UPDATED 6/5/2019. The Trump Administration has recently made an announcement, which rolls back almost all of the regulations, including people-to-people trips, but specifically cruise travel to Cuba. We’re monitoring the situation, and we’re in touch with our preferred travel partners to learn exactly what this will mean for our clients who are already booked on trips to Cuba. In the meantime, we’re updating all of our Cuba posts to ensure that Huckleberry Travelers have the most current updates.
So many of our clients have questions about Cuba—wondering whether they can travel there independently, expressing confusion about the latest travel rules and restrictions, asking about safety—that when we run across an itinerary for Cuba that looks pretty much perfect, we can’t help but share it.
Right now, the truth of the matter is that it’s nearly impossible for US Citizens to travel independently to Cuba. But just because you can’t travel independently, doesn’t mean you can’t go at all. There are exceptions, of course, but generally, the easiest way to visit Cuba for most people is to either join a structured group tour or to visit on a cruise.
And, while lots of people still have mental blocks about going on a cruise, we know that many of those same travelers will make exceptions if the destination and the travel style is a good fit. That’s why we got really excited about this itinerary from Regent Seven Seas—one of our preferred cruise lines, and a true luxury all-inclusive travel experience.
Let’s start with the itinerary, and we’ll talk more about the cruise after that.
You’ll start off in Havana, before making a quick stop in the Bahamas, followed by a day at sea (perfect for that much-deserved spa treatment or three). Then it’s on to Cuba! Not just one, but four (!) separate stops, ensuring that you’ll see much more of the country than most.
But what’s even better is that because this is a 10-day trip, you’ve got actual overnights in three of the four ports-of-call. So, you can experience the nightlife of Havana, or see how the locals live after the other, larger cruise ships have left port.
About those ports—let’s look a little closer at the places you’ll visit!
In Santiago de Cuba, you can learn about Cuba’s revolutionary history, since that’s where it all started. But you’ll also have a great opportunity to experience the Afro-Caribbean roots of Cuban culture—especially through music! Or, visit the nearby copper-mining town El Cobre, where you will see its revered Virgin of Charity statue in Cuba’s only basilica.
Cienfuegos is the city in Cuba that savvy travelers often cite as their favorite. The colonial-era architecture of this UNESCO World Heritage site and the Tomás Terry Theater with its incredible gold leaf and beautiful mosaics aren’t the only attractions, however. You can also take an excursion to nearby Colonial Trinidad, the Our Lady of Jagua fortress, or a forested national park where Cuban crocodiles are bred in captivity. Or, check out the renowned botanical gardens! Or visit a cigar factory!
Isla de la Juventud, the fabled “Island of Youth,” is believed to have been the inspiration for both Treasure Island and Peter Pan. Once home to pirates, natives and the American Crocodile, Cuba’s second largest island is now home to the historic, Presidio Modelo. Initially a prison that held both Fidel and Raúl Castro prior to the Cuban Revolution, then their adversaries in the years following, Presidio Modelo is now a museum, holding a variety of fascinating culturally important items. This beautiful island is a captivating stop as you experience Cuba.
And, of course, there’s Havana. After decades of being the most elusive port of the Caribbean, guests may once again arrive at Havana Harbor and walk onto the cobbled streets of the old city where time has seemingly stood still. Take a stroll down the iconic Malecon, snap a photo with a 50’s Cadillac and strike up a conversation with locals who are warm, friendly and eager to chat. Cigar aficionados will revel in purchasing hand-made authentic Cubans. Literary fans can order a mojito at Hemingway’s favorite bar, El Floridita. You’ll experience the real Havana after the sun sets, whether you dance the night away at a salsa club or catch a show at the world famous Tropicana cabaret.
It’s an amazing trip, right?
But what’s even better is that you only have to unpack once, and you’ll be able to see the entire country, completely within the requirements of US law, and in the lap of luxury, since you’re on Regent Seven Seas. Regent is a true all-inclusive cruise line. You should call us for all of the terms and conditions, but your cruise fare includes:
unlimited shore excursions
unlimited beverages, including fine wines and premium spirits
open bars and lounges, including re-stocking of the minibar in your stateroom
free specialty restaurants onboard
transfers between airport and ship
Plus, if you book an upgraded room or suite, you may also get an included pre-cruise hotel night, or a private butler in your room! (Did we mention, this is a luxury cruise?)
So, here’s the thing, though—this itinerary is fabulous, and the you’ll definitely be taken care of while you’re onboard, but it doesn’t have to be out-of-reach for your budget. As of press time (meaning, the time that I “press” the button that makes this post go live), Regent was offering 2-for-1 fares on some sailings for this trip. And, in case you didn’t know, we've often got preferred pricing and added amenities when you book your travel through us with one of our preferred travel partners (including Regent).
Whaddaya say? Wanna go to Cuba on the perfect itinerary? Of course you do. So, how about we give you a button you can click to get in touch with us?