Days
8
Price from
$3,685AUD

A perfect mix of Caribbean bliss and old-world beauty

Glide along the Caribbean’s perfect blue waters on an 8-day cruise in Cuba. The timeworn island bears its age well thanks to an intriguing blend of charming colonial cities, bohemian artistic communities and stunning natural splendour. Stroll past the pastel-coloured houses of Trinidad, stop for a swim at Maria La Gorda, dance the salsa in Old Havana, and visit a tobacco farm to see how Cuba’s world-famous cigars are made. With miles of pristine coastline to be discovered, dive in to this unforgettable Caribbean adventure.


Start
Havana, Cuba
Finish
Havana, Cuba
Country
Cuba
Style
Peregrine
Theme
Adventure Cruising
Code
PMSCR
Physical rating
Ages
Min 8
Group size
Min 1, Max 34

Why we love this trip

  • Cuba isn’t an island you want to see from a distance, and this trip includes plenty of on-shore activities (a classic Cadillac garage, traditional dancing and the Benny More School of Art to name a few).

  • While the boat sails straight from Havana to Maria La Gorda, we’ll take a more interesting route: a drive through the spectacular UNESCO Viñales Valley.

  • Cruising on a small ship allows us to visit offshore islands most Cuba travellers never see, like the beautiful Isla Juventud. We’ll also drop anchor at Maria La Gorda for a swim and a beach barbecue.

  • While bigger cruise liners have to moor out at sea and commute into shore via tender, we’ll drop anchor in the middle of port towns like Cienfuegos or Maria la Gorda. You can hop on or off the boat as you please.

  • We’ve included two nights in Old Havana Port (right in the centre of town), so you don’t have to pre-book any accommodation in the capital.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This is a small ship adventure cruise, which means you’ll be sailing on a yacht with between 30 – 50 other people. The boat is spacious and comfortable, but it focuses more on the destination than on-board activities. Instead of a pool, we have the sea itself. Instead of a casino, we’ve got board games and a good book. There’s also no formal dress code to worry about. Wifi is available for a small charge.

  • Our ship moves under engine power, rather than sailing, so all cabins will experience light engine noise when the ship is moving (and occasionally when we drop anchor). It’s probably worth packing earplugs if you’re a light sleeper.

  • Unlike other ships that cruise through the night, we’ll spend our evenings docked at port. This will give you more time to dine ashore and enjoy those balmy Cuban evenings. Cruising will mostly take place during the day.

  • Onshore activities and excursions will involve a bit of walking. You’ll be visiting ancient sites and historical places, and at times you may have to cross cobbled streets and uneven ground, sometimes in hot conditions. If you have any concerns, please speak to your group leader before taking part.

  • If you’re concerned about seasickness, there are seasickness tablets on-board. The ship will experience some roll and pitch in choppy conditions, however all of our ships come equipped with stabilisers to minimise movement. Most of our departures run in peak season, when the seas are calmer. Your crew will do all they can to minimise any discomfort.

  • There are no lifts (elevators) on-board our ships, so you’ll have to navigate a few steep flights of stairs on-board. Handrails are always available.

  • Please be aware that you’ll have to pre-book any optional excursions for this trip (Cuban permits are tricky to acquire). Just let us know which ones you’d like at the time of booking.

Itinerary

We will meet at 9 am at the Melia Cohiba Havana for your 4 and a ½ hour bus transfer to Cienfuegos with fellow passengers where you will embark your ship. After checking in you will have the opportunity to take a 3 hour Optional Cienfuegos city tour, the only city in Cuba founded by French settlers. It is also known as the Pearl of the South. In 2005 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. Our walking tour will take us to a graphic arts workshop and to Parque Marti in the centre to see some outstanding examples of its architecture representing the new ideas of modernity and urban planning as developed in Latin America from the 19th Century. Dinner on board and overnight at sea to Casilda for Trinidad.
Optional Activities
  • Trinidad Walking tour - EUR50
Meals Included
  • Dinner
This morning we disembark in port for an Optional Trinidad excursion. Trinidad is a meticulously 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 with a representative of the Office of the City Historian interacting with residents along the way. We will attend a local architect’s 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. Visit the unique woodcarving studio of Lazaro. Dinner on board and overnight at sea to Isla de la Juventud- the Island of Youth.
Optional Activities
  • Cienfuegos and Trinidad City Tour - EUR97
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Following a pleasant day at sea, we will arrive late afternoon at the Bay of Singuanea where we will spend the night.

Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
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 excursion starts. 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.
Optional Activities
  • 1/2 day Juventud Island tour - EUR72
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After breakfast, we disembark in Maria La Gorda for a land tour by bus included in your cruise fare. We will visit a local school to meet the Cuban children and their teachers. Visit the headquarters of Guanahacabibes National Park, one of the country's largest nature reserves on the westernmost tip of the island. The peninsula wass one of the last refuges of original Cubans fleeing from the Spanish conquistadors and also holds some 140 archeological sites linked to life of Guanahatabeyes. Time-permitting, we will venture into the park to meet with the naturalists and locals, followed by free time for swimming, snorkeling and a BBQ lunch on the beach. Check into the Hotel Maria La Gorda or similar for overnight.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Depart early in the morning by bus for an optional excursion to the Vinales Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site in the Pinar del Rio Province of Cuba. Encircled by mountains, its landscape is interspersed with dramatic rocky outcrops. Traditional techniques are still in use for agricultural production, particularly of tobacco. Visit a tobacco plantation where you will learn about the production of those world famous Cuban cigars. After lunch at an organic restaurant, we depart for our 3 hour transfer to the Hotel Nacional de Cuba for an engrossing lecture with well-known architect Pedro Vasquez. Return to the Panorama for dinner, followed by a trip to the Café Taberna to experience the wonderful salsa music of the Buena Vista Social Club style performance. Overnight in port.
Optional Activities
  • Port of Havana - Old Havana full day tour - EUR174
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After breakfast, disembark for an optional walking exploration through Havana Vieja, or Old Havana, and Centro 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. Return to the ship for farewell dinner and overnight in Sierra Maestra Port- Old Havana.
Optional Activities
  • Port of Havana - Ernest Hemingway full day tour - EUR123
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Disembarkation will take place after breakfast.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners

Transport

Small Cruise ship

Accommodation

Small Cruise ship 6 nights, hotel 1 night

Dates & availability

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Important notes

IMPORTANT NOTES

Your voyage is operated by our partner company, Variety Cruises.

SHORE EXCURSIONS
For all passport holders, excluding America - shore excursions are optional and are at an additional cost. Shore excursions must be booked in advance at least 20 days before the sailing. Additional excursions cannot be booked on board.
For American passport holders - all shore excursions are compulsory and are included in the US dollar price. It is not possible to deviate from the published US itinerary. US passport holders please refer to trip code PMSCUS for full details.

BOOKING CONDITIONS
Adventure Cruising trips have a deposit of A$600 per person (different amounts apply in other currencies) and the balance is due 90 days before departure.

SINGLE TRAVELLERS
It is not possible to share with a stranger on a Variety Cruises voyage and single travellers must pay the Single Occupancy rate.

MINIMUM AGE
Children from the age of 7 can be accommodated on these voyages. Each boat has one cabin category that will accommodate a 3rd person allowing for triple sharing. Any child under the age of 18 must share with an adult.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.