Assignment: Interview Julian Loscalzo about the baseball fans’ view of the formalizing of relations with Cuba.
Ballpark Tours/JEL Consulting
1141 Portland Ave.
St. Paul, MN 55104
CUBA – The Diamonds to Our South
December 4 -14, 2015
BASEBALL GAMES IN
HAVANA, TRINIDAD, CIENFUEGOS, SANTA CLARA, and VINALES
Itinerary shall be changed to coincide with Baseball Games
Full detailed day by day itinerary will be provided in November
Cuba has sent many ballplayers to the U.S. major leagues (not always by choice). From Ballpark Tours viewpoint, in addition to great baseball and players, Cuba has also sent us some darn good rum, great cigars and one heck of a sandwich. Travel restrictions to Cuba are loosening for the first time in more than 50 years, it’s time we gave something back – like a busload of baseball fans traveling Ballpark Tours style! This is your opportunity to visit and take in Cuba – its sights, sounds, tastes and culture – all based in a shared love of baseball. Our trip will include plenty of on-field action and a variety of activities promoting interactions with the Cuban people.
December 4 – Arrive Miami Arrive Miami and check into the Miami International Airport Hotel in the Airport Terminal. Group meeting and orientation. Overnight
December 5 – Miami to Havana ( D, R) Check in with charter air carrier and fly to Havana. Clear arrival procedures. You will visit the country’s capital on a motorcoach tour of modern Havana with your Cuban Host. On your way, you’ll discover breathtaking colonial buildings, the picturesque, seaside Malecón and other iconic sites. You’ll see prominent landmarks, palaces, scenic squares and locals going about their daily lives as you drive through streets.
Check in at your hotel and get acquainted with your Cuban guide/tour leader during an afternoon program orientation.
Evening: cocktail party and meeting with Cuban baseball journalists for an introduction on the history of the National Baseball Championship (Serie Nacional de Beisbol). Then enjoy a welcome dinner at a local restaurant. Evening “on your own”. Enjoy the cultural options.
The National Baseball Championship generally runs from November through April with a schedule of 90 games per team in the regular season. The series is then followed by 3 playoff rounds culminating in a championship.The baseball System is not a single baseball league; rather it is a structure of leagues and series that culminate in the National Baseball Championship (Serie Nacional de Beisbol) and the selection of the Cuba National Baseball Team. All of the provinces in Cuba are represented by teams. The top four teams from each league advance to a playoff, with the winner crowned in April. Two teams have dominated the National Series in recent years: Industriales and Santiago de Cuba.
NOTE: Baseball games are scheduled in the afternoon and evenings. The program will be adjusted for games.
December 6, & 7 – Havana (B,L,D) Breakfast daily at hotel
While in Havana, meet with representatives of the Baseball Federation of Cuba (Federacion Cubana de Beisbol), the governing body of the sport of baseball in Cuba, enjy an insider exclusive lecture on baseball with a Cuba sports historian and retired Cuban baseball players and share an open discussion about America and Cuba’s favorite pastime.
Enjoy guided walking tours of Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and learn about the areas famous architecture and historical sites. Visit a famous Cigar Factory, Rum Museum and Havana Map Museum Have Lunches in restaurants where you can enjoy traditional Cuban dishes and music live!
Visit the Revolution Museum and stop at the plaza known as the Parque Central (Central Park) for an “esquina caliente,” a lively discussion about Cuban baseball. Here local Cubans gather to discuss the games. Meet with the staff of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the People, see the Revolution Square and Jose Marti Memorial. At Christopher Columbus cemetery one of the most elaborated burial grounds in the world, admire the Baseball Monument devoted to those who extensively promoted the ball game in 19th and 20th century.
Dinner at selected Paladar (home restaurant) or government restaurant on December 6. The December 7 dinner on own (so many choices).
Afternoons or evenings: attend baseball games at Latinoamericano Stadium, popularly known in Cuba as “The Colossus of Cerro,” the home of Ciudad Habana Industriales. The stadium holds 55,000 people. In 1999, it hosted an exhibition series between Cuban National Team and the Baltimore Orioles.
December 8 – 11 (B,L,D) Havana, Santa Clara, Trinidad, Cienfuegos, Havana
During these 4 days you will visit Santa Clara, the capital city of the province of Villa Clara, the most central region of Cuba. Santa Clara was the site of the last battle of the Cuban Revolution in late 1958, led by Ernesto Che Guevara. Guevara’s column first captured the garrison at Fomento.
Visit to Ernesto Che Guevara Square of Revolution and Mausoleum and attend a baseball game either in the afternoon or evening at Augusto César Sandino Stadium, home of Villa Clara Naranjas. The stadium holds 20,000 people.
The next day drive to Trinidad. Enjoy a guided walking tour of this UNESCO World Heritage Site, a perfect relic of the early days of the Spanish colony with beautifully preserved streets and buildings with hardly a trace of the 20th century anywhere. Attend a baseball game at Jose Antonio Huelga Stadium, home of Sancti Spiritus Gallos. The stadium holds 13,000 people.
On December 10 continue to Cienfuegos, tour the city and visit a sport school. Cienfuegos, founded by French immigrants at the beginning of the 19th century and renowned for its wealth of stunning historical buildings. On December 11 visit the Bay of Pig and the Playa Giron Museum on your way back to Havana.
In Cienfuegos watch the Camaroneros play at Cinco de Septiembre Stadium, which holds 30,000 people.
Stay overnight in Santa Clara, Trinidad and Cienfuegos, and Havana (1 night each). Attend the baseball games as scheduled in the afternoon or evenings.
December 12 – 13 (B,L,D) Havana, Vinales, Havana
Now tour the western part of Cuba, driving to Vinales, via Los Jasmines and the Vinales Valley. See the Mural de la Prehistoria and enjoy a boat trip through the Indian Cave. Explore the Vinales Valley, containing the most spectacular scenery in Cuba and some of the most interesting and varied geological formations on the island. The valley is particularly famous for its great freestanding rock formations called mogotes.
Visit local farms and meet with farmers that have grown the best tobacco in the world for centuries and the Cueva del Indio (the Indian Cave), an extensive cave system. Enjoy a boat trip through the Cave.
Attend a baseball game at Capitan San Luis Stadium, home of Pinar del Rio baseball team. The stadium holds 8,000 people. The National Series Schedule governs itinerary.
The next day tour the Las Terrazas Community , a coffee plantation, before returning to Havana. See the Children’s Academy of Baseball at the City of Sport. This is a good opportunity to make donations of baseball equipment to children baseball players and discuss the remarkable Cuban sport program.
Final farewell dinner in Havana, and possibly another baseball game.
December 14 (B) Depart Havana for Miami
Breakfast at hotel and check out. Leave for the airport to take the charter flight back to Miami.
- Round trip chartered flight Miami/Havana/Miami including departure taxes
- Round trip airport hotel transfers in Havana
- 10 nights accommodations including 1 night in Miami based on two persons sharing a double/twin room with private facilities. Single room surcharge
- Daily breakfasts at hotels
- Lunches (8) and dinners (8) in Cuba
- Tour cultural highlights of Havana, Santa Clara, Trinidad, Cienfuegos and Vinales
- Full program of visits with sport officials, baseball players and fans
- Admission to baseball games as schedule permits (4 – 6)
- Tour program will include visit to rum and cigar facilities
- Entrance fees to places visited
- Full time experienced local Cuban bilingual guide and motorcoach transportation
- Gratuities to waiters for included meals and bellmen
- Miami and Havana departure tax
- Cuba country health insurance
- Cuban Visa
- Licensed OFAC Program to travel to Cuba
- Cuba travel advice and hints, luggage tags
- Trip accompanied by Julian Loscalzo, Ballpark Tours
- Operation and tour arrangements by Transeair Travel
- US Passport
- Transportation from hometown to Miami roundtrip
- 1 dinners in Havana, so you can dine where you wish
- Alcoholic drinks and soft drinks not included with meals
- Telephone calls, Computer, Wifi, drinks, personal expenses, room service, laundry
- Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance
- Gratuities to Cuban guide and bus driver, maids
- Overweight baggage – over 44 pounds and $20 per piece checked baggage
ARRANGEMENTS BY: TRANSEAIR TRAVEL LLC
2813 McKinley Place NW
Washington, DC 20015
Phone: 202 362 6100
FAX: 202 362 7411