Days
8

Cruise across the Caribbean and discover Cuba’s old-world charm

Exploring Cuba’s vintage cities by foot is one thing, but sailing across the island nation’s blue waters is a completely unique experience. Soak up the Caribbean sun on this 8-day adventure cruise along the coastline, anchoring at Cuba’s most captivating destinations, snorkeling from the back of the boat, and enjoying tranquil nights at sea. Whether it’s the colourful plazas of Trinidad, the provincial charm of Vinales’ tobacco farms, or the salsa rhythms of Old Havana’s nightlife, Cuba’s history and culture will leave you spellbound.


Start
Havana, Cuba
Finish
Havana, Cuba
Country
Cuba
Style
Peregrine
Code
PMSCRUS
Physical rating
Ages
Min 8
Group size
Min 1, Max 48

Why we love this trip

  • Cuba is officially open to Americans! (About time, we say). We’ve got a full People to People licence, so you can travel with confidence.

  • 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.

  • This trip includes a visit to a local school in San Juan del Valle. You can meet Cuban children and learn a little about education differences between Cuba and the US.

  • 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.

  • Our People to People trip has a lot more included meals and activities than our regular Cuba departures, including 20 meals, a guided look at Hemingway’s Havana and a Trinidad walking tour.

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.

Itinerary

Welcome to Cuba. On arrival in Havana, you will be met and assisted by a member of our team. We will travel together to the pier in Cienfuegos for embarkation on the M/Y Panorama, followed by a boat drill and welcome briefing. Late afternoon, we will drive to Trinidad for a walking tour in the evening followed by dinner at a local restaurant. Late at night the ship will sail to Casilda. Overnight at sea to Casilda
Meals Included
  • Dinner
This morning we will return to Trinidad for an extensive visit of a city sometimes referred to as the ‘Museum City of Cuba . Trinidad is a meticulously well-preserved Spanish colonial city with cobblestone streets, palaces and colourful plazas. We will walk through the town and then meet with a representative of the Office of the City Historian and be shown a scale model of the city. Later we will 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 Lasaro. We drive to Cienfuegos for lunch and a visit of the “ Pearl of the South” as the city is called by Cubans, the only city founded by French settlers and today, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Dinner on board. Sail overnight to Isla de la Juventud- the Island of Youth.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
All day sailing. We reach Isla de Juventud late afternoon and anchor in Bay of Singuanea.
Overnight at anchor
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
We disembark in the morning and board the bus for the short drive to Nueva Gerona, the capital city of the island. We will visit the “Universidad de la Isla de la Juventud Jesus Montane Oropesa,” enjoy panoramic sightseeing and tour the Presidio Modelo, abandoned panopticon prison of Cuba. While thousands of prisoners were interred in the corrupt prison during its operation, the most infamous inmates were Fidel & Raoul Castro, housed there from 1953 to 1955. Stop for lunch in Nueva Gerona before returning to the beach at the Colony Hotel for an afternoon of leisure. Dinner on board. Overnight at sea en route to Maria la Gorda
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Morning arrival in Maria la Gorda. Disembarkation and we leave the M/S Panorama for a 1 day land tour ending in Havana on Thursday. (where we will re-embark the ship) We will visit 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 farm where you will learn about the production of those world famous Cuban cigars. After lunch at an organic foods restaurant, we’ll visit and organic farm to hear about how the climate and fertile soil have contributed to the success of organic farming in the region. Our tour will also include Las Terazzas where we will overnight in a hotel.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Early in the morning we reach Havana by bus where we rejoin the M/S Panorama. We start our day with a walking exploration of Old Havana. Founded in 1519 by the Spanish, Havana became one of the most important ship building centers in the Caribbean, around which a sprawling metropolis grew. Now numbering a population of 2 million, it is a mixture of beautiful old baroque and neo-classical monuments, arcades and private balconies. Old Havana is considered one of the most impressive historical city centers in the Caribbean and in the Americas. We will stop at Fusterlandia, studio of artist Jose Rodriguez Fuster. His brightly colored mermaids, roofs, walls, benches, doorways and roosters stretch across houses and adorn the entire area. It is said that he was greatly inspired by Gaudi in Barcelona and Brancusi in Rome, but most of all by Picasso and Dubuffet. Lunch will be at one of the restaurants or paladares on shore, followed by a stop at the Merger Art Studio to view some magnificent sculptures before we continue to the San Jose Arts and Crafts Market. Here, in an old 1885 warehouse near the pier, you will find wonderful gifts from carvings, shirts, art, music and more. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant, followed by an opportunity to hear some wonderful Cuban music at the “Café Taberna,” or similar, complete with salsa music in the style of the Buena Vista Social Club. Return to the ship. Overnight in Sierra Maestra – Havana
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Disembark for a visit to the University of Havana, followed by a visit 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. Stop to enjoy lunch at another paladar before continuing to a very unique nostalgic car garage to view just how the Cubans manage to creatively keep those old cars in such fine working condition. Then it’s a short drive back to Havana for an exciting performance from the Havana Compass Dance Troupe. These gifted percussionists use drums, chairs, and anything they can find to beat out magnificent dance rhythms, weaving a colorful and exciting dance performance that you are sure to enjoy and long remember. Captain’s Farewell Dinner on board. Overnight in Sierra Maestra – Havana
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Disembark 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. Non US passport holders should refer to trip code PMSCR for information.
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.

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.

ITINERARY
The itinerary for this voyage is dictated by government regulations on permissable embarkation/disembarkation points and the order in which sites can be visited.

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.