Cuba 2017 Programs and Beyond ~ To Be Announced

Tour Intro

Strabo PTC will be adding additional tours to Cuba. Leaders and dates to be announced. Contact us for details.

PAmericans are able to travel under a new 'people-to-people' program, which includes daily activities, immersing you into the heart and soul of Cuba. Designed as a cultural and historical program, it will also provide dramatic photographic opportunities each day.

Participants should know that Cuba is a special destination, please understand that all elements of the itinerary are subject to change and that activities listed are examples of opportunities that will present themselves. Since the program is authorized by the U.S. Treasury Department, we have to abide by any changes to regulations that may take place. Please remain flexible as there are often circumstances beyond control and changes may be necessary. Be assured that all efforts will be made to provide a comparable alternative should an item on the itinerary need to be changed.

Travel with your photo tour leader to Cuba. You will be immersed in the rich culture, and strong willed people of Havana as well as the colonial town of Trinidad on Cuba’s southern coast. This is a perfect introduction in to the people of Cuba, who are friendly and open. Wander and explore with through Havana’s colonial architecture, while watching the antique vehicles pass you by. There will be daily educational programs built in to the itinerary, including traditional salsa music and dancing, and visiting with the local families of Havana’s diverse neighborhoods.

 

Tour Highlights

  • Program cost includes Miami-Havana round-trip airfare & travel visa.
  • Cuba’s greatest asset ~ Its people.
  • Meet and interact with people’s lives on the streets of Havana’s distinct neighborhoods.
  • Explore the architecture of Old Havana, designated an UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Panoramic views of the harbor, Morro Cabana, and the skyline of Havana.
  • Two-day excursion to the colonial town of Trinidad on Cuba’s southern coast and two-days in Vinales.
  • Education on the arts of Cuba.
  • Photo education by your photo tour leader.

Tour Itinerary

January 3: Home - Miami

Photo By: Brenda Tharp

Photo Location: Havana Cuba

Due to the time of the group charter flight tomorrow morning it will be necessary for everyone to fly to Miami today, overnight at hotel (at your cost). We cannot be responsible for missed connections. We recommend everyone staying at the same hotel as your photo leader in order to coordinate departure time in the morning back to the airport. There are various hotels around the Miami airport so if you should decide to stay elsewhere please notify us of hotel and phone number. Suggested hotel to be announced.

January 4-5: Miami - Havana - Vinales

Photo By: Brenda Tharp

Photo Location: Vinales Cuba

Depart Miami today on the charter flight to Havana (time to be announced). Currently we can arrange and pre-pay the Cuba Travel Visa fee for you. The airfare and Visa are included in your tour cost.

Upon arrival in Havana, the group will depart from the airport to the Pinar del Rio Province. Viñales is a small town located in the Pinar del Rio Province. It has an economy based on agriculture, mainly tobacco farming, and its soil is considered to be some of the richest in the world. Photograph rural family life amidst the tobacco fields and traditional buildings of this region. In the Viñales Valley, another UNESCO World Heritage site, we’ll see mountainous “mogotes”, made of hard limestone left over after millennia of erosion, as well as rural farmland vistas. The hotel offers commanding views of the landscape, which we will capture at sunset this evening, and early morning sunrise photography the next day. We will then head down into the valley and walk the paths through fields of tobacco and sugar cane, meeting the farmers and photographing their homes and farms. Lunch will be at an organic farm overlooking the valley, and then continue our exploration of this beautiful valley. Overnight Los Jazmines. (D; B, L, D)
 

January 6: Cienfuegos
Cuban Students

Photo By: Ron Rosenstock

Photo Location: Cuba

After photography from the hotel and breakfast, we drive to the Pearl of the South, Cienfuegos. It is a nautical city, built around a spectacular natural bay. Photograph the architecture of its colonial buildings, elegant Prado, and Parque Marti. You will be able to do some night photography on a walk with Brenda from the hotel this evening. Overnight Hotel, Union, Cienfuegos (B, L, D)

January 7-8: Trinidad

Photo By: Brenda Tharp

Photo Location: Cuba

After breakfast, we will travel to Trinidad. We’ll make a short stop in the city of Cienfuegos, a very modern city by Cuba’s standards, before continuing on to Trinidad. Trinidad was founded in the early 16th century on the southern coast of the country. It was designated an UNESCO site in 1988, and it’s the perfect example of a traditional colonial town, with red tiled roofs and an array of pastel colored houses lining cobbled stone streets. Walk with Brenda & Jed or wander on your own capturing the simplicity of this quaint town and its villagers. Both evenings there will be an amazing opportunity for locals and visitors to gather for drinks, some wonderful traditional music and a chance to dance away the night. This will be a lively experience and one not to forget!

The next day, after breakfast, your guide will join you for a walking program of the city streets, where you may photograph artisans as they work or school children as they interact with one another and their teachers. A private photography session may be coordinated with a dance studio given availability of the neighborhood dancers. * Overnight Casa particular: participants will stay in various local homes to experience the family hospitality and central location. (B, L, D)
 

January 9-12: Old Havana

Photo By: Brenda Tharp

Photo Location: Havana, Cuba

You will make your way back to Havana today, where your local guide will orient you to the highlights of Old Havana on a walking program. In 1982 Old Havana was designated an UNESCO World Heritage site and it is brimming with a variety of historical landmarks and interesting things to do. Just walking the streets in this area is a favorite pastime and will surely result in an unforgettable experience with plenty of chances to meet the locals and to take advantage of a myriad of photo ops.

Each day, there will be early morning photo excursions with Brenda and Jed, as you explore the city on foot, photographing the antique cars, architectural details, street scenes, and the local culture. After breakfast your local guide will join you as you continue to explore and photograph different neighborhoods. Visit the Havana Club Rum Museum where we can sample a wee bit of the product at the end of the tour. We’ll have an afternoon excursion to the town of Cojimar, a quaint fisherman's village. Ernest Hemingway’s former home Finca La Vigia, is located close by, where we can view the remembrances of his 20 years in Cuba. Additional photographic opportunities may include a boxing gym, or a visit to the ballet rehearsal.

A couple evenings will be free to take in a show, listen to music, and have dinner on your own, at a local paladar (Brenda can make suggestions). Brenda and Jed will also offer nighttime photography walks in Old Havana. Just prior to your farewell dinner the group will be driven to the Morro Cabana fortress across the bay, for sunset/dusk photography of the lighthouse, skyline, and the fort in the foreground. Overnight Hotel Saratoga (B, L, D each day) 
 

January 13: Havana - Home

Photo By: Ron Rosenstock

Photo Location: Havana Rum Museum, Cuba

There will be a morning transfer to Havana airport to begin your program home (Exact time to be announced. Be sure to leave three or more hours between your connection times in Miami. It is also advisable to spend another evening in Miami to avoid missed connections (B)

Pricing and Details

US Dollars based upon minimum of 9 paying participants. All our program prices are based on double occupancy unless noted in exceptions.

Single rooms are subject to availability. We try to accommodate travelers who request single accommodations, as well as travelers who are looking for a roommate. If a single room is requested, or if we are unable to find a suitable roommate, you will be required to pay the supplement.

Testimonials

The two photo reviews during the trip were very useful. Both Jed and Brenda were outstanding, helpful, and easy to interact with. The photographic locations were excellent as well.

J. Levin

Hi Brenda, I want to let you know how much I enjoyed photographing Cuba with you. The Cuba experience was phenomenal. Cubans are such wonderful, open and caring people that I couldn't help falling in love with them. And it seemed that there was another photo op around every corner. Shooting side by side with you really enhanced the experience. You helped me see the shot and afterwards I could look over your shoulder at your composition. That process really helped me see alternative compositions in other scenes. Again, thanks for all the help and attention you gave me during our time in Cuba. I'm looking forward to another photo tour with you sometime in the future.

Ron Alvig

Terms and Conditions

Unless otherwise noted, this information applies to all tours.

Airfare

Contact Strabo Tours if you would like rates on International Airfare. Please note on your trip application form if you would like us to assist you with your airfare needs, a charge is added for this service. If making your own arrangements, it is important to discuss flight times with Strabo Tours before booking any airline tickets. This will avoid you having to pay airline cancellation penalties. Please contact Strabo Tours for destination airfare estimates, specific flight time arrivals, and departures.

The land cost includes:
  • Group transportation for tour events in the tour van.
  • Accommodations based on two people sharing a room, singles are assigned on a first come, first served basis.
  • Services of driver, English speaking cultural guide (if applicable) and photographic leader, during the tour.
  • Meals as listed in itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner).
  • Park entrance fees, day tours and excursions as shown in the itinerary.
  • Extensive pre-departure information and services.
The land cost does not include:

Domestic or International air fare; other airfare if noted in exceptions; air fare tax; airport departure tax; airport transfers; additional transfers or accommodations that may be required by those not traveling with the group; excess baggage charges; meals not included in itinerary; activities taken on your own; passport/visa expenses; personal medical or travel insurance; any expenses of a personal nature, such as room service, laundry, beverages not included with meals, medical expenses, photographic equipment, any activities not specified in tour itinerary or listed as optional, or any items not listed in what is included; fuel surcharges; exchange rate surcharges; upon the completion of your trip, modest gratuities to the local guides and the drivers are customary; tips for meals not included in itinerary.

Fitness and Health

The majority of trips are not strenuous (see exceptions below for particular destinations) and anyone who is reasonably fit should be able to take part in most of the activities. You may experience general fatigue due to the long flights and the change in time zones. You will need to be sufficiently agile to climb in and out of the tour van and be able to carry and manage your own equipment. We will frequently hike trails ranging from easy to moderate. Some hotels do not have elevators or air conditioners.

If you have any special needs or any physical condition that you feel might prevent you from fully participating, please contact Strabo Tours with your concerns (607-756-8676).

You should also be aware that medical services or facilities might not be readily available during all or part of your trip. This could include emergency medical care, presence of physicians, or adequate medication.

Exceptions:

The following destinations require more physical activity. Bhutan, China, Patagonia, Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, New Zealand, Scotland, Domestic tours. On the African Safari you will spend many hours in a vehicle on game drives, land travel will sometimes be over very bumpy and dusty roads. Galapagos Cruise accommodations are in upper and lower berths (bunk beds) only.

The following destinations require more physical activity. Bhutan, China, Patagonia, Peru, Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, New Zealand, Scotland, Domestic tours. On the African Safari you will spend many hours in a vehicle on game drives, land travel will sometimes be over very bumpy and dusty roads. Galapagos Cruise accommodations are in upper and lower berths (bunk beds) only.

Deposits, Cancellations AND Refunds

A deposit of $750 ($500 on domestic tours) per person is required. Specific tours may require an additional deposit due to accommodation bookings or transportation requirements. If applicable these will be noted on your invoice. Payment in full is required when bookings are made less than 120 days before the departure date. Space is subject to cancellation by Strabo if payment is not received when due.

If a passenger wishes to cancel they must send notification in writing to: Strabo International Tour, Co., P.O. Box 580, Dryden, NY 13053; fax 208-545-4119. At the time we receive your notification, the following per person charges apply:

  • 91 days or more before departure: $300 cancellation fee ($150 fee on domestic tours), plus Strabo’ costs, as well as fees that are charged by the suppliers providing the services included in your tour, and/or the airlines providing the air transportation.
  • 61-90 days before departure: $500 ($250 on domestic tours) minimum cancellation fee, plus Strabo’ costs, as well as fees that are charged by the suppliers providing the services included in your tour, and/or the airlines providing the air transportation. Fees may range from 25% to 100% of tour costs.
  • 60 days or less before departure or anytime after departure: NO REFUND.

Refunds for services that are voluntarily not used by you cannot be made.

Insurance

Each participant must be covered by medical insurance that is valid overseas.

We strongly urge you to evaluate your risk and to take out insurance on your trip. It is vital for you to realize that if you experience a delay or find it necessary to cancel or cut short your trip for any reason, you will lose part or the entire sum you’ve invested in it (see the section “Deposits, Cancellations and Refunds” in the trip brochure).

Travel insurance helps to minimize the risk of monetary losses you would incur in the event of a delay of your departure due to weather, airline strike, missed connection, etc., your inability to travel for reasons such as illness, injury, unforeseen financial complications and other personal circumstances, or if you were required to cut your trip short for medical or any other reasons.

There are restrictions and limitations on any insurance program. For this reason, please read carefully the enclosed pamphlet, which outlines their program of trip cancellation, baggage, and medical insurance. Trained agents are available to answer your questions, so don’t hesitate to call the toll free number in their brochure. It is to your advantage to apply for insurance at the earliest possible time, so don’t delay in making a decision.

Subject to Change

Itineraries have been carefully constructed to assure participants the best each destination has to offer; however, should events arise that are beyond our control, activities and hotel arrangements are subject to change without notice. The itineraries summarize typical areas you will explore. Since there is no possible way to visit all of them, your guides will plan each day considering the interests of the group and the weather at hand. Be assured that we will make substitutions that are as similar in quality and interest as possible.

Photo Release

Strabo International Tour Company, Inc. reserves the right and permission to use photographs of individuals on tour for use in promotional and publicity purposes. We also reserve the right to use clients photographs for promotional and publicity purposes, when submitted to Strabo International Tour Company, Inc.

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