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Havana to Casilda: People to People

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Panorama
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Experience the balance between conventional cruising and private yachting, along with an exciting 8-day expedition of discovery, unravelling the wonders of Cuba awaiting to be discovered. Enjoy a people to people program exploring the western part of the island nation famous for its culture, music, warm people, and art. Discover the colonial city Cienfuegos, Maria La Gorda, crystal-clear waters and amazing underwater life, and one of the country's largest nature reserves, "Guanahacabibes National Park".

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Miami to Havana | Embark
Day 2 : Havana
Day 3 : Vinales Valley
Day 4 : Maria La Gorda
Day 5 : Isla Juventud
Day 6 : Cienfuegos
Day 7 : Casilda
Day 8 : Casilda | Disembark | Fly to Miami


  • Visit the Sea Turtle Breeding Center & join a guided snorkeling experience
  • Tour the Valley of Vinales, one of Cuba's most scenic regions
  • Discover Old Havana and its historic architecture
  • Explore Trinidad, a Spanish colonial settlement built on sugar fortunes



Places Visited


Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level


Trip Snapshots

Cuba! Cienfuegos, Cuba Maria La Gorda Trinidad, Cuba Cuban man with his horse and buggy

Day 1 Miami to Havana | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Depart from Miami International Airport on your short flight to Cuba (flights not included). Meet with your guides before embarking for a panoramic bus tour of Havana, the capital city of Cuba. The people to people program begins with an overview of this exciting city, including the Plaza de la Revolucion, 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 a “welcome  lunch” at a paladar, a small, privately-owned Cuban restaurant serving traditional Cuban food, before continuing to a very unique nostalgic car garage to view just how the Cubans manage to creatively keep those old American classic cars in such fine working condition. Then it’s a short drive back to Havana and an exciting performance from a young 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. Continue to the pier for embarkation of the Panorama followed by a boat drill, welcome briefing, and dinner onboard.

Day 2 Havana

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast, disembark for 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.

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 at another of Cuba’s delicious paladares followed by a stop at the Merger Art Studio to view some magnificent sculptures and wonderful paintings before you continue to the San Jose Arts and Crafts Market. Here in an old 1885 warehouse near the pier you can find wonderful gifts from carvings, shirts, art, music, and more. Enjoy dinner in a local restaurant followed by an evening of Cuban musica at the” Café Taberna”  or learn and enjoy a wonderful salsa show at the Buena Vista Social Club.

Day 3 Vinales Valley

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
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 can learn about the production of those world famous Cuban cigars. After lunch at an organic restaurant, visit an organic farm to hear about how the climate and fertile soil have contributed to the success of organic farming in the region. Depart the Vinales and drive to Maria La Gorda for dinner and overnight at the Hotel Maria La Gorda.

Day 4 Maria La Gorda

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast, drive by bus to the village of San Juan del Valle. Visit the local school to discuss the differences and levels of the Cuban and American educational systems, in particular the rural areas of the country. 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. Meet with the naturalists and locals. The peninsula is one of the last refuges of aboriginals fleeing from the Spanish conquistadors and also holds some 140 archaeological sites linked to the aboriginals known as Guanahatabeyes. Enjoy time for swimming, snorkeling, and a BBQ lunch in Maria La Gorda before returning to the Panorama. 

Day 5 Isla Juventud

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 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 the drive 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 panopticon prison of Cuba. It was here that Fidel and Raul Castro were imprisoned from 1953-1955. Enjoy meeting the locals on this island before embarking the Panorama for a late lunch.

Day 6 Cienfuegos

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Disembark for your visit to Cienfuegos, located about 250 km from Havana on the Southern tip of Cuba. This city is the only one in Cuba to be founded by French settlers. It is also known as the Pearl of the South. In 2005 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the graphic arts workshop and the Benny More School of Art. 

Enjoy lunch at a lovely paladar and a salsa lesson before taking a stroll around Cienfuegos. Meet the locals, visit the galleries, and enjoy this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Take a walking tour of the city center and 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. A special treat is a concert by the singers of the Chorus of Cienfuegos, or a string quartet. This evening, the Captain will host a special Farewell Dinner onboard. 

Day 7 Casilda

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Disembark in Casilda port for your excursion in Trinidad. 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 walk through the town then meet with a representative of the Office of the City Historian, interacting with residents along the way. Attend the 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 Lasaro before returning to the Panorama.

Day 8 Casilda | Disembark | Fly to Miami

  • 1 Breakfast
After breakfast onboard, transfer to the airport for the return flight to Miami.


Per person starting at
Panorama Category C Double
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Category C
Lower deck, 1 double bed or 2 twin beds. Portholes, A/C, TV, telephone, mini-fridge, safe deposit box, marble en suite bathroom.
Panorama Category B Triple
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Category B
Lower deck, 2 lower beds or 1 double bed. Portholes, A/C, TV, telephone, mini-fridge, safe deposit box, marble or corian en suite bathroom.
Panorama Category A Double
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Category A
Upper deck or Main deck, 2 lower beds or 1 double bed. Large windows, A/C, TV, telephone, mini-fridge, safe deposit box, marble or corian en suite bathroom.


- Please note that fares do not include port charges and possible fuel surcharges. Contact us for details.

Please Note: This itinerary may be subject to change as a result of weather and other factors not in our control. Our vessels have been granted the longest stays of any cruise boats in the port of Havana.  Since space at the dock itself is severely limited, this itinerary might involve a combination of having to tender in to shore, as well as docking at one of only two piers.

Cruise fares are per person and include:
  • Accommodation in double or twin cabins with private SH/WC & air conditioning
  • Full-board: American buffet breakfast and two meals daily, including a Welcome Cocktail, and Captain’s Dinner
  • Regular (filter) coffee, tea and still mineral water free all day
  • Services of the Cruise Coordinator on and off the ship 
  • All excursions and meals off the ship as per program with local Guides
  • All transfers in Cuba  and airport transfer from hotel to airport if applicable

Cruise fares do not include:
  • Visa cost - $75  - Received at the airport at time of check-in
  • Cost of flight – Varies with the season
  • Port charges
  • Tips for restaurant waitstaff and drivers
  • Beverages (except those mentioned above)
  • Crew tips and Tour Director tips
  • Personal expenses 


  • 7 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 7 Dinners


  • Internal Flights
    • $599 (approx, rates TBA) Roundtrip Air From Miami
    • Flight cost is subject to change
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Molly H

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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
Jack Charney

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