CUBA: Cienfuegos to Havana Aboard the M/S PANORAMA
Step back in time to a place rooted in culture and history, where the people are as warm as the climate. Once a prohibited destination, Cuba has long held the potent allure of forbidden fruit. Our journey offers the desirous traveler a chance to experience a locale virtually unchanged for decades. Stroll cobblestone streets past resplendent buildings and through impressive squares. Recline on alabaster beaches and swim in turquoise waters. Enjoy a ride in classic car and sample a world-famous cigar. Experience the enchantment of this unspoiled Caribbean gem.
CUBA: Cienfuegos to Havana Aboard the M/S PANORAMA
Day by Day Itinerary
DAY 1: Friday | Cienfuegos
Arrive in Havana International Airport, where you will be met and assisted by a member of our team. We will visit Hotel Nacional de Cuba for lunch, followed by an engrossing lecture with well-known architect Pedro Vasquez. After lunch, we will board a bus and transfer to Cienfuegos, also known as the Pearl of the South. Upon arrival in Cienfuegos, we will transfer to the pier for embarkation on the Panorama, followed by a safety drill, welcome briefing and cocktail. Enjoy the remainder of the afternoon at leisure. Dinner and overnight onboard.
DAY 2: Saturday | Cienfuegos / Trinidad
This morning, we disembark for our full-day excursion beginning in Cienfuegos. Founded by French settlers, Cienfuegos boasts a unique architecture and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. Our walking tour will take us to Parque Marti, also known as the Plaza de Armas. As we walk around the city center, admire outstanding examples of French neoclassical architecture from the 19th Century. Attend a local musical performance, followed by a stop at a local farmer's market. Next, we will board a bus for our drive 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 stop for lunch, followed by a walk through the town. Attend a discussion with a representative from the local Oficina De Historiadores and visit a scale model of the city. Stop at the Romantic Museum located in the old palace of the Count Brunet, containing samples of furniture and decorative arts. Later this afternoon, we will re-join the Panorama in port for embarkation. Enjoy dinner onboard or join the optional excursion to have dinner at a local restaurant followed by free time. Overnight in port.
DAY 3: Sunday | Day at Sea / Isla de la Juventud
We set sail early this morning and spend the full day at sea.
DAY 4: Monday | Isla Juventud
We arrive at Isla de la Juventud around 8am this morning. 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; hence 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. Visit an art school and the maternity ward of a local hospital, if available, followed by lunch in a local restaurant. 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. Visit the headquarters of Guanahacabibes National Park, one of the country's largest nature reserves, on the westernmost tip of the island. The peninsula was one of the last refuges of aboriginals, known as Guanahatabeyes, fleeing from the Spanish conquistadors and it holds some 140 archeological sites linked to aboriginal life. Time-permitting, we will venture into the park to meet with the park ranger, followed by free time for swimming, snorkeling and a BBQ lunch on the beach. Check into our selected hotel for overnight in Maria la Gorda.
DAY 6: Wednesday | Vinales / Pinar del Rio / Havana
Depart our hotel after breakfast by bus for the Vinales Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site in the Pinar del Rio Province of Cuba. Encircled by mountains, its landscape is interspersed with dramatic rocky outcrops. Traditional techniques are still in use for agricultural production, particularly of tobacco. Visit a tobacco plantation, where you will learn about the production of those world-famous Cuban cigars. After lunch at an organic restaurant this afternoon, we will drive to Havana. Around 6pm, we re-join the Panorama in Havana for dinner, followed by a trip to the Café Taberna to experience the wonderful salsa music of the Buena Vista Social Club style performance. Overnight in port.
DAY 7: Thursday| 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. Return to the ship for our Farewell Dinner. Overnight in Sierra Maestra Port, Old Havana.
DAY 8: Friday | Havana
Disembark after breakfast and transfer to the airport for a short return flight.
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.
Category A Cabin
Category B Cabin
Category C Cabin
Ports of Call
- Isla de la Juventud
- Maria La Gorda
Discover a 3 masted Motorsailer which can accommodate up to 49 passengers in 24 cabins. The "Panorama" was launched in 1993 and has been rebuilt in 2001, followed by a latest renovation in 2014. In 2014, the Upper Deck cabins and Lounge, as well as the Main Deck cabin en suite bathrooms and Lounge have been refitted. This state of the art Motorsailer has performed several Atlantic Ocean crossings and has sailed from the Seychelles to Monte Carlo and from the Black Sea to Tunis and offers the highest standard of accommodation and comfort safety.
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