Nobody has been on a vacation to Cuba for over 50 years—until last May when the cruise ship, the Fathom Adonia took passengers back to see a world that has been entirely unknown to us.
Join Scot and Maurine Proctor and be among the first U.S. travelers to sail to Cuba in over 50 years. This is truly a historic opportunity for travel to Cuba a chance to help build new bridges to a rich and vibrant culture that, until now, most U.S. travelers have only seen in photographs.
This is a different kind of cruise than you may have been on. It has all the incredible amenities you’d expect of a cruise, but it is also a cultural exchange with opportunities on the boat and on land to experience the people and culture of Cuba in unique ways—with all the excursions included in the price. This trip is designed to be a cultural exchange, a rich learning experience and a chance to celebrate the immense potential in all of us. These are impact activities and excursions with a purpose.
As you join the first wave of U.S. travelers to Cuba by sea, you’ll feel the excitement in the air from the moment you step on board the ship. Cuban movies, Cuban music, Cuban cuisine – they’ll all be part of your outbound voyage, as you learn more about the remarkable people you’re about to meet.
The first travelers to arrive on this cruise in May 2016 felt like celebrities as they were met by cheering crowds happy to see them.
As you engage with the Cuban people, you’ll also experience the sights and sounds of their beautiful country, the Spanish and French colonial architecture, classic American cars, traditional Cuban music and dance, the coastal fortresses and tall cathedrals, and the cannons on San Juan Hill.
From: $2759 per-person for double occupancy
Date: April 29, 2017
Sarah Wangsgard, Tour Manager
Welcome aboard the Adonia! The 704 passenger Adonia, refurbished in 2011 and refreshed in March 2016, will serve as a comfortable home base throughout your trip. With restaurants, lounges, pools, a spa, a state-of-the-art gym, and all the other amenities of a 21st-century passenger ship, you’ll never lack for opportunities to relax.Day 1 – April 29, 2017 MIAMI
Welcome to Miami! You will be met and transferred to the hotel.
Day 2 – April 30, 2017 BOARD the FATHOM ADONIA
The more you know before you go ashore, the greater your impact is likely to be. On board, you’ll have a chance to learn some basic Spanish, see documentary films about everyday life in Cuba, and participate in other activities to help prepare you for the great adventure to come.
Day 3 – May 1, 2017 HAVANA
Your onshore adventure begins, appropriately enough, with the flavors of Old Havana. And the flavors, you’ll find, come in every variety. After an authentic Cuban lunch, you’ll dive deep into the city’s 16th-century heritage with a walking tour of Old Havana.
But this is a people-to-people day, too: some travelers may enjoy the opportunity to visit Plaza Vieja where a few questions may lead to a local cafe owner explaining the role of tourism in Old Havana or showing you how coffee beans are roasted.
Visit San Francisco de Assisi Square to discuss the role of religion on the island with patrons of the square’s beautiful cathedral. Stumble upon the famous booksellers’ market in Plaza de Armas to explore literature and antiques with the local merchants and then have your fortune read by one of the many Santeros who have set up shop in Cathedral Square.
Afterwards, visit with local artists at Taller Grafico Experimental, where you will learn about one of the world’s oldest printmaking techniques, known as grabado. After a day exploring and navigating the city, enjoy the option of a relaxing evening on the ship or experience the heat of a Havana night at one of the cities tropical Cabarets.
Day 4 – May 2, 2017 HAVANA
After lunch head out on a panoramic tour of the city will take you up the famous Paseo del Prado and past Parque Central, where passionate baseball fans can be overheard debating greats, and the Gran Teatro de La Habana, home of the Cuban National Ballet, newly re-opened after a 2-year renovation. Enjoy views of the El Capitolio, currently under extensive renovations, and the scenic sights of the famed Reina Street where Art Nouveau buildings, colonial houses and Art Deco homes line the corridor.
Stand in the Plaza de la Revolucion under the watchful eyes of colossal iron sculptures of Che Guevara and Camilo Cienfuegos and talk to passionate Cubans about their national hero, Jose Marti, below the monument memorializing his commitment to the people of the island. A short drive from Plaza de la Revolucion, a local guide will share the stories and secrets of the 140-acre Cementerio de Cristobal Colon, whose central avenues, sculptural monuments and elaborate baroque-style mausoleums make this massive cemetery almost a city of its own.
Peruse the halls of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, where you can feel the pride of the Cuban people emanating from the beautiful artwork adorning the walls. Spanning five centuries, the art housed at Bellas Artes is some of the country’s finest and is a testimony to the vital role art plays in Cuban culture. Enjoy a break from the sun inside the museum discussing this comprehensive collection with local art enthusiasts.
The last few decades have seen the birth of a number of transformative community projects in Havana. During this part of the day you will visit local residents committed to neighborhood improvement projects and experience firsthand how vision and passion can change a community.
Visit the home of famed Cuban artist Jose Fuster, who has turned his entire neighborhood into a mosaic maze inspired by the styles of Picasso and Gaudi, or the community art project of Muraleando, taking a community workshop on one of Cuba’s many traditional art forms. Other groups of travelers will have the opportunity to visit the Arte Corte project where a former state barber has transformed his neighborhood into a cultural center dedicated to improving the lives of local residents, or Callejon de Hamel (Hamels Alley), which is a small backstreet that houses a comprehensive and eclectic collection of traditional and folkloric art
Day 5 – May 3, 2017 CULTURAL IMMERSION AT SEA/TRAVEL TO CIENFUEGOS
During your outward journey, workshops and other on-board activities will help prepare you for your Cuba experience. Explore cuisine as a window into the culture of the Cuban people. Immerse yourself in Cuba’s cinematic history, from the Golden 60s to today. Learn more about Fathom’s vision and the cumulative impact from previous trips, and enjoy Cuban music and entertainment on deck. Or engage in small-group discussions on encouraging independent economic activity, using art to create a vital cultural bridge, and how to unleash the greatness in everyone.
Day 6 – May 4, 2017 CIENFUEGOS
During a walking tour of Cienfuegos, it won’t take you long to see why the city’s historic center, with its remarkable collection of French-influenced Neoclassical buildings, has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site. And it won’t take you long to realize why the Cubans call this small but shining port city, with its wide seaside boulevards and sparkling bay, La Perla del Sur: The Pearl of the South.
On your morning walk, you’ll visit a pharmacy, a market, and a local ration store, meeting local residents and learning about Cuba’s country-wide ration and dual currency systems. Your morning exploring Cienfuegos also includes a trip to Teatro Tomas Terry, where a special performance has been planned for Fathom’s travelers.
Finished in 1889 to honor Venezuelan industrialist Tomas Terry, the 950-seat auditorium takes its influence from French and Italian architects and is embellished with Carrera marble, hand-carved Cuban hardwoods, and whimsical ceiling frescoes. Your morning in Cienfuegos will feature a private performance by the world renowned Cantores de Cienfuegos, with an opportunity afterwards to hear directly from the musicians about their lives, their training and their roles as music professors at area schools.
Day 7 – May 5, 2017 SANTIAGO DE CUBA
Your final port is Santiago de Cuba, capital of the Spanish colony of Cuba from 1522 until 1589 and still the island’s most important city after Havana. Considered the birthplace of ron, son, and revolucion, the watchtowers and cannons used in the Spanish-American war still protect and guard this port city. Your full day in Santiago de Cuba includes lunch in a local Paladar where the chef and staff will answer questions about the rich and colorful history of their city and their cuisine.
After lunch, your tour of Santiago de Cuba continues with panoramic drives that provide views of the city’s most famous attractions like San Juan Hill, Antonio Maceo Revolution Square, and the Plaza de Marte. Dive deep into the city’s colonial past as you tour the UNESCO World Heritage site of Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca, a coastal fortress constructed in 1637 to protect Santiago de Cuba. Inside the fort, explore the country’s most complete and best-preserved examples of Spanish-American military architecture and artifacts alongside local history enthusiasts.
A short distance away from Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca lies the Santiago city center, with opportunities to see and discuss the Casa de la Trova, Parque Cespedes, or the Catedral de la Cuidad with local residents, and steps away is the Santa Ifigenia Cemetery, where Cuban National Hero Jose Marti was laid to rest and where you can also witness the changing of the guard that protects his tomb.
Before returning to the ship, you’ll spend a portion of the day visiting a community arts centers dedicated to preserving the identity of Santiago’s people. Some travelers will the learn about the importance of dance in Santiago at the Cutumba and Macumba, while some will be inspired by the voices of the Coro Madrigalista. Other travelers will visit one of the famous music clubs of Santiago where they will be welcomed in to learn more about the sounds unique to the eastern side of the island.
Day 8 – May 6, 2017 CULTURAL IMMERSION AT SEA
A Fathom journey is about personal transformation, too. Most on-board activities will be not just a learning experience, but also a chance to explore your own depths. And a chance to spend some meaningful time with people who share your view of a world where everyone has the opportunity to reach their highest potential.
Day 9 – May 7, 2017 MIAMI
This morning the ship returns to Miami with memories to last a lifetime! Transfer from the Pier to the airport.
From: $2759 per-person for double occupancy
Date: April 29, 2017
Call or email Sarah Wangsgard Morris Murdock Travel for more information on this trip.