Last updated: 03:40 PM ET, Tue May 03 2016

National Geographic Charters Group IST Cuba Cruise

Cruise Line & Cruise Ship | Jason Leppert | May 03, 2016

National Geographic Charters Group IST Cuba Cruise

Photo courtesy of Group IST

Following our interview with Group IST CEO Michael Goren about the company’s Cuban cruises, Seatrade Cruise News is reporting about the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic charter planned aboard the group’s Panorama ll sailing ship (pictured above).

With NatGeo, guests will experience the best of Cuba by cruise and by land on a 10-night people-to-people journey that will repeat 16 times through March 2017, beginning on Dec. 7, 2016.

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The land portion will include a three-night hotel stay at Hotel Nacional, itself a feat given that Cuban accommodations are limited and very hard to come by. A seven-night cruise will follow aboard the 44-guest vessel. Ports along the way will encompass Havana, Trinidad and Cienfuegos. Pending Cuban approval is also a stop at Jardines de la Reina (Gardens of the Queen) Marine Park for scuba diving and snorkeling, as well as birdwatching.

READ MORE: Celestyal Cruises to Sail to Cuba Year-Round

Other highlights to be featured will include the Zapata Swamp National Park, Cayo Largo del Sur and Bay of Pigs. Cultural exchanges will also showcase local history, art, architecture, music and dance, as well as cigars and automobiles. Plus, a number of meals will be featured at Havana’s paladares, privately-owned restaurants.

Taking advantage of Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic’s expertise will be onboard naturalists, cultural specialists and a photo instructor. Rates for the program begin at $9,550 per person based on double occupancy.

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