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Thread: lets talk about DR to cuba trip.

  1. #1
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    Default lets talk about DR to cuba trip.

    Why the hell is it so expensive to go from DR to cuba? the plane ticket varies from 20K direct to 18 k through costa rica. Its insane. Copa charges almost the same.
    Is there any tour packages from santo domingo or santiago to cuba? havana is preferred but santiago de cuba is also fine.
    I have friends who want to go there, europeans and dominicans but we can't find a deal.
    So what is the real deal in this issue?
    AZB

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    Emely Tours offer packages from DR to Cuba.

    EMELY TOURS, Bienvenidos

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    Quote Originally Posted by AZB View Post
    Why the hell is it so expensive to go from DR to cuba? the plane ticket varies from 20K direct to 18 k through costa rica. Its insane. Copa charges almost the same.
    Is there any tour packages from santo domingo or santiago to cuba? havana is preferred but santiago de cuba is also fine.
    I have friends who want to go there, europeans and dominicans but we can't find a deal.
    So what is the real deal in this issue?
    AZB


    AZB...just wait until we start services to HAV....ATL-HAV...LOL

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    Quote Originally Posted by Latino2002 View Post
    AZB...just wait until we start services to HAV....ATL-HAV...LOL
    I wouldn't hold your breath.


    The reason Cuba flights are so expensive is the total lack of direct competition. Cubana and AeroCaribbean (both state entites) have nearly total control of access to the island on all routes except Canada, where there is a little more competition from charters.

    From The DR there are, as far as I know 3 options

    Cubana SDQ-HAV on an utterly decrepit Soviet aircraft with service only once or twice a week
    AeroCaribbean with ATR propeller service from SDQ-SCU (I think this is only once a week)
    Copa, via Panama. Which is just as expensive if not more, but you will have an infinitely better chance of making it alive than on the Cuban airlines, but considering you have to fly all the way to Panama, than another flight almost equally as long to HAV, no wonder why its so expensive.

    Besides charters, relatively few foreign airlines serve Cuba.
    Mexicana via Cancun
    Bahamasair via Nassau
    Taca via San Jose, Costa Rica
    Copa, via Panama City
    Air Canada via Toronto
    Air Jamaica
    Cayman airways
    Iberia via Madrid
    Air Europa via Madrid

    All flights to/from the US are charters. (A US travel agency licensed by the US government to transport eligible passengers to Cuba charters an entire aircraft and sells seats on the plane.) US Customs goes through absolutely everything baggage wise(you are strictly limited to 44lbs your own personal effects including cabin baggage) and interviews passengers before departure. Most of the travel agencies require arrival at the airport 6 hours before departure.

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    Chiri, thanks for the Emely Tours tip.

    Does anyone know what Cubana charges for flight to Havana from Santo Domingo. The Cubana website doesn't seem to be working. Does that say something about their service?

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    Apparently Emely Tours is recognized as the leader in package tours from Santo Domingo to Cuba. I saw a 2004 article on line saying it generates US$1.5 million for Emely Tours annually.

    Here is part of that 2004 article:

    "Santo Domingo-based Emely Tours is capitalizing on the growing trade and tourism ties between the Dominican Republic and Cuba.

    "Graciela Rosario, the agency's director of Cuba travel, says 105 Dominicans a week travel to Cuba, and that Emely Tours has 40% of that business. Cubana de Aviacion, which has an office in Santo Domingo, controls the remaining 60%.

    "Emely, whose Cuba-related sales total $1.5 million a year, books nonstop flights from Santo Domingo to Havana on Thursdays and Sundays via Cubana, and daily flights via Copa, as well as nonstop flights Mondays and Fridays from Santo Domingo to Santiago de Cuba on Cubana. It also arranges accommodations at luxury ..."

    Colonial Tours seems to have a package, also, but you have to email them for details. Cuba : Hoteles en La Habana y Santiago desde Santo Domingo

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    Default Any problems for Americans leaving from here?

    Have any United Staters taken the Emily Tour? I have heard that there is no problem on the Cuban end - entering with a US passport they just stamp a seperate page.... and that for the US customs etc, they just track your credit card transactions... so has anyone done this tour? Any experiences? You can PM me if you don't want to get busted ...

    This - I know- would be a really great opportunity for a lot of USers who really want to visit Cuba-- assuming that there is really no difficulty.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mountainannie View Post
    Have any United Staters taken the Emily Tour? I have heard that there is no problem on the Cuban end - entering with a US passport they just stamp a seperate page.... and that for the US customs etc, they just track your credit card transactions... so has anyone done this tour? Any experiences? You can PM me if you don't want to get busted ...

    This - I know- would be a really great opportunity for a lot of USers who really want to visit Cuba-- assuming that there is really no difficulty.
    Maybe it would be good to contact Eddie Lubbers of: Cuba Travel - Flights to Cuba - Cuba Hotels

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    It is, however, illegal for U.S. citizens to spend any money on the island (which is why most Americans fly to Cuba via Canada or Mexico). As the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control states on their website, “The basic goal of the sanctions is to isolate the Cuban government economically and deprive it of U.S. dollars. Criminal penalties for violating the sanctions range up to 10 years in prison, $1,000,000 in corporate fines, and $250,000 in individual fines.”

    maybe this is another reason....

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    Default US Citizens BE CAREFUL

    As most are well aware, it is illegal for US citizens to travel to Cuba without special permission. Even on flights originating outside the US. Even if that US citizen is not a resident of the United States.

    In recent years U.S. law enforcement authorities have increased enforcement of these rules (who knows where Obama will take things). Plus, if you travel to Cuba illicitly you could face fines and/or criminal prosecution (250k/ 10 years) upon return to the United States. There are also several cases of professional licenses (eg. doctors, lawyers, teachers) being revoked for prohibited travel to Cuba.

    As we are living abroad, US citizens often forget this limitation. But, I know more than one individual who has gotten into trouble for this (including a friend whose passport got noticed because of stamps in the DR and Haiti... among other places.).

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