Rob Sequin | Havana Journal
Now that all Americans can legally travel to Cuba, there are plenty of legal opportunities to visit the island with a US government licensed people to people Cuba tour operator.
Friendly Planet Travel is a wholesale tour operator and travel company, in business since 1981, that offers high quality, upscale, full-service international travel arrangements to many exotic destinations, all at affordable prices. And that includes Cuba travel as well.
Since receiving their Cuba people to people travel license in September 2011, the company has hosted thousands of Americans in Cuba on a variety of tours that include 4-night Havana stays and longer, 7-night tours including Havana, Trinidad, Cienfuegos and Santa Clara and for the coming season, a third itinerary including Havana and Varadero.
In addition to these set departure programs, Friendly Planet also arranges programs for groups from universities, museums, alumni and professional associations and other organizations. Each tour, whether part of a tour series or a private tour, follows a fulltime program of meetings, visits and exchanges with Cubans.
For the traveler wishing to visit Cuba, there are three interesting and well-priced programs to choose from.
· Discover Havana - 6 days from $2199
· Highlights of Havana & Varadero – 7 days from $2499
· Colors of Cuba – 9 Days from $2899
All prices include a pre-tour evening get-together in Miami, where travelers are briefed about their trip. Also, round trip Miami-Havana-Miami airfare is included in every tour package.
President Peggy Goldman says “While Cuba continues to be an expensive destination by Caribbean standards, Friendly Planet has consistently managed to create travel packages that are below the prices seen for other people to people Cuba trips, despite the fact that the value aspect of our tours is enhanced when considering all the features included in our packages.”
Havana Journal Inc. readers are invited to take advantage of Friendly Planet’s creative and well-priced programs , and our readers can be comfortable knowing that we know and trust the people at Friendly Planet and the quality of services offered there.
Friendly Planet is all about service. No employee works on commission, so all of their agents are ready to patiently explain, answer questions and help people through every aspect of the process. When comparing Cuba programs, here are some important details about Friendly Planet that will help you make an informed decision.
1. Friendly Planet Cuba packages include round trip Miami-Havana-Miami airfare included. Also, fees for a Cuban visa and mandatory Cuban health insurance are included. (Other companies don’t include airfare with their pricing, and the add on can be quite expensive.)
2. The Friendly planet programs all begin with an included overnight in Miami, where passengers attend a pre-tour introductory briefing, meet fellow group members and get plenty of tips and helpful information about the upcoming trip to Cuba.
3. The Cuban hotels booked for Friendly Planet travelers are highly rated, like the Hotel National (4 Star), Hotel Telegrafo (4 Star), Iberostar Grand Hotel Trinidad (5 Star), and the Melia Varadero (5 Star).
4. Customer service means everything to Friendly Planet. The helpful, friendly reservations team loves talking to clients about travel to Cuba. They believe that half the fun of a trip like this is planning and preparing for your adventure. They are always happy to answer any questions, and send plenty of details to passengers before they travel, so they know exactly what to expect.
5. Friendly Planet has been in business for more than 32 years, and they have sent thousands of travelers to Cuba in the 2 1/5 years they have been operating People to People programs. Many members of the Friendly Planet team have traveled to Cuba, giving them first-hand experience so they can provide accurate information about your Cuba trip.
6. Everyone loves the Friendly Planet guides and tour managers, who have the knowledge and the experience to handle anything that may occur during the trip, whether it be an emergency, or a special request. The Cuban guides speak fluent English, are passionate about their work, and love escorting Americans around the island.
7. Friendly Planet tour prices are among the most competitive around, and when you compare all that they include in their packages, they easily offer the best deal available for People to People travel! Check out other sites, and you’ll see that to travel legally to Cuba, you cannot get a better value for your dollar than the programs offered by Friendly Planet.
8. The programs offered by Friendly Planet are comprehensive, diverse and incredibly enjoyable. The itineraries feature a wide range of destinations, as well as historical sites, events and meetings with Cuban citizens. You will meet Cubans where they live, work and play, and you’ll have many, many opportunities to interact with locals at every turn.
9. Friendly Planet enjoys an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. Their reputation for excellent programs, centrally located hotels, and reasonable pricing makes them a premier Cuba tour operator. Look up their reviews, and you’ll see that time and time again, Friendly Planet is a company you can trust to make your Cuba trip a great success.
10. Friendly Planet has received a Cuba People to People license that is valid until September 30, 2014. You can plan your vacation in Cuba far in advance, and be assured that your trip will not be cancelled because of failure to obtain an OFAC renewal.