Explore Cuba by land and sea in this 17-day tour. From the cane fields and rum that fuel salsa dancing to beautiful bays and beaches and magnificent colonial architecture, Cuba enthrals with its exuberant culture. Yet this island nation has long struggled to find its place in the world. Its complex history – from invasion, colonial slavery and genocide to populist revolution and a difficult relationship with its superpower neighbour – has not helped. But nor has this detracted from the indomitable spirit of the Cuban people themselves, who have kept their country alive through sheer ingenuity.
A melting pot of Afro-Caribbean cultures, in Cuban music, literature, architecture and politics
Colonial architecture, from the French to Spanish missionaries
The intriguing political history of this controversial island nation, including the Bay of Pigs, scene of the 1961 US invasion
Cigars and rum, from colonial estates of sugar cane and tobacco, and resilient thrift of Cuba’s urban farms
The evocative and inescapable rhythms of the Salsa and the lilting strings of son musicians
Old and new Havana: from Hemingway’s haunts to cruising the streets in classic cars from a bygone era
Touring by land and sea, with 7 nights onboard the high-tech 68-metre yacht, Variety Voyager
Skilful torcedores at work, hand rolling the best cigars in the world
National heroes, from José Martí to Fidel Castro, and their tombs at the Santa Ifigenia cemetery
Lush Sugar Mill Valley and the colourful Spanish settlement of Trinidad
Cienfuegos, the ‘pearl of the south’: classic cars and colonial architecture
Days 1–3: Explore Havana, including the National Art Gallery and Museum of the Revolution.
Days 4–5: In Santiago de Cuba, visit San Pedro de la Roca and Santa Ifigenia cemetery.
Day 6: Travel to Camaguey, town of the tinajón clay pots, via iconic El Cobre Basilica.
Day 7: Visit Trinidad’s Manaca Iznaga slave tower and continue to Cienfuegos.
Days 8–14: Board Variety Voyager, sail to Trinidad and Isla de la Juventud. Visit María La Gorda, surrounded by national park. Sail to Havana, dock for two nights at Sierra Maestra Port.
Days 15–17: Disembark in Havana before departure.
A detailed itinerary for this tour is available. Click on the link above to view or download.
Please contact our consultants regarding flight information to Havana for competitive quotes and bookings.
A detailed itinerary for this tour will be available in the coming months. Bookings are open for this tour, however if you would like to receive the detailed itinerary booklet once available, please register your interest below and we will send you a copy.
Dr Stephen Wilkinson
Is chairman of the International Institute for the Study of Cuba and holds a PHD in Hispanic Studies.
Dr Stephen Wilkinson is Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at the University of Buckingham. Stephen first visited Cuba in 1986 and has been travelling to and writing about the island ever since. Now the Chairman of the International Institute for the Study of Cuba, based in the UK, Stephen has a PhD on the subject of Cuban literature. He has written numerous articles on diverse questions such as the history of European and US – Cuba relations, Cuban attitudes and policy towards homosexuals, Cuban art and the nature of the Cuban state. Stephen’s book, Detective Fiction in Cuban Society and Culture, was published in 2006 by Peter Lang.
Among his other commitments, Stephen teaches at King’s College London, is Editor of the International Journal of Cuban Studies, is a contributor to IHS Sentinel Reports on Cuba and consults on a variety of media projects related to the island. He consulted on the film 638 Ways to Kill Castro in 2006: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7zf3cUPAa8
Stephen is an experienced guide and tour leader to Cuba and frequently leads academic study groups and people-to-people exchanges to the island. In 2000 he led and designed numerous study tours for a number of US clients including the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Geographic Society and Smithsonian Institute. Between 2006 and 2011 he designed and led week-long study tours for MBA students at Cranfield School of Management in the UK. His other tour projects have included leading birdwatching and trekking tours. His wealth of contacts in Cuba adds greatly to the experience.
Hotels will be selected principally for their central location, often within walking distance to the museums, galleries and performance venues visited on tour. The tour also includes 7 nights onboard the high-tech 68-metre yacht, Variety Voyager.
What is included in the tour price? Unless otherwise stated in the itinerary, our tours include the following:
Any flights mentioned in the itinerary that take place during a tour
Land travel by private air-conditioned coach. Where appropriate public transport is also used for short distance travel on some tours
All accommodation in hotels or apartments as stated in the itinerary
Breakfasts, lunches and dinners specifically stated as included in the itinerary
Drinks at welcome and farewell meals. Other meals may not have drinks included
Background talks on tour, site notes and online resources
Services of tour leader throughout tour
All entrance fees to sites mentioned in the itinerary
Local guides at some sites
Tips for drivers, local guides and restaurants for included meals
Tours begin either at the arrival airport or the first hotel, depending on the itinerary. If you have booked your international flights with Academy Travel and arrive before the tour commences, we will provide airport to hotel transfers to the closest main city on your arrival, and to the closest airport at the end of the tour. These may be either individual or group transfers.
What is not included in the tour price? Open-age tours do not include the following:
Return international/domestic air travel unless those flights take place during the tour
Special taxes and airport levies that can only be paid in cash at the destination. We will advise you of these charges (if any) before you depart
Costs involved in obtaining visas for countries visited, where required
Travel insurance. We require all participants to have comprehensive travel insurance. A typical policy for one of our tours will cost from $160 upwards, depending on your age, pre-existing medical conditions, the countries you are visiting and the overall length of your trip
Lunches and dinners not specifically mentioned as included in the itinerary
Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
Costs associated with any activity mentioned as “optional” in the itinerary, or any suggested free time activity
You will be asked to sign an acknowledgement of these conditions when you book a place on a tour.
A deposit of $500 per person is required to confirm your booking on a tour. Final payment of the tour fee, insurance and any additional travel will be due 60 days before departure.
If you decide to cancel your booking the following charges apply:
More than 60 days before departure: $500*
60-45 days before tour start: 25% of total amount due
44-15 days before tour start: 75% of total amount due
14 days or less before departure: 100% of total amount due
*This amount may be credited to another Academy Travel tour within 12 months of the original tour you booked.
Unused Portions of the tour
We regret that refunds will not be given for any unused portions of the tour, such as meals, entry fees, accommodation, flights or transfers.
Academy Travel requires all participants to obtain comprehensive travel insurance. We offer a comprehensive policy with a reputable insurer if required.
Passport and Visa
A valid passport is required for all international travel. If you do not hold an Australian passport you may require a re-entry permit. Some countries require a visa to be issued before you depart Australia. We will advise you of all passport and visa requirements, but it is your responsibility to ensure that you meet passport and visa requirements before you depart.
Will the tour price change?
If the number of participants in a tour is significantly less than budgeted, or if there is a significant change in exchange rates Academy Travel reserves the right to amend the advertised price. If this occurs you will be given the option of cancelling your booking and obtaining a full refund. If an Academy Travel tour is forced to cancel you will get a full refund of all monies paid.
Will the itinerary change?
Occasionally circumstances beyond the control of Academy Travel make it necessary to change airline, hotel or to make slight amendments to daily itineraries. We will inform you of any changes as soon as they occur.
Full and final payment for the tour, airfare travel, insurance and any additional travel you book is due 60 days before departure. Payment may be made by bank deposit, cheque, cash or credit card. Please note there is a surcharge for payments made by credit card.
Academy Travel reserves the right to decline the booking or terminate the holiday of any traveller.