Stride climate

Trip Type : Small Ship Cruise
capitol Building Havana-Cuba-1613263_1920_p

Cuba Voyage

International Expeditions
5.0 . Excellent
100%
Travel Style: A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
10 days
From: $ 4,899 $ 490 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Visit the  Guanahacabibes National Park
  • Enjoy a walking tour of Cienfuegos’ city center,  the historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Visit the Government Palace (City Hall), San Lorenzo School, the Bishopric, Ferrer Palace and the former lyceum
  • See the limestone, boasts white-sand beaches, Mangrove and salt pans
  • Enjoy the Pinar Del Rio to the famed Viñales Valley.

Short Description

The journey from French-influenced Cienfuegos to Havana aboard the 48-guest Panorama or 46-guest Panorama II on International Expeditions’ new Cuba Voyage for a distinct look at this enigmatic island as it stands poised on the brink of historic transformation. Marvel at the expanse of shoreline claimed by this vast land mass, the Caribbean’s largest island — mountains sloping down to tropical jungles, rich wetlands and fruited plains...sunny inlets and ports long used for exporting Cuba’s abundance of fruit, sugar, and coveted tobaccos.

From the French influences in the architecture and culture, you’ll experience in Cienfuegos to the Spanish colonial splendor of Trinidad and the raw excitement of politically polarizing but uniquely romantic Havana your experience in Cuba will feel complete! In addition to a walking tour of 500-year-old Trinidad, as we cruise around the island’s Western crescent, we stop on the island of Cayo Largo, home to a sea turtle breeding center, the remote western Guanahacibes Peninsula and venture into the Viñales Valley. Other highlights of this people-to-people itinerary include learning about Cuban sports, medicine and mass communication, dance lessons, local choir and theater performances, pottery workshops, visits to museums, and calling on artists in their studios.

A Panoramic View of Cuba
Enjoy seven nights aboard one of our two gracious yachts Panorama or Panorama II. Each outside cabin features air-conditioning, TV and marble-finished en-suite facilities. Life on board often centers around the delightful outdoor spaces, including the sun deck and an aft deck leading to the bar.

Expert Leadership
Along with a Cuban guide and locals experts in the areas we explore, accompanying your Cuba Voyage is an accomplished, knowledgeable IE Expedition Leader. Guiding several of the trips is Bolivar Sanchez. While many of our guests have raved about Boli's strong leadership and humor in the Galapagos Islands, Boli has worked with our groups in Cuba for the past three years, leading more than 10 journeys. In addition to his deep knowledge of Earth science, adding greatly to your understanding of the island’s nature, Boli is well-versed in Cuba's history, politics and culture.

Small ship cruises usually have a max passenger count of 500. The primary purpose of these trips is to spend time off the vessel in local ports (e.g. Mediterranean) or experiencing nature (e.g Galapagos or Antarctica). Cabins can vary from budget to luxury.
Trip Type Small Ship Cruise
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Premium - 4 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Miami
End City Miami

Trip Includes

  • Full schedule of engaging people-to-people activities
  • Fully escorted by IE leader, Cuban expedition leader & local guides
  • Visit Hemingway’s Finca Vigia
  • Walking visits in Cienfuegos, colonial Trinidad & Havana
  • Cuban visitor visa
  • 23 meals
  • Hotel in Miami prior to charter flight
  • Welcome drinks in Miami
  • Meals onboard include beverage
  • Bottled water on transfers & excursions
  • Cuban-government mandated medical insurance
  • Tips to porters, day guides & waiters for included meals

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Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Miami
Our Cuba people-to-people travel program begins in Miami with welcome drinks and a briefing on what to expect the following morning and while in Cuba. Spend tonight at the Miami Airport Marriott.

Day 2
Miami / Cienfuegos or Santa Clara
Return to the airport and board our charter flight to Cuba. Depending on available flights, you will travel to either Santa Clara or Cienfuegos. Since its founders were originally French, Cienfuegos has a French influence in both its architecture and layout. Spend tonight at the Hotel La Union or similar. (D)

Day 3
Cienfuegos / Embarkation
Begin our day at the farmer’s market, where locals come to purchase produce for their daily meals. Enjoy a walking tour of Cienfuegos’ city center, where wide avenues lead to the historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Along the way, a local specialist discusses the significance of buildings such as Government Palace (City Hall), San Lorenzo School, the Bishopric, Ferrer Palace and the former lyceum. Discover the transformative power of art in the lives of ordinary Cubans while visiting a graphic arts workshop. After a performance by the Cienfuegos Choir — we’re invited to join the choir for songs in the spirit of musical exchange — try out your Salsa dance skills! Tonight we board our ship, the Panorama or Panorama II home for the next seven nights of our Cuba cruise. (B,L,D)

Day 4
Trinidad
A city historian leads a walking tour of Trinidad, an architectural jewel proclaimed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Red tiled roofs atop pastel stucco structures line the cobbled streets. This port city reflects its 16th century past and founding by Conquistadors. Eighteenth-century smugglers and pirates made frequent calls here or even used this port as their base of operations in the Caribbean. The wealth and importance of Trinidad continued into the 19th-century when sugar barons reigned. Mingle with local residents and call on artists in their studio as we wind our way through the city. Stop at either the Museum Romantico or the Architecture Museum before lunch in a private paladar. At Casa Del Alfarero Santander, an artisan workshop, meet local artists and learn about traditional pottery techniques. This pottery studio has been run by the same family for decades, and the Santander's share their family history while we take a turn at the wheel. (B,L,D)

Day 5
Cayo Largo
The island of Cayo Largo is comprised of limestone and boasts white-sand beaches, mangroves, and salt pans. Begin our day with engaging discussions on Cuban sports, culture and mass communications. Call on a local clinic, meeting a Cuban doctor to learn about the country’s medical system. At the Sea Turtle Breeding Center, join local conservationists working to preserve the loggerhead, hawksbill and green sea turtles that nest annually on the beaches of Cayo Largo. Learn more about local wildlife at the Avalon Fly Fishing Center before returning to our ship. (B,L,D)

Day 6
Maria La Gorda
Explore Maria La Gorda, on the Bahía de Corrientes, beginning in La Bajada. Meet with a local naturalist at Guanahacabibes National Park, the largest of Cuba’s six nature reserves. In addition to butterflies and birdlife such as endemic bee hummingbird and yellow-headed warbler, Guanahacabibes is home to a large profusion of orchids and epiphytes, a total of 16 species, some indigenous and some recently discovered. At a Meteorological Center, learn about forecasting weather, weather patterns, and storms and hurricanes that have left their mark in Cuba, along with how historic storms have impacted ordinary Cubans. At a “Honey House,” discuss beekeeping and honey production. Enjoy a barbecue lunch on the white sands of western Cuba before sailing toward Havana. (B,L,D)

Day 7
Havana
Cruise toward Havana, where our ship anchors in the harbor off Old Havana. Stroll through the atmospheric squares of “Havana Viejo,” calling on artists in their studios as we pass. See Hotel Ambos Mundos, where Ernest Hemingway kept a room for years. The hotel served as a refuge for writing such works as For Whom the Bell Tolls and as a base for frequenting his favorite bars. After dinner, you may cap off the evening with an optional lavish cabaret show at the famous Tropicana (at your own expense). (B,L,D)

Day 8
Havana: Soroa & Vinales
Head west this morning into the province of Pinar Del Rio to the famed Viñales Valley. Viñales boasts Cuba’s most strikingly beautiful landscapes and is where the island’s best tobacco is grown. Survey an orchid garden with staff from the University of Pinar del Rio. At a tobacco farm run by three generations, the family discusses their lives and why their crop is among the world’s best. Also, chat with workers at a tobacco-sorting facility. The valley is punctuated by huge limestone caves that form inside one of the many spectacular mogote – limestone karst outcroppings. A small boat takes us on a river running inside the cave. Sample the homegrown vegetables grown at an organic farm while meeting the family who is responsible for the land and prepared our lunch. Cap-off our day by meeting locals in the small community of Viñales before returning to Havana. (B,L,D)

Day 9
Havana
Begin our morning with the musicians and performers of the Havana Compas Dance Group, perhaps even watching a rehearsal. Stop at a locally owned paladar, IL Divino, for lunch. Chat about the "new" Cuban economy with the entrepreneurs operating this small, private restaurant. After lunch, explore the adjacent farm, which uses sustainable agriculture to supply the restaurant. Pay homage to Ernest Hemingway while discussing his work with Cuban Hemingway specialists at his former home, Finca Vigia, preserved as it was on the day of his death. Travelers can only peer through the open windows of this museum, but the inside is arranged almost as if the home was waiting for him to return with guests. Hemingway’s fishing boat, El Pilar, is still on the grounds. Discuss Havana’s past and future with our local guide while driving through the city. After dinner onboard, stroll to nearby Café Taberna, where we enjoy Cuban music by the famed Buena Vista Social Club. (B,L,D)

Day 10
Havana / Miami
Disembark after breakfast and transfer to the Jose Marti Airport for our charter flight to Miami, where you connect with flights home. (B)

Availability

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Price From $ 4,899
Price Per Day: $ 490 per day
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Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Standard Group

Trip ID#:

CubVoyIntExp

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