New horizons

Cuba libre: Havana is within reach for everyone with special Greater Houston Partnership trips

Cuba libre: Havana is within reach for everyone with special Greater Houston Partnership trips

havana cuba
havana cuba

Direct charter flights between Houston and Havana began in February, but Cuba is still out of reach for most with American passports.

But the Obama administration has been loosening requirements to visit the Caribbean country, offering new opportunities for students, religious groups and those with Cuban family members. Now all Houstonians have a chance to visit the island nation that attracted Ernest Hemingway and inspired Celia Cruz.

For its next World Discovery tour, the Greater Houston Partnership is working with Chamber Explorations on a nine day trip to Havana. Packages start at $4,299 and include a Cuban travel visa, nonstop airfare, hotel accommodations in Havana, 21 meals, transportation and several sightseeing excursions including Morro Castle, Catedral de la Habana, Hemingway's farm and a cigar factory — just don't try to bring any souvenirs home.

Get your Guayabera shirt ready and practice your mojito-drinking: The tours depart on Sept. 4 and Sept. 12.