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About WoWCuba / MacQueen’s Island Tours

MacQueen’s Island Tours has been operating under the same family ownership since 1977. WoWCuba is the family-owned adventure travel company operating in Cuba since 1994. We maintain year-round offices and staff in Prince Edward Island, Canada and Havana, Cuba. We operate & administer the following websites:

www.wowcuba.com
www.macqueens.com

The initiation of our operations in Cuba was a result of an exploratory trip made by our father and founder Gordon MacQueen in the late 1990’s, seeking a complimentary destination and season to our mainly summer-based Canadian cycling business in Prince Edward Island. In the midst of an economic crisis, fuel was in dire shortage and Cuba had just brokered a deal with China to import a million Chinese Flying Pigeon bicycles in exchange for Cuban sugar. With many Cubans being forced to ride the heavy single-speed Chinese bicycles to work, convincing Cuban tourism authorities that foreign visitors would want to come to Cuba and cycle as a form of recreation and sustainable transportation while on holiday was a hard sell back then. But after much persistence, Gordon finally managed to secure a contract and sent out the first container-load of bicycles and accessories from Halifax, accompanied by his two sons, to establish our first operations base in Santiago de Cuba in 1994. The rest is history. It was a perfect time to embark as pioneers in active and adventure tourism, with relatively little vehicular traffic in a safe country with an abundance of friendly locals. Having spent almost all of our adult lives exploring Cuba’s nooks and crannies, we feel privileged to have gained an unparalleled perspective into this fascinating country that we love to share with our guests. We’ve lived through the Special Period, power outages, shortages, and three political leaders in our time here. We’ve mastered Cuban Spanish, married locals, raised families, built homes and more importantly, lasting relationships with Cubans from one tip of the country to the other. Contrary to popular misconceptions propagated by much of western media, the country has evolved, and the Cuba we know in fact has much to teach the rest of the world in terms of sustainability, support for noble causes, organic/urban agriculture, and resilience in the face of adversity. It’s our pleasure to share some of our favorite haunts and invite our guests to experience Cuba up close, and to savor its unique flavors in the hands of our experienced and knowledgeable team.

The official info:

  • We are an independent privately-owned federally incorporated travel company based in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada.
  • We are registered under the umbrella of our parent company PEI Stoveworks Limited in Canada with HST#:88624-2221.
  • Our trading address is 430 Queen Street, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada C1A 4E8.
  • Our company trades under the names of MacQueen’s Island Tours, WoWCuba.com and MacQueens.com.
  • In Cuba we are represented in the Chamber of Commerce by the Ministry of Tourism’s ground handler Havanatur S.A, Volume II, Page 391.

We are proud to be a Certified Sustainable Business in our hometown of Charlottetown.

certified-sustainable-businesslogo_camaracuba

KristenKristen: Hands-on CEO. Was raised in a sustainable household in rural P.E.I. Studied Fine Arts while working in the family travel business. Began working between Canada & Cuba in 1994. At the turn of the century, I chose to live full-time in Cuba with my Cuban husband and we grew the family cycle touring business into a full-service year-round adventure travel operation. We dive all over Cuba, kept a sailboat, organize a popular motorcycle rally, have built and renovated houses, grow some of our own fruit and herbs, have taken countless road trips, cooked many a meal, speak several languages, and are deeply supportive of our community.
Abel: Tour guide. Grew up in a respectable family, earned an international relations degree in Kiev, had a couple of children, fought the war in Angola, worked trading sugar in Russia, worked in sales for a hotel chain, met & married Kristen at an ecotourism conference, managed an optional excursion company, became an advanced diver, became a tour guide for a cultural travel agency, translated WoWCuba to Spanish, restored & rides 2 HD motorcycles from the late 40’s, became a grandfather. Abel’s the voice of reason, and has a great perspective and insight on Cuba’s history and current politics.
Danny: Cuba Tour Leader, MacQueen’s Bike Shop Manager, Mechanic Extraordinaire. Raised in PEI, been working in the bike business since grade 1 (wanting to go to work with Dad instead of to school), studied accounting, got shipped off to Cuba to start a winter bike tour program in 1993, learned Spanish, met an accomplished biking girl, married her and had 3 daughters, He & his family continue to travel between PEI & Cuba every year operating two seasonal businesses.
DayanDayan: Sales, Office Manager, Trip Organizer, Tour Leader, Bicycle Technician
Our “secret weapon” (Danny’s term!) is a young Cuban who’s been working with us since 2015 in PEI and Cuba. Dayan graduated from law school in Havana, married an Island girl who was also studying in Havana, and moved north. Now if he’s anything like us, then we bet he feels pretty lucky to be able to travel and work between our two favorite islands. He’s a chef and speaks great English too.
Mirley: Administrative assistant and multi-tasker. A former member of Cuba’s national women’s cycling team, Mirley is an accomplished competitive rider with multiple medals under her belt in international competition. After retiring from competitive cycling she married Danny MacQueen and they spend their summers in Canada and winters in Cuba with their three daughters, all enthusiastic cyclists. On PEI Mirley handles WoWCuba & MacQueen’s Island Tours administrative duties in addition to providing support services for PEI cycle tourists and frequent assistance in the fast-paced bike shop. Mirley’s organizational skills are impressive and she has become a valued member of the family business.