CUBA: Havana to Cienfuegos Aboard the M/Y Callisto
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.
CUBA: Havana to Cienfuegos Aboard the M/Y Callisto
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 ship, followed by a boat drill and welcome briefing. Dinner on board and 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. Visit a ration store “bodega” to discuss day to day life in Cuba and this particular way of shopping for subsidized groceries and food. Stop at a local restaurant for lunch, followed by an exchange with the owner of the restaurant or his wife on the topic of being a private entrepreneur. Take 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 Del Oriente 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: Sunday | Havana/Day at Sea
Today, we enjoy a leisurely day at sea while sailing for Maria La Gorda. There will be an opportunity for discussion with the local guide, regarding USA-Cuba relations in light of recent political changes.
DAY 4: Monday | 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. We will meet with a Cuban environmentalist to discuss the effort invested in protecting and conserving the park. Following this exchange, there will be free time for swimming, snorkeling and a BBQ lunch in Maria La Gorda before embarking the ship. Dinner and overnight on board 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 and thus the Island of Youth. Disembark in Marina Colony to visit the Presidio Modelo, an abandoned panopticon prison where both Fidel and Raul Castro were imprisoned from 1953-1955, followed by a panoramic sightseeing drive of the capital city of Nueva Gerona. Visit the maternity ward of a local hospital, where we will discuss the Cuban health system with the patients, doctors, and nurses. Return to the ship for an early afternoon departure. Overnight at sea to Casilda.
DAY 6: Wednesday | Casilda/ Trinidad
Today we have an early evening arrival 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." Enjoy an evening sightseeing walking tour of the city and dinner with musical entertainment at El Dorado paladar. After dinner, meet with local musicians to discuss the unique and artistic style of Cuban music. Overnight in port.
DAY 7: Thursday| Casilda/Trinidad - Cienfuegos
Disembark this morning to continue exploring this picturesque city. Visit a scale model of the city and engage in discussion with a local architect. Visit Trinidad's General Municipal Museum Palacio Cantero, followed by the studio of Lazaro Niebla, a very unique woodcarver. Depart Trinidad by bus for a scenic drive to Cienfuegos. Also known as the Pearl of the South, Cienfuegos is a UNESCO World Heritage site founded by French settlers, which has influenced its unique architecture. We will visit the Benny More School of Art, meet with professors and students, and discuss secondary art education in Cuba. Following lunch at Dos Laureles, walk around the city center and admire outstanding examples of French neoclassical architecture from the 19th Century. A special treat will be a concert performed by the singers of the Chorus of Cienfuegos, or string quartet. Overnight in port.
DAY 8: Friday | Cienfuegos
This morning, we disembark for our drive from Cienfuegos to Havana, with an early afternoon arrival. We will have lunch in a local restaurant, followed by a visit to the San Jose Art Market. Enjoy Havana Vieja before heading to the airport for your return flight to Miami.
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.
M/Y Callisto - Category A
Cuba M/Y Callisto - Category B
Cuba M/Y Callisto - Category C
M/Y Callisto - Category P
Ports of Call
Maria La Gorda
Casilda / Trinidad
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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