Days
8
Price from
$3,895NZD

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
Cienfuegos, Cuba
Country
Cuba
Style
Peregrine
Theme
Adventure Cruising
Code
PMSC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 8
Group size
Min 1, Max 48

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

Embarkation takes place at the Sierra Maestra Port at 3pm or later.
For passengers already in Havana an optional excursion in Havana is on offer including the Plaza de la Revolucion, followed by a visit to Finca Vigia, beloved home of Ernest Hemingway where he lived for 21 years. After lunch in a traditional paladar, we will visit a very unique nostalgic car garage to view just how the Cubans manage to creatively keep those old American cars in such fine working condition. Then enjoy a performance with dancers, musicians and performers of Havana’s Compas Dance Group before we continue to the pier for embarkation on your ship, followed by a boat drill and welcome briefing.
Overnight at port in Havana
Optional Activities
  • Port of Havana - Ernest Hemingway full day tour - EUR123
Meals Included
  • Dinner
After breakfast, disembark for an optional excursion. Take a walking exploration of Old Havana, a mixture of beautiful old baroque and neo-classical monuments, arcades and private balconies. We will stop at Fusterlandia, studio of artist Jose Rodriguez Fuster. The brightly coloured mermaids, roofs, walls, benches, and doorways are greatly inspired by Gaudi in Barcelona and Brancusi in Rome, but most of all by Picasso and Dubuffet. Lunch will be at another of Cuba’s paladares, followed by a stop at the Merger Art Studio to view some magnificent sculptures and beautiful paintings before we continue to the San Jose Arts and Crafts Market. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant with live Cuban music at the “Café Taberna” or similar, complete with salsa music in the style of the Buena Vista Social Club.
Optional Activities
  • Port of Havana - Old Havana full day tour - EUR174
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today, the excursion is included. Depart early in the morning by bus for 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 restaurant, we’ll visit an organic farm. We leave the Vinales region and drive to Maria La Gorda. Check in to the Hotel Maria La Gorda for dinner and overnight at the hotel.

Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After breakfast, optional bus tour to the village of San Juan del Valle. Here we will visit the local school to meet the Cuban children and their teachers. Visit Guanahacabibes National Park, one of the country’s largest nature reserves on the westernmost tip of the island. There will be time for swimming, snorkeling and a BBQ lunch in Maria La Gorda before re-embarking the ship and immediately sailing to Isla de la Juventud.
Dinner and overnight on board the Panorama. Overnight at sea to Isla de la Juventud.
Optional Activities
  • Guanahacabibes Peninsula1/2 day tour - EUR51
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Enter the Bay of Singuanea and moor in front of the Colony Hotel. After breakfast, disembark on the beach and board the bus for an optional tour to the capital city of the island – Nueva Gerona. Visit the “Universidad de la Isla de la Juventud Jesus Montane Oropesa,” enjoy panoramic sightseeing and tour the Presidio Modelo, an abandoned prison where Fidel and Raul Castro were imprisoned from 1953-1955. Stop for lunch in Nueva Gerona before returning to the ship. Dinner on board. Overnight sailing to Casilda
Optional Activities
  • 1/2 day Juventud Island tour - EUR72
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Today is a day at sea. We arrive late afternoon in Casilda. After cocktails on board we will drive to Trinidad for an optional walking excursion and evening at leisure in this charming colonial city and dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight onboard in Casilda.
Optional Activities
  • Trinidad Walking tour - EUR50
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
This morning an optional excursion to Trinidad for a more extensive visit of this meticulously preserved Spanish colonial city, with its rich architecture, cobblestone streets, palaces and plazas. Trinidad is sometimes referred to as the ‘Museum City of Cuba.” We will visit the Romantic Museum located in the old palace of the Count Brunet, with samples of furniture and decorative arts, and the woodcarving studio of Lasaro. In the afternoon, we drive to Cienfuegos, known as the Pearl of the South and a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2005. Cienfuegos is the only city Cuba to be founded by French settlers and you will see some outstanding examples of its 19th Century French Neo classical architecture. We will visit a graphic arts workshop and the Benny More School of Art. A special treat will be a concert by the singers of the Chorus of Cienfuegos, or a string quartet. After a long and exhilarating day we re-join the ship in the port of Cienfuegos for the Captain’s Farewell Dinner.
Overnight Cienfuegos
Optional Activities
  • Cienfuegos and Trinidad City Tour - EUR97
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
Disembarkation and group transfer by bus to Havana
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

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