Last updated: 12:39 PM ET, Mon June 01 2015

Go Ahead Tours Rolls Out New Tour of Cuba

Tour Operator | David Cogswell | June 01, 2015

Go Ahead Tours Rolls Out New Tour of Cuba

PHOTO: A Ford Fairlane in Cienfuegos, Cuba. (Photo by David Cogswell)

Go Ahead Tours, which characterizes itself as a specialist in culturally enriching travel, unveiled its version of a tour of Cuba called Cultural Cuba: Havana to Cayo Santa Maria.

Like virtually all Cuba tours now on the market, the Go Ahead Cuba tour visits Havana, the Cuban capital, where it stays for three nights. But it distinguishes itself from other tours on the market by the places it goes beyond Havana.

After leaving Havana, the itinerary has two nights in Sancti Spiritus, a Spanish colonial city and a UNESCO site. It provides a deeper look into Cuba by moving beyond the international city of Havana into the more provincial parts of the country.

The tour finishes up with two nights on the island of Cayo Santa Maria, a tiny barrier island on the north coast of Cuba, connected to the mainland by a road and bridge.

Cayo Santa Maria provides the beach experience but still includes the people-to-people encounters, including a visit to a sugar factory transformed into a museum.  

Under the people to people rubric enforced by the U.S. Department of Treasury, all Cuba tours must include many meetings with locals, but how the tour operator accomplishes that is a matter of individual style and choices.

The Go Ahead Tours Cuba program includes a musical performance at the Buena Vista Social Club, a cigar demonstration, a tour of antique restored cars at the Guanabacoa Museum, a chance to follow the footsteps of Ernest Hemingway in Finca Vigia and the fishing village of Cojimar, lessons on the history of the Bay of Pigs while there, plus tours through city of Cienfuegos (“a thousand fires”), Parque el Cubano nature reserve and the UNESCO site of Trinidad.

The tour starts with one night spent in Miami to catch an early flight to Havana, then returns from Santa Clara.

The tour is being released with 14 departures on the books for 2016.

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