Call us today on 020 7644 1770


Pilot's Cuba experiences caters for high-end travellers

In a bid to take advantage of soaring visitor numbers, and make it easier for those travelling independently to avoid unnecessary legal and logistical issues, the new firm will deal with everything from private jet permits to bespoke itineraries.

Pilot's Cuba experiences caters for high-end travellers

With its own unique and utterly incomparable culture, stunning beaches and charming urban architecture, it’s unsurprising so many people want to land on the Caribbean’s least accessible island. Hence the exponential increase in overseas visitors tour operators have witnessed in recent years.

Nevertheless, including Cuba in any travel plans is still far from straightforward, particularly for U.S. nationals. For the last 50 years an embargo by America has been in place, severely restricting the ability for people to vacation on the island. Although these laws have been eased under the Obama administration, it is still impossible for citizens to land on the island for purely tourism purposes.

Even so, corporate pilot Eric Norber has made it his business to facilitate “legal cultural exchanges” between Americans and Cubans for the last quarter of a century. Establishing Cultural Contrast in 1990 following his own inaugural journey to the socialist country, since then the firm has organised hundreds of tours with focuses on religion, arts, theatre, sport and culinary arts, to name but a few disciplines.

Most recently he organised a VIP programme in Cuba for the directors of a major U.S. aviation advocacy organisation, and wound up breaking records – the first officially recorded all-female crew to land a private aircraft on the island.

Norber has now launched a new company, Cuba Handling, with the emphasis on making it easier for independent, high-end travellers to touch down in Havana and other cities. Cuba Handling will offer customers secured aircraft permits for private jets, flight logistics, visas and bespoke itineraries for anyone travelling via their own or personally chartered aircraft. The idea being to remove the stress and worry many American travellers have when finalising their arrangements for the country.

“Cuba, while warm and friendly, is still a complicated destination for a private aircraft.”

Norber told Aviation International News.

“There are restrictions, bureaucracy, cultural innuendos, and delicate situations to navigate that can make the difference between a delightful, memorable trip and one fraught with problems- both legal and logistical.”

U.S visitors are particularly susceptible to what you might call ‘hidden charges’ in Cuba. Many businesses do not accept American credit cards are not accepted by businesses, making money transfers essential. However, changing U.S. dollars into Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUC) carries a 13% service charge. One of the biggest benefits of using Cuba Handling will be the ability to pre-pay for many aircraft and itinerary services before travelling, significantly reducing the cost to the individual, lowering the overall price of any trip. The impact is expected to be yet more temptation for Americans to take advantage of new opportunities to visit this remarkable destination, and it’s not hard to see why. 

Leave a comment

Talk to a specialist


Call 020 7644 1770 to speak with our award-winning travel consultants.

Opening hours 09:00 - 21:00 GMT

Popular Holidays In Cuba Browse all

Best Value

From £599 per person
villa pinares de mayari

Villa Pinares De Mayari

Beautifully perched on the panoramic Mensura Hill, surrounded by striking greenery, this blessed and secluded natural...

From £619 per person
villa mirador de mayabe

Villa Mirador De Mayabe

This enchanting villa hotel is surrounded by exuberant tropical plants and is perfectly located in a high point towering...

From £679 per person
tryp cayo coco

Tryp Cayo Coco

The perfect beach holiday awaits you the all-inclusive Tryp Cayo Coco hotel, where non-stop entertainment and utmost...

From £689 per person
club amigo atlantico guardalavaca

Club Amigo Atlantico Guardalavaca

Get away to one of Cuba's best kept secrets for a dream holiday at Club Amigo Atlantico. Guardalavaca is known to host...