Havana, Cuba

Cars in Havana, Cuba

Introduction to Havana

Havana is famed for its history and culture. It is home to exquisite architecture, classic American cars and cobbled streets and squares, alive with the irresistible rhythms of mambo. Take a stroll around Habana Vieja – Old Havana – to soak up the Latin atmosphere.

Havana is an incredibly beautiful place to be, a fabled city doused in history, from the Cuban revolution, being a Cold War staging post, to the colourful cabaret at 1930s Tropicana Club.

“The most beautiful land ever seen”, said Columbus in 1492, and even today Cuba's 2,000 miles of tropical coastline, 300 beaches that melt into amazingly clear seas, and lush mountains will lead many visitors to concur!

The Latin American architecture is solidified in many traditional buildings, some of them derelict and empty. What they all have in common is the colourful vintage cars which ride along outside, in bright primary colours of red and blue.

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Club Tropicana, Cuba

AN EVENING AT THE TROPICANA

Must do tour
    • Tap your feet to the Cuban music as you witness  a spectacular show under the Havana night sky
    • Admire an array of fabulous, colourful costumes
     
Price£140.00 - £150.00
DurationApproximately 4 hours
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking
Refreshments includedRefreshments included

 

A visit to Havana wouldn’t be complete without a night at the internationally-acclaimed Tropicana, one of the most famous and important party venues in Cuba.

This spectacular outdoor show, performed under the stars, is designed similar to the extravaganzas of Las Vegas and the famous Lido de Paris in the 1950s. Each night more than 200 dancers and singers appear on stage, all accompanied by a giant orchestra. The show, always centred on Cuban music, is combined with rich colours and fabulous costumes, making it a feast for your eyes and providing you with an unforgettable evening.

 

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR THE 2018 WORLD VOYAGE

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? Please note that the Tropicana is a unique outdoor nightclub and the performance might be subject to cancellation at late notice due to bad weather. We strongly recommend you bring a jacket with you as it may turn chilly as the evening progresses. There is only one performance and the duration of the stage show may vary in length. The stage is U-shaped and we cannot guarantee that all seats will have an un-restricted view. There is a charge for the use of still and video cameras. Prices are on the increase, but for our last call it was US $5 for a still camera and US $15 for a video camera, collected prior to entry. For your reference strobe lighting will be a feature of the show. The minimum age for participation is 18 years old. On all tours in Havana, guests are required to walk approximately 50 metres (165 feet) from the ship to immigration control inside the terminal building, up 50 steps (although a lift should be available) and then a further 30 metres (100 feet) to reach the tour vehicles. Please note that the Tropicana is a busy tourist venue. Included in the cost of this tour are return transfers, entrance fee, a welcome drink, ¼ bottle of Havana Club Anejo Blanco, one soft drink and a snack.

 

BOTANICAL GARDENS (TOUR H)

  • Admire collections and exhibits of Cuban and international tropical and subtropical flora
  • Explore the Japanese Garden
Gardening Tour
Price£40.00 - £50.00
DurationApproximately 4 hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Free time includedFree time included

The Cuban National Botanical Garden offers visitors an educational, scientific and recreational experience and displays flora from Cuba as well as plants from the other tropical areas of the world.

Located 25 kilometres (15.5 miles) from the city of Havana, the gardens cover an area of 600 hectares. They were inaugurated in 1984 and recreate a sample of tropical flora of America, Australia, Oceania, Africa and Cuba.

The National Botanical Garden in Havana is a beautiful place, has many endemic plants and gorgeous palms. Once in the Botanical Garden you will be accompanied by a guide of the institution during the tour. The visit begins with a brief explanation on a model of the place while you enjoy a natural juice drink.

Next, you will visit the exhibition halls, where a great diversity of flora  is on display: Desert plants, tropical rainforests, many species of cactus, begonias, ferns, bromeliads and orchids, among many other varieties.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2018 WORLD VOYAGE

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves a moderate amount of walking, some of which will be over uneven ground with approximately 25 steps to negotiate in total; therefore it is not considered suitable for guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users. On all tours in Havana, guests are required to walk approximately 50 metres (165 feet) from the ship to immigration control inside the terminal building and up 50 steps (although a lift should be available).

 

Cigars and Rum, Havana

CIGARS & RUM (TOUR C)

  • Visit a local cigar factory and see how Cuba’s famous cigars are still handmade
  • Discover the history of Cuban rum and enjoy a taste of the end product
Price£35.00 - £45.00
DurationApprox. 3.5 Hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Refreshments includedRefreshments included

Discover how Cuba’s main exports, rum and cigars, are produced on this fascinating tour.

Cuba is a cigar enthusiast’s paradise! Cigars from Cuba have an unequalled reputation, still made entirely by hand just as they were 100 years ago by ‘torcedores’, who have rolled them for generations from the finest quality tobacco that is grown on the island. During your tour you will experience how Cuba’s famous cigars are handmade at a local factory. You will also see where the cigars are finally selected, branded and boxed.

Next you make a brief photo stop at the Museum of Revolution, housed in the former Presidential Palace, before continuing on to admire the colonial architecture of Old Havana. Stop at the Café Taberna Restaurant for refreshments, during which you can sit back and relax as you listen to a live band playing traditional Cuban music. Feeling refreshed, you continue to El Cristo (Christ’s Statue) from where you can appreciate panoramic views of the city and bay.

Your final visit will be to a local rum museum. Cuba has always been at the centre of rum production ever since Christopher Columbus introduced the first sugar cane shoots on the island. Today rum is truly Cuba’s national drink! You will be able to learn about the history of this famous spirit and learn the processes involved in making the local liquor, before enjoying a taster.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR THE 2015/2016 CARIBBEAN SEASON

Is this tour right for you?

TOUR NOTES: This tour involves up to approximately 50 minutes of walking at the cigar factory, plus around 80 steps to negotiate, 35 minutes at the rum factory, and 40 steps, plus some walking at the refreshment stop. Unfortunately it is not suitable for wheelchair users. On all tours in Havana, guests are required to walk approximately 50 metres (165 feet) from the ship to immigration control inside the terminal building, up 50 steps (although a lift should be available) and then a further 30 metres (100 feet) to reach the tour vehicles. Please note that by offering this tour, we in no way wish to imply that Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines endorses smoking and drinking. 


FOLLOWING HEMINGWAY'S TRAIL (TOUR E)

  • Follow in the footsteps of the American author and journalist, Ernest Hemingway
  • Discover the Cuban retreats where he spent much of his later life
  • Enjoy a walking tour of the old city
Price£50.00 - £60.00
DurationApprox. 4.5 Hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking
Refreshments includedRefreshments included

American author Ernest Hemingway spent many years in Cuba and wrote some of his most important work there. Your tour today will allow you to have an insight into Hemingway’s Cuban footsteps.

You begin with a journey to the Ernest Hemingway Museum which is housed in Finca Vigia, the villa that the Nobel prize-winning author bought in 1949 and where he worked on some of his most famous books, including For Whom the Bell Tolls. Preserved with immense care, the villa contains many of Ernest Hemingway’s possessions and his library, all of which have been kept as they were when Hemingway left. In the garden, the author's boat, El Pilar can be found — this was the inspiration for the classic tale of the Old Man and the Sea. You will be invited to admire the museum from the outside as your guide regales you with facts about Hemingway’s life in Cuba.

Continuing you travel to Cojimar town, a fishing community where Hemingway used to moor his yacht. Here you will have the  opportunity to enjoy a cocktail at El Floridita Bar and Restaurant before returning to your coach for a panoramic drive and a walking tour of the old city. During your walking tour, you will be able to view Ambos Mundos Hotel and the famous bar of La Bodeguita del Medio, which were both frequented by Hemingway.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR THE 2018 WORLD VOYAGE

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves a moderate amount of walking, some of which will be over uneven and cobbled ground, and there will be approximately 30 steps to negotiate at La Vigia Farm. Unfortunately this tour is not recommended to wheelchair users or guests with limited mobility. Please note that the Hemingway Museum will be viewed from the outside only. On all tours in Havana, guests are required to walk approximately 50 metres (165 feet) from the ship to immigration control inside the terminal building, up 50 steps (although a lift should be available) and then a further 30 metres (100 feet) to reach the tour vehicles. The itinerary may operate in a different order to that described.

 

HAVANA - INFORMATION

Havana, Cuba’s largest city, was founded in 1514 by Diego Velazquez, however it was moved twice before occupying its current position on Cuba’s northern coast. 40 years after its founding, Havana was declared the capital of Cuba. Its harbour became a safe haven from pirates and corsairs for ships laden with gold and silver on their way to Spain.

Old Havana, the original walled nucleus of the city, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982. Today the city is known for its history and culture and is home to impressive architecture, museums, monuments, palaces and classic American cars. Cuba is famous for the spectacular Tropicana show, a must-see for anyone visiting the island!

The currency in Cuba is the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC)

Founded in the 16th century, Cuba is the largest island in the Caribbean. It was once the most visited of the Caribbean islands, until tourism came to an abrupt end in 1959 when Fidel Castro came to power.

Havana, Cuba’s largest city, was founded in 1514 by Diego Velazquez, however it was moved twice before occupying its current position on Cuba’s northern coast. 40 years after its founding, Havana was declared the capital of Cuba. Its harbour became a safe haven from pirates and corsairs for ships laden with gold and silver on their way to Spain.

Old Havana, the original walled nucleus of the city, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1982. Today the city is known for its history and culture and is home to impressive architecture, museums, monuments, palaces and classic American cars. Cuba is famous for the spectacular Tropicana show, a must-see for anyone visiting the island!

The currency in Cuba is the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC)


Havana sight seeing

HAVANA SIGHTSEEING (TOUR B)

  • Discover the old quarter of Havana – a neighbourhood full of charm
  • Admire the historic buildings and squares
Price£35.00 - £45.00
DurationApprox 4.5 hours
Walking level 3 - extensive walkingExtensive walking
Free time includedFree time included

Old Havana, the original walled nucleus of the city, was declared ‘Heritage of Mankind’ by UNESCO in 1982. Discover what makes the colonial city of Havana so special on this enlightening tour.

Diego Velazquez founded the city of Havana in 1514; however, it was moved twice, before occupying its current position on Cuba’s northern coast. 40 years after it was founded, Havana was declared the capital of Cuba. Its harbour became a safe haven from pirates and corsairs for ships laden with gold and silver on their way to Spain.

You begin with a journey to the Military Fortress Castillo de Los Tres Santos Reyes del Morro for a commanding view over the city. Continuing, you visit Revolution Square, home to the memorial of Jose Marti, the champion of Cuban independence.

Your tour proceeds on foot to the old quarter of the city to visit the historical and colonial area, including the main streets and squares, which were constructed by the Spaniards between the 16th and 19th centuries. During your walking tour you will see the Plaza de Armas, the Castillo de la Real Fuerza (built in 1577) and its tower known as La Giraldilla, El Palacio del Segundo Cabo and the General Captain’s Palace, also known as the Museum of the City. Strolling around Obispo Street, you will also see the Ambos Mundos Hotel, which was once frequented by Hemingway, Havana’s first University San Gerónimo de la Habana, the Bodeguita del Medio and Cathedral Square, one of the most elegant places in Havana, which is surrounded by opulent mansions and buildings.

Next you can admire the architecture of Old Havana during a stop at the Café Taberna Restaurant, where you can sit back and enjoy a drink.

 

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2018 WORLD VOYAGE

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? Please note that this tour involves a considerable amount of walking — approximately two hours over mostly cobblestone streets, therefore unfortunately it is not recommended for guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users. On all tours in Havana, guests are required to walk approximately 50 metres (165 feet) from the ship to immigration control inside the terminal building, up 50 steps (although a lift should be available) and then a further 30 metres (100 feet) to reach the tour vehicles. The itinerary may operate in a different order to that described.

 

Old American Car City Tour, Havana

OLD AMERICAN CAR CITY TOUR (TOUR F)

  • Travel in a vintage mode of transport to discover the intriguing city of Havana!
  • Learn more about the cigar making process
Price£75.00 - £85.00
DurationApproximately 3.5 hours
LimitationLimited capacity
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking
Refreshments includedRefreshments included

Step back in time and discover the enchantments of Havana as you explore this vibrant city in an American classic car.

Departing from the quayside, you will join your classic car for a panoramic tour of the city. You will firstly travel to a cigar factory, where you will learn about the history of the cigar, and appreciate the way that Cuban cigar makers keep all traditions alive in order to make them.

Next you continue your panoramic drive of the modern part of the city and also appreciate the Cuban architecture from the 1920s, 30s, 40s and 50s. Arrive at the National de Cuba Hotel where you are invited to enjoy the beautiful view of the bay from the hotel gardens. You can also view the Hall of Fame, where you can discover the many personalities and celebrities who have stayed in this emblematic hotel, as well as enjoy a tasty Cuban cocktail – the Mojito.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR THE 2015/2016 CARIBBEAN SEASON

 

Is this tour right for you?

TOUR NOTES: This tour involves a minimal amount of walking; therefore it is suitable for most guests, providing you are able to board the cars unaided. Please note that each car will accommodate a maximum of three guests. Unfortunately we are unable to confirm which classic cars will be used in advance, however it is possible that some of the cars used will be convertibles. Your patience will be necessary as depending upon numbers it may take time for all guests to board their cars. This tour may operate in a different order to that described. On all tours in Havana, guests are required to walk approximately 50 metres (165 feet) from the ship to immigration control inside the terminal building, up 50 steps (although a lift should be available) and then a further 30 metres (100 feet) to reach the tour vehicles.
 


OLD AMERICAN CAR CITY TOUR (TOUR FX)

  • Travel in a vintage mode of transport to discover the intriguing city of Havana
  • Admire the architectural styles of the Vedado and Miramar districts

 

Price£75.00 - £85.00
DurationApproximately 2 hours
LimitationLimited availability
Walking level 1 - minimal or no walkingMinimal or no walking

Step back in time and discover the enchantments of Havana as you explore this vibrant city in a classic American car.

Departing from the quayside, you will join your classic car for a panoramic tour of the city. Travel along the main streets and avenues of Colonial Havana, declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, overlooking the Museum of Revolution, the El Floridita restaurant, the Museum of Fine Arts, Central Park and the Grand Theatre of Havana.

Your drive continues past the University of Havana, the Habana Libre Hotel, Coppelia Ice Cream Parlour and Yara Cinema, before you head along the Malecón esplandade, which overlooks the National Hotel of Cuba. Next, pause briefly at Revolution Square where you can capture photos of the Memorial José Martí National Library and the National Theatre.

En route back to the quayside, your panoramic drive continues through the residential neighbourhoods of Vedado and Miramar, where you can appreciate the various architectural styles found in these districts.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2018 WORLD VOYAGE

Is this tour right for you?

 IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves a minimal amount of walking; therefore it is suitable for most guests, providing you are able to board the cars unaided. Please note that each car will accommodate a maximum of three guests. Unfortunately, we are unable to confirm which classic cars will be used in advance, however it is possible that some of the cars used will be convertibles. Your patience will be necessary as depending upon numbers it may take time for all guests to board their cars. This tour may operate in a different order to that described. On all tours in Havana, guests are required to walk approximately 50 metres (165 feet) from the ship to immigration control inside the terminal building, up 50 steps (although a lift should be available) and then a further 30 metres (100 feet) to reach the tour vehicles. Unfortunately there are no toilet facilities available on this tour.

 

 


Basilica Menor de San Francisco de Asis, Cuba

OLD HAVANA WALKING TOUR (TOUR G)

  • Admire some of the most historic sites and learn about the varied history of Havana as you explore on foot
  • The best way to discover the city’s unique culture and way of life
Price£30.00 - £40.00
DurationApprox. 3 Hours
Walking level 3 - extensive walkingExtensive walking

Discover why the old city of Havana was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site on this interesting walking tour.

Your walking tour begins with a visit to the Plaza de San Francisco de Asis, a lovely cobbled square with a white marble fountain as its centrepiece. It was named after the former Franciscan convent located here, which has since been converted into a magnificent concert hall. It was once the core of commercial life in Havana and is home to two famous buildings; the Lonja del Comercio, with its stunning central dome; and one of the city's most important churches, Basilica Menor de San Francisco de Asis.

Continuing, you walk to the Plaza Vieja, which dates from 1559 and was once a residential neighbourhood for Cuba’s Creole community in colonial times. The square is peaceful today but in the past it was used as a venue for bullfights, religious processions, public executions and fiestas, all of which the square’s inhabitants would have witnessed from their balconies. The buildings that surround the square today are fine examples of colonial architecture dating from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Spend time admiring these iconic structures and discover more about the history of the area.

Next, you stroll along Calle Obispo, home to the Hotel Ambos Mundos, patronised by Ernest Hemingway, before continuing along Calle San Ignacio to the beautiful cathedral dedicated to the Immaculate Conception. You will have an opportunity to appreciate the Havana Cathedral, which is the seat of Jaime Lucas Ortega y Alamino, the cardinal archbishop of Havana.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR THE 2018 WORLD VOYAGE

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? Please note that this is a walking tour; therefore guests will be required to walk and/or stand for the duration of the tour. Walking will be over various terrains including cobblestoned streets and there will be steps to negotiate throughout. We suggest you wear comfortable walking shoes. Sun protection  and a bottle of water may be a handy addition to your bag. On all tours in Havana, guests are required to walk approximately 50 metres (165 feet) from the ship to immigration control inside the terminal building, up 50 steps (although a lift should be available).

 

THE CANNON SHOT CEREMONY (TOUR I)

  • Discover the Historic City of Havana under the evening light
  • Visit the 18th Century Fort of Saint Charles
  • Admire the ceremony of the Cannon
 
Price£90.00 - £100.00
DurationAPPROXIMATELY 3 Hours
Walking level 2 - moderate walkingModerate walking

Discover the varied history of Fortaleza de San Carlos de la Cabana before witnessing the Cannon Shot Ceremony.

Constructed after the capture of Havana by British forces and named San Carlos de la Cabaña in honour of King Carlos III, this 700-metre long fortress is the third largest in the Americas. It was designed by army engineer Silvestre Abarca and features the most advanced military defensive concepts of the 18th century. It cost so much that King Carlos III requested a spyglass to see it, claiming that such an expensive project – approximately 14 million gold pesos – could surely be seen from Madrid.

A visit of the Fort will allow you to learn more about its mottled history.  Discover how during the wars of independence, this fortress was used as a prison and prisoners faced firing squads in its pits. The fort has also undergone restoration work, creating a complex that is home to a variety of museums, including the Museum of Arms and a museum depicting the history of the fortress.

Following time to explore the fort, you will next be invited to witness the Ceremony of the Cannon, which recreates a military parade using techniques of the colonial stage. The firing takes place within one of the canyons located in the  Cabaña valley at approximately 21.00 hours.

This unique ceremony, is a time-honoured ceremony which marks the closing of the city.

Next, sit back and enjoy a short tour of the city under the evening lights before heading to a restaurant in Old Havana to sample a cocktail or two.

DESCRIPTION CORRECT FOR 2018 WORLD VOYAGE

 

Is this tour right for you?

IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? Please note that guests will need to walk/stand for approximately 90 minutes at the fort. The ground may be uneven in places and there may be steps to negotiate. Toilets will be available in the restaurant where you will your cocktails (two per person) will be served.On all tours in Havana, guests are required to walk approximately 50 metres (165 feet) from the ship to immigration control inside the terminal building and up 50 steps (although a lift should be available).

 

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