Cuba cruise firm expands with new offering
By Dana Niland
Cuba Journal Contributor
Group IST (International Specialty Travel) is adding a third small ship to its Havana to Cienfuegos people-to-people cruise program for the November 2016-April 2017 season.
With the two vessels sailing the route in the 2015-16 season, Group IST will also offer year-round cruises on one vessel.
“We’ve had phenomenal response to our Cuba cruise program, which we’ve been offering since 2014. Americans have been eagerly awaiting the opportunity to explore Cuba,” said Group IST CEO Michael Goren. “Now that restrictions have eased and travel opportunities are becoming more available, people are looking for trusted providers who have some history in the country and they’re finding us. Our small ship program offers Americans not only an enriching experience of Cuba, but all the amenities-fine food, good accommodations and excellent personal service-that Americans expect when traveling abroad.”
Travelers on the eight-day people-to-people program will experience the western part of the island renowned for its culture, music, people, art, architecture, and cigars.
Guests will have the opportunity to enjoy Cuba’s natural scenery while engaging in a cultural exchange program, with excursions to venues such as museums, community centers, art galleries, religious centers, concerts, schools, and ecological centers.
They will get the chance to meet and get to know many typical Cuban citizens, in addition to historians, artists, preservationists, religious leaders, educators, musicians.
Group IST is licensed by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control to conduct people-to-people programming in Cuba.
Havana to Cienfuegos is currently available from prices between $4,899-$5,999, which includes accommodations, meals, mandatory Cuban medical insurance, and transportation.