Thursday, October 3, 2013

IsramWorld Cuba trips target LGBT, Jewish travelers

By Gay Nagle Myers
IsramWorld, the latest entrant in the Cuban market, has taken a different approach to its offerings of people-to-people educational tours.

The operator recently secured its one-year license from the U.S. Treasury Department to offer three nine-day itineraries targeted at specific niche markets: general travelers, the LGBT community and those interested in Jewish heritage and history in Cuba.

Departures run through June 2014, with an option to renew for another year.

"Cuba has become quite an attraction," said Ady Gelber, president and CEO. "We waited for the right time. We try to be different and better.

"Travel to Cuba has been unavailable to Americans for more than half a century. From my first visit in 1995, I knew this would be a thrilling experience for curious Americans," he said.

"Hello Cuba," aimed at the general travel market, is available through Latour.

There are 12 departures from Dec. 7 through June 21, priced from $3,854 per person, including roundtrip air from Miami.

"Shalom Cuba," which has six departures from Dec. 15 to June 15, includes meetings with Jewish Cubans and visits to synagogues and institutions associated with Jewish history and culture.

The tour is priced from $3,876, including air, and is available under the IsramWorld banner.

"LGBT Cuba" is offered through PrideWorld and has four departures from Nov. 29 to March 21, priced from $3,985 with air.

The program features meetings and exchanges with Cuba's gay community.

All tours are guided, limited to 24 participants and include an extensive program of encounters, meetings and exchanges with a variety of Cuban professionals, including teachers, artists, performers, environmentalists, trade unionists, urban planners and health care specialists.

Tour participants will stay at the Melia Habana Hotel in Havana and smaller properties in Santa Clara, Trinidad and Cienfuegos.

Follow Gay Nagle Myers on Twitter @gnmtravelweekly.

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