published: Sunday | July 29, 2007
Janet Silvera, Senior Writer
Adding to its current Havana excursions, Caribic Vacations has
reintroduced a one-day tour and a new eight-day, seven-nightvacation
package to Cuba effective Friday.
One day visitors will get to explore historic Santiago de Cuba, Cuba's
second-largest city and a central point in the Spanish-speaking
country's revolutionary fight back in the 1950s.
In fact, Fidel Castro is said to have actually proclaimed the revolution
victory from a balcony on Santiago de Cuba's town hall.The eight-day
tour goes to the resort town of Holguin.
The respective packages are priced at US$250 (J$17,175) and US$825
(J$56,700), and includes accommodation, airport and hotel transfers,
meals for three complete days.
"The only the thing persons buying the package will need is money for
four lunches and four dinners, the Cuban departure tax and possibly
shopping," said managing director Oliver Townsend.
Townsend, who succeeded his father Oliver as head of Caribic in January,
says his company is partnering with tour operator Cubanacan which will
fly an ATR 42-seater aircraft from Sangster International Airport in
Montego Bay each Friday at 8:50 a.m., returning at 5:30 p.m.
ATTRACT LOCAL TOURISTS
"Our aim is to attract tourists already staying in Jamaica and who would
like to island hop for a day, while our seven-day target market is
Jamaicans wishing to vacation there," he said. The package blends two
four-star hotels: the Casa Granda in Santiago and the Occidental Grand
Playa Turquesa all-inclusive resort in Holguin.
The flight also offers Jamaican students studying in the neighbouring
island another option, joining Air Jamaica, which flies to the capital
city, Havana three days per week.
The Air Jamaica hop currently costs more than $26,000 return
Valued at US$250 and $825 respectively, the holiday will give each
visitor the opportunity to experience a guided tour of Santiago de Cuba,
rum tasting and cigar factory, the El Morro Castle, the changing of the
guard ceremony of the national hero José Martí, and a visit to the
Antonio Maceo Revolutionary Square.
Townsend contends that Jamaica also stands to gain in tourism arrivals,
saying the destination is popular among its Spanish-speaking neighbour,
and that already, the tour offering has a number of forward bookings out
of Cuba to Montego Bay.
"The demand is very strong for people wanting to visit here from Cuba,"
"The success of this programme will be bolstered by the large demand for
the one-day tour of Jamaica from Cuba."
Cuba boasts a very rich history, culture and heritage and Latin music.
It is also famous for the Tropicana Cabaret Show, cigars and rum.