Silversea has unveiled a collection of 34 shore excursions, specially designed for its new 16-voyage Cuba collection for 2019 and 2020.
Taking guests closer to the authentic natural beauty and amazing cultural and historical treasures of the Caribbean island nation, the onshore experiences in Havana, Santiago de Cuba and Cienfuegos will provide immersion into the local way of life. Enhancing the cruise experience, officials say the shore excursions will showcase the most important attractions in and around each city with Silversea’s trademark destination expertise.
“We are pleased to launch a diverse array of tailor-made experiences that will enable our guests to travel deeper to discover and appreciate a land seemingly frozen in time, yet filled with awe-inspiring scenery, extraordinary people and a vibrant culture,” says Adria Bono, Silversea’s director of shore excursions.
From visits to World Heritage-listed sites and inspired musical performances to visits to local art galleries and amazing nature discoveries, the authentic beauty of Cuba will be showcased on excursions such as:
- Havana by Classic American Car
Whether riding in a colourful Pontiac, Chevy or Cadillac, guests on this unique excursion will experience Havana in authentic 1950s style from the comfort of a vintage American car. Under the knowledgeable guidance of a private driver and guide, guests will journey through the colourful city and along the spectacular waterfront. The excursion will also feature a cocktail at the historic Hotel Nacional de Cuba and a panoramic drive, which will showcase the Plaza de la Revolución, El Malecón, landmarks, churches, city parks, Miramar, the Nelson Domínguez Gallery and more iconic attractions.
- Hemingway’s Havana
Ernest Hemingway’s well-documented love of Cuba is explored on this panoramic sightseeing excursion to his favourite local haunts. During this enriching adventure, guests visit Hemingway’s former home, Finca Vigía, in the town of San Francisco de Paula; the Hemingway Monument in Cojimar, the fishing village that inspired the novel “The Old Man and the Sea”; and several of Hemingway’s hangouts, located in the World Heritage-listed Old Havana.
- Legendarios del Guajirito – The Spirit of the Buena Vista Social Club
At a venerable cabaret-style venue, guests will feel the authentic rhythm of Havana with “Legendarios del Guajirito,” an exclusive live performance by the renowned Buena Vista Social Club – a Grammy-winning ensemble of musicians. Guests will be transported back to 1950s Havana in a stirring nightclub ambiance, where they will enjoy cocktails and mingle with band members.
- Santiago de Cuba, Birthplace of the Revolution
The colonial and wartime history of Cuba is unlocked during this scenic and informative journey to the famous sites of the Cuban Revolution and the Spanish-American War. Among the tour’s highlights are visits to the historic district, with its colourful colonial buildings and bustling Céspedes Park; the Moncada Barracks; Santa Ifigenia Cemetery; Plaza de la Revolución; and San Juan Hill, where Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders rode to victory during the Spanish-American War in 1898.
- El Cobre
Guests will gain an appreciation of Cuba’s religious heritage, music, cuisine and history on an adventure to the old mining center of El Cobre. Set in the Sierra Maestra foothills, the town is home to the Basílica de Nuestra Señora, one of Cuba’s most important religious sites. The excursion also features a musical performance by the local steel band; a drive through Santiago, which will spotlight such historic sites as the Plaza de la Revolución and San Juan Hill; plus a visit to a local restaurant for an authentic Cuban lunch.
This panoramic journey into central Cuba provides an immersive experience of World Heritage-listed Trinidad. Guests will travel back in time on a stroll through the Old Town, admiring cobblestone streets, a neo-baroque main square, grand colonial buildings, and beautiful old churches. A visit to the Potter’s House reveals artisans at work in a traditional open-air workshop. Afterwards, stops will be made at a local artist’s gallery, then for refreshments and lunch. After lunch, guests will visit the Municipal Museum of Trinidad to explore relics of the city’s past, before visiting the panoramic Valley of the Sugar Mills observation point.
- Natural Beauty of El Nicho
The stunning natural beauty surrounding Cienfuegos is the focus of this memorable hiking and sightseeing adventure to El Nicho. A guided hiking trek along the forested trails of El Nicho, one of Cuba’s most pristine locales, showcases cascading waterfalls, virgin forests and towering mountains. Guests will visit the village of Crucecitas and San Juan Peak for breathtaking panoramic vistas that overlook central and western Cuba from approximately 1,158 metres above sea level. There’s also a stop for lunch, a visit to the Jobero Verde Community Project, and free time to explore the historical centre of Cienfuegos.
Silver Wind will have the distinction of inaugurating Silversea’s new Cuban collection when its sets sail on a seven-day voyage on Feb. 14, 2019, from San Juan to Fort Lauderdale, calling at Havana, Santiago de Cuba and the Bahamian island of Bimini. Four further voyages in 2019, including a 14-night sailing aboard Silver Whisper, will precede 11 voyages in 2020.