Vintage classic American car in Havana, Cuba

WHY IT RATES: Intrepid Travel’s new Hola Cuba for U.S. Citizens tour, a nine-day trip visiting Havana, Vimales, Cienfuegos, and Trinidad, meets new U.S. government requirements for travel to the country.—Mia Taylor, TravelPulse Senior Writer.

Following new government regulations put in place by the current U.S. administration this month, which makes travel to Cuba more restricted for Americans, Intrepid Travel – a B-Corp certified adventure travel company that has been taking travelers off the beaten path for 30 years – is ensuring customers can still visit the island destination.

According to The U.S. Treasury Department’s amendment to the authorization for group travel in Cuba announced June 4, tours operating under the People-to-People educational travel license are no longer permitted as of June 5, 2019, which is what Intrepid Travel’s “Hola Cuba” trip previously operated under.

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While the new regulation makes travel to the country more difficult for U.S. citizens, Intrepid’s customers weren’t largely affected, as according to the amendment, any traveler who has already completed at least one travel-related transaction (such as purchasing a flight, depositing for a tour or reserving accommodation) prior to June 5, 2019, is permitted to travel as planned.

Based on this, Intrepid Travel confirmed that the upcoming scheduled departures of its “Hola Cuba – People to People for US citizens” tour on June 8, June 22 and July 6 have and will operate as planned.

Immediately following the announcement of the new regulations, the company noted a 19% spike in the web traffic on its Cuba tour pages from Americans, indicating the continued appetite to visit the country from U.S. citizens.

“As Intrepid Travel is committed to providing opportunities for its U.S. customers to freely explore the world through sustainable, experience-rich travel, the company has been diligently working to create another option for American citizens to continue to visit Cuba,” said Michael Edwards, Managing Director of The Americas and Europe for Intrepid Travel.

“We’re excited to announce that we have amended our tours in the country to comply with the Support for Cuban People license, which is still allowed under the current government regulations.”

Intrepid Travel’s new Hola Cuba for US Citizens tour – a nine-day trip visiting Havana, Viñales, Cienfuegos and Trinidad – meets the requirements of the new license with some amendments to the original itinerary and inclusions, which Intrepid has operated since August 2015.

The main difference with the tour is that the responsibility is now on travelers to comply with the regulations of the Support for Cuban People license, meaning that they will be required to track their activities and interactions with Cuban people throughout their journey.

Intrepid Travel will be providing a diary for travelers to make documenting this easy and will be scheduling time each evening for journaling.

To ensure traveling to Cuba remains as accessible as possible amid the public’s growing confusion about the future of travel to the country, Intrepid Travel is offering 15 percent off its Hola Cuba tour for U.S. Citizens now through June 27, 2019, with the nine-day comfort-level tour starting at just $2,338 per person.

SOURCE: Intrepid Travel Group