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Cuba Voyage

Cuba Voyage

At a glance

Duration: 10 Days, 9 Nights

Coverage: Miami to Havana/Cienfuegos or Santa Clara

From: $6,199

Season: January - March, December

Activities: Wildlife

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International Expeditions

Journey between French-influenced Cienfuegos and Havana aboard the 46-guest Panorama on International Expeditions’ 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! Other highlights of this people-to-people itinerary include local choir and theater performances, pottery workshops and calling on artists in their studios.

A Panoramic View of Cuba

Enjoy six nights aboard one the gracious yacht Panorama. 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 cruise is an accomplished, knowledgeable IE Expedition Leader.

Trip Highlights

  • Spend six nights aboard fully air-conditioned yacht, Panorama, plus time in carefully selected hotels.
  • Delight in the warm Cuba culture with traditional foods, music & dancing.
  • Survey revolutionary history of the gorgeous Isle of Youth.
  • Mingle with local artists at a graphic arts studio & art market.
  • Visit UNESCO Sites, including Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Vinales Valley & Old Havana.
  • Sample the flavors of Cuba at privately owned restaurants, where you meet Cuba's newest entrepreneurs.
  • Learn the age-old art of cigar rolling at a family owned tobacco farm.
  • Travel with an experienced IE Expedition Leader plus a cruise manager & local Cuba guide — all dedicated to ensuring an enriching voyage.

Day-to-Day Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive Miami

Our Cuba people-to-people travel program begins in Miami. After a welcome briefing and reception, you spend tonight at the Miami Airport Marriott.

Day 2 - Miami / Arrive Cuba / Cienfuegos / Embark

Board your flight to Cuba. Meet your driver and guide, and depart for Cienfuegos after lunch. During this drive through the countryside, your guide begins to brief you on the history and culture of this enigmatic island. Embark Panorama, your home for six nights in Cuba. (B,D)

Day 3 - Cienfuegos / Trinidad

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. Enjoy a performance by the Cienfuegos Choir, where we’re invited to join the choir for songs in the spirit of musical exchange. Stop for lunch in a local paladar, a privately owned restaurant. Travel to 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. Experience the community like a local, visiting with shop owners and sampling local fare as we walk through the colonial heart of the city and calling on artists in their studios. 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 Santanders share their family history while we take a turn at the wheel. Meet Panorama in the local port and cruise for Juventud Island. (B,L,D)

Day 4 - Day at Sea

As Panorama continues toward Juventud Island, enjoy informative discussions with your Cuban guide as well as educational lectures, games and visits to the bridge. (B,L,D)

Day 5 - Juventud Island: Bay of Singuanea

Spend a day exploring Cuba’s second largest island, Juventud – the Isle of Youth. This island has a distinct history colored by the presence of Aboriginal Indians, Christopher Columbus, who landed here in 1494, and even pirates, but it is most famous for its role in Cuba’s revolution. Stroll the streets around Nueva Gerona’s Parque Central, mingling with students and street vendors. At the now-abandoned Presidio Modelo, learn about former prisoners Fidel and Raul Castro, who were imprisoned here for 19 months. This is where Fidel penned much of his text History Will Absolve Me. As you rest this evening, Panorama cruises for Maria la Gorda. (B,L,D)

Day 6 - Maria La Gorda / Vinales

EExplore Maria La Gorda, on the Bahía de Corrientes. Call on a local school, mingling with students and learning about the country's education system. Guest may even share songs with the children. Wind our way into the Viñales Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage Site dotted with limestone mogotes and fertile tobacco fields. Sample the homegrown vegetables grown at an organic farm while meeting the family who is responsible for the land. Stop at a tobacco farm to learn about the processes and history of Cuban cigars. Enjoy a boating excursion into one of the huge limestone caves running through a mogote – limestone karst outcroppings. Spend tonight at Hotel Los Jazmines or similar. (B,L,D)

Day 7 - Vinales / Havana

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. Stop to chat with the farmers at a sustainable garden which supplies one of Cuba’s best private restaurants – Il Divino – where we enjoy lunch. Mingle with locals at an art market before continuing to Havana. Re-board the Panorama, which is docked near Old Havana. Tonight, we head to Café Taberna, home to the Buena Vista Social Club revue. (B,L,D) DAY

Day 8 - Havana

Cruise in classic cars past the famed sea-side Malecon and through the streets of Havana to Revolution Square. Head to the outskirts of Havana to the interesting neighborhood of Jaministas. It was here where he grew up that distinguished artist Jose Fuster launched a community beautification project. The entire neighborhood is a living canvas and our conversations with both residents and local artists focus on the transformative power of art in the lives of ordinary Cubans. Stop at the University of Havana to chat with students before lunch in a paladar. Delve into the modern history of Cuba’s classic cars at a local garage, learning how Cubans keep these classics on the road despite limited resources. At Habana Compass Dance, a private school of dance, we attend rehearsals and meet the director. The rest of the afternoon is yours to explore Havana before saying good-bye to Cuba at a Captain’s farewell dinner onboard. (B,L,D)

Day 9 - Havana

Say goodbye to our new friends as we disembark Panorama. Stroll through the atmospheric squares of Old Havana, calling on artists in their studios as we pass. These parks and plazas are popular with locals who frequent the stalls selling books along the edges of the park while musicians fill the air with sound. 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. Perhaps nothing is more symbolic of Cuba than cigars, and the rest of our morning is spent at a factory learning about the country's coveted tobacco and the artisanal process by which they are rolled one by one in a process that hasn't changed for centuries. Bid farewell to Havana as you enjoy city vistas at Cuban sculptor Jilma Madera’s Christ of Havana statue before a sunset visit to El Morro Fortress, where a nightly cannon ceremony recalls times of Spanish colonial occupation. Ready for more fun? We’ve arranged an optional excursion to the famed Tropicana (at your own expense). Spend tonight at the Melia Cohiba. (B,L,D)

Day 10 - Havana / Miami -

After breakfast, transfer to the Jose Marti Airport for our flight to Miami, where you connect with flights home. (B)

Dates & Rates

Dates Ships C B A (Main) A (Upper)
Jan 18, 2018 Panorama $6,199 $6,899 $7,399 $7,599
Feb 8, 2018 Panorama $6,199 $6,899 $7,399 $7,599
Feb 15, 2018 Panorama $6,199 $6,899 $7,399 $7,599
Mar 1, 2018 Panorama $6,199 $6,899 $7,399 $7,599
Apr 5, 2018 Panorama $6,199 $6,899 $7,399 $7,599
Apr 12, 2018 Panorama $6,199 $6,899 $7,399 $7,599

Ships

Panorama

Panorama The 48-guest Panorama yacht is a three-masted motor sailer with cabins located on three decks. Upper or Main Deck cabins have windows, while cabins on the Lower Deck have portholes. All cabins have individually controlled air conditioning and feature en suite bathrooms. Life on board often centers around the delightful outdoor spaces, including the sun deck and an aft deck leading to the bar. In the evening, relax in the ship’s welcoming lounge or the library. The swimming platform on the stern makes water access easy when weather and anchorage conditions permit. View ship details...

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