Articles Tagged with travel

630x355-300x169The first time the term “Cuban exile” came into the modern lexicon was after the Cuban Revolution of 1959 led by Fidel Castro. Many exiles thought that the new government would not last and left behind their valuables, which ended up being confiscated by the Cuban government.

Since then, a steady stream of Cuban exiles has left the island nation; today, there are over 800,000 living abroad, with the majority of those who went to the United States living in Florida. Now, the Cuban government is extending an open hand to Cuban exiles, allowing some to return for the first time in their lives.

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CubanTravelNewRules-300x200The U.S. Treasury Department issued new clarifications on Tuesday on measures that will take effect for business, remittances, and travel with Cuba following President Donald Trump’s June announcement regarding U.S. policy towards the island.

The document, released by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), includes answers to 14 frequently asked questions from business owners, travelers, and the general public about the changes Trump proclaimed in Miami on June 16.

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Norwegian-Sky-300x225The wave of tourism brought by the 700 Americans who arrived in Havana by sea in May 2016 is showing no signs of abating more than one year later, even with the new restrictions placed on American travelers to the island by President Donald Trump.

Adonia’s historic voyage from Port Miami to Cuba was the first of its kind in almost 40 years. It marked a big step in the normalization process between Cold War enemies that was started by former President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro on December 17, 2014. The embargo imposed by Congress almost 60 years ago is still in place, but the Obama administration relaxed the rules to allow Americans to visit the island if the trip falls under one of 12 categories of travel.

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Norwegian-Sun-300x225Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) announced Monday that it will send a second ship to Cuba as of May 2018. The cruise operator plans to expand its lineup of Cuba voyages with new sailings out of Port Canaveral, Florida.

NCL started trips to Cuba in May 2017 with the 1,936-passenger Norwegian Sky, which offers an all-inclusive four-day itinerary from the Port of Miami. The second ship, Norwegian Sun, will sail from Port Canaveral and offer the same four-day itinerary with unlimited free drinks. Both ships will spend one night in Havana.

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cubavisit-300x202Travel companies that organize trips to Cuba for American travelers have reportedly been receiving a lot of questions about President Donald Trump’s new Cuba policy and how the elimination of “people to people” tours to the island and the ban on dealings with military-controlled businesses will affect their travels.

“They say they have been interested in traveling to Cuba and they want to book right now,” Tom Popper, president of InsightCuba, told the Miami Herald. His company organizes tours and plans itineraries for groups traveling to Cuba.

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Cruise-Ship-300x183U.S. business owners with dealings in Cuba were relieved after President Donald Trump outlined his new Cuba policy last week because it might not have a big impact on their ventures. Some have reportedly paused all business with the island until they see how Trump’s changes will be implemented and what new regulations they will require.

Lawyers who help corporations navigate the regulations and laws imposed by the embargo have been going through every detail of the memorandum Trump signed on June 16 as well as a White House fact sheet and the answers to some frequently-asked questions issued by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to get a feel of the new policy. That is all the lawyers have to go on until the new rules are written. Trump mandated that the writing process begin by next month.

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People-in-Cuba-300x206Senators Jeff Flake (R-Arizona) and Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) reintroduced a bill last week that would eliminate all restrictions on travel to Cuba. The bill, which had 8 cosponsors when it was first introduced in 2015, has the bipartisan support of 55 senators.

“As the administration is finalizing its Cuba policy review, it is important to show that a bipartisan majority in the Senate supports not only not rolling back the measures that President Obama took to expand travel, but to go even further and remove all restrictions,” James Williams, head of Engage Cuba, told el Nuevo Herald. Engage Cuba is a lobby group backed by companies and organizations that support the removal of sanctions on Cuba.

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cubavisit-300x202The number of international tourists to Cuba in 2016 rose by 13.9 percent to a record 4 million. Cuba was second only to the Dominican Republic (5.96 million) in number of visitors.

Cuban tourism officials are expecting another record year in 2017. It may sound like Cuba is competing with other islands—visitors to the entire Caribbean region increased by just 2.4 percent last year—but Caribbean leaders reportedly view Cuba’s success as a way to raise the tourism profile of all the islands in the regions.

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Spirit-Airlines-300x108Spirit Airlines will officially end its flights to Havana from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in June, the Miramar-based carrier announced. It is the fifth U.S.-based airline to cut back flights to Cuba this year.

“Due to overcapacity and the additional costs associated with flying to Cuba, we don’t find it sustainable to continue this service while maintaining our commitment to pass along ultra-low fares to our customers,” Paul Berry, a spokesperson for the budget carrier, told the press.

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Cruise-ship-300x200Miami-based Norwegian Cruise Line announced this week that it will expand its trips to Cuba next year with 33 sailings. The cruise line will begin hosting four-day round trips from Miami to Cuba at the beginning of the cruise season in March 2018. Many of those trips will have overnight calls in Havana.

“Cuba is a spectacular destination and we are seeing incredible demand from our guests to experience the beautiful and cultural-rich city of Havana and her warm and friendly people,” said Andy Stuart, CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line. “We are excited to provide even more opportunities for our guests to experience this incredible destination into 2018.”

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