May 18, 2016

Cuban cool


'It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.' – Ernest Hemingway

One of Cuba’s most ardent fans was the great novelist himself, and just like Hemingway, Scenic guests can enjoy both the journey and destination, on our new Discovery Yacht, Scenic Eclipse.

Currently one of the hottest destinations in the world thanks to the relaxing of border regulations and a renewed dialogue with the United States, Cuba is an absolute revelation.

White-sand beaches, rolling mountains, cigars, salsa and rum, the Cuba of your imagination is alive and well. Hop inside a well-preserved 1950s car and get to know the true spirit of Cuba. Spend time along the vibrant coastline, explore untouched national parks and venture out into the pristine waters. Cuba is a country unlike any other, one that will fill your soul and gladden your heart with its zest for life.

Scenic Eclipse will begin cruising to this spectacular island from 2019. The 14 Day Cuba in Depth cruise departs from Miami and circumnavigates Cuba offering up plenty of opportunities to explore above, beyond and below. Alternatively, if you’re interested in exploring even more of the Caribbean, the 10 Day Taste of Cuba & the Caribbean lets you discover the sultry appeal of this little island time forgot, before exploring Jamaica and the spectacular islands off the coast of Colombia.

The World’s First Discovery Yacht heralds a new direction for Scenic as we celebrate 30 years as an award-winning luxury travel operator. Three years in the planning, Scenic Eclipse takes ocean cruising to a completely new level in terms of technology and innovation. With sleek contours and external design that draw inspiration from a mega yacht, it will be a beautiful ship to behold.

Our on board helicopters and submarine will be put to great use during guest’s time in Cuba. Explore the untouched reefs off the coast or soar above remote jungles in the helicopter.

Cuba is a heritage listed paradise with four World Heritage-listed cities, Havana, Trinidad, Cienfuegos and Camagüey have barely changed since colonial days when pirates roamed the Caribbean. Treasures that have been carefully preserved.

The most iconic city of them all is the capital Havana, an atmospheric mix of aromas, sights and sounds. As well-preserved 1950s cars glide by, music heavy with African and Spanish influences pours out of buildings and ubiquitous cigar smoke wafts around, you’ll experience a place that has changed very little since the days of Hemingway. You might even decide to pop into one of the bars he loved to frequent to try his favourite tipple – the mojito.

Cuba is a place of many layers, untouched by modern influences, on the cusp of the new world and meticulously preserved. Discover hidden gems that can only be reached on a discovery yacht, away from the crowds, these wonderful itineraries will have you discovering a whole new ‘old world’.

With so many exceptional locations and experiences, you’ll be spoilt for choice on this lovely journey. Visit a myriad of World Heritage-listed sites and explore cities time forgot.

TOP 5 SCENIC ECLIPSE CUBAN EXPERIENCES

Carriages and cigars

Get to know the best kept secrets of Havana on a horse and carriage ride around the historic city centre, before visiting a cigar factory to discover just how those famous Cubans are handcrafted.

San Pedro de la Roca Citadel

Originally built to deter raiding pirates from the important Cuban port of Santiago, the San Pedro de la Roca Citadel is a World Heritage-site. This intricate complex of forts, magazines, bastions and batteries is the most complete, best-preserved example of Spanish-American military architecture, based on Italian and Renaissance design principles. Explore this fascinating piece of Cuban history and spend time listening to the many stories surrounding it.

Rare species

Visit the Maria La Gorda Biosphere and get to know the curious Cuban Rock Iguana. Prehistoric and enigmatic, get up close and personal to one of these increasingly rare creatures.

Explore Cayo Largo in a submarine

The tiny key of Cayo Largo sits in the calm Caribbean waters, at the easternmost tip of the Archipélago de los Canarreos off Cuba’s southern coast. Its crystal clear waters and abundant sea life offer Scenic Eclipse guests the very best submarine excursions. You’ll marvel at the coral formations, colourful sponges and breathtaking tropical fish on display in the balmy, translucent water.

La Perla del Sur

Known as the ‘Pearl of the South’, Cienfuegos offers guests a chance to experience authentic Cuban culture, architecture and hospitality without the crowds of Havana. Spend time exploring this gem of a city built around one of Cuba’s most spectacular bays.