Cuba 360°: A Cultural Cruise Around Cuba - 2018

Miami • Havana • Maria La Gorda • Cienfuegos • Trinidad • Santiago de Cuba

  • Santiago de Cuba
  • Old Havana
  • Cienfuegos
  • Trinidad Walking Tour
  • Maria La Gorda

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  • STARTING FROM

    $6,999
  • $466

    PER DAY

  • 15

    DAYS

  • 11

    GUIDED TOURS

  • 5 Stars

    Luxury

    Luxury
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Havana to Santiago de Cuba (Feb 8)

February 8, 2018 departure: 15 days, includes 5 ports of call and 5 days at sea, with 14 nights’ accommodation aboard the 4-star plus M/V Victory I.

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DAY 1:

Depart Home City / Miami, Florida / Embark Ship

All aboard for your Cuban small ship adventure! We cast off this afternoon for Havana, crossing the Straits of Florida to Cuba, the island nation that lies just over 90 miles from Florida's shore. Enjoy a Welcome Reception and Dinner, an opportunity to get acquainted with your fellow passengers.

Included Meals:

Dinner

DAY 2:

Havana

Here we are in the extraordinary city at the epicenter of Cuban life and culture. As we enter Havana’s harbor, look for the dramatic El Morro fortress that guards the harbor entrance. We’ll get right to the heart of things with an exploration of Habana Vieja (Old Havana). Our tour takes us among the four main squares from the colonial era, including the beautifully restored Plaza de Armas and the Plaza de Catedral, with its gem of a cathedral. You’ll also be able to witness for yourself the changes taking place in Havana today, including the restoration of long-neglected colonial façades and the opening of bright new shops and restaurants.

Cultural Discoveries: On a special People-to-People visit, discover the amazing accomplishments of a group of Havana’s homegrown community of social activists, artists, and entrepreneurs. You’ll also attend a thrilling performance by the extraordinary Havana Queens, a groundbreaking dance troupe founded in 2012. Your introduction to Havana’s thriving art scene then continues with a visit to the lively Almacenes San Jose Craft Market, where you can browse among the offerings and chat with skilled artisans. The market relocated a few years ago to a restored warehouse located on a pier.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 3:

Havana

Cultural Discovery: A giant of American literature who became a Cuban national hero takes the stage today, as we visit Finca Vigía, Ernest Hemingway’s beloved island retreat. The Nobel-prize winner worked on some of his most famous novels here, including For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea. You’ll also visit Cojimar, the picturesque fishing village nearby, where Hemingway docked his boat, and which he used as the setting for The Old Man and the Sea.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 4:

At Sea

Enjoy another day of tropical cruising, as we follow the around the remote western tip of the island to a lush nature reserve.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 5:

Maria La Gorda

Today we'll call at the village of Maria la Gorda, on the palm-fringed beaches of Corrientes Bay. The bay's rich underwater ecosystem attracts divers from around the world. Cultural Discovery: Meet with a local naturalist at Guanahacabibes National Park, the largest of Cuba’s six nature reserves. In addition to butterflies and such bird species as the bee hummingbird and yellow-headed warbler, the park is home to a profusion of orchids and epiphytes. Cultural Discovery: At the Meteorological Center, learn about forecasting Caribbean weather, and about major hurricanes that have hit Cuba.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 6:

At Sea

Today’s cruising takes us through the protected waters of the Golfo de Batabano along Cuba’s southwestern coast. This is a paradise of turquoise waters and small coral keys, or cayos, as they are known in Cuba.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 7:

Cienfuegos

Founded in 1819 by the Spanish, Cienfuegos actually grew to prosperity under French settlers from Bordeaux and New Orleans, becoming a major trading port for sugar, tobacco, and coffee. The uniquely harmonious blend of historic architectural styles that resulted earned Cienfuegos a UNESCO World Heritage Site designation. You’ll tour the graceful center city, and visit the Botanical Garden and Punta Gorda, a breezy peninsula where wealthy merchants built their mansions. Cultural Discoveries: Enjoy a performance by the eclectic Guitars Orchestra, then visit the studios of several talented local artists, as well as a few art galleries. Afterwards, attend a stirring performance by the Cienfuegos Choir at the historic Tomás Terry Theater.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 8:

Trinidad (Casilda)

We'll dock in Casilda, the port village and beach town, then head the few miles inland to Trinidad, "the museum city of Cuba." Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Trinidad is an architectural gem of pastel stucco buildings with red roofs that line cobbled streets. The wealth and importance of Trinidad really took off in the 19th century when vast sugar cane plantations worked by slaves made Cuba the world's leader in "white cold," and sugar barons reigned supreme. Our excursion takes us to the Valley of the Sugar Mills, where some 50 mills once ran day and night. Moving on to Trinidad, we'll join a city historian for a walking tour that takes us to the main square and among fine colonial buildings. Cultural Discoveries: At Casa Del Alfarero Santander, a pottery studio run by the same family for decades, meet local artisans and learn about traditional pottery techniques. Later, visit other artists in their studios. We'll also stop at the Museum Romantico, a mansion where you can see how a wealthy Trinidad family once lived.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 9:

Trinidad

You'll have the day free to enjoy Trinidad as you wish. You may want to return to the Plaza Mayor area to check out more of the artists and galleries. There are several other museums worth checking out, also, including the City History Museum and the Architecture Museum. For the best views of Trinidad, climb to the top of the pastel yellow bell tower that's visible from everywhere in town. The museum on the lower floors tells the story of anti-revolutionary bands that once hid out in the surrounding hills. Among the odd assortment of artifacts on display is said to be the part of U2 spy plane that was shot down by a Soviet missile on the 12th day of the Cuban Missile Crisis. That incident was the tipping point that finally led to negotiations that ended the superpower showdown.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 10:

At Sea

Relax and enjoy another glorious day at sea, as we cruise to Cuba’s mountainous southeastern tip and the island nation's “other capital.” Look for Cuba’s highest peak, Pico Turquino, which may be visible from the water as we approach Santiago de Cuba.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 11:

Santiago de Cuba

Home of legendary rum and birthplace of the revolution, Santiago de Cuba has soul. Proximity to Jamaica and other tropical isles has infused the city with a distinctly Caribbean spirit. What is now Cuba's second-largest city was established in 1515 by Conquistador Diego Velazquez de Cuéllar. On our city tour, you'll see Velazquez's house, as well as the grand Cathedral of Santiago and handsome Parque Cespedez. Afterwards, visit the great citadel of San Pedro de la Roca, known locally as El Morro (a Spanish word for "fortress), which was named a UNESCO World Heritage site as the most complete and best-preserved example of Spanish-American military architecture. Cultural Discoveries: In peaceful Santa Ifigenia cemetery, see where Cuban poet, essayist, and revolutionary Jose Martí is buried in a formidable mausoleum. We'll also learn about the Afro-Cuban religion of Santeria, which is widely practiced in the area. Cap off your visit with a high-energy People-to-People performance by an Afro-Cuban dance troupe.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 12:

Santiago de Cuba

Today's excursion takes us into the hills to the old copper mining town of El Cobre. Cubans of all walks of life make the pilgrimage here to pray at the feet of the tiny but ornate statue dedicated to Cuba’s patron saint, Our Lady of Charity of El Cobre. Among the gifts left at the sanctuary is Hemingway’s gold Nobel Prize for Literature, which he dedicated to the Cuban people. It's one of the reasons he's a great hero to the Cuban people.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 13:

At Sea

Since our shore explorations concluded in Santiago de Cuba at the eastern tip of Cuba, we’ll cap off our Cuban adventure with two days of tropical cruising, as we skirt Cuba's northern coast, headed for Miami. You'll see the mountains along the eastern end of the island gradually give way to lower hills where coffee is grown.

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 14:

At Sea

This is an opportunity to chat with friends you’ve made along the way, relax on the upper deck, and enjoy the breeze. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner

DAY 15:

Miami, Florida / Disembark / Return home

By the time you awake, we’ll be sailing into Miami’s harbor, where you’ll clear U.S. Customs before heading home. For the latest on bringing home bring home cigars, rum, and other Cuban goods, check the U.S. Customs website just before you leave home. 

Included Meals:

Breakfast

Important Notice: The above day-by-day itineraries are preliminary and therefore subject to change. If changes occur while on tour, you will be notified by your Vantage Adventure Leader or regional expert.

Please Note: The hotels listed are preliminary and subject to change. Although we contract our hotels a year in advance, unforeseen situations do occasionally occur. Should it be necessary to change a hotel, one of equal quality and value will be substituted. You will receive verified hotel information with your final itinerary.

Note: That hotel ratings are based on the Hotel and a leading travel industry authority on hotels throughout the world.

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Vantage Tauck Vantage Advantage
Journey Cuba 360°: A Cultural Cruise Around Cuba Cruising Cuba: A Cultural Gem Eastbound
Price without Air* $7,499 $9,990 Save more than $4,900 per couple, with more enriching discoveries on our longer adventure!
Trip Length 15 11 Days More time, better pace, more enrichment
Per Diem $499 $908 Save more than $400 per person per day
Accommodations 14 or 15 nights aboard the 4-star-plus cruise vessel, the MV Victory I 7 nights aboard the three-masted 60-traveler Le Ponant schooner, and two nights in a premium Havana hotel Enjoy complimentary wine and beer during all dinners onboard, in addition to wine, juices and soft drinks Luxury robes pillow menu selection nightly turndown service and more!
Exclusive Features Cruise all the way around Cuba, visiting cities, villages, and natural areas that are virtually inaccessible on a typical land-based tour. Explore 9 UNESCO World Heritage sites including Old Havana and Trinidad with experts in Cuban culture and history Call on Punta Frances on Isla de la Juventud, an island reserve only accessible by sea, to explore mangroves with a naturalist Enjoy your choice of tours to either Cienfuegos or Playa Giron on the Bay of Pigs The MOST Cultural Experiences!
Meals ALL meals 29 meals All meals onboard PLUS, Welcome Reception and Dinner!
Sightseeing Up to 25 sightseeing tours & Cultural Connections, including the 16th century architecture of colorful Trinidad, and San Pedro la Roca Castle visit Santiago de Cuba, birthplace of the 1950s Revolution, with visits to Santa Ifigenia Cemetery and the tomb of Fidel Castro Most sightseeing and the BEST value, plus exciting Cultural Connections planned to enhance your journey
Preferred Traveler Rewards 5% Vantage Travel Reward to use towards your next Vantage journey $100 per person BEST REWARDS PROGRAM ON THE MARKET - save $550 more per couple!
10 Ways to Save New for 2018—including gratuities for local guides and drivers! Enjoy traveler referral rewards & SmartPay early-payment savings plan: Save up to $1800 per couple combining maximum SmartPay savings and Past Traveler Discounts (based on a $6,000 trip cost Travel Protection THE MOST WAYS TO SAVE!

*Prices are subject to change and based on comparable departure months.
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