Several more companies have received licenses to operate people-to-people cultural exchange programs to Cuba.

San Diego-based Classic Journeys offers 10 departures from June 29 to April 5. A seven-night guided tour includes visits with artists in the Luyano area in Havana; an exploration of Habana Vieja, the Unesco World Heritage Site; countryside walks in the Vinales Valley west of Havana; and meetings with farmers and students.

The Institute for Shipboard Education in Charlottesville, Va., was granted a two-year license to bring its Semester at Sea program to Cuba for a three-day port visit during two global voyages this fall and next.

Semester at Sea, which had been awaiting approval since 2011 from the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, last visited Cuba in 2004, shortly before the Bush administration pulled the plug on the people-to-people programs.

Other Cuban Journeys of Flint. Mich., offers five departures on three weeklong tours, from Aug. 5 to Jan. 20.

Itineraries include visits to community projects, senior centers, Hemingway’s former home and the old Jewish quarter and cemetery in Havana.

International Expeditions received a renewal license, good for two years through June 2015.

The company has six more departures planned for 2013, from July 25 through Dec. 12, and 36 departures on the books for 2014 from January through June and again in November and December.

The 10-day people-to-people programs emphasize engagements with Cuban naturalists, birders, biologists and conservation groups as well as Cuba’s cultural an historical attractions of Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Bay of Pigs and Havana.

Price is $4,198 per person, excluding roundtrip air from Miami to Havana.

Follow Gay Nagle Myers on Twitter @gnmtravelweekly.
 

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