Last updated: 03:45 PM ET, Fri March 13 2015

David Morris International Partners with Cuba Explorations for Luxury Trips

Tour Operator | David Cogswell | March 13, 2015

David Morris International Partners with Cuba Explorations for Luxury Trips

PHOTO: Havana at dawn. (photo by David Cogswell)

David Morris International, a Newport Beach, Calif.-based luxury travel specialist, is partnering with Cuba Explorations to provide a series of high-end tour programs to Cuba. The tours operate in partnership with Havana Air, an airline founded several months ago by a group of Americans to offer nonstop flights from Miami to Cuba.

“We had been doing some programs with Cuba Explorations,” said David Morris, president of David Morris International. “The lady who is the head of Cuba Explorations has spent a lot of time in the last year or two in Cuba really researching everything about the restaurants, the tour options, the hotels and so forth. She came back to us and said, ‘Cuba Explorations will handle the meat-and-potatoes programs in Cuba, but I would like for David Morris International to handle the more upscale, more inclusive program that I have that you would be more capable of promoting.’ So we’ve come to agreement where we package two specifically different programs, a four-night and a six-night.”

According to Morris, what sets the program apart more than anything else is the level of accommodations it provides.

“Our programs 90 percent of the time use the only real five star hotel in Cuba, the the Saratoga,” said Morris. “It’s an An Art Deco masterpiece. It was a leading hotel back in the heyday. It’s been closed many years, but is now renovated and reopened. It’s far and away the best hotel in Cuba today. Where we don’t use that hotel, we use only the executive floors of other hotels, such as the Melia Cohiba. We don’t use the regular floors of other hotels.”

The packages are all-inclusive. Liquor is included with meals. Meals are mostly taken in the new paladars that are opening across Cuba since the government liberalized its regulations allowing individuals to run their own private restaurants. Customers get VIP check-in in both Miami and Havana under David Morris International. Every tour has two guides, one American, one Cuban.

Activities on the programs include a tour of the Partagas Cigar Factory, a visit to Ernest Hemingway’s Cuban home, city tours in antique cars, dining at privately and governmentally owned restaurants, walking tours through Havana, “Farm to Table” gastronomic experiences and a visit to the Holocaust museum.

“On the six-night program we are offering a great experience where we go out in the country where there are a lot of new paladars coming up,” said Morris. “We use different paladars out there as well as a new organic farm that’s doing some amazing things in Cuba. We’re dining in their restaurant as well.”

The partnership is also offering FIT travel to Cuba as well as specially formed tours for travel agents who want to travel to Cuba for their own research.



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