CNN is reporting that Orvis, one of the largest fly fishing outfitters in the world, plans to announce guided trips to Cuba this year.
The company is the first major US sporting company to do business on the island.
Simon Perkins, Orvis’ senior manager of adventures and hunting, said Cuba’s pristine natural environment and improving US-Cuban relations present anglers with a unique opportunity to fish in a country only just now opening to US companies and visitors.
Perkins’ family has owned and run the Vermont-based company since 1965.
In addition to guiding fishing, Perkins said, the company will take clients to meet Cuban artists and musicians to showcase the island’s culture.
Due to US restrictions, US citizens are allowed to visit Cuba only under certain conditions. The US government has issued general licenses within the 12 categories of authorized travel for many travel-related transactions to, from, or within Cuba. Travel-related transactions are permitted by general license for certain travel related to the following activities, subject to the criteria and conditions in each general license: family visits; official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations; journalistic activity; professional research and professional meetings; educational activities; religious activities; public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions; support for the Cuban people; humanitarian projects; activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes; exportation, importation, or transmission of information or information materials; and certain authorized export transactions.
Tour operators typically handle compliance with US government rules for travel to Cuba. Check out frequently asked questions about travel and business in Cuba.
Last year, Idaho-based ROW Adventures announced plans to launch its first Cuba tour. It’s called Cuba Unbound, and it’s the first of its kind in Cuba, a people-to-people kayak tour.
Orvis has transformed its brand in recent years to make fly fishing more accessible, while continuing to drive its innovative leadership in the industry. Its free Fly-Fishing 101 classes held at its stores throughout the US have brought more than 50,000 new anglers into the sport in the past 5 years, while its commitment of 5% of pre-tax profits to protecting nature, preserving fish habitat and improving access for anglers has dramatically expanded the natural resource.
The company’s Vermont-made Helios 2 and Recon fly rods have received multiple accolades as the industry’s finest fly rods and the 2013 acquisition of Scientific Anglers fortified Orvis’ position as the leader in fly fishing. Its 275 endorsed lodges, outfitters and guides and 400 independent dealers provide critical touch points for customers within the industry to help propel the brand. Additionally, significant re-branding and product development in its Men’s and Women’s apparel lines have amplified the Orvis mission to inspire its customers to connect to the adventure and wonder of the outdoors.
“If you love the outdoors, you are compelled to protect and restore its lands and waters” says Perkins.