Cuba-Santiago-Cruise-Antonio-Maceo-Victory

Destination: Santiago de Cuba

Victory Sailing Dates Which Call Here:

Local Info and Resources:

  • History – Local Partner 1 Tour guide and historical perspective.
  • Nightlife – Local Partner 2 Private parties at local hotspots.
  • Food – Local Partner 3 Dining and reservations guide.
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Cruise Video and Photo slideshow

Get to know what it’s like to visit this destination.

Getting to know Santiago

Fidel Castro proudly began the Cuban revolution in Santiago in 1953, and triumphantly announced victory here in 1959. Aside from its revolutionary history, Santiago represented a center of colonial power, boasting an array of important buildings and residents.

Our All-inclusive Visit

We’ll visit the Cathedral of Santiago, completed in 1526, and incredibly, destroyed four times by earthquake in 1678, 1766, 1852 and 1932. The Cathedral is located in Céspedes Park, where you’ll find even more well-preserved Colonial architecture. We’ll 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.” This multi-level stone fortress built into the rocky promontory of El Morro has guarded the entrance to Santiago de Cuba Bay since 1638. Continuing on, we’ll tour the Cementerio de Santa Ifigenia to observe some of the most beautiful burial crypts in Cuba. We will learn about Jose Martí, a Cuban National Hero whose writing inspired Cuba’s bid for Independence from Spain. He led an invasion force in 1895 and was martyred in battle well before independence was finally won in 1898.

Your People to People experience includes a visit to Casa del Caribe – two former mansions converted into a cultural research institute – to learn about Cuba’s popular Afro-Cuban religion, Santería. You can meet local practitioners, and even get a divination reading from one of the local espiritistas. That is, if you are interested in the opinion of the Lucumi deities.

We will continue our discovery of Spanish/Cuban luminaries at the former home of Diego Velázquez, one of the most famous painters of the Spanish Golden Age of the 17th Century. His home, now a museum, is the oldest standing example of colonial architecture in Cuba. We will enjoy a light lunch at a local Paladar (family restaurant), then there will be plenty of free time to explore Old Santiago on your own.

We will continue our People to People tour of Santiago de Cuba by experiencing Afro-Franco-Haitian and Cuban folkloric dance, courtesy of the dance troop, Cutumba. They combine the choreographies of gaga, merengue-haitiano, tumba francesa and rumba to the rhythmic sounds of the island. We will then board a bus tour of Antonio Maceo Revolution Square and Moncada Barracks where, former Cuban President, Fulgencio Batista led a 1952 coup d’etat to begin his reign as dictator until the 1959 revolution, led by Fidel Castro. We will also visit El Cobre Sanctuary where the highly-revered Virgin of Charity (Virgin Mary) statue is housed. It is said that she assists her people and is credited with many miracles.

Destination: Santiago de Cuba

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next arrow
ArrowArrow
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Victory Sailing Dates Which Call Here:

Local Info and Resources:

  • History – Local Partner 1 Tour guide and historical perspective.
  • Nightlife – Local Partner 2 Private parties at local hotspots.
  • Food – Local Partner 3 Dining and reservations guide.

Getting to know Santiago

Fidel Castro proudly began the Cuban revolution in Santiago in 1953, and triumphantly announced victory here in 1959. Aside from its revolutionary history, Santiago represented a center of colonial power, boasting an array of important buildings and residents.

Our All-inclusive Visit

We’ll visit the Cathedral of Santiago, completed in 1526, and incredibly, destroyed four times by earthquake in 1678, 1766, 1852 and 1932. The Cathedral is located in Céspedes Park, where you’ll find even more well-preserved Colonial architecture. We’ll 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.” This multi-level stone fortress built into the rocky promontory of El Morro has guarded the entrance to Santiago de Cuba Bay since 1638. Continuing on, we’ll tour the Cementerio de Santa Ifigenia to observe some of the most beautiful burial crypts in Cuba. We will learn about Jose Martí, a Cuban National Hero whose writing inspired Cuba’s bid for Independence from Spain. He led an invasion force in 1895 and was martyred in battle well before independence was finally won in 1898.

Your People to People experience includes a visit to Casa del Caribe – two former mansions converted into a cultural research institute – to learn about Cuba’s popular Afro-Cuban religion, Santería. You can meet local practitioners, and even get a divination reading from one of the local espiritistas. That is, if you are interested in the opinion of the Lucumi deities.

We will continue our discovery of Spanish/Cuban luminaries at the former home of Diego Velázquez, one of the most famous painters of the Spanish Golden Age of the 17th Century. His home, now a museum, is the oldest standing example of colonial architecture in Cuba. We will enjoy a light lunch at a local Paladar (family restaurant), then there will be plenty of free time to explore Old Santiago on your own.

We will continue our People to People tour of Santiago de Cuba by experiencing Afro-Franco-Haitian and Cuban folkloric dance, courtesy of the dance troop, Cutumba. They combine the choreographies of gaga, merengue-haitiano, tumba francesa and rumba to the rhythmic sounds of the island. We will then board a bus tour of Antonio Maceo Revolution Square and Moncada Barracks where, former Cuban President, Fulgencio Batista led a 1952 coup d’etat to begin his reign as dictator until the 1959 revolution, led by Fidel Castro. We will also visit El Cobre Sanctuary where the highly-revered Virgin of Charity (Virgin Mary) statue is housed. It is said that she assists her people and is credited with many miracles.

More about Santiago…

The local citadel of San Pedro de la Roca is 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”