The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce will host an education cultural exchange trip to Cuba, making local residents among the first to visit the island nation since the 1960s.
The trip is open to the public and runs May 28 to June 5. Because space is limited, reservations will be made on a first come, first serve basis.
Thanks to recent easing of travel restrictions U.S. citizens can now visit Cuba, opening up new opportunities for tourists. This cultural exchange adventure to four cities, including Havana, will provide travelers with the ability to see this Caribbean island through the eyes of its people.
Certain agencies have been licensed by the U.S. State Department to provide people-to-people tours for American citizens engaged in accredited cultural education programs. The Chamber contracted with Central Holidays, a licensee of this People-to-People Travel Program, to provide this tour.
This tour offers an opportunity to interact with the Cuban people on a deeper level. The itinerary is focused on cultural exchange and education, guided by a professional tour director and Cuban guide for all tours. Tour highlights include meeting with local artists; attending the Cuban Ballet; touring a cigar factory and Old Havana; visiting King Ranch and Rodeo; a walk of Earnest Hemmingway’s farm; and many opportunities to experience people-to-people discussions.
The Hampton Roads Chamber has been hosting international trips since September 2010, exposing the community to the cultural delights found in China, Spain and Italy. Bryan K. Stephens, Chamber President and CEO, says the program demonstrates the organization’s commitment to develop and improve not only the economy, but the quality of life in the region.
“It’s about opening up new horizons, getting our citizens to think of exciting potential,” says Stephens. “While Congress has not yet fully lifted the embargo, we’re a lot closer to resuming trade with Cuba than in more than fifty years. Now is exactly the right time for our chamber to host this exploratory trip to Cuba. It will allow our citizens to experience the Cuban culture and get to know its people better.”
The cost is $3,599 per person (double occupancy). A free pre-tour information session will be held on Wednesday, March 4 from 5pm to 7pm at the Chamber’s office (500 East Main Street, Suite 700, Norfolk). For more information, contact Priscilla Monti or visit www.HamptonRoadsChamber.com/page/experience-cuba/.
The Chamber is also announcing a second trip to Greece that combines a three-day stay in Athens with a four-night cruise through the Greek Islands. The tour gets underway October 23, with a cost starting at $2,999 (additional cruise ship accommodation upgrades available).