Azamara Club Cruises is excited to announce the boutique brand made its maiden call to Cuba over the weekend, when Azamara Quest arrived at Cuba’s Sierra Maestra terminal on 31 March 2017.
The ship sailed down the Bahía de la Habana alongside Havana’s famous El Malecón providing guests magnificent views of the local shoreline before turning alongside Cuba’s Castillo de los Tres Reyes del Morro through the Canal de Entrada to dock.
Azamara Club Cruises President & CEO, Larry Pimentel, Royal Caribbean Cruises LTD. President & COO Adam Goldstein, and Royal Caribbean Cruises LTD. Vice President of Business Development, Global Government and Community Relations, Jorge Delgado joined Captain Angel Albertini, Chief of Havana Cruise Terminal and a contingent of Cuban Dignitaries to toast the arrival of Azamara Quest, and the important moment in the brand’s history.
“Azamara takes pride in bringing guests to new and remarkable destinations and we’re especially proud to be the first brand from RCL’s global fleet (Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises) to bring our guests to Cuba, a magical country with such inner beauty. We’ve put together memorable land experiences for our guests to connect with the local people on this first visit to the island nation, a country rich in history, culture, education and the arts.” said Larry Pimentel, President & CEO of Azamara Club Cruises.
“Today demonstrates our commitment to Cuba and our eagerness to help guests discover the many aspects of Cuba by connecting guests to the people and places that make the country so vibrant and full of rich history.”
Azamara created a variety of unique people-to-people land programmes, by night and by day, to enable guests a fully immersed experience in the destination and the opportunity to connect with the great culture and people of Cuba. Azamara is able to do this because of the brands unique longer stays philosophy which meant Azamara Quest stayed docked overnight in Havana.
All tour programmes offered by Azamara are designed to meet United States’ requirements for travel to Cuba. Highlights include:
- Tropicana Cabaret Extravaganza: The most spectacular of the open-air cabarets showcase Caribbean rhythms and sultry dancers. An English speaking guide shares history of the famous show while on the ride to the Tropicana. Once there guests sip on rum cocktails surrounded by lush tropical gardens and enjoy the folklore and music of Cuba.
- Nelson Dominguez Art Gallery Tour: Located next to the pier, guests joined Larry Pimentel for a private gallery tour of renowned artist Nelson Dominguez followed by the chance to browse and shop artwork to take home as a souvenir.
- Evening Stroll and El Cañonazo Ceremony: A guided walk through the cobblestone streets of Old Havana at night allows travellers to appreciate the city’s rustic charm and rich history. A brief bus ride transports the group to the nearby Morro Castle with a ceremonial firing of the cannon.
- Best of Havana – a full-day, all-encompassing trip through Havana exploring the city’s beautiful sprawling cemetery, notable squares, artsy neighbourhoods, literary connections and authentic cuisine.
- Havana By Classic American Car – Guests can venture back to 1950’s Cuba in a vintage American automobile for a panoramic ride to a historic luxury hotel and along the quintessential Malecón waterfront.
- Hemingway’s Havana – Guests get to explore the literary connections between Cuba and the late American novelist Ernest Hemingway on a dynamic four-hour tour that offers the chance to see where he lived, dined and sipped his favourite cocktails.
Following this Hemingway Hideaways voyage which also visits ports in New Orleans and Florida, Azamara is offering two additional sailings to Cuba for 2017:
- Havana Discovery: Departing on 20 November 2017, the Havana Discovery voyage begins and ends in Miami with a journey that visits laid-back Key West, followed by an overnight stay in the bustling city of Havana with a historic exploration of Vieja Havana (Old Havana) and dive into the aquamarine waters of Cozumel, the Caribbean jewel. Fares start from $3049 per person, twin share for an Club Oceanview stateroom.
- Havana Getaway: Departing 27 November 2017, the four-night Havana Getaway packs a lot of adventure into a little time. The voyage explores the colourful buildings and eclectic plazas of Havana with a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage site and overnight stays allow for guests to experience the quintessential Cuban nightlife. Fares start from $2159 per person, twin share for an Club Interior stateroom.