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Cuba highlights voyage thrills

Cuba highlights voyage thrills

Posted by PanamericanWorld on August 05, 2014

One of my absolute favourite cruise experiences this past year was circumnavigating Cuba with Canadian company Cuba Cruise (

Departing from Montego Bay, Jamaica or Havana, Cuba, aboard the sleek Louis Cristal (of Louis Cruise Lines fame), the Cuba Cruise experience is coming back for the winter 2014-2015 season.

This time, however, Cuba Cruise is inviting guests to join them on a very special sailing across the Atlantic from Athens to Havana.

Departing on Nov. 28, 2014, guests can choose to embark the Louis Cristal in one of three separate ports for her journey across the Atlantic: Piraeus (Athens), Greece; Marseille, France; or Barcelona, Spain.

The Louis Cristal then sails for Portugal, Morocco, Barbados, St. Lucia, Jamaica, and, finally, Cuba.

The transatlantic repositioning cruise includes calls on four of Cuba Cruises' six regularly-scheduled ports of call: Montego Bay, Jamaica, and the Cuban ports of Cienfuegos, Punta Frances (Isle of Youth) and Havana.

"We're excited to kick off our second season with a multi-continent repositioning cruise on the M/V Louis Cristal," says Dugald Wells, Cuba Cruise president. "This is an exclusive travel opportunity to experience Europe's famous seaside destinations, Morocco's exotic coast and turquoise Caribbean Sea all on one seamless voyage, and at a great price-point."

The full 25-day transatlantic voyage departing from Piraeus starts at $1,460.

Beginning Dec. 19, 2014, Calgary-based Cuba Cruise and the Louis Cristal will resume weeklong voyages that completely circumnavigate Cuba. The last departure of the season will be from Havana on March 23, 2015.

One of the reasons I enjoyed my Cuba Cruise experience so much was because of Cuba itself. Devoid of the rampant commercialism that has overrun many popular Caribbean cruise destinations, sailing into Havana feels like winding the clock back to the 1930s.

The local Cubans are friendly and welcoming, and Ernest Hemingway is possibly more celebrated within Havana than, say, Fidel Castro. That you can also see six UNESCO World Heritage Sites doesn't hurt, either.

In addition to providing one of the most unique and exotic Caribbean cruises on the market, Cuba Cruise is uniquely Canadian: On-board purchases are billed in Canadian dollars, and fresh Alberta beef and other produce are flown from Canada to the ship each week.

Entertainment on-board is uncommonly good, with Cuban, French-Canadian and European performers. Onboard staff are international, with a good mix of Cuban citizens thrown in.

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