Yes, You Can Still Travel to Cuba From the US with GeoEx
In early June, the US government announced revised regulations to its policy on Americans traveling to Cuba, reversing the loosening of sanctions and other restrictions on the country. The most significant change to Cuba travel restrictions is that, effective June 5, 2019, Americans will no longer be permitted to visit the island nation by cruise ship or on trips under the “People to People” license—two methods that have been very popular in recent years.
Cuba Travel with GeoEx Is Still Legal
It is still possible to travel to Cuba from the US with GeoEx. The revisions have little impact on Geographic Expeditions’ trips, as we now solely operate under the “Support for the Cuban People” category. Since 2000, we have successfully run private and group trips to Cuba, always adhering and adjusting to the US government’s policies. We will continue to keep up with the shifting regulations to remain in compliance and offer wonderfully interesting and rewarding journeys. You may find other interesting details on our Cuba Travel FAQ page.
Cuba Travel Restrictions: What Types of Cuba Travel Are Permitted?
Although travel to Cuba by Americans for tourism purposes remains prohibited, the US Department of State explains that the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has issued general licenses for 12 categories of travel: “family visits; official business of the US government, foreign governments, and certain intergovernmental organizations; journalistic activity; professional research and professional meetings; educational activities; religious activities; public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions; support for the Cuban people; humanitarian projects; activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes; exportation, importation, or transmission of information or informational materials; and certain authorized export transactions.” If you’d like to read more about the details of each, see the OFAC FAQ.
The GeoEx Cuba Experience
We at GeoEx love to help travelers discover unusual experiences that highlight Cuba’s culture and history. “Wandering Havana’s touristy old town and staring at old cars is one thing,” says Jennine Cohen, our chief Cuba expert, “but if you want private lessons and performances, time with emerging artists, and meetings with historians and economists, that’s another.” GeoEx began traveling to Cuba from the US in 2000, and we’ve got addresses and invitations that you won’t find in any guide book. Led by deeply experienced local guides, you may focus on food, dining in privately owned paladares, and wandering markets. Or if your priority is politics, we can arrange for you to meet with diplomats and entrepreneurs, getting insight into Cuba’s past, present, and future. GeoEx guests stay in small and charming bed-and-breakfasts (rather than unsanctioned government-run/owned properties) and maintain a full-time schedule of activities that result in meaningful interactions with locals. Our experienced guides skillfully make on-the-fly adjustments to give you the best possible experience.
Ready to Travel to Cuba?
Our Connecting with Cuba’s Living History small-group trip—capped at eight guests—is the perfect blend of Cuban culture, including art, music, dance, history, and politics. We organize meetings with academics and specialists in each of these areas in order to provide a more in-depth understanding than visitors would get while traveling with another company or on their own. We invite you to browse trip dates—including a new all-women departure in February 2020!
For a look at the custom travel possibilities, tailored according to your specific time frame and interests, you can view our Cuba Insider and Cuba Family Explorer itineraries.
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To find out more about GeoEx adventures in Cuba and beyond, call our travel experts at 888-570-7108.
Hi–I LOVE GeoEx, but please update this article! A lot of changes have happened since June 2019, and a lot more are anticipated for this year. This will be a historically significant year for Cuba–the whole population will soon be vaccinated against COVID, and President Biden will remove not enforce elements of Trump’s policies. Most Americans have no idea what’s happening in Cuba now, so PLEASE EDUCATE THEM WITH ACCURATE AND UPDATED INFORMATION! Thank you So much!
Dear James, thank you very much for your note. We appreciate your contacting us. As you note, many changes in regard to Cuba are anticipated in the coming months, and we will report on these as soon as they are instituted. We very much appreciate and share your passion for Cuba, and are excited to relay changes in policies and practices when they are implemented this year. Sending you all best wishes and thanks!