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Picturesque Cuba

Sights and Sounds of Cuba: Cienfuegos to Havana

Example 8 Day Cruise aboard Variety Voyager
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Start your "bucket list" cruise in the enchanting and French-styled city of Cienfuegos, declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit the graphic arts workshop and attend a local musical performance. Discover Trinidad's rich architecture, cobblestone streets, palaces and plazas - it is sometimes referred to as the "Museum City of Cuba." Share meaningful exchanges with the locals on this People to People program, which also offers plenty of opportunities to enjoy swimming, snorkeling, sightseeing, and relaxing on board or on shore.

Day-by-Day Summary

Day 1 : Havana to Cienfuegos, Cuba | Embark
Day 2 : Casilda | Trinidad
Day 3 : Day at Sea
Day 4 : Isla Juventud
Day 5 : Maria La Gorda
Day 6 : Havana
Day 7 : Havana
Day 8 : Havana, Cuba | Disembark

Highlights

  • Explore Cienfuegos, also known as the Pearl of the South
  • Visit Trinidad, a meticulously well-preserved Spanish colonial city
  • Enjoy a panoramic sightseeing drive of the capital city of Nueva Gerona
  • Swim and snorkel at beautiful Maria La Gorda

Ship

Variety Voyager

Places Visited

  • Caribbean
  • Cuba
  • Cienfuegos
  • Greater Antilles
  • Havana
  • Isla de la Juventud
  • Maria la Gorda
  • Trinidad

Activities

Trip Type

  • Small Ship

Activity Level

Relaxed

Trip Snapshots

Picturesque Cuba Parque Marti in Cienfuegos, Cuba Trinidad, Cuba Havana Musicians Iconic cars in Havana, Cuba

Day 1 Havana to Cienfuegos, Cuba | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Meet your group in the lobby of the Melia Cohiba at 10.00 AM for your transfer from Havana to Cienfuegos. 

Arrive in Cienfuegos, also known as the Pearl of the South, for your excursion prior to embarkation.  Founded by French settlers, Cienfuegos boasts a unique architecture and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit the graphic arts workshop and t attend a local musical performance. Walk around the city center and admire outstanding examples of French neo classical architecture from the 19th Century. Stop at a local farmer’s market before having lunch. A special treat will be a concert by the singers of the Chorus of Cienfuegos, or string quartet. Make your way to the pier for embarkation on the Voyager, followed by a boat drill and welcome briefing. Overnight sailing to Trinidad.

Day 2 Casilda | Trinidad

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today your excursion takes you to 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." Walk through the town, visit a scale model of the city, and have lunch at a local paladar. Stop at the Romantic Museum located in the old palace of the Count Brunet, or Palacio Cantero, the Trinidad General Municipal Museum. Visit the studio of Lazaro Niebla, a very unique woodcarver. Return to the Voyager for dinner onboard and overnight at sea.

Day 3 Day at Sea

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Today spend the majority of the day at sea, with a late afternoon arrival in Bay of Singuanea, where you will spend the night.

Day 4 Isla Juventud

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 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. Disembark in Marina Colony for your excursion which starts a panoramic sightseeing drive to the capital city of Nueva Gerona. Visit the Presidio Modelo, an abandoned panopticon prison where both Fidel and Raul Castro were imprisoned from 1953-1955. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant before visiting an art school and the maternity ward of a local hospital, if available. There will be some free time for independent exploration and enjoyment around Nueva Gerona’s grand boulevard before returning to embark the ship for an overnight sailing to Maria La Gorda.

Day 5 Maria La Gorda

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast, disembark in Maria La Gorda, where your excursion starts with a visit to a local school to meet the Cuban children and their teachers, and discuss the differences and levels of the Cuban and Western educational systems, particularly in the rural areas of the country. Visit the headquarters of Guanahacabibes National Park, one of the country's largest nature reserves on the westernmost tip of the island. The peninsula is one of the last refuges of aboriginals fleeing from the Spanish conquistadors and also holds some 140 archeological sites linked to life of aboriginals known as Guanahatabeyes. Time-permitting, we will venture into the park to meet with the naturalists and locals, followed by free time for swimming and snorkeling before embarking the Voyager.  Dinner and overnight onboard as you sail to Havana.

Day 6 Havana

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After breakfast, disembark for your excursion, starting with a 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. 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. Upon your return from Finca Vigia, enjoy some free time before making your way to Café El Mercurio for dinner, and then to the Café Taberna to experience the wonderful salsa music of the Buena Vista Social Club style performance. Overnight in Sierra Maestra Port- Old Havana.

Day 7 Havana

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Disembark in the early morning for an excursion to Fusterlandia, the studio of artist Jose Rodriguez Fuster. The brightly colored mermaids, roofs, walls, benches, and doorways were greatly inspired by Gaudi in Barcelona and Brancusi in Rome, but most of all by Picasso and Dubuffet. Be immersed in the industries of Cuba, either visiting a cigar factory or participating in a rum tasting. Enjoy lunch at La Barraca Restaurant, located in Hotel Nacional de Cuba, which specializes in Cuban cuisine and offers breathtaking views of the Bay of Havana. Remain at the hotel for an engrossing lecture with well-known architect Pedro Vasquez, followed by time at leisure. Return to the Voyager for a farewell dinner onboard and overnight.

Day 8 Havana, Cuba | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
Disembark at 9:30 AM and transfer to the airport for your short return flight.

Variety Voyager

Per person starting at
$3,575
Category C cabin aboard the Variety Voyager.
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Category C
Lower Deck, two twin beds or one double bed. Port hole windows, private bath facilities.
Category B cabin aboard the Variety Voyager.
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Category B
Lower/Main Deck, two twin beds or one double bed. Port hole windows (Lower) or windows (Main), private bath facilities.
Category A cabin aboard the Variety Voyager.
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Category A
Main Deck, two twin beds or one double bed. Double windows and private bath facilities.
Category P cabin aboard the Variety Voyager.
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Category P
Upper "Horizons" Deck, double windows, special amenities and private marble bath facilities.
Variety Voyager's Owner's Suite.
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Owners Suite
Upper "Horizons" Deck, double windows, special amenities, sofa, private marble bath facilities.

Notes

Child Discount:
Children between the ages of 7-10 sharing a cabin with two paying adults receive a 50% discount. Children between the ages of 10-16 sharing a cabin with two paying adults receive a 35% discount.

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.

Included in Your Fare: 
  • 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 your Cruise Coordinator on and off the ship
  • All excursions and meals off the ship as per program with local Guides
  • Bus transfer from Havana/ Melia Cohiba Hotel to Cienfuegos port or reverse.
Not Included in Your Fare: 
  • Visa cost - $75-$100  - Received at the airport at time of check in
  • Port charges
  • Departure tax (some airlines include it in their tickets fares)
  • Cost of flight – Varies with the season
  • Certain tips for restaurant waiting staff and drivers
  • Beverages (except those mentioned above)
  • Crew tips and Tour Director tips
  • Passenger personal expenses
Payment & Cancellation Policies
Rae B

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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.
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