With Cuba now open to U.S. tourists, a lot of dive travel companies have begun offering trip packages to the island nation.

One of those is Guy Harvey Outpost Resorts, which this month began offering a new “Expedition Adventures” trip for a seven-day diving excursion to Cuba in September.

Guy Harvey’s “Expedition Collection” offers team-led, guided fishing and diving trips that focus on conservation, education and entertainment to destinations like Cuba, the Galápagos, Panama, Isla Mujeres, Little Cayman, and more.

Cliff Jensen, director of sportfishing and watersports for Guy Harvey, says:

“We are incredibly excited to expand our Expedition Collection and offer these extraordinary educational adventures, beginning with Cuba. Those who join our Cuba expedition are in for a special treat. It will be led by Cuba native Yoel Gonzalez who brings a unique and personal perspective to the trip.”

The September 14-20, 2016 trip will include a Lionfish Derby offered in Maria La Gorda, at the far southwest tip of the island and about five hours from Havana. This is the second lionfish tournament offered in Maria La Gorda with the sole purpose of helping to remove this invasive species from the reefs.

Awards will be presented for the biggest and smallest lionfish caught and for the most lionfish caught. Each team will be made up of two participants who can use Hawaiian spears, pole spears and spearguns only. Participants will have to follow the rules and regulations of the Guanahacabibes National Park and the Maria La Gorda Diving Center. The chefs in Maria la Gorda will prepare their own lionfish recipes with what is caught during the tournament. The most popular dish will receive an award.

In addition to the diving, participants will also get to see a bunch of sights in downtown Havana including the Rum Museum, El Floridita — Hemingway’s favorite bar, a salsa night as well as a tour of a tobacco farm for the cigar aficionados.

As for cost, Guy Harvey is charging US$2,400/2,165 Euros for double occupancy. Space is limited to 40 travelers.

To register for the trip, go to guyharveyoutpost.com. You’ll need to put down a nonrefundable 50-percent deposit when you register, with the remainder due by August 20.

If you can’t make it this September, no worries, the company is working on additional trips in 2017. Check out the Guy Harvey website for more information.

John Liang
John Liang is the News Editor at DeeperBlue.com. He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.

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