CRUISE LATIN AMERICA, CARIBBEAN
10 Days / 9 Nights

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. Be among the privileged few 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 travelling 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. In addition to all that we will learn from these encounters with Cubans from various walks of life, we will be privileged to travel in the company of the expert Franklin Knight, noted expert on Cuban history, culture and politics.

INCLUDES
• Return economy airfares from Miami to Havana and from Holguin to Miami
• Two nights at the Melia Cohiba Hotel (or similar), breakfast included
• Transfers and luggage handling from Havana airport to the hotel and from hotel to the ship
• Pre-cruise sightseeing in Havana as per itinerary
• 7-night cruise aboard the deluxe three-masted Le Ponant
• Meals as specified
• All excursions and onboard activities during the cruise as per itinerary
• Gratuities to guides and drivers throughout
• Transfer and luggage handling from the ship to Holguin airport

ITINERARY
DAY 1 MIAMI - HAVANA
Meet fellow travelers at Miami International Airport for our group flight to Havana. After clearing customs and immigration, transfer to the city, where an architectural historian will guide a walking tour through the heart of Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage site founded in 1519. We will learn about the city’s colonial history, its ongoing restoration, and see its vibrant street life. View the handsome main squares including Plazas Vieja,de San Francisco, de la Catedral, and de Armas with its stately Palacio de los Capitanes Generales. Check into the Melia Cohiba Hotel (or similar). Enjoy a walk along the Malecon, the city’s three mile coastal boulevard and an evening gathering place for Habaneros. (L, D)

DAY 2 HAVANA
Drive to the Sierra del Rosario, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve region and mountain range in the provinces of Pinar del Río and Artemisa, and the settlement of Las Terrazas, a sustainable village which originated as a reforestation project in 1968 and is now Cuba’s main ecotourism center. Meet the residents to learn about small town life in Cuba. Also visit an artist’s studio and learn about his work and about the art scene in Cuba. Alternatively, remain in Havana and learn about traditional and contemporary Cuban art on a tour of the Museo de Bellas Artes. Also visit an organic farm in the outskirts of Havana and learn about their sustainable farming practices. In the late afternoon, meet Cuban musicians and dancers at a cultural performance. (B,L,D)

DAY 3 HAVANA - CIENFUEGOS AND EMBARKATION FROM 18:00 TO 19:00 - DEPARTURE 11:00PM
This morning, see the baroque inner cloister of the Seminary of San Carlos y San Ambrosio and visit the Gaspar Melchor de Jovellanos Workshop/School for discussions with artisans specializing in monument restoration. Enjoy lunch in Old Havana at a paladar and learn about domestic cuisine and small business ownership. After lunch, drive through the countryside to Cienfuegos, where we embark Le Ponant. (B,L,D)

DAY 4 AT SEA
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 observer marine species. A truly enchanted interlude, combining comfort, rest and entertainment. (B,L,D)

DAY 5 PUNTA FRANCES, ISLA DE LA JUVENTUD - 7:00AM TO 2:00PM
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. (B,L,D)

DAY 6 CIENFUEGOS - 12:00PM TO 11:00PM
After a morning at sea, arrive in Cienfuegos where you may either travel to the Bay of Pigs and Playa Giron or spend time exploring Cienfuegos itself. 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, see the Playa Giron Museum’s exhibits, and learn about this critical event from the Cuban perspective. If you elect to stay in Cienfuegos, you will tour the city, learn from local officials about architectural conservation, visit Palacio de Valle, and meet with local folk artists. Late in the afternoon, everyone will gather to hear a private performance of the Cantores de Cienfuegos before returning to the pier. (B,L,D)

DAY 7 CASILDA AND TRINIDAD - EARLY MORNING TO 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. A walking tour will be led by Office of the City Historian representatives, with resident interactions along the way. Highlights include the Plaza Mayor; the Palacio Cantero’s wonderful collection of art and 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 meet with practitioners and explore these belief systems and also attend a private performance of Afro Cuban music and dance. (B,L,D)

DAY 8 AT SEA
As we sail from Trinidad to Santiago, we will take the opportunity to reflect with one another on where we have been, what we have seen, and what we have learned. (B,L,D)

DAY 9 SANTIAGO DE CUBA - ARRIVAL 12:00PM
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. See the Cementario de Santa Ifigenia; the 1516 Casa de Don Diego Velasquez; and Calle Heredia, the Old City’s loveliest street. Also visit restored San Juan Hill and its monuments to the Spanish-American War, where we will hear Cuba’s perspective on this war. Le Ponant is overnight in port. (B,L,D)

DAY 10 SANTIAGO DE CUBA - MIAMI
Disembark at 8:00am and travel to Holguin for our group flight to Miami.

2019 DEPARTURE DATE
25 January

PRICE
Marie Galante from $9,890*

*Terms and conditions apply. Prices are per person twin share, cruise only and subject to availability at time of booking. Valid for sale until sold out. Prices correct at February 2018. Limited availability. Offer is only available for new bookings and prices are subject to change without notice due to change in fees, taxes, surcharges or currency fluctuations. Saving amount has already been applied to the advertised prices. Further conditions apply, call your Bucket List Buddy team.