Explore and tour Cuba by land and sea!
8-Day, Cuba Cruise aboard the 36-cabin yacht, the M/Y Variety Voyager
* Now with no single supplement!
It has never been easier to go back in time to a place so rooted in culture and history. Now US Citizens and all may circumnavigate Cuba aboard the luxury motor-yacht, the M/Y Variety Voyager on a People-to-People program that allows you to step back in time to a country that has been closed to most United States residents for half a century. You'll explore the western part of the island nation famous for its culture, music, art and warm people.
Experience a harmonious balance between conventional cruising and private yachting, along with an exciting voyage of discovery, unravelling the wonders of the Cuba that await to be discovered. Each day you will discover a new port of call, a hidden cove with crystal blue waters to cool you and rich cultural diversity to intrigue you. The colonial cities of Cienfuegos and Trinidad, the verdant landscapes of Vinales / Pinar del Rio and the crystal clear seas and amazing underwater life in Cayo Largo.
Trip Highlights include:
- People-to-People interaction and meaningful exchanges with locals
- Small-ship ambiance
- Up close and personal cruising to unique ports
- All outside cabins
- All meals starting with lunch on Day 1 through breakfast on Day 8, both onboard and at local restaurants
- Old Havana and the renovation of it’s historic architecture
- Cayo Largo, a limestone island of mangroves and salt pans
- Trinidad, the meticulously well-preserved Spanish colonial city
- Cienfuegos, the Pearl of the South, with it’s cluster of Neoclassical structures
- Guanahacabibes National Park
- No packing & unpacking to change hotels
- All meals from arrival in Cuba to breakfast on day of departure
- Transportation as per itinerary including airport transfers
- Mandatory Cuban medical insurance
- Cuban visa acquired
- Round-trip airfare from Miami to Cuba arranged
8-Day, Cuba Voyager Yacht Cruise, Dates & Rates
Havana to Cienfuegos: Dec 21, 2018, Jan 18, Feb 1, Feb15, March 1 & Mar 15, 2019
Cienfuegos to Havana: Jan 11, Feb 22 & March 8, 2019
Cienfuegos to Santiago de Cuba: Dec 28, 2018
Santiago de Cuba to Cienfuegos: January 4, 2019
*15 Days Cruise Itineraries are also available - contact us for itinerary, dates and rates. The 14 night Cuba Cruise includes explorations in Santiago de Cuba, Manzanillo, Trinidad, Isla Juventud, Maria La Gorda, and Havana. Pricing starting at $5,999 per person!
Now with no Single Supplement for solo travelers!
SPECIAL OFFER: January 4, 2019 departure - $500 discount per person in twin or single cabin
1. Flights from Miami-Cuba-Miami of $499 per person not included - to be added to cruise cost.
2. Port taxes of $490 per person not included - to be added to cruise cost.
3. Cuban Visa application fee of $75 to $100 per person not included - to be added to cruise cost.
4. Reservations require a 25% per person deposit and final payment is due 90 days prior to departure.
5. Cancelation Terms: If your cancellation request is received more than 120 days prior to your initial sailing date, a $500 non-refundable administrative fee will be charged per booking. Cancellation requests received within: 120 – 91 days prior to the initial sailing date, 50% of the total cruise fare per person; 90–0 days prior to the initial sailing date or nonappearance at the time of sailing, 100% of the total cruise fare per person.
6. Due to flight times, we offer pre and post hotel accommodations at Miami Airport Double Tree hotel at an additional cost. Estimate $122 per person in double room.
7. Operated under the Department of the Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) authorized People to People programs to Cuba, Group IST License (#CT-2014-309395-1).
On the ship
• Accommodation in double or twin cabins with private SH/WC & air conditioning
• Full-board: American buffet breakfast and two meals daily, including a Welcome Cocktail, and Captain’s Dinner
• Regular (filter) coffee, tea and still mineral water free all day
• Services of our Cruise Coordinator on and off the ship
Land program in Cuba
• 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
The cruise fares do not include:
• Visa cost - $75 - Received at the airport at time of check in.
• Departure tax ( some airlines include it in their tickets fares)
• Cost of flight – Varies with the season
• Certain tips for restaurant waiting staff and drivers
• Beverages (except those mentioned above)
• Crew tips and Tour Director crew tips
• Passenger personal expenses
Havana to Cienfuegos, 8-day Voyager Cuba Cruise
DAY 1, FRIDAY: MIAMI - HAVANA
DAY 2, SATURDAY: HAVANA
DAY 3, SUNDAY: HAVANA
DAY 4, MONDAY: MARIA LA GORDO
DAY 5, TUESDAY: ISLA JUVENTUD
DAY 6, WEDNESDAY: TRINIDAD
DAY 7, THURSDAY: CIENFUEGOS
DAY 8, FRIDAY: CIENFUEGOS - MIAMI
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 in to shore, as well as docking at one of only two piers.
Cienfuegos to Havana, 8-day Voyager Cuba Cruise
Day 1: Friday | Cienfuegos
Arrive in Cienfuegos, also known as the Pearl of the South, where you will be met and assisted by a member of our team. Founded by French settlers, Cienfuegos boasts a unique architecture and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. Before embarkation, visit a graphic arts workshop and to attend a local musical performance. Walk around the city center and admire outstanding examples of French neo-classical 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. We make our way to the pier for embarkation on the Voyager, followed by a boat drill and welcome briefing. Overnight sailing to Trinidad.
Day 2: Saturday | Trinidad
Today our excursion takes us to 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 paladar. 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 very unique woodcarver. Return to the Voyager for dinner onboard and overnight at sea.
Day 3: Sunday | Day at Sea
Today we will spend the majority of the day at sea, with a late afternoon arrival in Bay of Singuanea, where we will spend the night.
Day 4: Monday | Juventud Island
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 local restaurant 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 for an overnight sailing to Maria La Gorda.
Day 5: Tuesday | Maria La Gorda
After breakfast, we disembark in Maria La Gorda, where we will visit the 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 to meet with the naturalists and locals, followed by free time for swimming and snorkeling before embarking the Voyager. Dinner and overnight onboard as we sail to Havana.
Day 6: Wednesday | 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 7: Thursday | 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. Be immersed in the industries of Cuba, either visiting a cigar factory or participating in a rum tasting. Enjoy 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, followed by time at leisure. Return to the Voyager for a farewell dinner onboard and overnight.
Day 8: Friday | Havana
Disembarkation and transfer to the airport for short return flight to Miami.
PORTS OF SOUTH CUBA
Santiago de Cuba to Cienfuegos, 8-day Voyager Cuba Cruise
DAY 1: Friday | Santiago de Cuba
Arrive in Santiago where you will be met and assisted by a member of our team. Afternoon embarkation at the new Santiago de Cuba port. Safety drill and crew presentation. Dinner on the ship and night show at a Santiago Venue with transfer.
DAY 2: Saturday | Santiago de Cuba
In the afternoon visit the Bacardi Museum. Inaugurated as a Municipal Museum, the Emilio Bacardí Provincial Museum is the first institution of its kind, opened in Cuba in 1899. Its creator and promoter was Emilio Bacardí Moreau, the first mayor of Santiago de Cuba. The museum treasures valuable samples of pre-Columbian culture, national art and Cuban history. Among the collection are various objects that belonged to the National Hero of Cuba, José Martí, as well as personal objects of Father de la Patria Carlos Manuel de Céspedes. Other items on exhibit are an Egyptian mummy, provided by Emilio Bacardi himself, Paracas mummies from Peru, an important collection of colonial paintings, works of the Spanish Renaissance, and pieces by Cuban creators such as Wilfredo Lam and René Portocarrero.
DAY 3: Sunday | Santiago de Cuba
After breakfast onboard, visit Calle Heredia, one of the city’s liveliest streets, Padre Pico Street, made famous by the intense games of draughts played by the locals, and the Museum ‘Lucha Clandestina,’ situated in the 17th Century Tivoli district. The Museum depicts the revolutionary underground movement headed by Fidel Castro, who lived across the street from the museum asa youth. Return to the ship and sail to Manzanillo this afternoon.
DAY 4: Monday | Manzanillo
Disembark after breakfast and drive to the city of Bayamo, the 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 it to the colonialists. It was here that Cuba’s National Anthem was composed, and where Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, the ‘Father of Cuba’ who announced Cuba’s first independence from Spanish rule in 1868, was born. We will visit the leafy square of Parque Cespedes, named after Carlos Manuel de Cespedes, and take a walking tour along the Bayamés Promenade. Visit 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. Participate in a cultural activity at Casa de la Trova, followed by lunch at a local restaurant. After lunch, enjoy free time for souvenir shopping. Return, panoramic tour of the city of Manzanillo, stay in the Carlos Manuel de Cespedes Park with time for photos and souvenir shopping.
DAY 5: Tuesday | Manzanillo / At Sea
This morning we will take an early morning short walking tour of the city of Manzanillo. This off the beaten path destination is known for its revolutionary spirit and the street organists who entertain visitors to this day. Take in the contrasting architecture, a mixture of wooden structures, Andalusian style homes, and intricate neo-Moorish motifs. We will return to the ship at 11 am for a mid-day sailing to Casilda. Overnight at sea.
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. We return to the ship for an afternoon sailing to Cienfuegos. 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 Benny More School of Art. Walk around the city center and admire outstanding examples of French neo-classical 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
After breakfast onboard, disembark and 9.30 am bus transfer to Havana airport for return flight to Miami.
Note: These itineraries 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 in to shore as well as docking at one of only two piers.
Note: Please coordinate Miami flight connection’s dates and time before purchase unless overnighting (SUGGESTED) in Miami before and after.
Note: Flight check-in at Miami is very early. We offer pre and post hotel accommodations at DoubleTree by Hilton Miami Airport Hotel at an additional cost of $244 per room (Double or Single).
M/Y Variety Voyager
Ship Specifications & Deck Plan
The Variety Voyager, the Variety Cruises flagship, is a modern yacht very similar to the private yachts found in the famous ports of the world. The Main Lounge is gracefully designed and finished with wood panels, with ample seating space for moments of relaxation and modern AV equipment for presentations. The mini library offers a variety of books and magazines. Located on the Horizons deck, the glass enclosed dining room seats 75 passengers and allows for spectacular views around you. It extends to the adjacent open deck din- ing room, seating 50 passengers and allowing for meals to be taken al fresco. The open Bar and Lounge on the Ocean’s Deck offers shaded seating, an ideal spot for reading, relaxing or dancing under the stars until the late hours at the sound of our resident DJ/entertainer. The Spa & Fitness Suite of- fers Massage, Sauna, fitness equipment, hair, face and nails treatments. Sun loungers are available on the sun deck to sunbathe while enjoying drinks served from the Oceans Bar.
The 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.
Main Lounge: Located on the Main deck, right off the reception area, the Main Lounge is gracefully designed and finished with wood panels. There is ample seating space for moments of pleasure or relaxation and modern AV equipment for presentations. The mini library just off the Main Lounge, offers a variety of books and magazines.
Dining Room: Located on the Horizons deck, the glass enclosed dining room seats 75 passengers and allows for spectacular views around you, while dining in an elegant environment. It extends to the adjacent open deck dining room, also seating 50 passengers and allowing for breakfast, lunch or dinner to be taken “al fresco”. Food is served at the table or displayed on the state of the art hot & cold buffet which also includes an “a la minute cooking” section.
The Oceans Bar & Lounge: Located on the Ocean’s Deck, the open Bar and Lounge offers stylish shaded seating and is the ideal spot for reading, relaxing or dancing under the stars until the late hours at the sound of our resident DJ/entertainer.
The Spa & Fitness Suite: Located at the Marina Deck, it offers Massage, Sauna and some fitness equipment. Our Balinese Spa Supervisor also provides hair, face and nails treatments.
The Sun Deck: Sun loungers are available to sunbathe in total comfort while enjoying drinks served from the Oceans Bar.
The 68m Variety Voyager accommodates up to 72 guests in 36 cabins. 28 cabins are located at the Marina and Riviera Decks and 8 staterooms at the Horizons Deck. Cabins and staterooms sizes range from 16 to 20 m2 /170 to 216 sq.ft. Cabins at the Marina deck feature two oversized portholes and cabins at the Riviera and Horizons deck feature large windows. All cabins have individually controlled A/C and ventilation, minibars, flat screen TV’s, DVD players and all the amenities of a luxury ship. Bathrooms are finished with warm marble and Corian materials.
PASSPORT & VISA
Each traveler must be in possession of a valid, signed passport that will remain valid for at least six months beyond completion of the entire trip. At this time visas ARE required for US citizens traveling to Cuba.
Previous to arriving in Miami you will be sent an application (with instructions) that is MANDATORY for ALL travelers to fill out. Once all travelers have filled out the application you will send them back to us with copies of your passports, to which we will forward to the Cuban ground operator to be processed. When you have sent back your completed visa application, your visa will be shipped to you.
Participants holding all other passports should check with the consulate for regulations and instructions.
No vaccinations are required for entry into Cuba or return to the USA.
The Cuban climate is mild subtropical. Thanks to its proximity to the Tropic of Cancer and its narrow configuration, Cuba receives a refreshing action of trade winds and marine breezes. Average Fahrenheit temperatures are as follows:
PACKING & CLOTHING
Please travel as lightly as possible so as not to restrict space in your cabin. Soft bags are more practical than hard suitcases. Sports or casual clothes are more useful. Plenty of swimwear is required and a pullover or cardigan is recommended for cool evenings. Comfortable walking shoes are suggested when ashore. It is not necessary to bring such items as cutlery, cups, plates, glasses, etc., as vessels are fully equipped.
Be sure not to pack sharp items in your hand luggage. Pack things such as scissors, nail clippers, pocketknives or knitting needles in your checked luggage.
Always carry your travel documents, medication, jewelry, traveler's checks, keys and other valuables in your hand luggage. Items such as these should NEVER be packed in luggage that you plan to check.
Bring all personal-care items with you. Many products can be bought, but purchasing them can be inconvenient. We suggest you carry toilet tissues with you on excursions.
Dress onboard is very casual, however the “usual practice” for men is to wear long pants to meetings, exchanges and nicer restaurants. Ladies may want to bring a dress or pantsuit for the Farewell Dinner, and men may bring a sports jacket and tie for this evening.
Special Note: Monasteries and churches do not admit people in shorts or bathing suits, shirtless men, or even women wearing sleeveless blouses. For women rules may even be stricter, a skirt or dress is a must, as you may not be allowed to visit some of the monasteries and religious sites in shorts or pants. These rules are not always followed to the letter. Bathing suits are prohibited from being worn on all archaeological sites.
Jewelry, money, documents etc., should be deposited in the mini-safe in your cabin. The company and its personnel bear no responsibility for valuables kept by passengers.
For safety reasons it is requested that physical disabilities of any kind be advised at time of reservation. It is understood that passengers requiring special attention or treatment will be traveling with their personal escorts. The company retains the right to refuse embarkation to any pregnant woman beyond the 6th month of pregnancy.
There is laundry service available on board the vessel. A price list is available onboard. Dry cleaning is not available.
Hairdryer and a bathroom amenities kit are provided in your stateroom’s bathroom. The ship has a small library, board games and playing cards for your amusement.
The currency in Cuba is Cuban Pesos. It is possible to convert dollars to Cuban Convertible Pesos (CUCs) at the airport. There is a kiosk before leaving the baggage area where money can be converted. The tour leader will assist in this as well. If you do not convert then, there are many places to convert money - for example, hotels, and the local Cuban guide will assist in this.
Credit cards are accepted on board (American Express, Visa & MasterCard) cruise including gratuities to the crew. With regard to the use of Credit or Debit cards in Cuba the following applies: No card issued by a bank that has any connection with the United States will be accepted in Cuba, although MasterCard now say said it will lift a block on U.S. bank-card transactions in Cuba after March 1st 2015:
Under the new (Jan 16, 2015) regulations, American travelers to Cuba will be able to use an American credit card. However, it is not clear how long it will take for banks to begin offering the service. There are few ATMs in Cuba, and many establishments do not have the means to process credit card payments, so cash will be king for some time to come. You may also take pounds and euros, which get a better exchange rate in Cuba than the United States dollar.
On board, our crews speak English! The primary language in Cuba is Spanish and your tour guide is fluent in both Spanish and English.
The power supply on the M/Y Variety Voyager is 220 volts AC, single phase, 50 cycles. Sockets are 2 pronged and round. If you wish to use appliances brought from home, you will need to carry an adapter for the plug and a voltage converter. Some adapters are onboard the ship if needed.
COMPUTERS & WIFI
There is WIFI and prices are posted onboard. Note however the speed is limited and also isn’t always available when in open sea.
Cuba is on Eastern Standard Time. When it is noon in New York and Miami, it is also noon in Havana, Cuba.
There is an American breakfast buffet daily on board the ship. In addition, one additional meal is served aboard the vessel, either lunch or dinner, depending on the day’s program. Some of the lunches/dinners are served buffet style, while others are a set menu. Passengers may eat their second meal in local taverns or restaurants. Every attempt to meet special dietary requirements will be made provided that such a request is put in writing at least four weeks prior to sailing.
The vessel has a bar for your convenience and is fully stocked with soda, juice, beer, wine, liquor and champagne. A price list is available on board.
The Panorama is a motor sailer. In most cases we dock at port, though sometimes we transfer to an island via tenders. The itinerary is subject to change as a result of weather conditions. Swim stops also depend on weather. The ship is not allowed to sail when winds exceed six beaufort.
There is a cruise coordinator on board the Panorama. They will inform you of the daily program, including itineraries, meal schedules and possible optional shore excursions.
Tipping is completely discretionary, however, a range of reference would be a total of $90-120 per trip member for the Cruise Manager. The Cruise Manager will distribute the tip among cabin attendants, waiters, and other boat staff. Tips and drinks onboard can be paid by credit card.
For the Tour Manager who handles all logistics and programming on and off the boat, we recommend $50 per person and $50 per person for the local tour guide. The local guide is the only person who can be tipped in Convertible Cuban pesos (local Cuban money). Tipping to the Cruise and Tour Managers is accepted in U.S. dollars (or Euros) only. The amount is at your discretion and you can ask the Tour Manager on board for advice.
1. Given the spending restrictions, how much money do you recommend bringing?
We suggest about $100 a day just in case, but of course, everyone is different. If you plan to purchase a lot of art, for example, the amount will be different. If not, you will mostly likely not spend that amount as many of the meals in the program are included.
2. I have heard that "licensed U.S. travelers" are allowed to bring back from Cuba $400 of merchandise of which $100 can be tobacco/alcohol. Does this apply to us?
Under the new (Jan 16, 2015) regulations, American travelers to Cuba may now bring back up to $400 worth of souvenirs, including $100 worth of cigars.
3. What is the luggage restrictions?
For your checked baggage, we recommend one bag with maximum of 50 lbs. Your carry bag should not be larger than 9”x14’x22”.
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