Trip Details at-a-Glance
|Lodging:||7 nights aboard a 50-guest sail cruiser|
|Meals:||All meals included aboard ship and with the group ashore|
|Activity:||Small Ship Cruising, Cultural Adventures|
7-night cruise, cultural explorations and walking tours
Choosing the Right Trip
We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.
We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.
Step back in time to a place deeply rooted in culture and history, where the people are as warm and welcoming as the climate. All but closed to Americans for nearly half a century, Cuba—and the Cubans—now eagerly await your discovery. By three-masted sail cruiser, we explore this gracious tropical isle, enjoying fascinating cultural exchanges with people from all walks of life, from artisans and fishing folk to environmentalists and community organizers. Be prepared for an amazing, eye-opening experience of this intriguing nation.
Day 1 (Saturday)
Miami / Havana
Depart the U.S. from Miami on a short flight to Havana, where you are met and transferred to the dock. Lunch at Café del Oriente, then embark on the Panorama at 4:00 pm. After a short orientation by the crew, we go to the Ambos Mundos Hotel in the heart of Old Havana. Here we are briefed by a Cuban specialist from the Office of the City Historian on the comprehensive restoration project going on in Havana’s historic “Old City” area and the unique management model and social programs being developed there, including the establishment of independent businesses, particularly galleries, restaurants, small bed and breakfast operations, and community projects. Old Havana was founded by the Spaniards in 1519 in the natural harbor of the Bay of Havana. Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, it is the core of the original city. The area contains interesting architecture, much of which has been restored by the Cuban Government. Return to the S/C Panorama for dinner. At 8:30 pm, observe the Canon Blast Ceremony that dates back to the colonial period in which the gates to the entrance of Havana would close when the shot was fired from the canon at 8:00 pm. Overnight onboard the S/C Panorama.
Day 2 (Sunday)
After breakfast, we depart for a full day excursion to the province of Artemisa, where we visit the UNESCO–designated Biosphere Reserve region and the intentional/eco-community of Las Terrazas in the mountainous area of Sierra del Rosario. We visit local establishments in the village including the local family doctor, nurse, clinic, an elementary school, community museum, local artists' homes and studios, as well as the site of an 18th century coffee plantation. During the visits there will be lots of time to meet with locals and learn more about life in this province of Havana. Upon returning to Havana there will still be some time to continue our walking tour of Old Havana and its plazas. Dinner onboard the S/C Panorama.
Day 3 (Monday)
After an early onboard breakfast, we will have a people-to-people exchange in Artecorte in Old Havana and learn about the private sector that is part of the current economic transformation of the island. Visit Convento Belen, a restored Jesuit convent that was in disrepair until rescued by the city historian who made this splendid old building into an active community center for families, young people, the physically and mentally impaired, and the elderly (there are 18 permanent apartments for senior citizens here). Here we also have a chance to meet with some of the seniors who live in this complex. We also visit the Quisicuaba Community, located in the Los Sitios neighborhood of Havana Centro Cuba, to learn about Afro Cuban culture. The name of this project, "Quisicuaba," comes partly from the name of free blacks who originally came from the southern part of the Angolan Basin in the 16th century. The goal of the project is to restore the traditional folk culture by taking into consideration the cultural, spiritual, and material needs of the people who live there. Here you can discuss how African religions and traditions influenced the culture of Cuba. Return to the S/C Panorama for lunch and sail to Cabo San Antonio. Dinner and overnight onboard the S/C Panorama.
Day 4 (Tuesday)
Cabo San Antonio
Early morning arrival in Cabo San Antonio. After breakfast onboard, we disembark by tenders and visit Guanahacabibes National Park, one of the country’s largest nature reserves, set on the westernmost tip of the island. The peninsula was one of the last refuges of natives fleeing from the Spanish conquistadors and also holds some 140 archaeological sites linked to the life of the native people, who were known as Guanahatabeyes. We meet with the naturalists and locals, and also meet with environmentalists at the CITMA Environmental Research Station. Time permitting we will also stop in a small fishing village for an exchange with members of the community. Return to the S/C Panorama for lunch and set sail for Cayo Largo. Dinner and overnight onboard the S/C Panorama.
Day 5 (Wednesday)
We enjoy breakfast and lunch onboard as we head to Cayo Largo, arriving around midday. The island is comprised of limestone, formed over millions of years from the remains of marine organisms, much like the ones that form coral reefs. We will meet with local management about the role of tourism in the Cuban economy and visit with the scientists who are involved in the coral reef protection. After lunch we visit a Sea Turtle Breeding Center and Endangered Species Protection program. Time permitting, enjoy some snorkeling with coral reef experts. Protected from strong sea currents, the seabed is varied and unspoiled, with an abundance of underwater caves, valleys, and steep, gorgonian-encrusted walls. Return to the S/C Panorama for dinner and departure for Casilda, a small fishing town located on the northwestern shore of Ana Maria's Gulf, Cuba. It is the loading port of Trinidad city, which is 3 miles inland. Trinidad is considered the best-preserved colonial town on the island of Cuba. The city became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1988.
Day 6 (Thursday)
After a relaxed breakfast onboard it’s time to depart on our excursion to Trinidad. A meticulously well-preserved Spanish colonial city, with rich architecture, cobblestone streets, palaces, and plazas, Trinidad is sometimes referred to as the “museum city of Cuba.” This morning we will walk through the town with a representative of the Office of the City Historian (Architect Nancy Benitez), interacting with residents along the way. There will be stops for visits to local artists and home studios, the Museum Romantico, or the Architecture Museum. Enjoy lunch in this most picturesque city. In the afternoon, we will visit the polio clinic and learn firsthand about one of Cuba’s major achievements—health care. In the late afternoon there will be some time for independent exchanges and visits. Overnight: S/C Panorama and set sail for Cienfuegos.
Day 7 (Friday)
Enjoy breakfast onboard before disembarking for our visit to Cienfuegos, known as the "Pearl of the South." Located about 150 miles from Havana on the southern tip of Cuba, this city is the only one in Cuba to be founded by French settlers. In 2005 the historic center was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Among buildings of particular interest are the Government Palace (City Hall), San Lorenzo School, the Bishopric, the Ferrer Palace, the former lyceum, and some residential houses. Cienfuegos is the first and outstanding example of an architectural ensemble representing the new ideas of modernity, hygiene, and order in urban planning as developed in Latin America from the 19th century. We participate in a walking tour of the city center with a specialist, then visit the Maroya Gallery for Folk Art where there will be discussions and interchanges with local artists. Return to the S/C Panorama for lunch, after which we will enjoy an exchange with some Cuban artists and musicians and take some salsa classes. Dinner onboard the S/C Panorama. In the evening, participate in an exchange with the Block Association, Committees for the Defense of the Revolution, and meet the Cuban people in their community.
Day 8 (Saturday)
Cienfuegos / Depart
In the morning after breakfast, continue to the Santander Family Ceramics Workshop/Studio “Casa de Chi Chi” for interaction and exchange before disembarkation and transfer to the airport in Cienfuegos for the return flight home via Miami.
This program is being operated by Group IST, which has been issued a license (#CT-2013-301894-1) by the Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), authorizing them to organize and operate People to People programs to Cuba.
2015 Cruise Collection Brochure
We’ve searched the world to find the finest small ships and most active adventures, from Greenland to New Zealand to the great rivers of Europe.
What the Trip is Like
The trip is rated Level 1, Easiest, and is appropriate for anyone in good health who is physically active. Some excursions involve a fair amount of standing and walking—often over rough ground and sometimes uphill. Mobility is essential, as small boats and tenders are occasionally used for disembarkation and re-embarkation.
Nov 29-Dec 6, 2014 * Cienfuegos to Havana
Dec 13-20, 2014 * Cienfuegos to Havana
Dec 20-27, 2014 Havana to Cienfuegos
Dec 27, 2014-Jan 3, 2015 Cienfuegos to Havana
Jan 3-10, 2015 * Havana to Cienfuegos
Jan 10-17, 2015 Cienfuegos to Havana
Jan 17-24, 2015 Havana to Cienfuegos
Jan 24-31, 2015 Cienfuegos to Havana
Jan 31-Feb 7, 2015 Havana to Cienfuegos
Feb 7-14, 2015 SOLD OUT
Feb 14-21, 2015 SOLD OUT
Feb 21-28, 2015 Cienfuegos to Havana
Feb 28-Mar 7, 2015 Havana to Cienfuegos
Mar 7-14, 2015 Cienfuegos to Havana
Mar 14-21, 2015 Havana to Cienfuegos
Mar 28-Apr 4, 2015 SOLD OUT
Prices valid through Spring 2015
Cruise Rates by Cabin Category
Per person, double occupancy
*Value pricing for select departures
(Nov 29-Dec 6, 2014, Dec 6-13, 2014, Dec 13-20, 2014, Jan 3-10, 2015)
All other departures
Port taxes: $375
Category C: Lower Deck - 1 Double Bed Cabin
The Category C cabins are located on the Lower Deck and have portholes. The cabins are air-conditioned and fitted with TV, telephone, hairdryers, mini-fridge, central music, and public address system and safe boxes. The fully equiped bathrooms are finished with marble.
Category B: Lower Deck - 2 Lower Beds
The Category B cabins are located on the Lower Deck and have portholes. The cabins are air-conditioned and fitted with TV, telephone, hairdryers, mini-fridge, central music, and public address system and safe boxes. The fully equiped bathrooms are finished with marble.
Category A: Upper Deck or Main Deck - 2 Lower Beds or 1 Double Bed Cabin
The Category A cabins are located on the Upper Deck or on the Main Deck and have large windows enabling a breathtaking view or the areas you are cruising in. The cabins are air-conditioned and fitted with TV, telephone, hairdryers, mini-fridge, central music, and public address system and safe boxes. The fully equiped bathrooms are finished with marble.
Trip Cost Includes:
- Accommodation in double or twin cabins with private bath and air conditioning
- Land excursions and cultural exchanges
- All meals included aboard ship and with the group ashore
- Regular coffee, tea and drinking water free all day
- Use of fishing and snorkeling equipment (subject to availability)
- Multilingual Cruise Escort
- Naturalist lectures and guiding
- Charter flights between Miami and Cuba
- Cuba visa processing
Trip Cost Does Not Include:Port taxes, beverages (except those mentioned above), crew tips, passenger personal expenses, Wi-Fi (available at charge).
Trip Payment Schedule*
At time of reservation: 25%
of trip cost
70 days prior to departure: Balance
*Please note that this differs from our regular catalog departures.
Arrival & Departure Information
Arrival & Meeting Place
Miami International Airport
Day 1 of trip by 7:00am (for Havana to Cienfuegos departures) and by 9:00am (for Cienfuegos to Havana departures)
For this program, we suggest you arrive to the Miami Airport one day before the trip begins. There is a group flight arranged for Day 1 of the trip which is scheduled to leave Miami mid-morning (although is sometimes delayed). All travelers must be ready to check in for the group flight 3 hours prior to departure which is why we suggest an overnight at the Miami International Airport Hotel so that you are ready to check in early on Day 1.
Miami International Airport
Day 8 of trip
Although the trip ends on Day 8, the group flight from Cuba back to Miami does not return to Miami until the afternoon. Again, we recommend booking an overnight at the Miami International Hotel and connecting home on the morning of the next day, or if you want to book your departure from Miami on Day 8, make sure it is not before 6:00pm.
Keep in mind that these group flights to and from Cuba are subject to delay in both directions and we prefer to err on the side of caution when making connections.
The cost of forced overnights are not included in the trip price. You will get the best rate by booking directly at the Miami International Airport website.
The 48-guest Panorama is a lovely three-masted sail cruiser with the ambiance of a private yacht. Life on board centers around the outdoor areas, including the two bars and spacious sun deck, and a swimming platform on the stern makes water access easy when weather and anchorage conditions permit. In the evening, relax in one of the ship’s two lounges or the library. All cabins are outside-facing and feature individually controlled air-conditioning, fully equipped private bathrooms finished in marble, TV/VCR, hairdryer, and mini-fridge. Upper and Main Deck cabins have windows, while cabins on the lower deck have portholes.