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Join us on a dive trip to the best-kept secret of the Caribbean – Gardens of the Queen, Cuba!
7 nights aboard the premier live-aboard Avalon I on Dec 29th, 2017 – Jan 6th, 2018! Avalon is the best dive operation based in Cuba and the pioneer diving operation to the Gardens of the Queen.
This trip is operated by our partners at Mozaik Underwater Cameras and led by UW Photo Pro Ran Mor.
The “Gardens of the Queen” is a complex network of untouched marine ecosystems (Mangroves and Coral Reefs) that have been regarded by many knowledgeable scientists and organizations as a reference of what was the original status of the Caribbean coral reefs that Christopher Columbus found when discovering Hispaniola!!
Prepare to see an abundance of marine life, including 6 different species of Sharks, Turtles, huge Snappers and Goliath Groupers up to 400 pounds, Crocodiles and even Whale Sharks if we’re lucky.
For more details, read Avalon’s FAQ.
Underwater Photo Pro, Ran Mor of Mozaik Underwater Cameras will be leading the trip and will offer an UW photo workshop for those interested.
- Each day we will set out to explore the various dive sites in the Gardens, and each evening we will learn something new about underwater photography, or review the images from the day while learning what to improve for tomorrow.
- During the trip, you will get a chance try out new gear – perhaps a different camera/housing, a strobe or a wet lens, and test it on one of the many Sharks you are bound to see on almost every dive!
During the trip, we will meet with marine experts and hear presentations and personal stories regarding conservation efforts in Gardens of the Queen. Since 1996, Avalon has been working closely with the Research Center for Coastal Ecosystems in Ciego de Avila and the Fisheries Control Department. These conservation activities have done wonders to preserve the delicate marine environment in the area, which is unmatched in the entire Caribbean.
Travel arrangements and flights to Cuba
We’ll land in colorful Havana and stay the first night in a hotel located in old Havana (Havana Vieja), an optional day tour to Havana will be offered for those who will arrive early on the first day.
We shall visit Cuba’s capital – Havana, and experience the local culture by communicating with locals and learning about important historical sites from professional guides.
We will walk through Habana Vieja (Old Havana) and communicate with the locals to learn about the life in Havana from their own perspective. Group leader Ran Mor will operate as a translator. We will visit the Fortress of El Morro with a local guide.
Lunch at a local Cuban restaurant.
We will visit the 4 historic plazas in Havana which contribute to its reputation as one of the unique architectural centers in the western hemisphere.
On the next day, an early morning transfer will take us from the Hotel to the port where we shall board the Avalon I to start our underwater adventure! Due to the new flights to Cuba, we will make our way back home out of Santa Clara, which is a much shorter ride from the port and will allow us to see a different part of Cuba.
*Additional land package is available on request.
*Travel arrangements back to Havana are available on request.
- Breakfast at Hotel.
- Check out from hotel.
- Taxi to Hotel Parque Central and check-in.
- A presentation about the history of Havana.
- Walk through Habana Vieja (Old Havana) and communicate with the locals to learn about the life in Havana from their own perspective. Group leader Ran Mor will operate as a translator. We will visit the Fortress of El Morro with a local guide.
- Lunch at a local Cuban restaurant.
- We will visit the 4 historic plazas in Havana which contribute to its reputation as one of the most unique architectural centres in the western hemisphere.
- Dinner at a local Cuban restaurant.
Saturday - Saturday
- Transfer to Boat harbor Jucaro.
- Boarding the vessel – Avalon I.
- 7 nights aboard.
- Meet with marine experts and hear presentations and personal stories regarding conservation efforts in Gardens of the Queen. Since 1996, Avalon has been working closely with the Research Center for Coastal Ecosystems in Ciego de Avila and the Fisheries Control Department. These conservation activities have done wonders to preserve the delicate marine environment in the area, which is unmatched in the entire Caribbean.
- 3 dives a day.
- Ran’s personal UW photography guidance is offered to those who are interested during the trip.
- Includes all meal and drinks. No extra charge.
- Including tanks and weight.
- Transfer from the boat to the airport.
AVALON I has great accommodations for up to 18 guests in 8 Staterooms: two Staterooms back from the main salon, four Staterooms on the lower deck and two staterooms on the middle deck. There is a crew cabin with two bunks in the Captain’s Bridge located on the upper deck. All Staterooms are luxurious and have private bathrooms, hot water, comfortable beds, TV, telephone and A/C.
The beautiful pickled oak interior decor has an open and contemporary atmosphere. The lounging area is a large salon with a set of large inviting sofas that form the central setting and also a desk and PC station. Clean, modern lines combined with a moderate, natural and warm color turn this space into an area that feels like a cozy classical salon. The soft carpet combines remarkably well with the walls. The cushions on the sofas spice things up and give the overall ambiance a subtle edge. On a corner, an intimate dining room with a glass table invites for elegant lunches and dinners; just in front, there is a nice bar. Beside the bar, a comfortable staircase takes us to the lower deck.
On the upper deck, the large dining area is surrounded by comfortable sofas inviting to sit before dinner to enjoy a cocktail while watching the sunset. There is a large bar on one corner with a music system and well equipped to prepare all kinds of cocktails, and also to assist in the preparation and service during dinner. Beside the bar, a glass door leads to the captain’s bridge, including a nice bathroom and crew cabin. At the end of the large dining room, the stairs lead to the roof, to an open area with Jacuzzi, a majestic grill, chairs and an excellent panoramic view.
Meals are usually served on the afterdeck where there’s a nice breeze. Dining on board combines the style of the best Continental Italian cuisine with delicious seafood and traditional Cuban favorites like rice and beans, black bean soup and fried bananas. Beverages available on board are: Bottled mineral water (2 lt/day included in the package), sparkling and tonic water, various soft drinks, juices, beers, rums, whisky and excellent wines.
The chef on the Avalon is excellent. The day starts with a hearty breakfast. Lunch and dinners are primarily fresh fish. Lobster is our specialty and is served in a variety of ways. For those who like something different, chicken, pork and beef are also available. Salads and different fruits are served in every meal. Desserts feature our famous Cuban caramel custard, rum-flavored cakes, cookies, puddings, pies and many others. Vegetarian and kosher meals are served on request with many different choices available.
For more details, read Avalon’s FAQ.