Cruising Cuba: A Cultural Gem | Centre Holidays
Cruising Cuba: A Cultural Gem | Centre Holidays


Sailing aboard Tauck's Le Ponant, call on Cuba's coastal gems between Havana and Santiago de Cuba for immersive experiences in the Cuban culture.

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Pace level 3: Average


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Trip Code: CCACG109

  • Overview

    About this Trip

    • Operator: Tauck
    • Countries: USA, Cuba
    • Min/Max: 1-60 passengers
    • Style: Marine (Small Ship Cruising)
    • Duration: 11 days
    • Pace: 3 (Average)
    • Price:  Inquire about a price
    • Ship(s): Le Ponant
    • Arrive Miami
    • Fly to and explore Havana
    • Finca Vigia • Cojimar • Embark Havana
    • Cruising the Caribbean Sea - Day at Sea
    • Isla de la Juventud • Punta Francés
    • Cienfuegos • Playa Girón (Bay of Pigs)
    • Casilda • Trinidad • Valle de los Ingenios
    • Cruising the Caribbean Sea - Day at Sea
    • Santiago de Cuba
    • Disembark Santiagio de Cuba • Fly to Miami • Depart Miami
  • Arrive Miami

    Day 1

    Trip begins: 4:00 PM, Hyatt Regency Coral Gables. Travelers flying to Miami should plan to arrive at Miami International Airport by 2:00 PM, and take a Yellow Taxi from the airport to the Hyatt Regency Coral Gables (for an average fee of USD $20 plus tip, which will be reimbursed by your Tauck Director). Gather for a briefing about tomorrow's included flight to Havana and the start of your Cuba cruise, followed by a reception and dinner.


  • Welcome to Havana

    Day 2

    Fly from Miami to Havana's José Marti International Airport. After lunch at a local paladar - one of Cuba's small, privately owned restaurants - head over to what was once Cuba's Presidential Palace, which now houses Havana's Museum of the Revolution. Join your local guide for a tour of the museum's exhibits focusing on the Cuban Revolution of the late 1950s. Stop at Plaza de la Revolución, with its memorial tower honoring Cuba's 19th-century patriot and revolutionary leader José Marti, and huge metalwork portraits of 20th-century national herose Ché Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos, en route to the Meliá Cohiba. Dine at your leisure at the hotel tonight.

      Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

  • Historic Havana, Cigars & The Arts

    Day 3

    Today's People-to-People exchange begins on a guided walking tour through Habana Vieja - the city's nearly 500-year-old heart, now a pedestrian-only UNESCO World Heritage Site - with a local expert to discuss the city's architechture and historic resoration efforts, and how Cuban citizens are playing an important role in preserving and revitalizing the area. Visit a local Havana cigar factory for a firsthand look at the production of one of Cuba's most popular exports: traditional hand-rolled Havana cigars. After lunch at a local paladar, your People-to-People explorations continue with a visit to a nearby cultural, social or arts performance project for interactions with local community members or performers. Enjoy dinner with entertainment this evening.

      Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

  • Morro Castle, Hemingway / Embark

    Day 4

    Stop at El Morro (Morro Castle), guarding Havana's harbor since the 16th century, en route to Finca Vigia, novelist Ernest Hemingway's winter home from 1939 to 1960. Walk around the house (which can only be viewed through windows and doors) and grounds to see the author's library and his yacht, Pillar; talk with a docent about Hemingway's life here. See a memorial to Hemingway at the fishing village of Cojimar, which inspired The Old Man and the Sea. Return to Havana and board Le Ponant

      Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

  • Cruising Cuba's Coastal Waters

    Day 5

    Spend a relaxing day at sea aboard Le Ponant as she sails southward around the western tip of Cuba, bound for Isla de la Juventud off the country's southern coast.

      Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

  • Punta Francés On La Isla De La Juventud

    Day 6

    Le Ponant arrives early morning at Parque Nacional Marino de Punta Francés on La Isla de la Juventud (Island of Youth), 60 miles south of Cuba's southern coast. Centuries ago, the island saw skirmishes between Spanish ships and privateers... and tales of pirate booty. In the 20th century, it was the site of a prison where Fidel Castro and Ché Guevara were held in the 1950's, and later a Communist university. Today, the island is one of Cuba's hidden gems. At Punta Francés Marine National Park, accessible only by sea, you'll join a local naturalist for an excusrion through the mangroves, and an opportunity for some snorkeling.

      Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

  • Cienfuegos or Playa Girón

    Day 7

    After sailing back to the Cuban mainland this morning, Le Ponant arrives in Cienfuegos, dubbed the "Pearl of the South." Founded in 1819 and a haunt of pirates and privateers in its early days, the city became wealthy as a trading port, and now lays claim to one of the Caribbean's largest collections of Neoclassical buildings. You can stay in town, and take a walking tour of Cienfuegos' historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, then head to the LA UNEAC social project for People-to-People interaction. Or choose an excursion to Playa Girón on the Bay of Pigs, a landing site for the ill-fated invasion by CIA-sponsored Cuban exiles in April 1961; visit the Museo Girón chronicling the invasion

      Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

  • Trinidad & The Sugar Mill Valley

    Day 8

    Dock at the port of Casilda and visit Trinidad, whose fortunes rose and fell in step with the sugar cane industry that prospered here in the 18th and 19th centuries. Both the city and nearby Valle de los Ingenois 9Sugar Mill Valley) for a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy a walking tour of Trinidad's historic center, and engage in People-to-People exchange with Trinidad artists in their studios. Travel to the Sugar Mill Valley, where over 50 sugar cane mills once profited from the forced labor of more than 30,000 slaves. You'll see traces of barracones (slave quarters) and other structures at the ruins of former sugar plantations.

      Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

  • Day at Sea

    Day 9

    Enjoy all the amenities Le Ponant has to offer as she heads eastward along Cuba's southern coast and around the tip of Cabo Cruz to historic Santiago de Cuba

      Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

  • Vibrant Santiago De Cuba

    Day 10

    Sail midday into Santiago de Cuba, Cuba's early capital and the birthplace of the 1950's Cuban Revolution. Its thriving cultural life reflects strong African influences and a significant role in Cuban music; your People-to-People discoveries include meeting local musicians. Explore Santa Ifigenia Cemetery, where the tombs of both José Marti and Fidel Castro are guarded by a changing contingent of Cuban soldiers. Visit Parque Cespedes, on the site of the Cuban Revolution at Moncada Barracks, where young Fidel and Raul Castro led a failed attack on a government stronghold in 1956. Return to the ship for tonight's farewell reception followed by dinner onboard.

      Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

  • Journey Home

    Day 11

    After disembarking Le Ponant in Santiago de Cuba, visit Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca (Castillo del Morro) guarding Santiago's harbor. Continue on to Antonio Maceo International Airport in Santiago de Cuba for your charter flight to Miami International Airport. Please book flights from Miami to your final destination no earlier than 5:00 PM


  • What's Included

    Important Information

    • Tauck's private shore excursions and distinctive inclusions valued at CAD $4,740
    • All gratuities to Tauck Directors, ship staff aboard Le Ponant and local guides
    • 7-night cruise from Havana to Santiago de Cuba aboard Le Ponant with only 60 guests aboard
    • Flights from Miami to Havana and from Santiago de Cuba to Miami
    • "People-to-People" exchange in Havana, Punta Francés, Cienfuegos or Playa Girón, Trinidad and Santiago de Cuba
    • Aboard ship alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are available throughout the day, including house wines and spirits; premium spirits and wines are available at extra cost
    • 29 meals, applicable fuel surcharges, airport transfers, all ground transportation, service charges, porterage and most taxes


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