Abercrombie & Kent USA has been granted a two-year renewal to its license to offer people-to-people educational exchange programs to Cuba by the U.S. Department of the Treasury Office of Foreign Assets Control. Beginning October 2014, Abercrombie & Kent will offer Cuba: People to People, a 10-day program filled with meaningful interactions and people-to-people connections which reveal the spirit of this fascinating, culturally-rich island.
“Our goal at A&K has always been to provide guests a deeper understanding of a destination,” explains Abercrombie & Kent USA President Phil Otterson. “We’re pleased our efforts in Cuba have been recognized with this license renewal so that we may continue to introduce Americans to the fascinating culture, history and people of Cuba.”
Embark on an unforgettable Connections Journey to Cuba with a small group of no more than 24 guests and led by an A&K Program Director and expert local guides. Travel beyond Havana to Caibarién in northern Cuba, and west to the rural countryside of Vinales for complete immersion in Cuban culture. Explore its architecture, agriculture, music and cuisine during intimate, one-to-one educational exchanges with local residents.
Compare the distinct differences and similarities between Cuba and the United States with a briefing on the history of U.S.-Cuban relations by a Foreign Service scholar in Havana. Gain insight into Cuba’s well-regarded public health care system during an informal, yet engaging conversation with a local physician; discuss everything from physician training to research and production during an exchange of ideas or issues around the subject. Learn about Cuba and America’s great shared passion — baseball — at a game where you meet the players and have the opportunity to play a few innings with them.
Uncover the Havana only a long-time resident would know. Explore the city by foot with a local architect who offers authentic insights into its charming, historic styles. Dine at a paladar (family-run restaurant) where the owners share their passion for Cuban cuisine and discuss what is involved in running a private business in Cuba – an opportunity that, historically, was all but unheard of. Join renowned Cuban painter and ceramicist, José Fuster on a neighborhood walk, followed by a discussion of the role of the arts in contemporary Cuban culture.
Gain a deeper understanding of the island’s cultural traditions through its art and music. Meet the artists of the Proyecto de Arte Por la Costa, who are artistically enriching the fishing community where they reside. Engage with local musicians during a private Buena Vista Social Club-style concert and cultural discussion. Partake in a private salsa lesson and one-on-one talk with a Cuban salsa instructor. Meet with artist Salvador Gonzales to discuss how he turned a tiny alley, Callejon de Hamel, into an Afro-Cuban art and music epicenter. Discover how the influence of the Afro-Cuban religion of Santeria is found in street art and music.
From sugar to tobacco to fishing, discover Cuba’s strong ties to the land and sea. Pay an interactive visit to a cigar factory, where local craftsmen teach guests their craft; then, discuss how life is actually lived on a working tobacco farm during a discussion with the farmers. Explore Las Terrazas eco-community with resident specialists for a better understanding about Cuba’s environmental commitments at this unique UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Engage in a conversation on fishing practices with a local fisherman, an experience revealing the industry’s impact on the local community.
If You're Going: All departures are guaranteed to operate with a minimum of 2 guests. Land arrangements for 10 days from $5,695 per person, double occupancy (when booked by September 4, 2014*), plus international charter air ($525). Call 800.554.7094 to speak with a travel consultant, go to www.abercrombiekent.com or contact your travel professional.
*Save $200 per person on select 2014 departures when booked by September 4, 2014
A&K notes that Cuba remains a developing country, and guests should adjust their expectations accordingly. Delays commonly occur, and flexibility and patience on the part of visitors is a must. Travelling to Cuba on a people-to-people license is quite unlike journeying to other destinations, involving full days spent getting to know the Cuban people and their culture through one-on-one cultural and social interactions; participation in all people-to-people activities is mandatory. While every effort will be made to operate the program as scheduled, all activities are subject to change without notice. In the event that an individual or location becomes unavailable, a comparable activity will be substituted.