International Seakeepers Society

Key West Havana, Cuba - November 7th to 12th

Take a step back in time and join us for the Ocean Reef Yacht Club inaugural trip to Cuba. Ira and Wendy have worked diligently to provide us with an exciting introduction to this amazing island. The Cuban story is fascinating; we will experience the culture and history along with the opportunity to see how the people are governed as described below by Wikipedia:

Cuba has had, according to the Constitution, a democratic centralist political system since 1959 based on the "one state – one party" principal. Cuba is constitutionally defined as a Marxist–Leninist "socialist state guided by the political ideas of Marx, one of the fathers of historical materialism, Engels and Lenin". The present Constitution also ascribes the role of the Communist Party of Cuba to be the "leading force of society and of the state" and as such has the capability of setting national policy.

In keeping true to our Season’s Theme of “A Wicked Good Party” we have also included Cuban rum, Cuban cigars and dancing Salsa. Remember; this trip is an experiment and may not offer the luxury we are accustomed to, but you will have the opportunity to experience something that may no longer be available in a few years.

Our visit to Cuba is being hosted through the services of Cuba VIP Yachts, a division of Cuba Tours and Travel (CTAT), a full-service, TSP and Tour Wholesaler, licensed by the U.S. Treasury Department (TSP #2073790-40) to provide travel services to Cuba since 1999.

Henry A. Stout


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Day 1 - Sunday, April 23 - Florida to Havana

Group 1: Boaters arrival at Marina Hemingway

Traveling by yacht to Havana the boaters will arrive at Marina Hemingway; where you will be met by Cuba VIP Yachts management personnel and Cuban guides for orientation and information at the Club Nautico Internacional Hemingway de Cuba or as it is called Stateside the Hemingway International Yacht Club.

Dinner: Potluck dinner provided by boaters at the Ernest Hemingway International Yacht Club in Marina Hemingway to be organized by Wendy and Ira.

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Day 2 - Monday, April 24 - Florida ­- Havana

Group 1: Boaters who arrived early at Marina Hemingway may want to have lunch at La Guarida (optional self pay and prearranged with Wendy and Ira).

There is a mysterious aura to Centro Habana, battered by the sea and left to decay; where remains a ghostly essence of its former brilliance and a vibrant inner-city life fueled by the locals. Remarkably, some of the city’s top paladares (privately owned restaurants) are located in Centro Habana and among the best of them is La Guarida.This was the location for the acclaimed Cuban movie, “Fresa y Chocolate”, the first Cuban film ever to be considered for the Oscar. Any of the boaters that would like to enjoy a lovely lunch at one of Havana’s best paladares will take cabs into the city for lunch at this very special restaurant. After lunch, you can go up to the rooftop bar and “mirador” for the breathtaking views and an “after lunch” cocktail.

Group 2: Fly from South Florida *Airfare is not included in the Cruise Package Pricing.

Arrive at Jose Marti International Airport where you will be met by VIP Yachts management personnel and Cuba-based guide at the airport and taken to official yellow taxis. Orientation and information at the hotel by VIP staff and guides.*

Self Pay for the Taxi transport.

Arrival, check-in, orientation, etc. will take the better part of day one. At the hotel, enjoy the facilities including the oversized pool with two swim up bars at each end.

Dinner: Traditional Cuban “Pig Roast” and Welcome at Ernest Hemingway International Yacht Club

Hosted by Commodore Escrich of the Ernest Hemingway International Yacht Club, the group will enjoy a traditional Cuban feast, open bar of mojitos and Cuba Libres and a unique opportunity to extend the hand of friendship to the bastion for the recovery of the traditions of recreational yachting in Cuba and the sanctuary for the lovers and protectors of the seas and oceans. The club has over 2800 members from 65 countries and is ready to welcome the Ocean Reef Yacht Club in the Cuban tradition of love and friendship. The buses will be waiting at the Hotel Melia Habana at the designated time (TBD) to transfer the guests to the Ernest Hemingway International Yacht Club for the welcome festivities and returned to the hotel at the end of the evening.

Music and Salsa classes

You will enjoy salsa classes to Cuban music as part of the Welcome Party at the Ernest Hemingway International Yacht Club.

Day 3 - Tuesday, April 25 - Old Havana - History, Mystery and Magic

Breakfast Aboard or for those staying at the Hotel - Breakfast is included.

Every morning the buses and guides will pick up the group at either the marina or the hotel to begin the day’s activities. The guides and transportation remain with their group all day and serve as your direct contact to VIP Yachts management staff and personnel in Cuba. They can assist you with changing currency, making phone calls, and can answer your specific questions within their capacity.

Walk the Four Plazas of Old Havana - a favorite pastime of the locals!

The day will begin with a guided tour of the Four Plazas of Old Havana which will offer a journey through five centuries of history and architecture that culminate to comprise Cuba’s first of many UNESCO World Heritage Sites – “La Habana Vieja” or Old Havana. The tour takes you on a stroll through the four main plazas, Plaza de Armas, Plaza Vieja, Plaza de San Francisco de Asis and Plaza de la Catedral, giving you an insight to the truly magnificent and powerful place Cuba held in the Caribbean for centuries. You will interact with the many Cubans who live and work in La Habana Vieja and open their hearts and their lives to the American visitors that they welcome with their warm Cuban embrace.

Lunch in La Habana Vieja at the colonial beauty, Hotel Florida with live music.

The entire group will be served a magnificent lunch in a private courtyard of a historic colonial building that houses the Hotel Florida. Set in the heart of Havana’s historic colonial district, you will enjoy Cuban cuisine in an exclusive setting that takes you back centuries to Cuba’s colonial era. You will be serenaded throughout lunch by strolling musicians.

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Museo de Bellas Artes/ Art Museum

On the edge of Old Havana is Cuba’s National Art Museum. Very near El Prado, still in the heart of Havana’s urban center where La Habana Vieja meets Centro Habana, is a notoriously modern structure, housing the largest permanent collection of Cuban art in the world dating from the 16th Century to present. The collection boasts extensive works of the Cuban masters from the 1920s through the post-modernists of the 1980s. The group will enjoy a 45 minute to one hour guided tour of the Cuban Modern Masters collection, led by a museum docent.

Return to Marina Hemingway

Dine-Around - Groups of 30 or 60, depending on venue.

The groups will be split among the best “Paladares” in Havana. Havana has a booming new culinary scene offering a quality selection of amazing food in settings that rival the hippest and most creative restaurants in any major metropolis in the world. You’ll enjoy phenomenal cuisine with old world standards of service in stylish and unique environments. Recommended Paladares: San Cristobal, Cocina de Lilliam, Rio Mar, La Esperanza

Tropicana (Optional - Additional Charge at Sign Up)

The buses will depart from the dinner locations to go to the world-famous cabaret show at Tropicana, the Cabaret Under the Stars (doors open at 8:30 and the show starts at 10:00pm). Those not going to Tropicana will be returned to the marina or the hotel as they desire.

Day 4 - Wednesday, April 26 - El Prado

Breakfast Aboard or for those staying at the Hotel - Breakfast is included.

Every morning the buses and guides will pick up the group at either the marina or the hotel to begin the day’s activities. The guides and transportation remain with their group all day and serve as your direct contact to VIP Yachts management staff and personnel in Cuba. They can assist you with changing currency, making phone calls, and can answer your specific questions within their capacity.

Finca Vigia - Ernest Hemingway’s Home and Museum

Named Finca Vigia or “Lookout Farm”, the home was built in 1866 and purchased by Hemingway in 1940. This property, emerging from a lush tropical flora and fauna, was his primary home from 1940 until his death in 1961. Hemingway loved Cuba and according to close sources, he spent more time there during those two decades that any of his homes around the world. Here, Hemingway wrote his Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, “The Old Man and the Sea”, and his famous fishing boat, El Pilar, is also on display here. Recently, the feature film, “Papa” was filmed on location in Cuba and much of it at Finca Vigia.

El Morro Castle & Lighthouse

Built on the high rock entrance to the Bay and completed in the early 1600s, El Morro Castle guards the Port of Havana, complete with dungeons, cannons, and the iconic lighthouse. The group will stop here for a brief visit to take in the breathtaking views of Havana from across the mouth of the harbor. This will be a quick stop for the sheer impact before a splendid buffet lunch at the Hotel Parque Central.

Lunch at Hotel Parque Central - Prado

Located in Havana’s most culturally vibrant and densely-populated neighborhoods, right on the city’s “Central Park”, the Hotel Parque Central is comprised of a perfectly restored colonial tower and a modern tower connected by an underground tunnel. Both towers boast rooftop terraces with swimming pools, creating an oasis in the heart of Havana. You will enjoy a lovely lunch of international cuisine with your fellow travelers.

Free afternoon to continue enjoying the beautiful historic district of El Prado*

Explore the arts & crafts market, visit the art museum or the rum museum, or enjoy the

Ernest Hemingway Pub Crawl*. Ernest Hemingway was known to say, “My mojito at La Bodeguita; my daiquiri at Floridita”, the two world famous bars, along with the very popular Sloppy Joe’s, are known to have been Papa’s favorites. All three venues are located in Old Havana, two very near the Prado and they all still preserve much of the atmosphere of the 1940s and 1950s. For boaters, fisherman and followers of Hemingway, no trip to Havana would be complete with a visit and some “sampling” of his concoctions at Papa’s favorite bars.

Optional trip to a cigar factory

A tour to a cigar factory will be organized for the cigar lovers in the group. There will be an additional charge for this tour payable in Cuba upon sign-up.

*You will be provided a list of recommended attractions and a map. Everyone will meet back at the Hotel Parque Central.

Return to Marina Hemingway & Hotel

Farewell Dinner and Private Concert at Club Habana

The group will enjoy a private concert by one of members of the world-renowned Buena Vista Social Club at the legendary Club Habana after their farewell dinner of excellent international cuisine. This fabulously eclectic 1928 mansion in Miramar, nearly frozen in time, that once housed the Havana Biltmore Yacht & Country Club, is an exclusive club overlooking the Caribbean founded in 1928 as the Biltmore Yacht and Country Club. By 1958, the club boasted 4700 members, most of them from the USA. Amadito Valdes is one of Cuba’s living musical legends, known for his pure Cuban musical style and interpretation. He was the band leader and “timbales” player for some of the most important internationally acclaimed Cuba singers throughout the decades. In the 1990’s, he formed part of the world renowned music and film project, Buena Vista Social Club, film directed by Wim Wenders and album produced by Ry Cooder.

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Master Cigar Roller & Demonstration

During the evening, a master cigar roller and demonstration will be provided by the world renowned cigar retailer, La Casa del Habano, representing all of the brands of Cuban cigars - the best in the world. The master roller is accompanied by a lovely display of all the brands of Cuban cigars. You will be able to sample hand rolled cigars and purchase the best of Cuba’s product.

Day 5 - Thursday, April 27 - Departures

Breakfast Aboard or for those staying at the Hotel - Breakfast is included.

Every morning the buses and guides will pick up the group at either the marina or the hotel to begin the day’s activities. The guides and transportation remain with their group all day and serve as your direct contact to VIP Yachts management staff and personnel in Cuba. They can assist you with changing currency, making phone calls, and can answer your specific questions within their capacity.

Depending on Departure Schedule - Free morning

This is a great opportunity to have a free morning to stroll and explore your favorite areas, to visit the Arts & Crafts market for some last minute souvenirs or to sit on the malecon and reflect on the centuries of history, pirates, Spanish galleons and a bright future for recreational yachting in Cuba.

Transfer to Jose Marti International Airport

Three to four hours before departure time, the group at the Hotel Melia Habana will begin their transfers to Jose Marti International Airport by taxi from the hotel. VIP Yachts staff will be there to work closely with the hotel concierge to assist and make certain there are enough taxis.

Self Pay for Taxi

Cuba and her people bid you Adios! Hasta la proxima!

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Program Price Includes

  • Coordination and confirmation of marine and land activities (make reservations for dockage, lodging, meals, transportation and entertainment)

  • People to People itinerary - Assist owners and captains compiling documents for US Coast Guard application

  • Documentation for Cuban Customs and Immigration and send in advance to port of entry in Cuba

  • Cuban Visa (for those traveling by air with CTAT)

  • Health Insurance in Cuba (for those traveling by air with CTAT)

  • Group Guide for land tours

  • Group Transportation (12 hours per day)

  • 3 nights in 5-star hotel w/ breakfast (also priced without hotel) - where applicable

  • 2 lunches

  • 3 dinners

  • 1 private concert with major artist (farewell dinner/party)

  • Ernest Hemingway Museum - Finca Vigia

  • Museo de Bellas Artes (Art Museum) 45 min. Guided tour of Cuban Modern Masters

  • Private cigar roller during farewell dinner/party

  • Tour management in Cuba by management personnel from US

  • Crew assistance and provisioning assistance in Cuba (transportation & tour costs for crew not included in price)

Program Price Does Not Include

  • US Coast Guard fees TBD (Moore & Co.)

  • Cuban Customs & Immigration - $75 CUC per person (boats) @ $85 US$ p.p.

  • Cuban Cruising Permit - $55 CUC per boat @ $63 US$

  • Dockage

    • Less than 45 feet $0.70 CUC @ $.80 US$ per ft.

    • from 45 to 74 feet $1.00 CUC @ $1.13 US$ per ft.

    • from 75 to 90 feet $1.80 CUC @ $2.04 US$ per ft.

    • Larger than 90 ft $2.50 CUC @ $2.83 US$ per ft.

  • Electric/Water: metered (water = CUC$.06 per gallon; electric = CUC$.35 per KW)

  • Fuel

  • Provisions

  • Health Insurance in Cuba for those on boats

    • $2.50 CUC per person @ $3 US$ p.p.

  • Group 1 (boaters) April 24 lunch and transportation - Self Pay

  • Tips for Guides, Bus Drivers, hotel and restaurant personnel - Self Pay

  • Anything not listed in “what’s included”

  • Tropicana Optional - $110 CUC @ $125 US$ p.p.

    • Preferential seating

    • Welcome cocktail

    • *¼ btl. Per person (rum)

    • *Mixers

*The prices above are listed in Cuba currency (CUC). The exchange rate is 13%. This translates to CUC$.87 to US$1.00.

*Prices as of January 4, 2017

Tour Package Pricing (Flat Rate):

Tour Package 1 - for the Boaters $ 1,535 US$ p.p.

Tour Package 2 - Includes 3 nights in 5-star hotel - Melia Habana (Airfare not included)

$2,565 US$ p.p. -Double occupancy (Standard Room)

$2,765 US$ p.p. -Double occupancy (Level*)

$2,855 US$ p.p. -Double occupancy (Jr. Suite - Level*) - based on availability

There is a $700 additional charge for Single person occupancy.

*Level includes - private reception desk, private dining room and unlimited free wifi

Deposit due at Sign Up: $300 US$ p.p. Payable to Cuba Tours and Travel

(Non-refundable after 72hrs. of received deposit)

TOTAL BALANCE DUE: February 23, 2017

(Non-Refundable 45 days before departure)

Cuba Tours and Travel

Cuba Tours and Travel has over fifteen years of experience offering expert-driven cultural travel to Cuba. Our management and program-design team, working together with a team of superb Cuban travel associates in both Havana and Miami, are uniquely suited to offer you the finest in-depth travel program to the island. We are licensed by the US and Cuba and are fully insured. Most importantly, we have an abiding love for Cuban art and culture and have strong connections to the cultural institutions on the island.

Cuba Tours and Travel is a full-service agency licensed by the U.S. Government

TSP# CU-077926-b. CST number 2073790-40. Fla. Seller of Travel Reg. No. ST39635