“This is the most beautiful land one has ever seen.” Christopher Columbus
- Historic Hispanic Trinidad (Cuba not the other one!)
- Stunning coastal cruising
- Castro’s Isla de la Juventud
- The archaeological sites at Guanahatabeyes
- Meeting the people, they’re lovely
- The (faded) glories of Havana
- Cigars and rum
This cruise offers a wonderful combination of the delights of old Havana and a coastal cruise that provides unique insights into Cuban history and culture beyond the scope of most visitors. The scenery is amazing, the ports of call redolent of bygone years, the waters and underwater life are amazing.
A lot of tourists try and see Cuba on a road-trip – however, given Cuba’s road network and internal transport system, a cruise around the coast is far and away the best option to see as much as possible in a short 7-day visit that reaches the part most tourists never get to see.
The good news is it’s still a great time to go. Cuba’s recent rapprochement with the USA meant the floodgates opened for mass package travel – which many thought might spoil the island’s amazing natural beauty, unique social history and (currently) primitive charm and culture. Donald Trump has put something of a brake on that!
Departures between Santiago de Cuba to Cienfuegos
Santiago de Cuba
Embarkation in the afternoon at the Santiago de Cuba new harbour. Dinner on board and Optional show at a Santiago Venue with transfer.
Santiago de Cuba
At the start of the optional excursion is a visit to the Bacardi Museum. It was inaugurated as a Municipal Museum, called the Emilio Bacardí Provincial Museum, established by Emilio Bacardi, the first mayor of Santiago de Cuba. In the museum there are treasures of pre-Columbian culture, national art and Cuban history. The museum is a very important source of historical and cultural exhibits including items of the National Hero of Cuba, José Martí, Father de la Patria Carlos Manuel de Céspedes and others. Also treasures from Peru, mummies and paintings.
Santiago de Cuba
After breakfast there is an optional excursion to Calle Heredia, one of the city’s liveliest streets, Padre Pico Street, famous by the animated games of draughts played by the locals. A visit to the Museum ‘Lucha Clandestina,’ in the 17th Century Tivoli district. The Museum is a dedicated to the revolutionary underground movement headed by Fidel Castro. Sail to Manzanillo in the afternoon.
Optional Excursion after breakfast to the city of Bayamo, capital of Cuba’s eastern province of Granma. Founded in 1513, the village’s original name was San Salvador de Bayamo. The city was the capital of the First Republic in Arms, during Cuba’s war of independence in the 19th century, and its people decided to burn the village down rather than surrender to the colonialists. Cuba’s National Anthem was composed here and is also the birthplace of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, the ‘Father of Cuba’.
This excursion takes in the leafy square of Parque Cespedes, and a walking tour along the Bayamés Promenade. We will also be visiting the Wax Museum, Plaza de la Revolución and its surroundings, the Casa de Carlos Manuel de Cespedes Museum, Anthem Plaza, San Salvador Cathedral of Bayamo and the Altarpiece of the Heroes. There will be a cultural activity at Casa de la Trova, followed by lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch you can enjoy free time for exploring the town and maybe do some souvenir shopping. Return to the ship for dinner and overnight.
Manzanillo / At Sea
There will be a morning Optional walking tour of the city of Manzanillo. This little known destination is famous for its revolutionary spirit and the street organists who add a special feel to it to this day. You will be able to appreciate the contrasting architecture, a mixture of wooden buildings, Andalusian style homes, and intricate neo-Moorish motifs. Return to the ship in the afternoon and sail to Casilda. Overnight at sea.
Casilda / Trinidad
The Optional excursion today will take us to Trinidad, a well-preserved Spanish colonial city. With varied architecture, cobblestone streets, palaces and plazas, Trinidad is often referred to as the “Museum City of Cuba.” We walk through the town and have lunch at a local restaurant. Later we will visit the Romantic Museum located in Palacio Cantero, the Trinidad General Municipal Museum, visit the studio of Lazaro Niebla, a unique woodcarver and return to the ship for an afternoon sailing to Cienfuegos. Overnight in port.
An Optional Excursion in Cienfuegos after breakfast, a city founded by French settlers and thus with a unique architecture. Cienfuegos, the Pearl of the South, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. We will visit the Benny More School of Art, walk around the city center and marvel at examples of 19th century French neo-classical architecture and stop at a farmer’s market before having lunch. As a special treat there will be a concert by the singers of the Chorus of Cienfuegos, or string quartet. Overnight in port.
Disembark and 9.30 am group transfer to Havana – Melia Cohiba hotel organized by Variety Cruises
The minimum average weather all year round is 22 degrees Celsius, and the maximum usually reaches about 32 degrees Celsius.
Departures alternate between Havana to Cienfuegos
Cienfuegos – Trinidad
Meet early morning for a 4 and a half hours transfer through Cuba’s central regions to Cienfuegos where we join the Variety Voyager for afternoon embarkation. After cocktails and a welcome dinner we set sail overnight to Trinidad.
Trinidad – Isla de la Juventud
Optional Trinidad excursion. Trinidad is a well preserved Spanish colonial city, with it’s rich architecture, cobblestone streets and plazas. This morning we will walk through the town and visit the Romantic Museum, located in the old palace of the Count Brunet, with samples of furniture and decorative art, or the Palacio Cantero Museum. We also visit the studio of Lazaro.Lunch in a typical Cuban restaurant followed by leisure time. Dinner on board. Overnight at sea to Isla de la Juventud
Day at Sea – Isla de la Juventud
Today will mostly be spent at sea, and by late afternoon we will arrive in the Bay of Singuanea, where we will spend the night.
Isla de la Juventud
This island was previously know as the “Isle of Pines”, until 1978, when Fidel Castro turned the island into a grand communist school for students from around the world, hence the name became Isla de la Juventud – The island of youth. Your optional excursion starts on the beach, where you will board a bus for a short drive to enjoy panoramic sightseeing, and then you will visit the abandoned Panopticon Prison, where Fidel and Raul Castro were held between 1953 – 1955. After lunch at a typical local restaurant, we will pay a visit to a local art school and also to the maternity ward at a local hospital. Free time to explore the grand boulevard around Nueva Gerona, before returning to the ship for an overnight sailing to Maria La Gorda.
Maria La Gorda
In the morning we will disembark in Maria la Gorda. Our optional excursion will take you to a local school where you can meet the Cuban children and their teachers, and have a close look at the Cuban education system. Later we will visit the headquarters of one of the county’s biggest nature reserves, the Guanahacabibes National Park, which is on the westernmost tip of the island, and holds around 140 archaeological sites linked to the life of the aboriginals known as Guanahatabeyes. Free time before returning to the ship. Dinner on board and overnight sailing to Havana.
After breakfast, we disembark for an Optional excursion in Havana, starting with a walking exploration of Old Havana. Founded in 1519 by the Spanish, Havana became one of the most important ship building centres in the Caribbean, around which a sprawling metropolis grew. Old Havana is a mixture of neo-classical and beautiful old baroque, private balconies and arcades, and it is considered to be one of the most impressive historical city centres in the Caribbean. Lunch will be at a local restaurant, after which we will take a scenic drive in vintage American cars to visit Finca Vigia, the beloved home of Ernest Hemmingway. Free time before we have dinner at the Cafe El Mercurio, and then on to the Cafe Taberna to enjoy the sounds of typical Cuban salsa music. Overnight in Sierra Maestra Port – Old Havana.
After breakfast, disembark for your optional excursion to Fusterlandia, the studio of artist Jose Rodriguez Fuster, with its brightly coloured roofs, walls, benches, doorways and mermaids, which were greatly inspired by Gaudi and Brancusi but perhaps most of all by Picasso and Dubuffet. Visit a cigar factory or participate in rum tasting. We will enjoy lunch at La Barraca Restaurant, which specializes in Cuban cuisine and boasts spectacular views of the Bay of Havana. After lunch there will be an interesting lecture with architect Pedro Vasquez. Free time before returning to the ship for the Captain’s Farewell Dinner. Overnight on board in Sierra Maestra Port – Old Havana.
Disembarkation after breakfast.
Ports of call: Cienfuegos – Trinidad - Cayo Largo - Isla Juventud - Havana
Your vessel: the state of the art M/Y Variety Voyager
The new build 68m/223ft state of the art Mega Yacht accommodates just 72 passengers in 36 cabins. Built in 2012 under the latest International “Safety of Life At Sea” (SOLAS 2010) regulations and classified by RINA, the Variety Voyager guarantees guests safety with incomparable comfort and elegance. The Variety Voyager seduces her passengers with her sleek lines and ample deck space, very much what one expects from a millionaire’s super yacht.
Inside, cabins and public areas are finished with warm fabrics, rich marbles, axminster carpeting and soft tones wood panelling.Everywhere, unobstructed views of the ocean and of the ports visited. And above all, the professional service of a crew of 32-33, always with a smile and a true desire to satisfy
Home at Sea
- Single seating dining Indoor &
- Outdoor Lounge – Bar
- Indoor & Outdoor Restaurant
- Special food requests
- Audiovisual in Lounge
- Mini library
- Fitness equipment
- Mini Spa Suite
- Beach Towels
- Snorkeling equipment
- Board Games
- Swimming Platform
- Windows: upper & main deck cabins
- Portholes: lower deck cabins
- Triple Occupancy cabins: Category B & P
- Flat-Screen TV
- Mini Safe
- Mini Fridge
- CD & DVD player
- En suite bathroom with shower
- Individually controlled A/C
- Telephone for internal use
- Central music
Twin Beds or Double Bed
The category C cabins are located on the lower deck offering oversized twin port holes, bathrooms with marble floors as well as Glass and Corian showers. The cabins are equiped with individual controlled A/C, TV with DVD player, mini fridge, safe deposit box, deluxe toiletries and bathrobes and they all have WIFI at a charge.
Twin Beds or Double Bed
The category B cabins are located on the lower and main deck offering oversized twin port holes (lower deck) or small double windows (main deck), bathroom with marble floors as well as Glass and Corian showers. 7 of the 10 cabins offer flexible bedding configuration. The cabins are equiped with individual controlled A/C, TV with DVD player, mini fridge, safe deposit box, deluxe toiletries and bathrobes and they all have WIFI at a charge.
Twin Beds or Double Bed
The category A cabins are located on the main deck offering double windows, bathroom with marble floors as well as Glass and Corian showers. 9 of the 11 cabins offer flexible bedding configuration. The cabins are equiped with individual controlled A/C, TV with DVD player, mini fridge, safe deposit box, deluxe toiletries and bathrobes and they all have WIFI at a charge.
Twin Beds or Double Bed
The category P cabins are located on the upper Horizons Deck offering double windows, all finished with marble throughout the bathrooms and more luxurious fabrics and special amenities. All cabins offer flexible bedding configuration while 4 of the 7 include an extra sofa bed. The cabins are equiped with individual controlled A/C, TV with DVD player, mini fridge, safe deposit box, deluxe toiletries and bathrobes and they all have WIFI at a charge.
Double bedded cabin
The Owner’s Suite is located on the upper Horizons Deck offering 2 x double windows, and is the largest cabin of the vessel. The Owner’s Suite offers flexible bedding configuration as well as an extra sofa bed. The cabin is finished with marble throughout the bathroom and luxurious fabrics & finishings and special amenities. The Suite is equiped with individual controlled A/C, TV with DVD player, mini fridge, safe deposit box, deluxe toiletries and bathrobes and has WIFI internet at a charge.
Reception and Bar
Mini Spa Suite
Optional: Cruise & Stay
Cuba is a fascinating place but it’s quite big and there’s only so much we can show you in 7 nights. Most people think it’s worth extending their stay for a few days either end of the cruise. You can extend your stay, staying for two nights in the centre of Havana at the splendid Iberostar hotel in the centre of the old town or 7 nights at the NH Capri.
Immerse yourself in the local ambiance staying for 3 nights pre or post cruise at the elegant colonial style five star Iberostar Parque Central in Havana, an ideal location for the best spots of the city, or 3 nights pre cruise in Santiago de Cuba staying at the classic Iberostar Imperial Hotel.
Sights and Sounds of Cuba2020 Cruise Only Prices ($) Per Person
Friday departures Cienfuegos to Havana and Havana to Cienfuegos
20% Off for al reservations made until 30th April 2019
|Departure Date||Category C||Special Offer||Category B||Special Offer||Category A||Special Offer||Category P||Special Offer||Owner's Suite||Special Offer||Departure Port|
Cuba Cruise - Port Charges and Supplements
|Category C||Category B||Category A||Category P||Owner's Suite|
|Port charges (mandatory)||$490||$490||$490||$490||$490|
|3rd Person reduction||N/A||30%||N/A||30%||N/A|
- Accommodation in your choice of cabin grade with private SH/WC & air conditioning, mini fridge and flat screen TV with complimentary movies.
- Full-board: Buffet breakfast and two meals daily, including a Welcome Cocktail, local Theme Evening, fun BBQ on the beach or on deck (weather permitting) and Captain’s Dinner.
- Regular (filter) coffee, tea and drinking water free all day, plus abundant fresh fruit.
- Use of fishing and snorkelling equipment, plus sea kayak (subject to availability).
- English speaking expert Guest Speaker.
- Professional English speaking Cruise Director.
- Flights & transfers (where booked as a flight inclusive package).
- Beverages, except regular (filter) coffee, tea and drinking water.
- Shore excursions on the islands or other land arrangements.
- Crew gratuities (optional – recommend Eur10-14 per passenger per day)
- Passenger personal expenses
- Wi-Fi (available at charge)
- Flights & transfers (unless booked as a flight inclusive package)
Flights from the UK from London Heathrow & Manchester in the morning and evening return departures from Havana.
Total flight duration from 11 to 14 hours including one stop in either Charles De Gaulle Paris or Amsterdam.
ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is 9511
Transfers from and to Havana Melia Cohiba hotel to Cienfuegos and vv are about 3 to 3.5 hours and are included in price for the start or the end of the cruise.
Havana airport transfers to/from Melia Cohiba or harbour approximately 30 minutes.