Orlando International Airport has announced that it'll be offering nonstop flights to Cuba beginning July 8 via Island Travel and Tours
. The 90-minute flights will be offered on Wednesdays, and eventually Island Travel and Tours hopes to expand to Sundays as well.
You can't just book a trip for fun, though, because straight-up tourism to Cuba from the United States is still illegal. Although travel restrictions were relaxed on visits to Cuba by the Obama administration in January, your trip needs to fall into one of 12 special travel "activities" to be allowed. According to the U.S. Department of State,
those categories are limited to:
- family visits
- official business of the U.S. government, foreign governments and certain intergovernmental organizations
- journalistic activity
- professional research and professional meetings
- educational activities
- religious activities
- public performances, clinics, workshops, athletic and other competitions, and exhibitions
- support for the Cuban people
- humanitarian projects
- activities of private foundations or research or educational institutes
- exportation, importation or transmission of information or information materials
- and certain authorized export transactions
In its clear-as-mud FAQ about Cuban travel, the U.S. Department of Treasury explains that you don't actually need to apply for a license to go to Cuba – you just need to meet all the criteria for your approved "activity" as outlined here.
But even if you're not a tourist, you can bring back up to $100 in Cuban rum and cigars when you return. Because business trip.