Yes, you need a VISA / tourist card / tarjeta de turista.
Whatever you call it – you will need one – but NO – you don’t need to send your passport to the Cuban embassy.
Your tourist card is valid for 30 days. It can be extended while you are three but be sure to do this BEFORE it expires. If you are flying to Cuba from the US, the Airline will probably have a service to get you a visa. They also usually have someone sitting at your boarding gate to provide you with one if you have not already purchased one. The cost is usually between $85 USD and $100 USD. You will not be allowed to board the plane without one AND don’t lose it as you will need it to leave the country. You can get a replacement but it usually takes a day or two so hold on to this.
When you book your yacht charter with us we will take car of helping you get the visa.If you are going on one of our yachts or meeting a charter yacht in Cuba, we will help you with the visa.
You will still have to comply with one of the twelve reasons for US citizens to go to Cuba but ‘people to people’ educational visits are one of the more common reasons to visit. These rules are changing daily so always get the latest update before you travel.
The important thing is to put this on your checklist of things to do before leaving for your Cuban Holiday!