Since the United States and Cuba restored diplomatic relations in 2015, it seems just about everyone is clamoring to escort Americans around the enigmatic Caribbean island; even mega cruise lines have gotten on the act. Yet while others might offer the chance to sample tasty Torticas de Moron (Cuban sugar cookies), you’ll never get a cookie-cutter itinerary traveling with us.
Consider our upcoming Cuba Under Sail voyage. While strolling the colorful streets of Old Havana, you’ll stop in for a drink at El Floridita, one of Ernest Hemingway’s favorite bars and the birthplace of the daiquiri. That sets the stage for a visit to Arte Corte, where barber Gilberto Valladares—aka “Papito”—has transformed an alleyway into an eclectic and wholly unique museum and academy devoted to Cuban hairdressing.
While others may offer shore excursions to UNESCO-designated Viñales Valley, we take guests to Cueva del Indio (Indian Cave) for a boat cruise along its subterranean river. You also get the chance to go spelunking at the fantastical Cuevas de Ballamar cave system, located a short distance from the cultural center of Matanzas. We offer the option of exploring “Cuba’s Athens” or heading to a nearby ranch for horseback riding, followed by a 4x4 excursion and leisurely cruise through the beautiful Rio Canimar Nature Park. Another distinctive port of call: the Spanish-era town of Gibara, which The Guardian called “Cuba’s best-kept secret.” Cut off from train service—and seemingly the rest of the world—in 1958, this fiercely independent fishing village is filled with parks and hosts one of Central America’s hippest film festivals.
Yet what truly distinguishes our Cuba voyage is the quality and experience of our expedition team. Take historian Richard Fagen, for example. The former Stanford University instructor, and past-president of the Latin American Studies Association, has authored two books and dozens of articles about Cuba, as well as participated in a Discovery Channel special on the island’s underwater world. Fagen’s invaluable insights are what truly make our voyage “el único” (the one and only).