Sights and Sounds of Cuba | 8 Days

On board the 5 star M/V Variety Voyager

Your cruise

Ship: M/V Variety Voyager

Havana or Cienfuegos Duration: 8 days/7 nights

The Highlights

Vibrant Havana and its amazing Old Town, Cienfuegos with its neoclassical French architecture, Trinidad’s baroque mansions and Isla de Juventud

HAVANA TO CIENFUEGOS

DAY 1: Friday | Havana

Arrive in Havana where you will be met and assisted by a member of our team. Our People to People program begins immediately with a pan­oramic sightseeing tour of this exciting city, including a stop at the Plaza de la Revolucion. Enjoy a welcome 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. Follow­ing the lecture, we continue to the pier for embarkation on the Voyager, followed by a boat drill and welcome briefing. Dinner onboard and over­night in Sierra Maestra Port- Old Havana.

DAY 2: Saturday | Havana

After breakfast, disembark for 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.We will 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 our return from Finca Vigia, enjoy some free time before we make our 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 3: Sunday | Havana

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. Enjoy 2 hours or leisure to experience the wonders of Havana on your own be­fore returning to the ship for embarkation. Lunch, dinner, and overnight onboard as we sail to Maria La Gorda.

DAY 4: Monday | Maria La Gorda

After breakfast, we disembark in Maria La Gorda, where we will visit a local school to meet the Cuban children and their teachers, and discuss the differences and levels of the Cuban and American 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,


followed by free time for swimming, snorkeling and a BBQ lunch in Maria La Gorda before embarking the Voyager. Dinner and overnight onboard as we sail to the Island of Youth-Isla de la Juventud.

DAY 5: Tuesday | Isla Juventud

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 a panoramic sightseeing drive of 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 paladar 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. Overnight at sea to Casilda.

DAY 6: Wednesday | Casilda/ Trinidad

Today we visit 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.” We will walk through the town, visit a scale model of the city, and have lunch at a local restaurant. 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 unique woodcarver. Depart Trinidad by bus and drive to Cienfuegos, where we will meet the Voyager for an overnight in port.

DAY 7: Thursday| Cienfuegos

Enjoy breakfast onboard before disembarking for our visit to Cienfuegos, founded by French settlers and thus with a unique architecture. Cien­fuegos is also known as the Pearl of the South and was declared a UNES­CO World Heritage site.Visit the graphic arts workshop and the Benny More School of Art.Walk around the city center and admire outstanding examples of French neoclassical architecture from the 19th Century.We will 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. Overnight in port.

DAY 8: Friday | Cienfuegos

Disembark and transfer to the airport for short return flight.

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 into shore, as well as docking at one of only two piers.

 

Reverse Itinerary

CIENFUEGOS TO HAVANA

Day 1: Friday | Cienfuegos

Arrival, meeting and assistance before reaching Cienfuegos.

City excursion.

Day 2: Saturday | Trinidad

Excursion in Trinidad.

Day 3: Sunday | Day at Sea

Day 4: Monday | Juventud Island

Excursion on the Island of Youth, including Nueva Gerona, the

capital city. Free time at the beach.

Day 5: Tuesday | Maria La Gorda

Excursion in Maria La Gorda, including a visit to Guanahacabibes

National Park.

Day 6: Wednesday | Havana

All day excursion in Old Havana

Day 7: Thursday | Havana

All day excursion in Old Havana.

Day 8: Friday | Havana

Disembarkation and transfer to the Airport for short return flight.

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