Through a collaboration between WC-ALL and Ashé Cultural Tours, the WC-ALL community has the opportunity to participate in an immersive Cuban Music and Culture experience designed exclusively for its membership. The trip will include daily performances of Cuban traditional/popular music, jazz, and Latin jazz, as well as a myriad of opportunities to experience Cuba’s fantastic arts scene, experience its colonial-era architecture, and to learn about Cuba’s history and politics.
This multi-city tour which runs from March 7-18, 2019 (Washington College’s Spring Break) will be led by two WC Professors (Ken Schweitzer and Aaron Lampman), who will share their extensive knowledge of Cuban culture, and provide opportunities for participants to get an insider’s view of Cuban music, art, culture, cuisine and politics. We will spend 1 night in Newark, NJ, 7 nights in Havana, 2 nights in Trinidad de Cuba, and 1 night in Viñales (Piñar del Rio Province). In order to ensure a degree of intimacy between the participants and our hosts/musicians/artisans, the group size will be no larger than 21 people. (A minimum of 14 is necessary to run the trip).
The cost is $3250 per person (which includes a $200 early bird discount for deposits made before November 15, 2018). Tour cost indicated is for double accommodation. Upgrades to single accommodation can be offered on a limited basis (rooms are in high demand) for $450/person. Note: Travelers who do not live near Washington College, and who wish to arrange their own transport to Cuba (ground transportation in the US, flight, & visa) receive a $1050 discount (combined cost of flights, visas, Newark Hotel, & US-based ground transportation).
A note on physical activities and general health: The WC-ALL Cuba tour is designed for participants of all ages (past trips have included guests in their late 70s and 80s). However, Cuba is not ADA-compliant. Guests who join us should be in good health, be able to regularly climb a flight of stairs, and willing to walk 1 or 2 miles a day (rest assured, we have a variety of strategies in place to assist guests who find themselves moving beyond their means). Also, some of the streets are cobblestone (especially in Trinidad) or include sections of busted concrete (especially in Havana). Anyone with concerns should email Ken at firstname.lastname@example.org. We strive to make this experience as inclusive as possible.
All payments should be made to “WC-ALL” and mailed to 300 Washington Ave, Chestertown, MD 21623
- Early Bird Deposit ($250) | Due November 14, 2018 | Non-refundable after Nov 28
- Regular Deposit ($250) | Due Jan 4, 2018 | Non-refundable after Jan 18
- Balance | Due February 1, 2019
WC-ALL requires registrants to purchase trip insurance to cover cancellation, delays, lost luggage and the like on all international trips. WC-ALL and Ashé Cultural Tours, LLC will not take responsibility for medical emergencies, delays, lost luggage and the like. Ashé Cultural Tours will purchase a Travel Medical Insurance group policy (this details of this policy will be shared with all participants upon registration).
Cancellation by one person in double accommodations will result in single supplement charges for the remaining person to be paid by the party cancelling. No single supplement is due if someone replaces the party who cancels.
- An Overview of Included/Excluded Costs are listed below
- A Detailed Day-By-Day Itinerary is available, as well. Ashé Cultural Tours reserves the right to make changes to the itinerary in order to accommodate the availability of artists, lecturers, and venues, and to account for unpredictable weather conditions.
Overview of Included Costs
Housing, Food, and Transportation
- Round Trip coach bus from Washington College to Newark Airport (EWR)**
- Round-trip flight from Newark to Havana**
- All necessary travel visas (for US citizens, non-Cuban born)
- Medical Travel Insurance
- 1 night accommodation in Newark, NJ
- 7 nights accommodation in Havana
- 2 nights accommodation in Trinidad de Cuba
- 1 night accommodation in Viñales (Piñar del Rio province)
- 10 home cooked breakfasts (host homes)
- 4 lunches (at local restaurants)
- 6 home cooked dinners in our host’s home
- All program related ground transportation in Cuba, including airport transfers, intercity buses, local taxis, and bike taxis.
- All museum and concert entry fees related to our program.
- A minimum of one salsa class.
- An optional (but highly encouraged) education and orientation prior to travel, lists of recommended background material including readings and podcasts, and on-site talks and informal lectures by Cuban Music and Culture experts of Washington College, Dr. Ken Schweitzer (Music Department) and Dr. Aaron Lampman (Anthropology Department).
** The proposed itinerary has us leaving together from Newark Airport in NJ. As we move closer, we may opt to shift our departure to an airport in the Washington, DC area.
- Guided 3-hour convertible tour of Havana in 1950s era American cars
- Guided 3-hour walking tour of La Havana Vieja (Old Havana)
- Guided 2-hour tour of the Museo de la Revolución
- Guided tours of the Rum and Tobacco Factories
- Guided tour of Ernest Hemmingway’s home (Finca La Vigía)
- A variety of other tours, selected based on availability and client interests (many of which are described in the detailed day-by-day itinerary).
- Driving tour into the countryside around Trinidad to view the sugar plantations and remains of the old sugar mills.
- Daily concerts (Rumba, Son, Cabaret, Folkloric, Classical, etc.), including the world-famous Tropicana Night Club
- Guided evening tour of Havana’s fort (including a nightly Canon Ceremony).
- Professional salsa dance classes designed for beginners.
- Group discussions (led by Ken Schweitzer and Aaron Lampman) of Cuban music and culture, and the monumental change rippling through Cuban society as a result of the opening of relations with the U.S. We will be joined at times by local artists.
- You’ll have plenty of free time to explore the city on your own
- We’ll be sure that you have time to enjoy Cuba’s natural beauty and will help arrange visits to two beautiful white sand beaches (Playas de Estes outside of Havana & Playa Ancón outside Trinidad)
- Though we can make no guarantees, we will do our best to get the group invited to a Santería (AfroCuban traditional) Religious Ceremony
- Additional activities TBD
The following is NOT INCLUDED
- Checked Baggage Fees, estimated at (1st bag $25 | 2nd bag $40 | each way)
- Meals outside Cuba (e.g., dinner on day of departure, breakfast in Newark Airport & lunch on the plane)
- Six lunches in Cuba
- Two dinners in Trinidad, one dinner in Havana, one dinner in Viñales, and any optional dinners enjoyed in private restaurants.
- Taxis hired during limited “free-time.”
- Required Travel insurance (recommendations will be provided)
- Souvenirs & snacks/drinks (though we try to offer ample complimentary refreshments and snacks throughout the day)