to again offer a week-long tour for the second half of 2015. Both tours deliver a truly incredible experience in Cuba, and with our continued growth and strong demand there, we’re excited to offer our guests and agents the choice of both itineraries.”
Tauck has already begun operating 2016 departures of the seven-day, “Cuba: Connecting With People and Culture” itinerary. This year the company has a total of 32 departures of the shorter tour scheduled, and its initial 15 departures from March through May are already sold out. However, good availability remains on most of the 17 departures set to operate from June through December. With its 13-day program, “Cuba: A Cultural Odyssey,” Tauck will operate nine departures beginning in September and continuing through the end of 2016. Space is also available on a number of those departures.
Both of Tauck’s Cuba tours begin with a welcome reception, briefing and overnight stay at the Hyatt Regency Coral Gables in Florida. The following morning, guests board a charter flight and fly from Miami to Havana, where they’ll visit the Museum of the Revolution and Revolution Square, plus attend a discussion on U.S.-Cuba relations. While in and around Havana, both itineraries also explore historic Havana Vieja, trace the legacy of Ernest Hemmingway, tour Colón Cemetery, and highlight local community arts programs.
Tauck’s seven-day journey is focused exclusively in and around Havana, and includes five nights’ accommodations in the city’s Miramar section at the Meliá Habana. Pricing for the seven-day “Cuba: Connecting With People and Culture” itinerary is from $5,590 per person, double occupancy, plus roundtrip airfare to Miami. Included in the price are all meals, all gratuities, roundtrip charter flights from Miami to Havana, all sightseeing and entertainment, luggage handling and more.
Tauck’s 13-day “Cuba: A Cultural Odyssey” begins with an in-depth exploration of Havana during a three-night stay in the city (also at the Meliá Habana). Over the next seven days, the itinerary travels generally south and east as guests are immersed in Cuban culture, including its history, arts, agriculture and natural history. Highlights include a visit to the Che Guevara Mausoleum and museum in Santa Clara, learning about the history of sugar cane and sugar production at a sugar mill-turned-museum near Remedios, and discovering the story of Cuba’s traditional shirt, the guayabera, at a museum in Sancti Spiritus dedicated to the four-pocketed garment. Guests will enjoy a two-night stay at the IBEROSTAR Ensenachos in Santa Clara, three nights at the Hotel Santa Maria in Camagüey, and a two-night stay at the Paradisus Rio de Oro Resort & Spa in Holguín. Guests will travel by charter flight from Holguín to Miami for a final overnight at the Hyatt Regency Coral Gables before flying on to their final destinations the following day.
Included in the 13-day tour’s $7,990 price (per person, double occupancy, plus roundtrip airfare to Miami) are all meals, all gratuities, roundtrip charter flights from Miami to Havana, all sightseeing and entertainment, luggage handling and more.