The hotel is a 10 minute drive from the airport and offers a free shuttle service from the airport to the hotel. To call the shuttle upon arrival at the airport: On the 2nd Level / Departure Level, go to the nearest outside door and identify the Door number. Call the hotel on (305) 261-3800 and tell them your location. The shuttle will come and pick you up upon request.
Field Trip: Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes de La Habana (National Museum of Fine Arts). Examine the Cuba’s history through the evolution of art, and the style that has made Cuban art popular around the world.
Hotel Check-in: Check into the hotel for three nights.Dinner: In the hotel restaurant, Sierra Maestre on the 25th floor, with awesome views of the city and Havana harbor.Evening: After a long day of travel, rest and prepare for a full day tomorrow.Lodging: Hotel Nacional de CubaMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Field Trip to Hemingway Farm, Finca Vigía. Ten miles east of Havana is the small, working-class town of San Francisco de Paula where Ernest Hemingway bought a modest house in 1940 and lived for 30 years with his wife Mary. Here he wrote “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” “The Old Man and the Sea,” and “A Movable Feast” while enjoying his passion for fishing with local people. After the writer’s death in 1961, the Cuban government took ownership of the property.Lunch: People to People Connection with lunch in the gardens of an organic farm, at a Paladar - a private enterprise restaurant.Afternoon: People to People Connection at an organic farm: Meet with members of a cooperative, a joint venture between the government and private enterprise. Learn about urban agriculture, organic and cooperative farming, Producing fresh vegetables, fruits, ornamental plants, seedlings, timber, medicinal plants, and more, the farm sells products directly to members of the community as well as local restaurants.Dinner: People to People Connection: Proyecto Muraleando. After beginning neighborhood art workshops in 2001, a small group of artists set out to transform their barrio through a “muraling” project. Murals began appearing, and eventually a community centered event brought together artists, musicians, dancers, singers, actors, poets, and food for a cultural celebration. Meet project members and their families, enjoy dinner that they prepare and serve in this unique setting.Evening: Socialize and enjoy music with the people of the neighborhood.Lodging: Hotel Nacional de CubaMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
People to People Connection: Trovadores (Troubadours). In the medieval era, troubadours were itinerant musicians who wrote and performed their own music on chivalric and romantic themes. Cuba’s trovadores carried on this tradition in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, performing traditional ballads called “trova” that owe their vibrance to Cuba’s combination of Spanish and African heritage. We will meet some local trovadores, have an informal discussion about their lives, and enjoy a performance. Late afternoon, check-in at the hotel.Dinner: Enjoy a traditional Pig Roast and buffet in the lovely garden setting near the hotel pool.Evening: At leisure to enjoy the gardens and resort atmosphere.Lodging: Hotel Los CaneyesMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
People to People Connection: Meet with members of a noted choral group, many of whom have learned English in the last few years, for interaction and conversation. Learn about their involvement with the choir and enjoy a rehearsal.
Field Trip: Stroll through the main shopping street of Cienfuegos and learn about the differences between Ration, Cuban Pesos, and CUC stores. Explore the complexity of the two-currency system with opportunities to talk with Cubans who shop at these stores as we enter and speak with the workers and hear what they do.Lunch: Private enterprise: Lunch in a privately-owned restaurant (Paladar).Afternoon: People-to-People Connection: Meet artists who operate a print collaborative, learn their lives, their work and working conditions, and what it means to be an artist in a smaller Cuban town.
People-to-People Connection: We conclude our day in Cienfuegos with a special opportunity to interact with children involved in a community performance art project. We meet children, volunteers, and parents, learn about the project, and participate with kids as they teach us some of their songs.
Continue to the port and board the ship.Dinner: On board the ship.Evening: At leisure. Settle in and begin exploring the ship that will be our floating hotel for the next five nights. Included in the Road Scholar program: Shipboard beverage package including eight servings per day of water, soda, coffee and tea. The MV Louis Cristal navigates overnight to Isla de la Juventud.Lodging: MV Louis CristalMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
On-board Presentation: Meet with your Study Leader for a presentation on aspects of Cuba's history and culture to deepen your knowledge and understanding.
People to People Connection: Meet with Cuban members of the crew to learn about their lives, their work, and what attracted them to working on board a ship. Engage in candid, small group conversations.Lunch: On board the ship.Afternoon: People to People Connection: Cuban Dance Instruction. Meet and interact with talented instructors to learn national dances including Salsa. As you practice the steps during a one-on-one lesson, take this opportunity for personal conversations about life and work.Dinner: On board the ship.Evening: The MV Louis Cristal continues navigating along the north coast toward eastern Cuba.Lodging: MV Louis CristalMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
People to People Connections: Drive to a village in the countryside and meet with doctors, nurses, and other staff at a small family clinic, discuss healthcare in Cuba, learn about their training, and gain insights into the care they provide in this rural area.
People to People Connection: Visit a small elementary school, meet with faculty and administrators, and learn more about education in eastern Cuba. This opportunity to converse and exchange ideas is as unique for our hosts as it is for us.Lunch: In a local restaurant.Afternoon: People to People Connection: Meet with workers and artists at a unique paper and print factory that uses equipment from the early 20th Century. Learn about this specialized industry with opportunities to share conversation about life, work, and wages. The workers enjoy demonstrating how they’ve restored the equipment and how it works.Dinner: On board the ship.Evening: Share highlights of today's experiences with your fellow participants as you reflect on differences between our two countries. The ship navigates overnight to Santiago de Cuba.Lodging: MV Louis CristalMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Field Trip: Santiago de Cuba. The city’s colorful, sometimes turbulent history dates back to 1514 when it was founded by Spanish conquistadors. Walk through the Cementerio Santa Ifigenia, to examine impressive monuments to famous Cubans such as poet and national hero José Martí.
Explore the Castillo de San Pedro de la Roca, better known as El Morro, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List as "the most complete, best-preserved example of Spanish-American military architecture, based on Italian and Renaissance design principles.”Lunch: At a local restaurant.Afternoon: People to People Connection: Attend a rehearsal of Cutumba, a vibrant dance company that performs Afro-Cuban dance centered on percussion and drumming. After they demonstrate their energetic moves, join them to learn some basic steps yourself and converse with the dancers to learn about their international travels to perform worldwide.
People to People Connection: Meet members of a community project that helps share the arts with kids in a needy neighborhood. Learn about their work, the great need in this mostly Afro-Cuban part of the city, meet some of the kids in their classrooms. Late afternoon hotel check-in.Dinner: Buffet dinner in the hotel restaurant.Evening: It has been another full day. Enjoy the resort atmosphere, a lovely setting for after-dinner conversations with your travel companions.Lodging: Melia Santiago de CubaMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
People to People Connection: La Tumba Francesca Pompadour. Meet and interact with dancers and perfomers who carry on this Franco-Haitian tradition. The dance, song, and drumming style known as “Tumba Francesa” (French drum) was brought to Cuba by Haitian slaves who were resettled in the island’s eastern regions during the 1790s. It embodies one of the oldest and strongest links to the Afro-Haitian heritage -- a fusion of music from Dahomey in West Africa and traditional French dances. La Tumba Francesca is inscribed on the UNESCO’s list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
People to People Connection: Casa del Changüí. Meet and interact with musicians who play this style of popular Cuban music and see how each instrument is played. Changüí originated in the early 19th Century, combining elements of Spanish canción with African rhythms and percussion instruments.Lunch: At a local restaurant.Afternoon: Return to Santiago. En route, a People to People Connection Meet and interact with a local family. Their home, as is typical with many Cuban families, houses three generations. Over coffee and conversation, learn what life is like for typical Cubans in this area.Dinner: Private Enterprise People to People: Enjoy good food and good company during a farewell dinner in a Paladar. Meet the family that owns and operates this charming privately owned restaurant in their home.Evening: Prepare for your journey back to Miami tomorrow.Lodging: Melia Santiago de CubaMeals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Upon arrival in Miami, if you have connecting flights, clear U.S. Immigration and Custom then make your way to the transfer desks to recheck your luggage and secure boarding passes.Meals Included: Breakfast