The Nexus for
Experiential Travel


An interview with our newest Fellow, Shabi Samoohi


– News –

Our newest Fellow Shabi Samoohi is extending an invitation for S&S travelers to come and fall in love with Cuba – a place that is both welcoming and rewarding to the adventurous.

What is your background and how did you gain your intimate ties with some of the luminaries and budding talent of the Cuban music, dance and visual arts scene?

I was born in Iran and my parents brought me to the United States at the age of 2 years old. My past jobs are varied and include selling silk sheets, lingerie, and scarves. In 1999, I traveled on Semester at Sea and saw Cuba for the first time, which lead to learning Cuban dance and representing several Cuban Musicians. In January 2014, I started Cultural Island Travel to create custom cultural experiences to Cuba. My connections and relationships form the backdrop of our unique and coveted tours.

What are some unique experiences you give your guests? 

There are so many!  To start, we have private concerts of award-winning Cuban musicians for every one of trips. We can also organize a Santa Amalia-Experience dance with the Santa Amalia senior jazz and tap dancers. This is a group of seniors that have been meeting to dance jazz for over 30 years. It is an incredible experience. Meeting Fernando, the mechanic from the Discovery Channel show to learn about the restoration of antique American classic cars in Cuba is another highlight we offer.  Learning about Havana’s UNESCO protected architecture from an architect involved in the restoration of Cuba’s most detailed and oldest architectural treasures is also a really special opportunity. 

When you aren’t planning trips across Cuba, what do you like to do?

I love to dance to Cuban salsa and am a new mother of a beautiful 4 month old named Arabella! 

Why did you join The Shackleton and Selous Society?

I am proud to be part of a community of travelers and entrepreneurs that provide authentic experiences all over the world. Ever since my Semester at Sea in 1999, I have had a passion for travel and most of all authentic travel. I am excited to be a part of the S&S family. 

Any last words to our S&S travelers?

With recent changes in U.S. Treasury Department regulations, Cuba’s charm is now within the legal reach of all U.S. citizens under “people-to-people exchanges” of the sort we can provide for you at Cultural Island Travel. We understand Cuba from an insider’s perspective and are excited to share that perspective with you. The time is now! Travel to Cuba with us!

Click here to learn more about Shabi and to plan your trip to Cuba.



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