Cruise Information

Step back in time to a place rooted in culture and history.
Where the people are as warm and welcoming as the climate.
All but closed to Americans for nearly half a century, Cuba now awaits you.

Day by Day Itinerary

DAY 1: Saturday | 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 Callisto, followed by a boat drill and welcome briefing. Dinner on board and overnight in Sierra Maestra Port- Old Havana.

DAY 2: Sunday | 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 we make our way to Café El Mercurio for 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: Monday | Havana

Disembark in the early morning for an excursion to Fusterlandia, the studio of artist Jose Rodriguez Fuster. The brightly colored mermaids, roofs, walls, benches, and doorways were greatly inspired by Gaudi in Barcelona and Brancusi in Rome, but most of all by Picasso and Dubuffet. Enjoy 2 hours or leisure to experience the wonders of Havana on your own before returning to the ship for embarkation. Lunch, dinner, and overnight on board as we sail to Maria La Gorda.

DAY 4: Tuesday | Maria La Gorda

After breakfast, we disembark in Maria La Gorda, where we will visit a local school to meet the Cuban children and their teachers, and discuss the differences and levels of the Cuban and American educational systems, particularly in the rural areas of the country. Visit the headquarters of Guanahacabibes National Park, one of the country's largest nature reserves on the westernmost tip of the island. The peninsula is one of the last refuges of aboriginals fleeing from the Spanish conquistadors and also holds some 140 archaeological sites linked to life of aboriginals known as Guanahatabeyes. Time-permitting, we will venture into the park, followed by free time for swimming, snorkeling and a BBQ lunch in Maria La Gorda before embarking the Callisto. Dinner and overnight on board as we sail to the Island of Youth-Isla de la Juventud.

DAY 5: Wednesday | 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 and thus 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. Enjoy lunch in a paladar before visiting an art school and the maternity ward of a local hospital, if available. There will be some free time for independent exploration and enjoyment around Nueva Gerona’s grand boulevard before returning to embark the ship. Overnight at sea to Casilda.

DAY 6: Thursday | Casilda/ Trinidad

Today we visit 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 town, visit a scale model of the city, and have lunch at a local restaurant. Stop at the Romantic Museum located in the old palace of the Count Brunet, or Palacio Cantero, the Trinidad General Municipal Museum. Visit the studio of Lazaro Niebla, a very unique woodcarver. Depart Trinidad by bus and drive to Cienfuegos, where we will meet the Callisto for an overnight in port.

DAY 7: Friday| Cienfuegos

Enjoy breakfast on board before disembarking for our visit to Cienfuegos, founded by French settlers and thus with a unique architecture. Cienfuegos is also known as the Pearl of the South and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit the graphic arts workshop and the Benny More School of Art. Walk around the city center and admire outstanding examples of French neoclassical architecture from the 19th Century. We will stop at a local farmer’s market before having lunch. A special treat will be a concert by the singers of the Chorus of Cienfuegos, or string quartet. Overnight in port.

DAY 8: Saturday | Cienfuegos

Disembark and transfer to the airport for 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.

Accommodation

Ports of Call

  1. Havana

  2. Maria La Gorda

  3. Isla Junentud

  4. Casilda / Trinidad

  5. Cienfuegos

Vessels

The elegant Motor Yacht Callisto recently joined the VARIETY CRUISES fleet and is true to her name: Elegant, classic. She was fully refit / rebuilt in 2000 and was thoroughly renovated in in 2015-16. This classy Motor Yacht has performed several Atlantic Ocean crossings, and has also sailed along the most interesting coastal sites of Europe, North and West Africa. The M/Y Callisto is of the “boutique” category of cruiser, and offers the highest standard of accommodation, comfort and safety. The yacht’s public areas are cozy and generous, decorated with rich fabrics, handsome woodwork, gleaming brass, antiques and fine works of art. During the day, life on board centers around the indoor and outdoor areas including the Upper deck Indoor and Outdoor lounge/bar and dining areas as well as the cozy Library located on the Sun Deck. The lounge/bar and dining room on the Upper deck are connected by the gallery, displaying exquisite art and adding to the overall feeling of elegance and style. In the evening you can relax in the ship’s lounge, enjoy a drink overlooking the stars or relax with a book in the library with its wraparound windows. The spacious lounge and bar area on the Upper Deck is surrounded by large picture windows and opens onto the Outdoor Dining area. The yacht features a broad Sun Deck for sunbathing and the swimming platform on Callisto’s stern enables you to swim off the ship when in sheltered bays. Service on board is provided by your Captain, the Cruise Coordinator and your experienced Marine and Hotel crew members. 

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