Havana, Cuba 2018

Greetings everyone. This page is dedicated to the details of the upcoming Cuba Expedition. This page will be updated with information in regards to the expedition schedule, info, and team. 

Dates

June 22-25 2018


Team

We are still awaiting final confirmations on some attending team members and models. This list does not include individuals who are already based in Cuba.


LODGING

Lodging will be as centralized to the primary shooting locations as possible. Please keep in mind that this will be group lodging.

There will be no private room accomodations. We will be assigning rooms by gender and confirming room assignments according to when we recieve flight accomodations. Due to the size of the group there will be multiple lodging to accomodate everyone. We will update this page accordingly.


IMPORTANT INFORMATION

To learn more about the legality of traveling to Cuba as an American, check out the Treasury Department’s Cuba FAQ.

Things to Know

  • There will be a lot of walking in Cuba. Please come prepared to be very mobile.
  • Taxis  rides are NOT included in your expedition rate.
  • Food and tourism is NOT included in your expedition rate.
  • Schdules and Iteniraries change often and short notice.
  • Please research the currency exchange rate.
  • Photographers, please do not forget your cameras, batteries, computers, external hard drives, memory cards.
  • Everyone will be held liable for property damages . This means that your name is on the liability account if you stay at the lodging.
  • There will be a shooting schedule issued. Each photographer will have assigned times to shoot with a model. This prevents wardrobe from being shot twice by different photographers. No two photographers should have the same look on a model.
  • Each photographer will be the director of their own shoots, concepts, and production. We ask that each photographer respect another photographers vision and NOT shoot over another photographer's shoulder.
  • Photographers ask your models what kind of images do they need / Models ask your photographers what kind of images do they need/ Everyone ask the wardrobe stylist what she needs.
  • Photographer's are encouraged to organize wardrobe according to their own visions. 
  • No illegal drugs are allowed at all on any part of this expedition. That includes marijuana.
  • Any unlawful activities, violence in anyway, or inappropriate behavior while on set or in the penthouse will result in police intervention. This is for the protection of the whole.
  • There will be a schedule for the expedition that will compliment the whole group. Please do not exceed designated call times.
  • Please make certain you give at least three people within the group has your direct contact number.
  • We must move as a group when on location. Our transportation will not wait on tardy individuals, we want everyone to have enough time to get their shots. This can not be if one or two people are tardy to a call time.
  • Models come prepared with makeup, hair, wardrobe gear.
  • Photographers do not ask the models to shoot nude. If the models wish to shoot nude they will let you know, please do not ask.

Independant Travel To Cuba 2017

As of November 2017, the rules state that Americans must travel to Cuba in organized tour groups, or independently under the “Support For The Cuban People” category.

To adhere to the new policies as an independent traveler you need to:

  • Travel under any of the 11 allowed categories, including Support The Cuban People. You simply declare that category when booking flights, lodging, and during re-entry into the US.
  • Stay at casas particulares, eat at local restaurants, and support local businesses.
  • Avoid staying at hotels banned by the US State Department and spending money at military-owned businesses.

Exchanging Money In Cuba

Credit & debit cards issued by American banks still don’t work in Cuba. So a trip to the island involves bringing lots of cash.  To give you an idea, you can travel there comfortably on $50 – $100 per day.

Bring more than you need to be safe. If you run out, you’re out of luck!

Cuba actually has two different currencies. The Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC) is the “tourist” currency, pegged to the American dollar. The Cuban Peso (CUP) is what locals use, and worth a lot less. So when you exchange money as a tourist, you’ll receive CUC.

$1 USD = 1 CUC = 24 CUP

You can exchange US dollars for CUC, but there is a special 10% penalty fee for this service. So it’s cheaper to exchange Euros, Canadian Dollars, British Pounds, or Mexican Pesos for CUC instead. 

There’s an official currency exchange outside the airport in Havana. You can exchange your leftover CUC back to US dollars (or whatever) before you leave the country too.

Transportation In Cuba


Cuban Bus System
Cuba has a government run bus company for tourists called Viazul that covers most of the country. Tickets aren’t very expensive, but you can’t book them online yet, and popular routes sell out fast. Which means you might need to buy your ticket in person at the station the day before.
Renting A Car
We rented a modern car in Cuba for 6 of the 10 days we were there. Renting a car in Cuba isn’t easy or cheap. There aren’t many vehicles available yet, so you generally have to book a car at least 2 weeks in advance by calling or emailing the company.
When we arrived in Havana, we tried to rent a car directly at the airport with no reservation and were told repeatedly there were no cars left. Eventually Anna found a guy who said he had two, but from the same company who earlier said they had none, Via Rent A Car (they have no website, but you can book online through other sites like Cuba Junky).
So it seemed a bit shady/strange… but we ultimately got one.
Renting a car in Cuba with insurance is going to cost you between $70 – $90 USD per day. It’s not cheap! Luckily we split the cost between 4 of us. There’s also a $200 cash deposit required.
Vintage Taxi
The other option for traveling around Cuba is to rent a vintage American car with driver. This isn’t cheap unless you split the cost with a few people.
Hailing a vintage taxi for a short ride in town will cost you $8 – $10. Renting one for a longer 2-3 hour trip can cost around $60 -$70 USD depending on your bargaining skills.
Split between 4 people, our 3-hour vintage taxi ride from Havana to Viñales cost $60, about the same as 4 bus tickets, but we could stop anytime we wanted for photos or snacks. The cars are super cool too!

 

Internet In Cuba

Despite popular opinion, there is some internet access in Cuba. The government does censor some stuff though, like access to Snapchat or anti-government blogs.

These days you can get connected through Cuba’s state-run ETECSA telecom company. Tourists can buy ETECSA prepaid wifi cards at special kiosks for $2 – $3 per hour of service. 

These scratch-off type cards provide a username and password for ETECSA wifi networks, which can be found at major hotels or in public parks around the country.

You can often buy additional cards from locals in the park or at a hotel front desk for about $6. The internet isn’t blazing fast, but you can certainly upload web-sized photos to Facebook & Instagram.

 

Cuban Exit Fee

As of May 1st 2015, Cuba no longer charges the $25 CUC exit fee to travelers leaving the country, this fee is now included in the price of your airline.

Drinking Water In Cuba

Tap water in Cuba is not safe to drink, and bottled water can sometimes be difficult to find depending on where you are. If you plan on traveling to Cuba, We recommend picking up a LifeStraw Filtered Water Bottle


Schedule

Flight Schedule

  • We will post each person't flight schedule here once we receive flight itenirary. Shamayim will be in Havana a few days before everyone else arrives for the expedition.

 

June 22

This is arrival day for the expedition. There are no scheduled shoots for this date.  The group will be arriving at different times and from different destinations so there is not a specific arrival time. If you woul dlike more time in Havana arrive earlier in the day. You will not be able to chec-in until 1pm.

June 23th

Central Havana Location Shoots // more details will be posted here closer to the expedition

June 24th

Central Havana Location Shoots // more details will be posted here closer to the expedition

June 25th

Departure Date. Everyone must be checked out of lodging by 11:00am