• Havana Skyline, Cuba

    Latest News on Cuba Travel Restrictions - June 2019

    <b>What do the New Cuba Travel Restrictions Mean?</b><br>On Tuesday, June 4, 2019, the Trump administration announced new rules about people-to-people and cruise travel to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba/" target="_blank">Cuba.</a> If you have plans for such a trip – or have been thinking about making them – you may naturally wonder what’s going on. Here’s a summary of the changes to the Cuban Assets Control Regulations and the Export Administration Regulations announced by the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) (the section at the Department of the Treasury that regulates the trade and travel embargo to Cuba and which issues licenses for travel to Cuba) and the Commerce Department, respectively.<br><br><b>How do the new regulations affect cruise travel to Cuba?</b><br>The changes end travel to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba/" target="_blank">Cuba</a> by U.S.-flagged cruise ships or foreign-flagged cruise ships departing from the U.S. The Commerce Department has not included a “grandfather” clause to allow cruises that have already been scheduled, and for which passengers have already made arrangements. If you have a paid money toward a deposit or final payment for cruise travel to Cuba, you should contact your cruise company for a refund.<br><br><b>How do the new regulations affect people-to-people travel?</b><br>OFAC has allowed U.S. organizations whose people-to-people programs in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba/" target="_blank">Cuba</a> fall under a ‘grandfather’ clause, such as those operated by Classic Journeys, to proceed with those programs.  OFAC has, however, prohibited people-to-people programs that do not fall under this ‘grandfather’ clause to proceed.<br><br><b>Can I travel legally to Cuba with Classic Journeys on its People-to-People programs? </b><br>Yes. Your travel to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba/" target="_blank">Cuba</a> on Classic Journeys’ People-to-People programs is 100% legal because our programs fall under OFAC’s ‘grandfather’ clause. OFAC considers the grandfather clause to apply when a people-to-people organization like Classic Journeys had completed a travel-related transaction prior to June 5, 2019, in connection with a particular departure date, even if, prior to June 5, 2019, you as a traveler had not yet reserved your trip with Classic Journeys. In other words, because we had already reserved our hotel accommodations for our People-to-People trips in Cuba prior to June 5, 2019, your travel to Cuba on our People-to-People programs is grandfathered in as completely legal.<br><br><b>So, what is a qualifying “travel-related transaction” that allows Classic Journeys’ People-to-People programs to Cuba to be legal under the grandfather clause? </b><br>The qualifying “travel-related transaction” that needs to have been completed prior to June 5 could be, for example: having made a reservation for an accommodation (whether or not paid for) or booking and paying for transportation. These are just two examples and are not meant to be exhaustive. In the case of Classic Journeys, our close relationships with local people in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba/" target="_blank">Cuba</a> mean that we already had our hotel reservations confirmed prior to June 5.<br> <br><b>What People-to-People programs and dates are legal with Classic Journeys under the new regulations? </b><br>All three of our People-to-People programs (<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba-havana-art-music/" target="_blank">Long Weekend in Havana</a>, <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cubafamily/" target="_blank">Cuba for Families: Havana and the Viñales Valley</a>, and <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba-cienfuegos-trinidad-havana/" target="_blank">Havana, Cienfuegos &amp; Trinidad</a>) and all of their departure dates for 2019 are 100% legal.<br><br><b>Can you still fly to Cuba legally on commercial air flights?</b><br>Commercial air flights are not affected by the changes. And so, yes, they are still legal. Note that your airline will ask you at the time of ticketing to select from a listing of the type of license under which you are traveling to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba/" target="_blank">Cuba</a> legally. Your first choice option for the license will be a “people-to-people” exchange with the “grandfather clause” aka referencing the fact that your People-to-People organization– Classic Journeys – has made its arrangements prior to June 5, 2019. If that option is not available, you can select “educational activities” (so long as there is no mention of a degree requirement). If the airline you are considering does not have one of these options right now, they are likely playing catch up with the new regulations; so you can check back with them in a few days or try one of the many other airlines with commercial flights from the U.S. to Cuba.<br><br><b>What about private aircraft and boats; can they travel legally to Cuba? </b><br>The authorization for private vessels and private aircraft (such as private fishing boats and private sailboats, and corporate or private jets) is revoked. So, they are no longer legal for travel to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba/" target="_blank">Cuba</a>.<br><br><b>How will the changes under President Trump affect the people of Cuba?</b><br>We’ve made so many wonderful friends in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba/" target="_blank">Cuba</a> and seen the lives of the Cuban people change for the better during recent years. So, of course, we’re concerned about what it will mean to their prosperity and general welfare with the enaction of these new travel regulations. The Cubans have been through so much in the last 60 years. They’ve always managed to bear their hardships with grace and warm solidarity in their families and communities.<br><br>One known feature of the new regulations is that they will cap remittances – the money that can be sent to Cubans from friends and family members in the U.S. – at $1,000 per person every three months. In a country where the median monthly salary is just $32, you can only imagine how a reduction in remittance income will impact everyday life. In addition, travel had become a major source of income for Cubans, as well, so any reduction in that resource will echo throughout the country in a way for the people who can least afford it and whom we and our government want to help.<br><br><b>We choose guarded optimism.</b><br>We are approaching <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba/" target="_blank">Cuba</a> as we always have – with care, enthusiasm, and with pride in the fact that legal travel for Americans to Cuba has changed the lives of our American guests and the everyday local Cubans they’ve met, in overwhelmingly positive ways. You can still travel to Cuba legally with Classic Journeys. We like to think of this way of travel as an informal version of ‘Voice of America” with boots on the ground… yours in fact, as you communicate a positive story of the American people to local Cuban people. We urge you to hold fast to your plans. And if you’ve been hesitating to plan a Cuba trip, you know now that you can, and we encourage you to do so now.

    Read More »
  • Girl at Taj Mahal, India

    19 Mind Blowing Travel Destinations for '19

    <p>Go deep in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank">Iceland</a>. Have a million-star <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/peru-tours/" target="_blank">Machu Picchu</a> moment. Shorten that bucket list. Stretch your imagination. Your options are as wide as the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/morocco-tours/" target="_blank">Sahara </a>and as deep as <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Bryce Canyon</a>. You’ll be on trend and away from the crowds when you follow our experts’ advice on any of these I-can’t-believe-I’m-doing-this experiences.</p> <p> </p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank"><b><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ej5N&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015snM" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>CLIFFHANGER PIZZA</b></a><br>Toss and bake your own pizza… and then don&#39;t forget to taste it as you have lunch on a local friend’s sky-high terrace overlooking the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfi-tours/" target="_blank">Amalfi Coast</a>.</p> <p><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/peru-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ej5N&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015snR" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/peru-tours/" target="_blank"><b>STARRY INCA NIGHTS</b></a><br>Feel <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/peru-tours/" target="_blank">Machu Picchu</a> haunt you as you return to the ruins, lit only by the starry megawatt nighttime sky over the Andes.</p> <p><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ej5N&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015snW" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank"><b>ICY CAVING</b></a><br>Shiver—from the beauty of it all, not the cold—as you enter the glowing natural chamber of a glacial ice cave in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/iceland-tours/" target="_blank">Iceland</a>.</p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/japan-tours/" target="_blank"><b><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ej5N&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015snb" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>RAREFIED GEISHA</b></a><br>In <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/japan-tours/" target="_blank">Kyoto</a>, accept the elegant honor of dining as the honored guests of traditional geishas who entertain you with samisen and ritualized dance.</p> <p> </p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/londonstonehengecotswolds/" target="_blank"><b><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ej5N&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015sng" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>SECRET STONEHENGE</b></a><br>Enter sacred <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/londonstonehengecotswolds/" target="_blank">Stonehenge </a>for a private visit at dusk, and toast the falling night and mysterious past with a flute of champagne.</p> <p> </p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba/" target="_blank"><b><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ej5N&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015snl" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>PRISTINE BAY OF PIGS</b></a><br>Invade the<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba/" target="_blank"> Bay of Pigs</a> in a snorkel mask, the better to see the miraculously rich marine environment under the waves.</p> <p> </p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/chile/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ej5N&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015sri" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/chile/" target="_blank">PATAGONIA TO THE NTH DEGREE </a></b><br>In <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/chile/" target="_blank">Chile</a>, walk at the foot of the snow-capped Andes, eat with the Gauchos at a barbecue on a remote sheep ranch, and boat up to the sheer face of a Patagonia glacier. </p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/panama/" target="_blank"><b><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ej5N&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015snq" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>JUNGLE LIVING</b></a><br>Paddle deep into <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/panama/" target="_blank">Panama’s rainforest</a> for a day of interaction with the indigenous Embera Tribe in their riverside village-on-stilts.<br> </p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank"><b><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ej5N&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015snv" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>PENGUIN PLUNGE</b></a><br>Swim as you’ve never swum before with the world’s only warm-water penguins in the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank">Galápagos</a>.</p> <p> </p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/morocco-tours/" target="_blank"><b><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ej5N&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015so0" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>BREEZIER MOROCCO</b></a><br>Compare the sands along the Atlantic coast with those around your luxury desert encampment on a 6-day visit that also includes <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/morocco-luxury-tour-package/" target="_blank">Essaouira and Marrakesh</a>.</p> <p> </p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/portugal/" target="_blank"><b><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ej5N&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015so5" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>UP THE LAZY DOURO</b></a><br>Cruise <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/portugal/" target="_blank">Portugal’s</a> gorgeous river to a vineyard walk, port-tasting, and a picnic for a perfeito Portuguese day.</p> <p> </p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscany-tours/" target="_blank"><b><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ej5N&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015soA" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>TUSCAN FANTASY</b></a><br>Live your dream at a glamorous hilltop villa-hotel with a count and countess as your hosts. Go ahead and go<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/tuscany-tours/" target="_blank"> totally Tuscan</a>.</p> <p> </p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/china/" target="_blank"><b><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ej5N&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015soF" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>GREATER WALL OF CHINA</b></a><br>Leave the masses behind and stroll on a beautiful, unrestored stretch of<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/china/" target="_blank"> the Great Wall </a>to truly grasp the imperial will that built it.</p> <p> </p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/indochina-tours/" target="_blank"><b><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ej5N&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015soK" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>ANGKOR WATTAGE</b></a><br>Watch <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/indochina-tours/" target="_blank">Cambodia’s </a>legendary temples fade into awesome view on a morning walk in the growing brilliance of sunrise.</p> <p> </p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/norway-tours/" target="_blank"><b><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ej5N&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015soP" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></b></a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/norway-tours/" target="_blank"><b>NÆRØYFJORD</b></a><br>Stroke a silky alpaca at the family hotel where you’re greeted with wide-open arms after a cruise on <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/norway-tours/" target="_blank">Norway’s </a>skinniest fjord.<br> </p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/india/" target="_blank"><b><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ej5N&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015soU" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>TOO TAJ TO BELIEVE</b></a><br>Claim ownership of the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/india/" target="_blank">Taj Mahal</a> from the unbelievable vantage point of your regal hotel room that overlooks the pearlescent masterpiece.</p> <p> </p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/normandy/" target="_blank"><b><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ej5N&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015soZ" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>LOW-TIDE HIGH POINT</b></a><br>Channel a 12th-century pilgrim as you walk to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/normandy/" target="_blank">Mont-St.-Michel </a>on the firm sandy seabed emptied by the ebbing tide.</p> <p> </p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/scotland/" target="_blank"><b><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ej5N&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015soe" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>COOL COLLIES</b></a><br>Envy the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/scotland/" target="_blank">Scottish shepherd</a> whose team of ridiculously smart border collies respond to his commands with extra-sensory precision.</p> <p> </p> <p><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank"><b><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002Ej5N&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000015soj" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img><br>HOODOO VOODOO</b></a><br>Walk on Mars, also known as the floor of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/bryce-tours/" target="_blank">Bryce Canyon</a>, where the maze of sandstone spired called hoodoos transports you to a different world.</p>

    Read More »
  • Woman in Hammock on Beach in Belize

    5 Destinations Where It's Currently Summer

    With unseasonably cold weather still plaguing most of the country, you might find yourself wanting to take changing the weather into your own hands. Let&#39;s swap those boots for flip flops! Here are 5 destinations where it&#39;s currently summer:<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank"><b>1. Galapagos</b></a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Sea lion on the beach in Galapagos" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001Y32x&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000oSyT" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>Your first surprise on our <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank">Galápagos</a> island tours? People live on these islands, too. On our island-based adventure, you’ll get a real feel for how it is to have giant tortoises and blue-footed boobies outside your back door. (It’s easier and more interesting than making forays from a cruise ship.) Our naturalist-guides will lead you to extraordinary wildlife experiences, minus the flocks of tourists. You’ll have abundant chances to walk, kayak and snorkel up-close to marine iguanas, Galápagos penguins and other creatures found nowhere else on earth.<br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/belize-guatemala-tours/" target="_blank">2. Belize</a></b><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/belize-guatemala-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Woman kayaking in Belize" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001Y32x&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000oSyO" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>In <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/belize-guatemala-tours/" target="_blank">Belize</a>, you&#39;ll experience rainforests teeming with keel-billed toucans, ocelots, and howler monkeys on great walks with naturalists. Out of those jungles rise imposing Mayan pyramids, like the one you climb at Tikal. At Ambergris Caye and Hol Chan Marine Reserve, you go snorkeling or kayaking on the world&#39;s second largest barrier reef. Every day, the variety of nature and local culture is truly spectacular, from a soaring cave (absolutely no spelunking required) to a chocolate making demonstration on cacao plantation. <br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba/" target="_blank">3. Cuba</a></b><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba/" target="_blank"><img alt="Classic car driving down Malecon in Havana Cuba" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001Y32x&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000oSyE" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>Until the middle of the 20th century, Americans puddle-jumped to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/cuba/" target="_blank">Cuba</a> for quick getaways. Now, the door is ajar again. But this time it opens to deep, warm and fun interactions with Cubanos on our one-of-a-kind people-to-people explorations. In the company of expert local guides, you’ll meet a remarkable cross-section of society: school students and cigar-makers, singers and white-magic priests, farmers and chefs. On the streets of Havana, in the scenic Viñales Valley, and in Cienfuegos and Trinidad on the Caribbean shore, every moment is eye-opening.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/new-zealand-tours/" target="_blank"><b>4. New Zealand</b></a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/new-zealand-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Lupins by the water in New Zealand" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001Y32x&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000oSy9" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/new-zealand-tours/" target="_blank">New Zealand</a> will take your breath away. If the snow-capped peaks don’t do it, then the beauty and trails of Waiheke Island will. You’re as likely to gasp at the thrill of sailing on an America’s Cup yacht as at the spectacle of a lake where icebergs surround your boat. You’ll sip wine at a vineyard in a setting you could easily mistake for the Napa Valley. Our local guide also arranges for naturalists, historians and experts in glacier walking and jet boating. As you sample green lip mussels...learn about Maori culture...and walk the swing bridge across the Hooker River, you’ll appreciate New Zealand as the most scenically diverse and unstoppably fun destination anywhere.<br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/costa-rica-tours/" target="_blank">5. Costa Rica</a></b><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/costa-rica-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Costa Rican shoreline" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y50000001Y32x&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM50000000oSyn" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>You don’t have to be a bird-watcher to get a buzz when a hummingbird lands on your hand. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/costa-rica-tours/" target="_blank">Costa Rica</a> touches you in all kinds of ways. It’s the most bio-diverse country anywhere, the land where eco-tourism was born. Our spectrum of Costa Rica tour packages takes you from Caribbean coast to Guanacaste on the Pacific shore and include Manuel Antonio Park, Arenal Volcano, and Tortuguero National Park renowned as the breeding ground for sea turtles. You’ll meet the native ticos and residents of Afro-Caribbean villages, have mind-bending eco-experiences with our local guides and naturalists, and enjoy the most relaxing active vacation ever.

    Read More »

SIGN UP FOR THE LATEST TRAVEL NEWS & TIPS! CLICK HERE »

Facebook Facebook Instagram Instagram Twitter Twitter