2018/19 - Sights & Sounds of Cuba ( Havana-Havana Program/Havana to Cienfuegos program)
Experience a harmonious balance between conventional cruising and private yachting, along with an exciting voyage of discovery, unraveling the wonders of the Cuba awaiting to be discovered. Each day you will discover a new port of call, a hidden cove with crystal blue waters to cool you, a glimpse of ancient history to amaze you and rich cultural diversity to intrigue you. The colonial cities of Cienfuegos and Trinidad, the verdant landscapes of Vinales / Pinar del Rio and the crystal clear seas and amazing underwater life in Maria La Gorda. DISCLAIMER: Due to restrictions of U.S. law, Group IST in New York is authorized to offer educational travel programs in Cuba to U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Some of that travel within Cuba will be via ship. Interested parties should contact Group IST directly if interested in learning more about its educational programs in Cuba.
Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1: Friday - Havana
Day 1: Friday - Havana Embarkation on the ship between 3 and 4 pm in Sierra Maestra port. Note: Passengers already in Havana have the possibility for a full day optional Tour of Havana starting at 9 am from the Melia Cohiba. We will start with a panoramic sightseeing tour of this exciting city, including a stop at the Plaza de la Revolucion. Enjoy a welcome lunch at La Barraca Restaurant, located in Hotel Nacional de Cuba, which specializes in Cuban cuisine and offers breathtaking views of the Bay of Havana. Remain at the hotel for an engrossing lecture with well-known architect Pedro Vasquez. Continue to the pier for embarkation on the ship, followed by a boat drill and welcome briefing. Overnight in Havana.
Day 2: Saturday - Havana
After breakfast, we will start our Optional walking exploration in Old Havana. Witness a mixture of beautiful old baroque and neo-classical monuments, arcades and private balconies. For an enhanced sightseeing experience, flag down a uniquely decorated local "bicitaxi," or bicycle taxi. We will stop at a local restaurant for lunch, followed by a scenic drive in vintage American cars to Finca Vigia, beloved home of Ernest Hemingway where he lived for 21 years and wrote For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea. Upon our return from Finca Vigia, enjoy some free time before we make our way to Café El Mercurio for dinner, and then to the Café Taberna to experience the wonderful salsa music of the Buena Vista Social Club style performance. Overnight in Sierra Maestra Port- Old Havana.
DAY 3: Sunday - Havana
Disembark in the early morning for an optional excursion to Fusterlandia, the studio of artist Jose Rodriguez Fuster. The brightly colored mermaids, roofs, walls, benches, and doorways were greatly inspired by Gaudi in Barcelona and Brancusi in Rome, but most of all by Picasso and Dubuffet. Enjoy 2 hours or leisure to experience the wonders of Havana on your own before returning to the ship for embarkation. Lunch, dinner, and overnight onboard as we sail to Maria La Gorda.
Day 4: Monday - Maria La Gorda
After breakfast, we disembark in Maria La Gorda for our optional excursion, where we will visit a local school to meet the Cuban children and their teachers, and discuss the differences and levels of the Cuban and American educational systems, particularly in the rural areas of the country. Visit the headquarters of Guanahacabibes National Park, one of the country's largest nature reserves on the westernmost tip of the island. The peninsula is one of the last refuges of aboriginals fleeing from the Spanish conquistadors and also holds some 140 archeological sites linked to life of aboriginals known as Guanahatabeyes. Time-permitting, we will venture into the park, followed by free time for swimming, snorkelling and a BBQ lunch in Maria La Gorda before embarking the Voyager. Dinner and overnight on board as we sail to the Island of Youth-Isla de la Juventud.
Day 5: Tuesday - Isla Juventud
Until 1977, the island was called the Isle of Pines. In 1978 Fidel Castro turned the island into one grand Communist school for students from around the world and thus the Island of Youth. Your Optional Juventud excursionstarts. Disembark on the beach where you will board the bus for the short drive, enjoying panoramic sightseeing until you reach the Presidio Modelo, an abandoned panopticon prison where both Fidel and Raul Castro were imprisoned from 1953-1955. Enjoy lunch in an authentic local restaurant before visiting an art school and the maternity ward of a local hospital. There will be some free time for independent exploration and enjoyment around Nueva Gerona's grand boulevard before returning to embark the ship. Overnight at sea to Casilda/Trinidad.
Day 6: Wednesday - Casilda/ Trinidad
Disembark for our Trinidad Optional excursion. A meticulously well-preserved Spanish colonial city, with its rich architecture, cobblestone streets, palaces and plazas, it is sometimes referred to as the 'Museum City of Cuba." This morning we will walk through the town and then meet with a representative of the Office of the City Historian, interacting with residents along the way. We will attend a presentation and visit a scale model of the city. Stop at the Romantic Museum located in the old palace of the Count Brunet, with samples of furniture and decorative arts, or the Palacio Cantero Museum. Visit the studio of Lazaro, a very unique woodcarver and take part in a sightseeing tour of this UNESCO World Heritage site. Lunch at a typical Cuban Restaurant, or similar followed by a visit the studio of Lazaro Niebla, a very unique woodcarver. Depart Trinidad by bus and drive to Cienfuegos, where we will meet the Voyager for an overnight in port. Captain's Farewell Dinner onboard.
Day 7: Thursday - Cienfuegos
Enjoy breakfast on board before disembarking for full day Optional excursion of Cienfuegos. The city was founded by French settlers and thus offers a unique architecture. Cienfuegos is also known as the Pearl of the South and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit the graphic arts workshop and the Benny More School of Art. Walk around the city centre and admire outstanding examples of French neo classical architecture from the 19th Century. A special treat will be a concert by the singers of the Chorus of Cienfuegos, or string quartet. After lunch we will stroll around the city, meet the locals, and visit the galleries and the local market. Overnight in Cienfuegos.
Day 8: Friday - Cienfuegos
Disembark at 9 am after breakfast, for a 4 and a ½ hour bus transfer with other passengers back to Havana - Melia Cohiba Hotel.
Call (866) 845-7666 for more information or to book today! Mention code 13994698
- Cruise Line
- Variety Cruises
- Offer valid through 9/30/2018
- 8 Days
- Cruise Ship
- M/Y Variety Voyager
Click for more information on this ship.
|Day 4||Maria la Gorda|
|Day 5||Isla Juventud|
- * Cruise Fares
All fares are quoted in US Dollars or Euro and are per person based on double occupancy. US $ cruise fares apply for US and Canadian passport holders and Euro rates apply for all other nationalities.
Shipboard accommodations, ocean transportation all meals and on board entertainment as specified in the cruise program selected.
Fares do not Include:
Port charges, fuel surcharge, travel insurance, transfers, optional air/sea or land programs (unless noted), shore excursions, airport facility charges, taxes/fees, nor do they include items of a personal nature such as alcoholic beverages, soft drinks, gratuities, gift shop purchases, medical services, phone calls, etc. All onboard charges are in Euros.
Port Charges, Fuel Surcharge and Airport Taxes
Port charges and fuel surcharge are in addition to the cruise fares. Payment for port charges must be made at the time the final payment is made.