Hitting the Beach on The Isle of Youth

ABOARD THE LOUIS CRISTAL-Today, Cuba lives up to its reputation for great beaches and crystal clear water. I’ve loved visiting the historic cities but have to admit to a longing for a day at the beach. Today is the day, and fittingly, it is the last day of the cruise before we dock back in Havana tomorrow. We are anchored just off Ilsa de la Juventud, the Island of Youth, at Punta Francis. There’s miles of white …

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On Board the Louis Cristal: Cienfuegos – Cuba with a French Accent

ABOARD LOUIS CRISTAL-I think I’m in love – Cienfuegos is sun drenched, with wide colonnaded streets, pink and blue and yellow stuccoed buildings, and plenty of charm. No wonder it is called the Pearl of the South ( La Perla del Sur) and it’s easy to see why it earned a UNESCO World Heritage designation. It is three and a half hours driving time from Havana, so visiting from the ship is a much easier way to …

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Your Cuba Cruise: Santiago De Cuba – The City of Heroes

ABOARD LOUIS CRISTAL –– Sailing in to Santiago de Cuba was dramatic. We passed under the massive stone walls of “El Morro”, or more officially, the Castilla de San Pedro de la Roca, the impressive Moorish castle built in 1637 and a Unesco World Heritage site. It is the best preserved and most complete example of Spanish American military architecture, designed initially to protect the city from pirates, and used to repel attacks from several enemy forces. …

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Your Cuba Cruise: Even revolutionaries were children once

ABOARD LOUIS CRISTAL — Awoke to the ever present clear skies and 90-degree temperatures I’ve come to expect in Cuba. We are anchored in the Bahia de Nipe in the Province of Holguin. It was here that Christopher Columbus landed in 1492, declaring Holguin “the most beautiful land ever seen by human eyes.” The shore excursion today is a unique one for me and matches perfectly with my interest in politics and history – a trip to …

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Your Cuba Cruise: A quiet day at sea, sailing to Holguin Province

ABOARD THE LOUIS CRISTAL – Today we are sailing along the south coast of Cuba, eastward. This is our only day totally at sea, and it is a good time to get to know the ship. Some cruises are all about the amenities and graces of the ship, and others are about the experiences offered on the ship’s excursions. This cruise is the latter. It is about seeing those cities and towns in Cuba that are difficult …

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Your Cuba Cruise: Havana nights

ABOARD THE LOUIS CRISTAL — A small bus collected us from the ship at 8 p.m. and drove us through the city to a night club that is called the Buena Vista Social Club. This club is in the same area of the city where the original was, but this is not the same one that gave its name to the legendary recording of Cuban music that took the music world by storm in 1997 and has …

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Havana, Cuba: Aboard the Louis Cristal, Your Cuba Cruise

HAVANA, CUBA-There’s a feeling of urgency about visiting Cuba these days. We all understand that big changes will be coming, much of it for the good, but we know that the authentic Cuba, which has stolen the hearts of visitors for many years, will begin to disappear. That frozen-in-time simplicity, the faded grandeur, the slow and friendly pace – these things will go, and if we want to experience the Cuba of legend, it must be done, …

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Getting ready to circumnavigate Cuba with Your Cuba Cruise

Cuba Cruise is a Canadian cruise line that circumnavigates the island of Cuba, showcasing the beautiful nook and crannies of the island. But, more than that, it also advocates for the Cuban people and celebrates their rich culture. The company offers travellers a seven day cruise that visits six ports of call, exploring the island’s most iconic destinations like Havana and Santiago de Cuba, and its hidden treasures like Punta Frances on Isla de la Juventud. An …

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The Imam Fainted!

Our chef Numan taught us how to make a very traditional dish that I can’t wait to try out when I get home, if only for the name.  It’s called The Imam Fainted – presumably from the deliciousness of the dish, – eggplant stuffed with either vegetables or minced beef.In this case it was beef, with lots of garlic and onions and tomatoes. While the eggplant roasted in the galley, we took the dinghy over to the …

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The Gulet Cruise: Kaunos

After breakfast this morning, we disembarked and boarded a minibus which will take us to the ancient site of Kaunos.  The boat will sail along the coast and pick us up later this afternoon. The scenery is dramatic, with steep hills, pine trees, lakes, pomegranate trees and orange groves.  It was about an hour’s drive to Kaunos and this was a perfect day for exploring this well preserved site.  The sun was warm and bright, but there …

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