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How to Travel to Cuba under the new rules!

How to Travel to Cuba under the new rules!

How to travel to Cuba under the new travel rules!

How to travel to Cuba under the new rules!

Those who want to travel to Cuba are looking for ways to do so either before the new rules take effect or trying to figure out how to travel to Cuba under the new rules!  President Trump announced new rules with many restrictions in his speech in Miami’s Little Havana.  The new rules stop short of ending Cuban Travel from the US, but they will “make travel more costly and less spontaneous”, according to the New York Times.

Classic Cars in Cuba!

Classic Cars in Cuba!

Americans can still go to Cuba!

Americans can still go to Cuba; however, the new rules will cause you to plan better.  No longer can you travel without a specific license.  People to people travel will now only be allowed in organized groups led by licensed tour guides.  The operators of the tour will have to have a license to escort Americans.  Even those who want to travel to Cuba for religious reasons will be forced to get a license from the Treasury Department.  This will put an end to individual travel and travelers doing what you want in Cuba.

Cubans sharing music

Cubans sharing music

What has changed

No more booking a flight and reserving a room. Under the new rules, you will need to select a Licensed Guided Group Tour and check the itinerary, dates, and prices.  Some of the tours include airfare and some do not.  Tours may also include food.  The tour companies offer theme travel from African Roots tours, to Green tours, to LGBTQ tours in addition to more traditional tours.  Each person must find a tour that meets their needs.  Hotels and restaurants run by the Cuban military are now off-limits.  This includes many popular nightclubs as well.  Airbnb is supposed to be allowed although it is unclear how that fits into Group Travel.

Many Night Clubs will be off limits under new rules

Night Clubs may be off limits under new rules

Companies that provide approved Cuban Tours
Carnival Cruise Ships

Carnival Cruise Ships

Cruising to Cuba

Carnival cruise line was quick to say no changes to the Cruise Industry.  Other Cruise Lines have taken a wait and see approach as they further study what has been said and wait for the written Executive Orders, policies and regulations.  Truthfully, Cruise ships may be the best way to see Cuba.  This is true because the country lacks the luxury standards that many American Tourists are used to.  Currently, Norwegian and Carnival both offer overnights in Cuba.  Cruise ships provide guest the opportunity to sleep and eat on board the ship while in Cuba.  The Cruise Ship will eliminate the need to find housing with air-conditioning, hot water for a shower as well as drinking water.  Plus Cruise Ships have WiFi!

Cruise Ship pulling into Cuba!

Cruise Ship pulling into Cuba!

What to look for

Those who want to travel to Cuba still can.  The rules on individual travel are changing.  Make sure you follow the new rules.  Don’t put yourself at risk by trying to get away with something.  Boat travel will give you a way of visiting Cuba with fewer restrictions.  By booking an excursion from the Cruise line your activities are just like they are in any other port of call. The President announced new rules with many restrictions while giving few details.  The bottom line is travel was not cut off however it will have more restrictions.  Those restrictions make it necessary to know how to Travel to Cuba under the new rules!

 

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Bill Collins

Bill Collins is a former Army Officer turned veteran traveler. I have traveled to 28 different Countries mainly concentrated in the Central & Latin America and have spent the last 16 years exploring the Caribbean Islands.

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