Globus Expands Religious Travel Programs, including New Cuba Program
PHOTO: Basilica Menor y Convento de San Francisco in Havana, named for the same saint as the current Pope, who will visit Cuba in September. (Photo by David Cogswell)
After seeing a 100 percent growth in sales of its religion-based tours, The Globus family of brands is increasing its selection for 2016 and offering a new tour of Cuba centered around religion.
Globus’ new faith-based Cuba program, Spiritual Journey through Cuba, is an 11-day program that is part of the operator’s Small-Group Discovery series, open to a maximum of 24 participants.
The tour will explore Cuba’s rich Catholic history and the living presence of Catholicism on the island today.
Like all people-to-people trips to Cuba under regulations of the U.S. Department of Commerce, the tour will be built on a full schedule of activities that include people-to-people encounters between Cubans and guests from the U.S.
On the Spiritual Journey through Cuba, the meetings will be structured around religious sites and activities. It will include visits to the Hill of the Cross in Holguín, the church at Plaza de Carmen, the Cathedral of Our Lady of Assumption in Santiago de Cuba and Cuba’s oldest church in Sancti Spiritus.
The program will include non-religious activities as well, such as a cruise of Santiago Bay, a meeting with local fisherman, a stop at Hemingways Finca Vigia home, a visit to a daycare center operated by nuns and a trip to the Cathedral of Our Lady of Assumption in Santiago de Cuba.
The Globus brand is offering eight faith-based programs for 2016. Its more budget-oriented sister brand, Cosmos, will offer two new religious programs for 2016: Mexico and Our Lady of Guadalupe and Protestant Classic Israel.
Cosmos is offering opportunities for clients to participate in volunteer work on Holy Land Discovery and Protestant Classic Israel.
Israel tops the list in terms of demand for faith-based travel, accounting for 58 percent of Globus’ faith-based bookings. Italy comes in second, accounting for 30 percent.
The enthusiasm generated by the rise of Pope Francis seems to be boosting demand for Globus’ Italy-based religious itineraries, including Grand Catholic Italy and Spiritual Highlights of Italy.
The Globus family of brands’ best-selling faith-based vacations this year are Globus’ Footsteps of Apostle Paul (featuring Greece and Turkey), Marian Shrines of Europe (featuring France, Spain and Portugal) and Cosmos’ European Shrines (featuring France, Spain and Portugal).
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