Join us for an 8 day cruise from Miami on the beautiful Viking Star
to explore the island nation of Cuba
From $2,999/person (For included air, add $199)
February 21 - 28, 2019
Delve into the riches of Cuba and engage with its people during this itinerary, a rewarding blend of history and spirited Caribbean flair. Cruise the Caribbean, then spend three days in the cultural center of Cienfuegos, Cuba’s “Pearl of the South” and a UNESCO Site. Discover historic Santiago de Cuba, and learn the stories behind Cuba’s most influential figures.
Day 1 — Miami, United States
Arrive in Miami today, Florida’s sun-kissed city of glimmering high-rises and vibrant culture on scenic Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Settle in to your veranda stateroom and take time to explore your ship amid Miami’s coastal beauty.
Day 2 — Scenic Cruising: Gulf of Mexico
Cruise the azure waters of the Caribbean today. Columbus sailed among the West Indies on these waters before making landfall on South and Central America. And the ships of European nations raised their sails here in search of land for their Crowns and gold for their coffers. You will have ample time to bask in the legendary Caribbean sun at the Infinity Pool and enjoy your meals al fresco, perhaps sampling a local rum cocktail.
Day 3 — Cienfuegos, Cuba
Spend the day exploring Cienfuegos today with your expert guide, as you get to know this great place and interact with its people. One of Cuba’s most authentic and well-preserved cities, Cienfuegos (meaning “100 Fires”) was settled in 1819 by the French who had made their way here from both their homeland and from their settlements in Louisiana. Soon, the town was booming with the activity of merchants exporting sugar, tobacco and coffee; their riches helped to build a city infused with the spirit of France and its other overseas territories. A grid of straight streets, graceful fountains and symmetrical colonnades carry hints of Bordeaux and New Orleans. More than 300 buildings from the latter half of the 19th century grace the downtown area and nowhere else in the Caribbean will you find more neoclassical structures, earning it a place as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As you are docked here overnight, you will have plenty of time to meet the people and discover the city’s extensive local music and arts scene. You may also choose to dine at one of the city’s leading private restaurants, locally known as paladares.
Day 4 — Cienfuegos, Cuba
Revisit cold war-era tensions at the Bay of Pigs, the site of a failed CIA-backed invasion of Cuba in April 1961. Interactions with your local guide and Cuban experts will help you learn how the battle affected Cuba’s relationship with the United States and Soviet Union, and how its ramifications are still felt today. With your expert guide, interact with the people and explore Cienfuegos, a city that blossomed into La Perla del Sur, or “The Pearl of the South.” Among its cultural amenities, the Teatro Tomás Terry became the centerpiece and pride of the city. This venerated concert hall, which drew the likes of singer Enrico Caruso, was constructed with carrarra marble, hand-carved native wood, and a lush, frescoed ceiling. In the late 19th century, the Botanical Gardens were added to the cityscape, hosting plants that hailed from such far-flung nations as India and China. Today, it boasts 2,000 species and the most varieties of palm tree on earth.
Day 5 — Cienfuegos, Cuba
Learn about Cienfuegos’s maritime history while spending the morning kayaking around its scenic bay. Today one of Cuba’s largest ports, Cienfuegos was a popular sanctuary from pirates during colonial times. You may choose to explore a bit further afield with a Cuban biologist to learn about the Botanical Garden of Cienfuegos, the only one of its kind in the Caribbean. And, receive an introduction to the varied birdlife from your expert guide at the Guanaroca Lagoon, a birdwatcher’s paradise. Travel back to Cuba’s colonial past in Trinidad. Once the home of wealthy landowners and sugar barons, today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site graced by cobblestone streets and bright, pastel-colored residences.
Day 6 — Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
Explore Cuba’s former capital city, also known as the “Cradle of the Cuban Revolution.” Monuments that commemorate Santiago de Cuba’s rebel leaders can be found all over the city, from Antonio Maceo—who led the fight in Cuba’s wars of independence—to Fidel Castro. Uncover Santiago’s 500-year history on a visit to the Emilio Bacardi Moreau Provincial Museum, featuring a vast collection of artifacts and paintings collected by the city’s former mayor. Immerse yourself in Santiago’s diverse culture, influenced by its early immigrants from Africa, Haiti and Jamaica. Or, get a taste of Cuba’s coffee industry with a visit to a national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site coffee plantation, in the heart of the Sierra Maestra mountain range with its gigantic rock formation La Gran Piedra.
Day 7 — Cruise the Caribbean Sea
As you sail the sapphire blue waters of the Caribbean north back toward Miami, take advantage of the many amenities of your ship. You might take in an enrichment lecture on board, or sip a cocktail and enjoy the view through the two-story panoramic windows of the Explorers’ Lounge.
Day 8 — Miami, United States
Disembark your ship today and depart for home, or extend your stay in Miami and take in the city’s lively Cuban-American culture, fresh cuisine and the vibrant art deco architecture of South Beach.
Prices start at $2,999/person
Viking also offers flights starting at $199/person
All This Is Included