Embark the ship in Havana.
Day 1: Havana
You will be met at the airport in Havana where you will board a bus for a panoramic bus tour of Havana. Continue exploring Old Havana on foot through the streets between the four main colonial squares. Enjoy a welcome lunch at a local “Paladar” (privately owned restaurant) in the heart of Old Havana including some local delicacies and of course Cuban music. From here you will then transfer to the Cruise Terminal where you will board the Variety Voyager. Meet your crew and fellow passengers as the ship sets sail and later enjoy a Welcome Dinner and a live performance by a young Cuban Trio, “Carpe Diem,” who will introduce you to the fantastic and magical world of Cuban Music. Afterwards there will be time for a “People to People” exchange with the young artists.
Day 2: Havana
Wake up in Havana and enjoy a full day tour of Havana and surrounds including visiting the “Finca Vigia,” Hemingway’s beloved home, where he lived for 21 years and worked on some of his most famous literary works, such as, “The Old Man and the Sea” and “For Whom the Bell Tolls.” Lunch will be served at the “Finca El Divino,” one of the best examples of Cuban Urban Agriculture and the finest restaurant in the area. Enjoy a short presentation and “People to People” exchange on the subject of sustainable agriculture, followed by Cuban food specialties and a cooking demonstration. Later the tour continues to Jaimanita to view the neighborhood artwork of modern artist Jose Fuster. Visit the Romeo and Juliet or Patragas Cigar Factory, Cuba’s largest and perhaps most renowned cigar factory, producing around five million of the finest cigars a year. Enjoy some free time at the San Jose Art Market, the largest art and souvenir marketplace in Havana. In the evening, depart for the El Guajirito and a fascinating “People to People” exchange with musical artist from the Buena Vista Social Club, followed by a late dinner and show.
Day 3: Havana - Maria La Gorda
After an early onboard breakfast, disembark for a “People to People” exchange with dancers, musicians, and performers of Havana’s Compas Dance Group. Visit a young Cuban emerging artist, Daymi, at her art studio. Return to the boat late afternoon noon for a “Bon Voyage” cocktail and panoramic sail out of the Bay of Havana, on the way to Maria La Gorda. Dinner onboard at sea, sailing to Maria La Gorda.
Day 4: Maria La Gorda
Today you will visit the community of La Bajada. Spend some time in a local school to learn and discuss the differences and levels between the Cuban and American educational systems, particularly in the rural areas of the country. Meet the Cuban children and their teachers. Later visit “Guanahacabibes” National Park, one of the country’s largest nature reserves, on the westernmost tip of the island where you will also meet with naturalists and locals. The peninsular are holds 140 archaeological sites linked to the life of aborigines, who were known as Guanahatabeyes. Lunch today will be a BBQ on the beach, with some time for a swim, before returning to the boat.
Day 5: Cayo Largo
Today the ship arrives at Cayo Largo, formed by limestone over millions of years. You will visit the local clinic to discuss the medical system in Cuba and engage with the local doctors and nurses. Next visit a Sea Turtle Breeding Center and Endangered Species Protection program. Meet the locals and discuss their particular way of life on this isolated Key. After an early lunch at the Marina of Cayo Largo, enjoy some snorkeling at the coral reef, followed by free time at the “Playa Sirena” beach, which is considered to be one of the top five most beautiful beaches in Cuba.
Day 6: Trinidad
Arrive early morning in the port of Casilda. Here you will join a full day excursion to Trinidad. The Spanish colonial settlement once built on huge sugar fortunes is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Walk through the town with a representative of the Office of the City Historian, interacting with residents along the way. There will be stops for visits to local artists, young women artists who are raising the status of women through their art, home studios, and the Museum Romantico or the Architecture Museum. In the afternoon, there will be free time to walk around this classic colonial town and for individual exchanges.
Day 7: Cienfuegos
Arrive in Cienfuegos, located about 250 km from Havana on the southern tip of Cuba and the only city to be founded by French settlers. It is also known as the Pearl of the South. Before lunch, participate in a walking tour of the city center, visiting the Graphic Arts Workshop, where there will be discussions and interchanges with local artists. Visit the local open farmers market to see Cubans in the process of buying their fruit, vegetables, and some meat. All produce is sold in Cuban Pesos. Visit a CUC supermarket to better understand the working of a two currency country. Lunch will be at a local restaurant, Los Laurelos, where you will enjoy not only excellent food, but also Cuban music and some Salsa lessons as well. Engage with the musicians and singers, young and old, and enjoy a presentation and exchange with the Chorus of Cienfuegos, awarded with the title of “The Best Chorus in the Country” for two years in a row.
Day 8: Cienfuegos
After breakfast onboard you will disembark the ship and transfer by bus from Cienfuegos to Abel Santamaria Airport, Santa Clara for the return flight to Miami.
Disembark the ship in Cienfuegos.
- 7 Nights' accommodation on board the Variety Voyager
- Full board: American Buffet breakfast and two meals daily, including a Welcome Cocktail, a local themed evening and Captain's Dinner
- Filter coffee, tea and mineral water available throughout the day
- Services of our 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
- International flights
- Miami to Santa Clara & Havana to Miami flights
- Visa Costs USD75
- Beverages (other than those already mentioned)
- Personal expenses
- Personal insurance
- Passport and visa costs, where applicable
- Wi-Fi (available at a charge)