Small-Ship Cruises to Get You to Cuba
Now that demand for travel to Cuba is up 40 percent, one of the best ways to visit the newly opened nation is with a small-ship cruise company.
On nine-night itineraries aboard IE’s 46- and 48-passenger motor-powered sailing yachts, guests fly from Miami to Cuba’s southern coast for visits to colonial Trinidad and Cienfuegos, then head west to the nature reserves. Next up: Havana for two days, plus a day in Viñales, whose tobacco- quilted fields helped earn it a unesco World Heritage designation. From $4,899 per person.
If the idea of circumnavigating the island strikes a chord, this cruise line, known for its high-end river trips, takes to Cuba in February with nine-night sailings from Miami on a 210-passenger vessel. The route hits the island’s historic towns like Cienfuegos, Trinidad, and music-rich Santiago, plus the port where Christopher Columbus landed in 1492, near Holguín. From $4,599 per person.
Pearl Seas Cruises
This luxury line specializing in inland cruises offers a similar itinerary to Haimark’s on its 10-night sailings aboard the 210-passenger, all-balcony Pearl Mist. One big difference: In lieu of Viñales, the ship spends an extra day in Havana so guests can take advantage of the forts, churches, plazas, vintage-car culture, and live music spilling from the bars. From $7,580 per person.
The nine-night Cuba by Land and Sea tour aboard the 1,200-passenger Celestyal Crystal combines Cuba’s highlights with two days in Havana. Days on the island are filled with sightseeing and cross-cultural exchanges with professional singers and baseball players, as well as business owners, farmers, and architects. It also includes a relaxing stop in Jamaica. From $2,599 per person.