Skift Take

Great news for freedom of movement. Now if the U.S. government would only permit tourists to actually have fun when they arrive in Cuba.

The first direct charter flights between New York City and Cuba are now taking off.

Cuba Travel Services has started offering a weekly Tuesday charter between John F. Kennedy International Airport and Havana. The flights are operated by Sun County Airlines, and cost $849 round-trip. The price includes airfare, Cuban medical insurance and U.S. departure taxes.

In January, the Obama administration announced it would be easing travel restrictions.

Despite improving relations, tourism is still banned. Travelers must still declare a purpose that fits into one of the 12 approved categories, including family visits, government work and journalism. But most visitors no longer need to apply for a special license and wait for U.S. government approval.

More on the Cuba Thaw:

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Tags: cuba, politics, tourism

Photo credit: The shoreline in Matanzas, Cuba. Marko Kudjerski / Flickr

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