Seven Seas Mariner will sail to Havana, Santiago de Cuba and Cienfuegos next October (Image: Regent Seven Seas cruises)
Regent Seven Seas Cruises (RSSC) has scheduled a second immersive Cuban voyage for 2019 to cater for travellers’ growing demand to explore destinations beyond the island’s capital Havana.
Available onboard Seven Seas Mariner between 22 October and 1 November, the new ‘Cuban Exploration’ voyage will enable guests to spend a full day an evening in Havana and overnight in both Santiago de Cuba and Cienfuegos. It was created after the line’s first immersive Cuba voyage, which will take place on Seven Seas Voyager next March, sold out due to its overnights in Havana, Santiago de Cuba and Cinefuegos, and a maiden visit to Isla de la Juventud (Island of Youth).
Guests on both voyages will be able to learn about Cuba’s culture, political situation and history during onboard presentations from guest lecturers, as well as exclusive shoreside activities.
In Havana, travellers will be able to visit attractions such as the Malecón, salsa clubs and author Ernest Hemingway’s favourite bar El Floridita. RSSC also has exclusive rights for private out-of-hours visits to the Fabrica de Arte Cubano art and photography gallery, which also serves as a cultural centre, dance space and cinema. This enables guests to take a guided tour of the galleries and then meet showcased artists.
Meanwhile in Santiago de Cuba, RSSC will host tours to Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca and the Cementerio Santa Ifigenia, where Cuban hero José Martí and Emilio Bacardí Moreau of the rum dynasty are both buried. Guests will also be able to enjoy live musical performances at Iris Jazz Club and visit Plaza de Marte (known as Freedom Square), which pays tribute to Cuba’s independence.
Shore excursions in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Cienfuegos allow RSSC’s guests to head to various beaches and ocean promenades, visit the Anastasio Cardenas tobacco factory and tour the city’s colonial downtown area to see the Arch of Triumph, Casa del Fundador, Tomás Terry Theatre and Jose Martí Park.
Finally, visits to Isla de la Juventud will allow guests to tour Presidio Modelo museum, which was formerly a prison where Cuba's former prime minister and president Fidel Castro and his brother Raúl Modesto Castro Ruiz, who is currently the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, were incarcerated prior to the Cuban Revolution.
“Luxury travellers are demanding to experience Cuba in a deeper, more meaningful and culturally relevant way,” said Jason Montague, RSSC’s president and CEO. “RSSC is moving rapidly to meet this demand. It was the first North American luxury cruise line to sail to Cuba, and now we are offering luxury travellers truly immersive Cuban experiences in unique ports around the island in March and October 2019. We are excited to make these additional Cuban destinations beyond Havana accessible to luxury cruisers and their travel advisors.”
In addition to these two Cuban exploration cruises, RSSC will offer around 20 voyages that call in Havana between 2019 and 2021.
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