Cuba 360˚: a Circumnavigation of the Cultures of Cuba

Cuba 360˚: a Circumnavigation of the Cultures of Cuba

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A distinctive 10-Day People to People cultural exchange program in collaboration with United Caribbean Lines, providing guests with a unique opportunity to see many of Cuba’s seldolmly visited port cities with visits to six of Cuba’s nine UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Beyond the sun-soaked beaches, Cuba brings everything from beautiful plazas, abundant wildlife, sustainable ecosystems, stunning architecture, museums and a vibrant musical tradition. Cuba’s landscape is diverse, consisting of roaming coastlines, the Sierra Maestra mountains to the east and the distinctive Caribbean spirit of the central region where top Cuban musicians often make surprise appearances and traditional savory Cuban cuisine begins the day.

Experience Cuban culture the most authentic way possible— through its people. On this distinctive program, get acquainted with Cubans in their daily lives, from the city of Havana to the tobacco plantations of Viñales Valley. Engage with people directly in discussions about their lives and work, culture and traditions. Meet with Cuban historians, artists, musicians and naturalists and experience this diverse island through their eyes.

From USD $4599 twin share.

Contact us for dates and more information. Place are limited.

Trip Name


  • Explore 5 UNESCO World Heritage sites including Old Havana and Trinidad with experts in Cuban culture and history
  • Visit Hotel Ambos Mundos in Havana, where Ernest Hemingway wrote “For Whom the Bell Tolls”
  • Take in the authentic music of the famous Cuban ensemble, the Buena Vista Social Club at Café Taberna, representing the musical spirit of the original 1940s Havana club by the same name.
  • Experience the cultural and economic landscape in the Valley of Viñales, a UNESCO World Heritage Site layered with green tobacco plantations and studded by limestone caves
  • Witness the lasting impression of Cuba’s colorful history on it’s architecture and 16th century structures in Trinidad
  • Enjoy a performance by the Cienfuegos Choir and the French influenced palaces and mansions in this enchanting colonial city
  • Experience the eclectic assortment of architectural influences in soulful Santiago de Cuba, from the imposing San Pedro de la Roca Castle (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), to the exquisite colonial homes in the historic quarter
  • Explore Alejandro de Humboldt National Park, the most important biosphere reserve in the Caribbean basin and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site


DAY 1: Miami, Florida – Embarkation
This afternoon guests will embark on a iconic journey from the Port of Miami to sailing overnight to the cultural capital of Cuba, Havana. This evening enjoy a Welcome Reception as well a highly informative talk of the journey that unfolds in front of us. Following guests will be treated to a welcome dinner.
DAY 2: Havana
Following breakfast, guests aboard will be treated to a fascinating lecture on the colorful history, people and the culture that shaped Havana today. We will then disembark and begin our cultural exploration of this beautiful city by foot through the atmospheric squares of ‘Havana Viejo’, calling on artists in their studios as we pass. Visit Hotel Ambos Mundos, where Ernest Hemingway kept a room for years. The hotel served as a refuge for writing such works as “For Whom the Bell Tools” and a base for frequenting his favorite bars. After dinner, we encourage guests to enjoy an evening performance at the historical Tropicana Theater or alternatively stroll to nearby Café Taberna, where one can enjoy Cuban music by the famed Buena Vista Social Club.
DAY 3: Havana
This morning we head west into the province of Piñar Del Rio to the famed Viñales Valley. A designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, Viñales boasts Cuba’s most strikingly beautiful landscapes and is where the island’s best tobacco is grown. Survey an orchid garden with staff from the University of Piñar del Rio. At a tobacco farm run by three generations, the family discusses their lives and why their crop is among the world’s best. Also interact with workers at a tobacco-sorting facility. The valley is punctuated by huge limestone caves that form inside one of the many spectacular mogotes – limestone karst outcroppings. A small boat takes us on a river running inside the cave. Sample the homegrown vegetables grown at an organic farm while meeting the family who is responsible for the land and prepared our lunch. Cap-off our day by meeting locals in the small community of Viñales before returning to Havana.
DAY 4: Maria La Gorda
Explore Maria La Gorda, on the Bahía de Corrientes, beginning in La Bajada. Meet with a local naturalist at Guanahacabibes National Park, the largest of Cuba’s six nature reserves. In addition to butterflies and birdlife such as endemic bee hummingbird and yellow-headed warbler, Guanahacabibes is home to a large profusion of orchids and epiphytes, a total of 16 species, some indigenous and some recently discovered. At a Meteorological Center, learn about forecasting weather, weather patterns, and storms and hurricanes that have left their mark in Cuba, along with how historic storms have impacted ordinary Cubans. Participate in an expert discussion at the “Honey House” on beekeeping and honey production
DAY 5: Cienfuegos
Enjoy a walking tour of Cienfuegos’ city center this morning. Founded in 1819 by the Spanish, but initially settled by the French – it became a trading place for sugar cane, tobacco and coffee. The city first developed in the neoclassical style, later becoming more eclectic but retaining a harmonious overall landscape. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, we’ll meet with a local specialist to discuss the significance of buildings such as Government Palace (City Hall), San Lorenzo School, the Bishopric, Ferrer Palace and the former lyceum. Discover the transformative power of art in the lives of ordinary Cubans while visiting a graphic arts workshop. After a performance by the Cienfuegos Choir — we’re invited to join the choir for songs in the spirit of musical exchange.
DAY 6: Trinidad
Today, a city historian leads a walking tour of Trinidad, an architectural jewel proclaimed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Red tiled roofs atop pastel stucco structures line the cobbled streets. This port city reflects its 16th century past and founding by Conquistadors. Eighteenth century smugglers and pirates made frequent calls here or even used this port as their base of operations in the Caribbean. The wealth and importance of Trinidad continued into the 19th century, when sugar barons reigned. Mingle with local residents and call on artists in their studio as we wind our way through the city. Guests will stop at the Museum Romantico and the Architecture Museum. At Casa Del Alfarero Santander, an artisan workshop, meet local artists and learn about traditional pottery techniques. This pottery studio has been run by the same family for decades.
DAY 7: Santiago de Cuba
The second largest city of Cuba established in 1515 by Conquistador Diego Velazquez de Cuéllar, the city remains today as an important seaport to the island. Well known for it’s traditional dances unique to this region of the island we’ll witness locals explaining their dance as well learn about the Afro-Cuban religions such as Santeria widely practiced in the area. Following, we’ll visit the local citadel of San Pedro de la Roca a UNESCO World Heritage site as the most complete and best-preserved examples of Spanish American military architecture based on the Italian and Renaissance design principles.
DAY 8: Baracoa or Alejandro de Humboldt National Park
Tailor your exploration with the included morning excursion of your choice: Alejandro de Humboldt National Park: Named for Alexander von Humboldt the German naturalist and adventurer who explored this area in 1801, this pristine National Park offers one of the most diverse ecosystems in the Caribbean. With a variety of terrain, this tropical paradise is home to numerous species, many of them endangered and protected. Lead by our experienced and sharp-eyed naturalists, this active walking tour offers a chance to espy Cuban Amazon parrots, Hook-billed Kites, Ivory-billed woodpeckers and other colorful species. Historic Baracoa: Surrounded by tropical forests on the far eastern shores of the island, Baracoa is Cuba’s oldest city; it’s a charming place where the pace of life is refreshingly simple, and many people still make their living by fishing or cultivating coconut and banana – as their families have for generations. As an alternative to the National Park, you can choose a guided tour that will show you the city and introduce you to its friendly residents. Return to ship for lunch and participate in another enriching talk about Cuba, or you can simply relax on deck and enjoy our ship’s ambience before sitting down to another elegant dinner.
DAY 9: Discover Holguin
After a leisurely morning of cruising and lunch onboard, you’ll step ashore in the colorful port of Gibara where Christopher Columbus landed on October 27, 1492. Our comfortable coaches will be waiting to take you about 20 miles into the interior to explore the sites and culture of Holguín, a city where the rhythms of life have changed little over the years. Accompanied by our experienced Cuban guides, you’ll spend time with artisans and musicians, hearing their stories and learning about their daily life and passions. You’ll return to ship with time to refresh before this evening’s farewell dinner. This evening, our ship completes its 360° circumnavigation of the island and begins its return journey across the Florida Straits. An evening briefing will include important disembarkation information and a recap of our voyage.
DAY 10: Miami, Florida – Disembarkation
After breakfast, you’ll disembark at 9:00 AM in the Port of Miami. We include your return transfer to Miami Airport for your homeward flight.
Please Note:
A significant portion of your in-country programming is customized for each sailing in order to maximize your cultural experience. Many of the places we visit are not tourist destinations and thus are not always available. Therefore, the activities described in this itinerary should be considered as samples only. Please keep in mind that your particular daily program may vary. Final itineraries are sent to guests one to two weeks prior to departure.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type


    St Laurent

    Vessel Type: Small Ship

    Length: 88m

    Passenger Capacity:  210

    Built/Refurbished: 2001/2015

    The indisputable joy of sailing is brought to life on the MS Saint Laurent, an agile small ship that easily navigates canals and locks, tranquil bays, and hidden ports where larger ships dare not go. Onboard, fresh, modern design tips its hat to our maritime past as spacious, open-air lounges, inviting dining venues, and generous windows ensure you never miss a chance to savor the view.

    • 105 newly refurbished staterooms provide an onboard sanctuary of comfort
    • Select complimentary custom-tailored shore excursions daily
    • Expertly trained culinary team providing exceptional dining experiences in two dining rooms—the Cliff Rock Grille and Shearwater Dining Room
    • All-inclusive meals and beverages, including coffee, water, soft drinks, beer, wine and cocktails (excluding premium brands)
    • Daily cocktail hour featuring cold canapés and bar snacks one hour prior to dinner
    • Smart-casual attire throughout your journey—no formal attire required
    • Attentive service from a caring staff of 85 to ensure a remarkable journey
    • Informative and enriching lectures from onboard speaker
    • Books and board games
    • Nightly entertainment
    • Casual, English-style Seascape Tavern
    • The indoor Compass Lounge
    • Onboard salon
    • Boutique
    • Spacious sun deck area with chaise lounges
    • Relaxing outdoor canopied sitting area offering panoramic views from the observation deck level with bar service