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Cuba: A People to People Cultural Experience

Cuba Cruise

Summary : Explore the finest cities and most historic regions of Cuba, many located far from Havana. Unpack just once, and enjoy the comfort of the elegant 64-guest yacht Le Ponant. This spectacular itinerary is designed to introduce Cuba, in all its richness and complex history, vibrant culture, natural landscapes and dynamic arts scene by traveling widely and meeting and exchanging ideas with people from all corners of the island. Discover Trinidad’s UNESCO World Heritage site and learn about famed architecture with the city historian and visit local artisans in their studio.

Activities : Culture, Snorkeling, Triple/Quad Cabins

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Prices from
$7,590 to $8,490

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Itinerary
Day 1
Miami, Florida / Havana, Cuba

Fly from Miami to Havana and enjoy a short tour of Havana’s main sights before transferring to the port to embark Le Ponant. Travelers will attend a briefing, including the program schedule and reaffirmation of the obligatory requirement of participation in all activities.

Meals: D

Day 2
Day 3
Punta Frances, Isla de la Juventud

Today visit one of the most remote and beautiful beaches on Cuba, where you can enjoy excellent swimming and snorkeling. The beach is part of Parque Nacional Marino de Punta Frances Punta Pedernales, a marine conservation area established in 1978. Talk to Cubans concerned with preserving the natural environment and fragile ecosystem of the island.

Meals: B, L, D

Day 4
Cayo Largo

Cayo Largo is a limestone islet of white sand, teeming coral reefs and a profusion of turtles, iguanas, cranes, and flamingos. Meet with local management to learn about tourism’s role in the Cuban economy and scientists involved in coral reef protection. Get to know locals to learn firsthand about life on Cayo Largo. Also visit a sea turtle breeding center and endangered species protection program. Meet with local doctors and nurses at a health clinic to discuss healthcare on the islet and throughout Cuba.

Meals: B, L, D

Day 5
Cienfuegos / Bahia de Cochinos / Playa Giron

Drive to Bahia de Cochinos (Bay of Pigs) and Playa Giron. The Bay of Pigs was the site of the ill-fated 1961 invasion, where 1,300 armed Cuban exiles were thwarted in their attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro. View the landing beach, see the Playa Giron Museum’s exhibits, and learn about this event from the Cuban perspective. Also spend time at the Korimacao Community Arts and Cultural Project, which provides free art, music, theater, dance, and poetry. Have lunch at a paladar. Back in Cienfuegos, visit the Benny More Art School and meet with students and teachers.

Meals: B, L, D

Day 6
Casilda / Trinidad

Trinidad is the crown jewel of Cuba’s colonial towns. Founded in 1514, it is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its cobble-stoned streets are lined with neoclassical and baroque homes and buildings embellished with wrought-iron grillwork. A walking tour will be led by Office of the City Historian representatives, with resident interactions along the way. Highlights include the Plaza Mayor; Palacio Cantero’s collection of artwork and antiques; the Architecture Museum; the church of the Convent of San Francisco; and Plaza Santa Ana. Meet with an owner of a casa particular (Cuban bed and breakfast) and learn about this new form of independent business. Learn about the owner’s family history. Trinidad is steeped in religiosity, including Santeria and other Afro-Cuban religions. Explore these belief systems with practitioners. Continue to the Santander Family Ceramics Workshop/Studio to meet with local artisans.

Meals: B, L, D

Day 7
Casilde / At Sea

After a morning in Casilda, spend the day at sea reflecting on your voyage as you sail to your final port of call, Santiago de Cuba.

Meals: B, L, D

Day 8
At Sea / Santiago de Cuba

Arrive into Santiago de Cuba in the evening and dock there overnight.

Meals: B, L, D

Day 9
Santiago de Cuba / Holguin / Miami, Florida

Disembark Le Ponant and transfer to the Holguin airport for your flight to Miami.

Meals: B

Notes

This itinerary is subject to change. ExpeditionTrips.com is not responsible for itinerary changes.

Bilingual Departures: All departures French/English

Special Guest: Franklin W. Knight
A professor at the Johns Hopkins University, Professor Knight is an analyst and commentator on Latin American and Caribbean history and culture who regularly contributes his expertise on various local, national and international radio and television programs. His academic work has been honored by several Latin American and Caribbean countries and in 2012 he was elected a corresponding member of the Cuban Academy of History. Since the 1970s he has organized and led educational travel programs to Cuba. This vast experience and his ability to place Cuban social and political history in the broader context of Latin American cultural developments wins praises from all those who have traveled with him. His profession has honored Professor Knight by electing him President of both the Latin American Studies Association and the Historical Society. He serves on advisory committees of the National Research Council, the Handbook of Latin American Studies of the Hispanic Division of the Library of Congress, and the editorial boards of several academic journals.

Included:
One-way flight Miami/Havana, and one-way flight Holguin/Miami;  transfer from Havana airport to the ship; transfer from ship to Holguin airport; visa for U.S. citizens and most non-U.S. citizens (Cuban-born passengers require special visas that are not included); meals on board the ship and ashore as per itinerary; welcome and farewell cocktail receptions aboard ship; port taxes; open bar aboard ship including select wines with lunch and dinner; gratuities to shipboard personnel, porters, guides and drivers. Subject to change without notice.

Not Included:
Airfare (unless mentioned as included); visa (unless mentioned as included); passport fees; airport taxes; travel and medical insurance; personal expenses such as phone, Internet, laundry, etc.; other drinks not included in open bar; fuel surcharge may apply.

Photos © Allan Gould and Meg Rand

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