Non-licensed U.S. travelers should note that all airlines overflying the U.S. (i.e., between Canada and Cuba) are required to share their passenger manifests with U.S. Homeland Security.
Most flights from Canada land at Varadero and other beach destinations. You can find cheap airfares—about C$400 round-trip—through Wholesale Travel (tel. 416/366-0062 or 888/970-3600, www.wholesaletravel.com) and Travel Cuts (tel. 866/246-9762, www.travelcuts.com).
A. Nash Travel Inc. (5865 McLaughlin Rd., Unit 2B, Mississauga, ON L5R 1B8, tel. 905/755-0647 or 800/818-2004, fax 905/755-0729, www.nashtravel.com) is a recommended Cuba specialist.
Scheduled Flights: Highly regarded Air Canada (tel. 800/247-2262, www.aircanada.com) flies from Calgary to Varadero; from Halifax to Holguín; from Montreal to Cayo Coco, Cayo Largo, Havana, Holguín, Santa Clara, and Varadero; from Ottawa to Havana and Santa Clara; from Toronto to Cayo Coco, Havana, Santa Clara, and Varadero; and from Vancouver to Havana.
Cubana (675 King St. W. #206, Toronto, tel. 416/967-2822 or 866/428-2262, www.cubana.cu) flies from Montreal to Camagüey, Cayo Largo, Cienfuegos, and Havana; and from Toronto to Camagüey, Cayo Largo, Cienfuegos, Havana, Holguín, Santa Clara, and Santiago de Cuba.
Charter Flights: Most charter flights are designed as beach vacation packages, but charter operators also sell “air-only” tickets.
Air Canada Vacations (tel. 866/529-2079, www.aircanadavacations.com) offers flexible “build-your-own” packages using Air Canada flights.
Air Transat (tel. 866/847-1112, www.airtransat.com) flies from Calgary to Varadero; from Edmonton to Varadero; from Halifax to Varadero; from Montreal to Camagúey, Cayo Coco, Cayo Largo, Holguin, and Varadero; from Ottawa to Holguín, Santa Clara, and Varadero; from Quebec City to Holguín, Santa Clara, and Varadero; from Toronto to Camagúey, Holguín, and Varadero; and from Vancouver to Varadero.
Skyservice (tel. 800/701-9448, www.skyserviceairlines.com) flies from Calgary to Varadero; from Edmonton to Varadero; from Halifax to Cayo Coco and Holguín; from Montreal to Holguín; from Ottawa to Varadero; from Regina to Varadero; from Toronto to Cayo Coco and Varadero; from Vancouver to Varadero; and from Winnipeg to Holguín and Varadero.
SunWing (tel. 800/761-1711, www.sunwing.ca) has the most extensive service, with flights to eight Cuban destinations from 19 Canadian airports.
Westjet (tel. 888/937-8538, www.westjet.com) flies from Halifax to Cayo Coco and Holguín; from Moncton to Varadero; from Montreal to Varadero; from Ottawa to Santa Clara; from Saskatoon to Varadero; and from Toronto to Cayo Coco.
© Christopher P. Baker from Moon Cuba, 5th Edition