Cuba from under the sea with National Geographic

Posted: 16-May-16 10:26

As more and more American travellers make plans to visit Cuba, one well-known company comes up with a unique way for visitors to explore the long and narrow island by land and by sea. Known across the globe for its efforts in showcasing the natural wonders of the world, National Geographic has now entered the mix, taking travellers deep beneath the sea.

Cuba from under the sea with National Geographic

As Cuba braces for an even larger influx of American travellers in the near future, the country also prepares to welcome visitors to the island in a unique new way. An article published in Forbes Travel explains how National Geographic is gearing up to lead visitors across Cuba by land and by water.

Contributor Laurie Werner writes that the number of American visitors alone headed to Cuba is spurring new imaginative ways for travellers to view the island nation. Cuba does not have enough hotel space currently to handle the increased travellers and that, Werner writes, is in part what’s fuelling the emergence of additional seagoing options.

One of these options, according to the Forbes Travel article, is the brainchild of Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic. The company already globally known for highlighting some of the world’s most magnificent natural wonders is now focused on bringing Cuba’s underwater creations to the surface of the travel industry.

The company plans to launch its programme this December - a 10-night itinerary aimed at helping visitors explore Cuba from under the surface, literally. Werner writes the programme is focused around divers and snorkellers who want to see what many view as one of the most spectacular and intact reef structures.

In order to be marketed towards U.S. visitors, Werner writes, the National Geographic programme has to adhere to the guidelines of people-to-people tours, with the inclusion of cultural programming. Along those lines, the National Geographic trip includes a three-day stay at Havana’s Nacional Hotel, including planned interactions with Cuban musicians. As well, guests will dine at paladares, restaurants housed within private local homes, although in more recent times this has extended to entire houses fully converted into restaurants with hosts no longer residing there.

After the first three days, the article goes on to say that guests will board the Panorama II for the next week, sailing along the protected Jardines de la Reina Marine Park. The itinerary includes exploring the park’s impressive coral collection, learning about conservational methods at the Zapata Swamp National Park and speaking with researchers who work at a sea turtle breeding centre.

The Forbes writer indicates that visitors may also have the opportunity to travel to and swim in the Bay of Pigs, compelling not only for its sea life but also for its contentious history. This part of the tour, she adds, is still awaiting Cuban government approval.

In the meantime, though, a number of the National Geographic expeditions are already planned to take visitors to Cuba by land and sea this coming December 2016 through March of next year. Nevertheless, if your are part of those who can't wait or those who want to go on their own, take a look to our recommendations.


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