Cuba: People, Culture and Contemporary Life

9 days / 8 nights
    Roundtrip flight included
    Cuba: People, Culture and Contemporary Life
    Flight Miami / Santiago de Cuba + transfers + excursions ashore + flight Havana / Miami

    Cruise Latin America, Caribbean

    from 25 March 2017 to 2 April 2017
    9 days / 8 nights

    Departure Port : Santiago de Cuba
    Arrival Port : Havana

    Ship : LE PONANT

    • Ref : P25037US - P250317

    Explore the finest cities and most historic regions of Cuba—many located far from Havana—unpacking just once, and enjoying the safety and comfort of the elegant 64-guest yacht Le Ponant, sailing from port to port without worrying about the condition of roads or the quality of local accommodations. Be among the first Americans to experience Cuba by sea and to discover it in all its richness—its 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. Everywhere we go, we explore beneath the surface to discover how Cubans actually live and work. For example, in Trinidad, the crown jewel of Cuba’s colonial cities and a UNESCO World Heritage site, we tour its famed architecture with the city historian, but we also share a meal with the entrepreneurial owner of a bed and breakfast, talk with practitioners of Santeria, and visit local artisans in their studios.

    Staterooms & Suites

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      LE PONANT

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      LE PONANT

      Mythical destinations and secret ports of call only accessible to small capacity yachts. Ponant’s signature are Frenchstyle cuisine in a welcoming and intimate environment, discreet yet attentive service where no attention to detail is spared, unforgettable moments of relaxation aboard elegant French flag yachts of character. A sophisticated yet friendly atmosphere, in which, emotions, discovery and the quest for authenticity all take priority. Experience cruising in a different way and discover the magic of « Yacht Cruising ».

      Given her size, shallow draft and a design that is very open to the sea (large sundeck, outdoor restaurant, easy access to the sea for swimming from her marina), Le Ponant, PONANT’s symbolic flagship gives passengers the feeling they are on a private yacht. The 32 staterooms all have a port hole and are tastefully decorated in a harmony of blues and whites. Two comfortable lounges and two restaurants complete the intimate spaces on this beautiful yacht.

       

       

      Port of call & excursions

      25 March 2017 – Overnight at port

      Santiago de Cuba

      Embarkation 25/03/2017 from 00H00 to 0H00 . Departure 25/03/2017 at 00H00 .

      Set at the head of a spacious bay that is surrounded by mountains, Santiago, Cuba’s second largest city, is one of the island’s oldest cities, founded in 1515. The city is known for its eclectic architectural styles that range from Colonial to Art Nouveau, as well as for its flourishing artistic and cultural scene.

      25 March 2017 – Overnight at port

      25 March 2017 – Overnight at port

      Arrival 25/03/2017. Departure 25/03/2017.

      26 March 2017 – Santiago de Cuba

      26 March 2017 – Santiago de Cuba

      Arrival 26/03/2017. Departure 26/03/2017 midday.

      Set at the head of a spacious bay that is surrounded by mountains, Santiago, Cuba’s second largest city, is one of the island’s oldest cities, founded in 1515. The city is known for its eclectic architectural styles that range from Colonial to Art Nouveau, as well as for its flourishing artistic and cultural scene.

      27 March 2017 – Casilda

      27 March 2017 – Casilda

      Arrival 27/03/2017 late afternoon. Departure 27/03/2017.

      Trinidad is the crown jewel of Cuba’s colonial towns. Founded in 1514, it is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its cobblestoned streets are lined with neoclassical and baroque homes and buildings embellished with wrought-iron grillwork.

      27 March 2017 – Overnight at port

      27 March 2017 – Overnight at port

      Arrival 27/03/2017. Departure 27/03/2017.

      28 March 2017 – Casilda

      28 March 2017 – Casilda

      Arrival 28/03/2017. Departure 28/03/2017 late evening.

      Trinidad is the crown jewel of Cuba’s colonial towns. Founded in 1514, it is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its cobblestoned streets are lined with neoclassical and baroque homes and buildings embellished with wrought-iron grillwork.

      29 March 2017 – Cienfuegos

      29 March 2017 – Cienfuegos

      Arrival 29/03/2017 early morning. Departure 29/03/2017 late evening.

      Known as the Pearl of the South, Cienfuegos, a small port town lying in the crook of Cuba’s largest bay, shines with a thousand lights. Its colourful city centre with its unique architecture combines French and Spanish influences from the 14th and 20th century and consists of constructions of a neoclassical and eclectic style. A UNESCO World Heritage listed town, its colonial heritage is clearly visible to the visitor. As you wander through the narrow streets, do not miss a visit to the José Martí park in the former Plaza de Armas, the government palace which is now the town hall, and the Malecon waterfront walkway. Make the most of the gentle way of life and, as night falls, enjoy the festive atmosphere in the town. 

      30 March 2017 – Cayo Largo del Sur

      30 March 2017 – Cayo Largo del Sur

      Arrival 30/03/2017 early morning. Departure 30/03/2017 late afternoon.

      Cayo Largo is a limestone islet of white sand, teeming coral reefs, and a profusion of turtles, iguanas, cranes, and flamingoes.

      31 March 2017 – Punta Frances

      31 March 2017 – Punta Frances

      Arrival 31/03/2017 early morning. Departure 31/03/2017 late afternoon.

      Punta Frances beach is part of Parque Nacional Marino de Punta Frances Punta Pederales, a marine conservation area established in 1978.

      1 April 2017 – At sea

      1 April 2017 – At sea

      Arrival 01/04/2017. Departure 01/04/2017.

      During your day at sea, make the most of the many services and activities on board. Treat yourself to a moment of relaxation in the spa or stay in shape in the fitness centre. Depending on the season, let yourself be tempted by the swimming pool or a spot of sunbathing. This day without a port of call will also be an opportunity to enjoy the conferences or shows proposed on board, to do some shopping in the boutique or to meet the PONANT photographers in their dedicated space. As for lovers of the open sea, they will be able to visit the ship’s upper deck to admire the spectacle of the waves and perhaps be lucky enough to observe marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment.

      2 April 2017▸1 April 2017 – Havana

      Havana

      Disembarkation 02/04/2017 at 00H00 .

      Havana, the center of Cuban government and culture, is one of the most architecturally alluring cities in the Western Hemisphere.  Old Havana, a UNESCO World Hertige Site, was founded in 1510 as the "Key to the New World." It is now in process of being restored and reclaiming its legacy.

      Formalities

      • The information below is current but subject to change at any time without advance notice from government authorities. Please consult your respective government agencies for visa and health information.

      All-inclusive program

      All-inclusive program

      This itinerary is offered as a people-to-people program in Cuba authorized by the U.S. government pursuant to the code of Federal Regulations (31 C.F.R. §565(b)(2).

       

      Saturday, March 25

      USA | FLY TO SANTIAGO DE CUBA, Cuba | EMBARK

      Fly from the U.S. to Santiago de Cuba.  On arrival, transfer 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. Overnight aboard in Santiago

       

      Sunday, March 26

      SANTIAGO DE CUBA

      Set at the head of a spacious bay that is surrounded by mountains, Santiago, Cuba’s second largest city, is one of the island’s oldest cities, founded in 1515. The city is known for its eclectic architectural styles that range from Colonial to Art Nouveau, as well as for its flourishing artistic and cultural scene. Visit the Ateneo de Santiago, an important organization of artists. Meet with the organization’s members, each representing different professions within the arts, and discuss Santiago’s contemporary arts scene. Our exploration, in the company of local cultural leaders, continues at Parque Cespesdes, a charming square where in the 18th-century town hall Fidel Castro delivered his victory speech in 1959.  Le Ponant sets sail in the early afternoon.

       

      Monday, March 27

      AT SEA |CASILDA | TRINIDAD

      Today attend lectures and enjoy the amenities of Le Ponant as we sail toward Casilda. We arrive in the evening and enjoy dinner in a local restaurant in Trinidad.

       

      Tuesday, March 28

      CASILDA | TRINIDAD | CASILDA

      Trinidad is the crown jewel of Cuba’s colonial towns. Founded in 1514, it is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its cobblestoned 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; Museo Romantico’s wonderful collection of antiques; the Architecture Museum; the church of the Convent of San Francisco; and Plaza Santa Ana. Meet with an owner of a free-enterprise “casa particular” (Cuban bed and breakfast) and learn about this relatively new form of independent business in Cuba. We will also learn about the owner’s family history as it is tied to the home he has transformed into a casa particular. Trinidad is steeped in religiosity, including Santeria and other Afro-Cuban religions. We will explore these belief systems with practitioners. Continue to the Santander Family Ceramics Workshop/Studio to meet with local artisans.

       

      Wednesday, March 29

      CIENFUEGOS | BAHIA DE COCHINOS | PLAYA GIRON | MONTEMAR NATURAL PARK | CIENFUEGOS

      Disembark and drive to Bahia de Cochinos (Bay of Pigs) and Playa Giron. The Bay of Pigs was the site of the ill-fated Bay of Pigs invasion, where in 1961, 1,300 armed Cuban exiles were thwarted in their attempt to overthrow Fidel Castro. We will view the landing beach. We will see the Playa Giron Museum’s exhibits, and learn about this event from the Cuban perspective. We will also spend time at the Korimacao Community Arts and Cultural Project, which provides free art, music, theater, 0dance, and poetry to young artists. Have lunch at a paladar. Nearby is the magnificent Gran Parque Natural Montemar, Cuba’s largest and most diverse wilderness, and a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Meet with park officials and local residents to learn about Cuba’s efforts to preserve its wildlife. Back in Cienfuegos, visit the Benny More Art School and meet with students and teachers of music, dance, and art.

       

      Thursday, March 30

      CAYO LARGO

      Cayo Largo is a limestone islet of white sand, teeming coral reefs, and a profusion of turtles, iguanas, cranes, and flamingoes. Meet with local management to learn about tourism’s role in the Cuban economy and scientists involved in coral reef protection. Get to know the locals who we will visit in their homes to learn firsthand about life on Cayo Largo. Also visit a sea turtle breeding center and endangered species protection program. We will meet fishermen and discuss local conservation efforts to protect marine species such as sea turtles and to prevent overfishing.

       

      Friday, March 31

      PUNTA FRANCES, Isla de la Joventud

      Today we visit one of the most remote and beautiful beaches on Cuba, where we take advantage of the excellent swimming and snorkeling.  The beach is part of Parque Nacional Marino de Punta Frances Punta Pederales, a marine conservation area established in 1978.  We will have an opportunity to meet and talk with Cubans concerned with preserving the natural environment and fragile ecosystem of the island.

       

      Saturday, April 1

      AT SEA

      We spend the day at sea spent reflecting on our voyage and all that we have learned about this island nation and its people. 

       

      Sunday, April 2

      HAVANA

      Disembark Le Ponant and transfer to the airport for return flights to the United States.

       

      Itinerary subject to change.

      Flight Miami / Santiago de Cuba + transfers + excursions ashore + flight Havana / Miami

      Saturday, March 25, 2017

      MIAMI, USA | FLY TO SANTIAGO DE CUBA, CUBA | EMBARK
      Fly from Miami to Santiago de Cuba, via Havana. On arrival, transfer 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. Overnight aboard in Santiago.

      Sunday, April 2
      HAVANA | DISEMBARK | MIAMI, USA
      Disembark Le Ponant and enjoy a short tour of Havana’s main sights before transferring to the airport for our charter flight to Miami.

      PROGRAM INCLUSIONS
      Included
      • Cruise aboard the elegant, three-masted Le Ponant
      • Flights: Miami-Havana-Santiago de Cuba for embarkation; Havana-Miami post disembarkation
      • Welcome and farewell cocktail receptions aboard ship
      • All meals aboard ship including early riser’s coffee & pastry, breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, and dinner
      • Open bar aboard ship, including select wines with lunch and dinner
      • Meals ashore as noted in itinerary
      • Complete program of tours and excursions ashore, detailed on the "All-inclusive program" tab. Itinerary subject to change.
      • Enrichment program of lectures and discussions led by expert Franklin Knight
      • Professional cruise staff
      • Comprehensive pre-departure materials
      • Baggage handling and airport transfers abroad on the designated program arrival and departure dates
      • Visa for U.S. citizens
      • Port taxes and charges
      • Gratuities to shipboard personnel, porters, guides, and drivers


      Not Included
      • Airfare other than noted above
      • Airport taxes
      • Passport fees and/or immigration reciprocity taxes (if applicable)
      • Trip cancellation and baggage insurance
      • Medical and repatriation insurance
      • Meals and beverages other than those specified above
      • Personal expenses (such as telephone, Internet, laundry service, etc.)

      Guest(s) Lecturer(s)

      Franklin W. Knight

      Franklin W. Knight

      Franklin W. Knight, Leonard and Helen R. Stulman Professor of History at the Johns Hopkins University, is an analyst and commentator on Latin American and Caribbean history and culture who regularly contributes his expertise on National Public Radio, the Voice of America, the British Broadcasting Corporation, PBS NewsHour, and C-Span. Elected a Corresponding Member of the Cuban Academy of History in 2012, he has organized and led educational travel programs to Cuba since the 1970s.  This vast experience, his ability to place Cuban social and political history in the broader context of Latin American cultural developments – and his ability to communicate clearly – win 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.

      Possibility of withdrawal in case of force majeure.

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