Cruising Through Cuba

By Roderick Eime

Cruising Through Cuba
Comfortable small ship cruising is becoming the popular choice for visitors wanting to see as much as possible of vibrant Cuba, including Havana, the UNESCO-listed city of Trinidad de Cuba, and the idyllic beach retreat of María La Gorda.

The Cuban region Viñales Valley is recognised by UNESCO for its limestone karstic formations, which rise as high as 300 metres in some places. Hiking and rock-climbing are popular sports for adventurous visitors. Travellers can visit Viñales Valley on Peregrine Adventures’ eight-day Cuban Panorama tour. The tour offers a flavoursome mixture of small-ship cruising and land excursions covering coastal and inland attractions, as well as the fabled, UNESCO-listed city of Trinidad de Cuba on the southern shore.

An old-world feel

The colourful city of Trinidad has retained a lively old-world feel, with bars and restaurants sprinkled among the dimly lit thoroughfares and usually thronging with camera-toting travellers. The buildings are preserved and brightly-painted, giving the city a vibrancy and providing perfect photo opportunities.

My heart is in Havana

There is plenty of time spent in the capital, Havana, where all the key sites are visited including an excursion in Chevy Impala classic taxis to Hemingway’s former Cuban haunt, Finca Vigía. According to Gus, Ava Gardner used to swim nude in the pool, much to the displeasure of Mrs Hemingway. 

Comfort cruising

We’re sailing aboard the 34-guest motor cruiser, MV Callisto, but you could just as easily find yourself aboard the 48-berth sailing yacht, Panorama, on the same itinerary. Our local guide, Gus, enriches our understanding of this intriguing country with delightfully candid descriptions of everyday life. Comfortable cruising is becoming the pre-eminent touring choice for visitors wishing to see as much of Cuba as possible without the nuisance of checking into hotels and catching coaches.

A visit to the busy port town of Cienfuegos, near the site of the famous 1960s Bay of Pigs invasion, is a must. Founded by the French in 1818, the city has its own distinct character and it’s here we are treated to a most impressive cappella performance by the national choir. Plus, don’t miss Guanahacabibes National Park, home to the world’s smallest bird, the tiny (2g) bee hummingbird (Mellisuga helenae). 

Peregrine Adventures operates the small ship alternative in Cuba offering intimate and stress-free explorations of this intriguing country. The Cuban Panorama cruise sails from Havana to Cienfuegos (or reverse) via Maria La Gorda and Trinidad over eight days from November through March.  

To learn more about Peregrine Adventures’s cruises, visit


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