Cuba has long been an alluring destination for cruise fans, but in 2018it is hotter than ever. As well as the age-old charms of salsa, rum and sunshine, there is the attraction of seemingly stepping back in time in Havana.
Both Havana and Isla de la Juventud are stops on MSC Cruises and despite being very different destinations, they have lots to offer. The movie set vibe of Havana, with its 1950s cars, musicians on street corners and colonial [DL1] architecture is the perennial image of Cuba. Meanwhile, Isla de la Juventud shows a different side of Cuba, laidback and relaxed, but with an interesting history.
There is so much to see in Havana that you can guarantee there will not be a dull moment during your shore excursion. Be sure to bring your camera, as there are so many iconic sights to photograph, whether you are keen to see the typical murals depicting the likes of Fidel Castro and Che Guevara or the brightly coloured cars lining Havana’s wide avenues.
Spend some time wandering along the Malecon – the five-mile long sea wall – and soak up the atmosphere. See how the famous Cuban cigars are made and find out more about rum on the island by visiting the Rum Museum. For more flavours of Cuba, you’ll want to try a mojito cocktail and see salsa danced in the old salons of Havana.
Isla de la Juventud
On Isla de la Juventud you’ll find an eclectic combination of attractions. As well as beaches and orchards, the capital Nueva Gerona is charming and not overdeveloped, with a mountainous backdrop. You can spend your time in port exploring the Punta Frances Marine National Park, where the mangrove forests are home to endangered manatees. Alternatively, discover a stunning underwater world with a snorkelling excursion.
Why Cuba in 2018?
Cuba is opening up as a tourist destination and there is more infrastructure in place to welcome foreign visitors. Despite this, it retains its feeling of stepping back in time, meaning you can enjoy the vintage look and deep-rooted culture with relative ease.
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