CUBA: Havana to Cienfuegos 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: Havana to Cienfuegos Aboard the M/S PANORAMA
Day by Day Itinerary
DAY 1: Friday | Havana
Arrive in Havana where you will be met and assisted by a member of our team. Our People to People program begins immediately with a panoramic sightseeing tour of this exciting city, including a stop at the Plaza de la Revolucion. Enjoy a welcome lunch at La Barraca Restaurant, located in Hotel Nacional de Cuba, which specializes in Cuban cuisine and offers breathtaking views of the Bay of Havana. Remain at the hotel for an engrossing lecture with well-known architect Pedro Vasquez. Following the lecture, we continue to the pier for embarkation on the Panorama, followed by a boat drill and welcome briefing. Dinner onboard, followed by an optional evening at the famous Tropicana Club. Overnight in Sierra Maestra Port- Old Havana.
DAY 2: Saturday | 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. Upon our return from Finca Vigia, enjoy some free time before dinner, and then to the Café Taberna to experience the wonderful salsa music of the Buena Vista Social Club style performance. Overnight in Sierra Maestra Port- Old Havana.
DAY 3: Sunday | Vinales / Pinar del Rio / Maria la Gorda
Depart early in the morning 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, we'll visit an organic farm to hear about how the climate and fertile soil have contributed to the success of organic farming in the region. Depart the Vinales and drive to Maria La Gorda. Check in to the Hotel Maria La Gorda or similar for dinner and overnight at the hotel.
DAY 4: Monday | Maria La Gorda
After breakfast, we 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 before embarking the Panorama. Dinner and overnight onboard as we sail to the Island of Youth - Isla de la Juventud.
DAY 5: Tuesday | Isla Juventud
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 paladar. There will be some free time for independent exploration and enjoyment around Nueva Gerona's grand boulevard before returning to embark the ship around 4pm. Overnight at sea for a 24-hour sailing to Casilda.
DAY 6: Wednesday | Day at Sea / Trinidad
Arrive in Trinidad this evening. Disembark for the short Trinidad by Night sightseeing tour of the most beautiful streets and squares. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant before returning to the ship. Overnight in port.
DAY 7: Thursday| Trinidad / Cienfuegos
We disembark this morning for a full day tour beginning in 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 walk through the city streets, 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. After lunch at a local restaurant, we continue by bus to Cienfuegos. A UNESCO World Heritage site, also known as the Pearl of the South, Cienfuegos was founded by French settlers and features a unique architectural style. Walk around the city center and admire outstanding examples of French neo classical architecture from the 19th Century. A special treat will be a local musical performance. Overnight in port.
DAY 8: Friday | Cienfuegos
Disembark after breakfast and transfer to the airport for short return flight.
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
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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