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Frequently Asked Questions about Travel to Cuba

Q: Can I travel to Cuba by ship or by airplane?
Tours-Yes, but only licensed, approved Tour Operators with required permits can book Land trips for individual and groups for Americans. Our U.S.-based Tour Operator company has been escorting and hosting travel to Cuba since 2002.
Cruises-Yes. but only certain specific cruise departures are authorized for sailing to Cuba now. Cruises are for limited departures which have U.S. government sanctioned permits to operate the voyages.

NOTE: Neither of these are for “mass market” travel. Both require licensed companies such as our licensed wholesaler arrange the tours, groups and visits.

Q: Can Americans travel freely to Cuba now?
A: No, Americans must still comply with U.S. Government restrictions on travel to Cuba.Q: Is the (trade) embargo lifted?

Q: Can Americans travel freely to Cuba now?
A: No, Americans must still comply with U.S. Government restrictions on travel to Cuba.

Q: What are the changes announced March 15, 2016?
A: The new change allows individuals to travel to Cuba under the People-to-People provision, where previously, under the existing provision, only Group Travel was permitted.

Q: Is that a big change?
A: Not really. Since 2002, our Fox Travel’s (Castaways parent company) Tour Operator has sent thousands of travelers on private, customized trips to Cuba, all within compliance of with the U.S. Government provisions.

Q: Why all the fuss?
A: Most of the companies selling Cuba are only familiar with the People-to-People provisions, so for them it’s a significant change. Most companies selling Cuba in the U.S. are arranging People-to-People trips, which the media focuses on.

Q: What rules still apply?
A: All American travelers to Cuba are still required to have a hosted, structured itinerary, which includes 8 hours of “meaningful interactions” with Cubans each day. While “meaningful interactions” is rather vague, the provisions DO NOT IMPLY lying on the beach or chatting up the bartenders or waitresses over cocktails.

NOTE: Beach vacations are not included in any U.S. Government sanctioned provisions.

Q: Are U.S. airlines flying to Cuba?
A: At the moment, several have applied and are awaiting approval. Approval is needed separately from the U.S. Government and the Cuban government. It is not expected the Cuban government will move quickly on this issue.

Q: Can Americans book air and hotels?
A: No, the Cuban government requires American visitors to have transportation and a guide for their full stay booked through a licensed tour operator like ours. Otherwise, they will not accept hotel bookings

Q: What about home stays?
A: Home stays are allowed but must be booked through a licensed tour operator.

Q: How will recent changes affect prices?
A: Prices are already increasing because demand has increased and Cuban tourism infrastructure remains insufficient.

Q: Is it true that Cuba is full?
A: Yes, most 4 star and 5 star hotels are in the “stop sale” status for most of the remaining 2016 period and into 2017.

Q; Are scheduled departures still available?
A: Yes, our tour operator has been arranging to Cuba since 2002 and has secured hotel room and guaranteed prices on all scheduled departures from May 15, 2016 to January 22, 2017 with more in process for the balance of 2017.

Q: Can the tour operator arrange individual and customized programs for travel to Cuba?
A: Yes

Please contact one of your Travel Counselors at Castaways’ parent company, Fox Travel – an American Express Travel Representative at 800-256-2128 or 281-363-0808

Or if you call Castaways Travel, your call will be transferred to a Fox Travel Counselor.