Frequently Asked Questions about Cuba

Please review all Cuba FAQs below. If you have additional questions, we are here to help! Give us a call at 401-841-0080 or email us at 

For general program and ship FAQs, click the buttons below:


How can OHP bring people to Cuba?

While traveling to Cuba purely for tourism is still not permitted by the American government, our trip is granted an exemption by the US Treasury Department as an educational excursion. This means that our ship, program, and all on board, are authorized to travel under a “General License” from the Treasury Department. OHPRI is handling all legal travel requirements related to this trip, so no further action is required of our trainees. Everyone will be granted a thirty day visa upon arrival in Cuba by Cuban Customs.

OHPRI is constantly monitoring the latest travel requirements for US citizens going to Cuba, and is in contact with various agents within both the US and Cuban governments. This will be the fourth time that the OHP has brought trainees to Cuba, and we are very much looking forward to continuing our voyages to this unique country.

For arrivals, our professional on-board crew and office staff will be working to assist you in your travels.

When arriving in Havana, you will be in Terminal 3 (where all international flights arrive). All passengers are escorted from their arrival gates to Immigration, then Baggage Claim, and then Customs. Once through, you will enter into the Arrival Hall. We will then have a crew member (wearing an OHP shirt and holding a sign) for you at/near the Information Booth in the center of the Arrivals Hall.  Once you have met with the crew member, and all trainees are accounted for, you will board the reserved vehicle with crew members and make your way to the ship in Cienfuegos. 

For additional information on the arrivals process into Cuba, you may visit this Havana Airport Customs Page.

What will happen when I arrive in Cuba?

What about spending money?

In Havana, we have been warned that the ATMs will not work, therefore we are advising you bring your spending money in cash to be exchanged once in the city. We are requiring that you bring a minimum of $100 US dollar cash. This will also cover the health care in Cuba (explained below), and any food or souvenirs you decide to purchase. You are certainly welcome to bring more as you see fit, but this is the minimum we are asking. 

In Cuba we will be using CUC, which is the Cuban Convertible Peso. The exchange rate is 90 cents for each 1 USD due to the exchange fee. You may also hear about the CUP the Cuban Peso, which is the currency for the locals.  For our stay we will be using exclusively the CUC as it is better for their tourist economy.  

What's this about health care?

Cuba has a National Health Care System, which means they cover everyone in the country even those visiting. What this means is that there is a small cost we are required to pay for each day we are in the country. This fee is $3 USD a day, and we will be paying during the customs process on either arrival or departure. 

If you have any further questions in regards to travel health concerns, please refer to the CDC site on Cuban Travel

OHPRI is currently working with a Cuban tour operator to arrange one day of exploring the island during the program. 

Will we be doing anything on-shore in Cuba?

The recent hurricane season affected islands in the Caribbean, including Cuba. However, impact from the hurricanes was limited to the north coast of the island, while the south coast (where the ship will be) was not greatly impacted. 

Will the recent hurricanes affect travel in Cuba?

While we will partake in activities and cultural exploration, this program does not include any planned volunteer efforts or community service.

Will we be doing any volunteer work or community service while on shore?