Take a trip: to Cuba


By: Joel Dash Special to the Boca and Delray newspapers
Skip back in time to the Cuba that famous novelist Ernest Hemingway called home. Get to know the live and colorful culture of the warm and welcoming Cuban locals with intimate people-to-people encounters. Enjoy flavorful homemade Cuban recipes at family-fun “paladeres.” Experience the mystique of Cuba’s distinctive Afro-Cuban customs via exchanges and performances by musicians and artists. Get your feet dancing to the Cuban-inspired beats with an expert-led salsa lesson. Enjoy a personal view of Jewish life in Havana and beyond with “L’Chaim Cuba.” Delve into Cuba’s natural diversity from the life of tobacco farmers in Vihale Valley, and the coastal splendors of Varadero.
Yes, the door to Cuba seems to open wider every day. Travel restrictions have eased, and tourists from the United States want to go to Cuba before it changes. People to People trips are now possible by land and sea.
Beginning in May, the world’s newest cruise line. Fathom, intends to offer cultural exchange voyages to multiple locations in Cuba, including Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba, in order to enable more people to experience Cuban society. The trip received approval from the Cuban government during President Barack Obama’s recent trip to Cuba.
As a Fathom traveler, you would have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the Cuban culture. The on-board journey includes an orientation to the country’s history, customs and culture, including guided sessions where travelers can share ideas about the future of the cultural exchange travel with Cuba. On the shore, the trip offers cultural, artistic, educational and humanitarian experiences. The goal of the Fathom experience is to facilitate and sustain programs that meet the needs of local communities. Adonia, a 704 modern passenger ship, is home during the trip. The ship features Cuban-inspired cuisine, pool, gym, games and a library.
Pricing for a seven day cruise, which sails from Miami to Cuba every other week, starts at $1,800 per person. The base price includes on-board programs, on-ground activities and transportation, breakfast, lunch and dinner and a stateroom. Rates are based on two people per room and prices do vary by season.
The Delray Beach Chamber of Commerce has plans to set sail to Cuba on June 12.
Other trips to Cuba are also available. They typically involve a night at an airport hotel in Miami where you meet other tour participants. The group then flies into Havana.
The Taste of Havana trip is five nights and starts at $2,999 per person, including round-trip airfare.
L’Chaim Cuba is an eight night trip with a look into Jewish life on the island. Prices start at $3,999 per person and include 20 meals and airfare.
Other options include a nine night Afro-Cubanismo Cultural Program to Havana, Santiago and Camaguey and an eight night City and Sea Program to Havana and Vardero. Both programs cost around $4,000 per person.
Joel Dash has been a travel writer, travel teacher and owner of Dash Travel, 504 E. Atlantic Ave. since 1959. For more information on trips to Cuba, call 561-498-4419.