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Before you leave Canada
It is your sole responsibility to ensure that you - and any child travelling with you - have all the travel documents necessary to enter in, or transit through, each country on your itinerary. Please ensure you verify the requirements for each country as the required documents for the outbound portion of your travel may differ from those required on the return.
Please refer to aircanada.com for complete information on travel requirements.
As of May 1, 2010, all travellers are responsible for having official medical insurance when travelling to Cuba. Details
Please refer to aircanada.com for Baggage Information.
Airport check in
It is recommended that you present yourself at the airport counter of the airline indicated on your voucher 3 hours prior to departure. Air Canada representatives are available to assist you, or you may contact an Air Canada Vacations representative at 1-800-296-3408.
The Cuba Tourist Board advises the following: Tourists are permitted to take their personal effects without weight limitations and duty-free. Personal effects include articles (new or used) that they reasonably need for their holidays (according to the length and purpose of the trip), plus sporting equipment, jewellery, camera, camcorder, binoculars, one portable radio, one portable music instrument, tape recorder and laptop computer. These items are for their personal use only, not as gifts. For additional information and a detailed list of forbidden items please visit www.aduana.co.cu.
Your arrival at destination
A local representative will meet your flight and assist you with ground transportation once you have gone through immigration and customs.
Return transfers are included with your holiday package. If you purchased a flight only, transfers are extra.
Hotel check in
Upon arrival at your hotel, please identify yourself at the front desk with your Air Canada Vacations voucher. You will then be assigned your accommodation. Passport must be presented upon check in.
Your departure from destination
The day before you leave, remember to consult the Air Canada Vacations bulletin board or binder in your hotel lobby for details on your departure procedures and return flight. Please inquire about last minute changes on the day of departure in the Air Canada Vacations binder.
Hotel check out
Hotel check out times may vary depending on the property but generally you must vacate the room by 12 p.m. (noon). For passengers with late flights, every effort will be made to provide you with a hospitality room, however, this cannot be guaranteed, particularly during high season.
Duty-free shops are located at the airport. After an absence of 7 days or more, Canadian residents are permitted to return with a maximum of CAD $750 of merchandise per trip without paying duty. Each time you leave Canada for at least 48 hours, you are eligible to declare up to CAD $200 of merchandise. A written declaration may be requested. Each adult is allowed 1.1 litres (40 oz.) of liquor, 200 cigarettes (upon return to Canada, a $15 CDN tax on non-canadian cigarettes (200 or carton) will be charged), 200 tobacco sticks, 50 cigars or 50 cigarillos and 200 grams of manufactured tobacco. To calculate the number of days absent, do not count the day you left Canada but include the day you return.If you include cigarettes, tobacco sticks and loose tobacco in your personal exemption allowance, only a partial exemption will apply. You will have to pay a minimum duty on these products unless they are marked “Canada - Duty paid”. Canadian made products sold at a duty-free shop will be marked in this way.
Airport check in
Procedures are the same as for departure from Canada.
Airport departure tax
To be paid in cash at the airport of departure. $25 Cuban convertible Pesos per person from all the airports in Cuba. (amount is subject to change)
During your holiday
Local Air Canada Vacations offices
Air Canada Vacations is represented by Gaviota Tours in Varadero. See the Air Canada Vacations bulletin board or binder in the hotel lobby for the representative’s schedule. Should you require their services please call:
Varadero - Sol Sirenas-Coral Resort, tel.: 011 534 566 8817
Need help or assistance with your vacation and you are unable to reach our local representative?
Contact Air Canada Vacations Customer Care: http://www.aircanadavacations.com/en/contact_us#Support_During_Travel
Long distance calls
Telephone calls from your hotel to Canada are very expensive and service charges are high. We would suggest you ask your family and friends to call you, while in Cuba.
You can ask for a doctor or a dentist through your hotel. Please contact your local representative if you require assistance. Keep all your receipts.
Business hours: Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Please note that US currency is no longer in circulation in Cuba. Travelers to Cuba are advised to carry Canadian funds that can be exchanged at the airport, hotel or bank into CUC at the current rate of exchange upon arrival at destination. Any exchange will be imposed a penalty of 10% by cuban government.
Credit cards NOT accepted in Cuba are;
American Express, CAA, Capitol One, Citibank, Credit Union, HSBC, MBNA and
any other credit card issued from American afflilited banks.
Visa and MasterCard are the only credit cards accepted in Cuba. Traveler’s cheques or credit cards drawn on US-based banks are NOT accepted.
* American Express Traveler’s Cheques or Credit cards are NOT accepted.
Most stores are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday to Saturday, (shorter hours Sunday). Rum is a must, it is both good (7 year Anejo rum) and inexpensive. Cigars are the other souvenir of choice. Different types and brands are available throughout the country. Local crafts are also available; you can find pretty wood sculptures, metal, leather and ceramic crafts. Note that an official receipt must accompany all goods that are taken out of the country. Goods made from black coral, tortoise shell and seashells (ie. Conch) will be confiscated by customs on return to Canada (Environment Canada, Canadian Wildlife Services). Also if you buy some paintings, carvings or any artwork, permission from the Ministry of Culture is required.
Taxis are available in Cuba. In most cases, a meter determines rates, which are in Cuban convertible Pesos only. To avoid hassles confirm the fare before getting in.
Car rentals are NOT available through your ACV Representative. Car Rentals are government operated and rented only through an employee of a Car rental bureau, located in almost all hotel lobbies. A valid Canadian driver's license is required. The minimum driver’s age is 18 years. Traffic regulations are basically the same as in Canada. Drive on the right side of the road.
Optional excursions are a great way to enhance your Air Canada Vacations holiday. Choose from a wide variety of activities and excursions available at your destination. For more information or to reserve your excursion, please see our local Air Canada Vacations Representative or Ground Handler Partner.
Voluntary between 10%-15% depending on the quality of service.
Although tap water is safe to drink in your hotels, we recommend that you drink bottled water, especially when outside of your hotel.
110V or 220V, adaptors may be required at select hotels and are available on a very limited basis. We suggest you bring your own.
Spanish. English spoken in tourist areas.
Cuba is a country with freedom of religion and beliefs. The most widespread religion is Catholic. Besides Catholicism, there is a significant Protestant minority and even smaller Jewish community. However, Afro-Cuban religions remain by far the most popular. Three faiths that originated in Africa are found in Cuba: the Rule of Stick, the Abakua Secret Society, and Santeria the last being the most predominant.
When it is noon in Cuba, it is
1 p.m. in Halifax
12 p.m. (noon) in Montreal or Toronto
11 a.m. in Winnipeg
10 a.m. in Calgary
9 a.m. in Vancouver
The above times are for the winter season only ; it does not take into account Daylight Savings time.
For inquiries relating to extension of stay or change or hotel changes, see your destination representative or contact Air Canada Vacations Customer Care:
Why choose Air Canada Vacations?
- The service and reliability of Air Canada and Air Canada rouge
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- Over 200 destinations worldwide.
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- Flexible stays of 3, 4, 7 or 10 night
- Upgrade to Business Class® service or rouge Plus and Premium rouge for more legroom and in-flight amenities
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