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Published by The Scuba Place, 2018-05-01 13:13:04



Havana offers a vibrant mix of cultures, history, and experiences. Its cobbled streets are alive with cafes, bars and the rhythmic sounds of the rumba. The city’s architecture is an eclectic mix of Baroque, Neo-classical and Art Deco styles, and the colonial buildings of ‘Old Havana’ have earned the city a UNESCO World Heritage Listing. Culturally Havana is a melting pot of influences from Europe, Africa and the Americas. Its unique ambiance and resilient character have lured writers, artists and even the occasional revolutionary. With a wealth of exciting attractions, there is so much to do and see. With tourism increasing in Cuba, now is the time to experience Havana, one of the world’s few unspoilt treasures.
We would suggest that the best way to see Havana is in your very own classic convertible car. A 1955 Chevy or Cadillac with a private guide and driver can take you around authentic Havana, stopping off for lunch, getting out to walk the streets where necessary, and really taking in the Cuban way of life.
[email protected] | 020 7644 8252 |

There is no other way to put this – Jardines de La Reina (The Queens Gardens) are the ULTIMATE shark diving destination there is! This marine reserve was established some 25 years ago by the University of Havana, and still acts to this day as a fully focused marine reserve and research environment. Jardines is a stretch of coral and mangrove islands that spans 75 miles in an east-west direction, located 60 miles off the southern coast of Cuba out towards the Cayman Islands. The whole habitat is an eco-system, and the mangroves and lagoons provide the prefect nursery for all sorts of marine life. Corals are abundant and healthy, visibility exceeds 30m/100ft daily, and the whole reserve is heavily protected. Only 750 divers per year are permitted to visit here, so this is an exclusive destination if there ever was one!
This International Marine Reserve is situated some 65 miles o the southern coast of Cuba, and is made up of a string of coral and mangrove islands that span for 70 miles in the Caribbean Sea. Only 700 divers from across the globe are permitted here each year – it is possibly the most exclusive destination there is!
Getting there is not the simplest of journeys, leaving Havana early on a Saturday morning for a cross country coach journey before arriving at the port of Jucaro and then boarding your live- aboard for the next week. But, it is well worth it! The trips run throughout the year from a Saturday to the following Friday, and offer comfortable accommodation on a fleet of 5 converted former working vessels and a permanently moored floating hotel. The service and catering are excellent, as the vessels are run under exclusive license by the Italian organisation Avalon, and the staff in Jardines are all marine wardens, most of them marine biologists, and the most professional divers, supporting visitors in whatever way they need – especially photographers!
[email protected] | 020 7644 8252 |

As the channels through the islands are shallow, your liveaboards stay moored in the lagoons, and all diving and exploration is done from fast ski s that whisk through the mangroves at full speed – very James Bond, and spectacular particularly at sunset as the whole world is reflected on the mill pond like surface! The mangrove and coral islands form a barrier between the open sea and the mainland, and are the perfect shelter and environment for marine life. A natural nursery, juvenile fish thrive here, but large rays, salt water American Crocodiles and Bull sharks also make this their home. Diving with Nino, the ‘baby’ 3m long croc is against every natural instinct you may have, but it is a simply amazing experience!
In the lagoons and inner reefs, expect to find lemon Sharks, and be assured that the visibility is gin clear, as you dive the inside of the reefs as the tide is going out, and the outside as the tide is coming in through the channels. Taking a drift dive or snorkel on the tide is like a water slide at Wet n’ Wild! The outer side of the islands is where the real action takes place, and this is a daily offering too. Grey reef sharks, black tip and white tip reef sharks, the odd Great Hammerhead and Silk sharks in massive numbers are seen on every dive – expect to see 20 or more at a time! But it isn’t just about sharks – 300lb+ Goliath Grouper are common sightings, huge barracuda, tuna, tarpon, turtles and huge rays inhabit the reef edges, and conch fields stretch for further than the eye can see. The reefs to are spectacular, full to bursting with fish, soft corals, sponges and critters galore – this is a heavily policed marine reserve, and the protection is working! In fact, Anderson Cooper and Dr. David Guggenheim of CBS fame say that this is one of the very last true marine eco-systems there is on the planet, and who are we to argue?!
[email protected] | 020 7644 8252 |

La Tortuga is a large double decker floating hotel that is permanently anchored in a protected channel and is extremely stable providing superb accommodation.
The Tortuga is a unique floating hotel and a member of the Avalon Liveaboard Fleet. The 34m long double decked steel house boat is permanently anchored in a protected channel and is extremely stable, so there’s no chance of getting seasick - no matter the weather!
The Tortuga liveaboard has eight guest cabins, which can accommodate 2-3 divers, with a maximum of 21 divers on board. Each cabin has individually controlled air-conditioning and en- suite bathrooms. There is an air-conditioned dining room, where you will enjoy 3 hearty meals per day. Cuisine is a combination of Continental Italian, Cuban and seafood.
The foredeck and and afterdeck offer a perfect place to relax and enjoy pizza appetisers, cocktails, and maybe a Cuban cigar before dinner.
[email protected] | 020 7644 8252 |

© The Scuba Place by Nigel Wade and Carlos Suarez

The diving in Varadero is top notch, well established dive centres offer good boats, highly educated and professional staff, quality equipment and safety doesn’t need to be questioned. We pick you up and drop you off at your hotel, and the rest is about the diving itself. Diving in Cuba is governed by the ACUC (CMAS) accreditations, although Varadero also has BSAC and SSI qualified Instructors and guides too – you will be in good hands!
Diving here is done in the mornings, with 2 tanks available each day. Leaving your hotel after breakfast, you will be back for a late lunch, meaning you won’t abandon any non-divers in your party, and get the best opportunity to relax or take in the local culture as well as get some great diving in too!
There are over 50 dive sites of the immediate coast of Varadero, and they don’t disappoint. From shallow reefs and loads of shallow wrecks, to deeper more challenging site such as the wreck of the Sleterea (a 150m tanker) and the former Russian Destroyer, the P383, there are plenty of sites to choose from.
The P383 wreck is exceptional. 97 metres long, sitting upright and intact at a maximum depth of 24m, this is one of the most popular dives in Varadero. With little penetration options other than the bridge, the real draw to this wreck is the equipment on board.
[email protected] | 020 7644 8252 |

The Bella Costa is an all inclusive resort with various dining options to choose from including buffet and a la carte restaurants with fantastic wines, local and international beverages. In addition to formal dining facilities, the snack bar at the beach is a divers favourite - make your own pizzas, burgers and other healthy apres-dive snacks at will!
Situated in downtown Varadero you will find, right on the beach, our preferred dive centre Marlin Barracuda. A BSAC, SSI, ACUC and CMAS accredited dive centre, Marlin Barracuda typically offers two dives each morning, getting the diver back to their hotel in time for a late lunch. This is definitely the centre for inland excursions for cave diving, trips to the Bay of Pigs and other destinations.
Marlin Barracuda also has its own medical centre and decompression chamber, complete with a staff of hyperbaric medicine specialists. A café and beachfront restaurant and bar complete the facilities.
[email protected] | 020 7644 8252 |

11 night itinerary : Thursday 17 to Tuesday 29 September 2020 Optional Extension : VARADERO WRECKS AND REEFS
• Return ights from London Gatwick direct to Havana on Virgin
• 2 nights in Havana at the Iberostar Parque Central
• Coach transfers
• 7 nights aboard La Tortuga with 6 days diving and 3 dives daily
• 2 additional nights in Havana
• Airport transfers, tourist card and marine park fees included ________________________________________________________________________________ PRICE :
£4750 per person based on double occupancy
£750 non-refundable deposit per person to secure space
balance due 13 weeks before departure
please review all Booking Conditions here ________________________________________________________________________________ FLIGHT DETAILS : Flight schedule is for reference only.
Thursday 17 September 2020 : VS63
departing : London Gatwick at 10:15
arriving : Havana at 14:55 (GMT-5)
details : direct ights, economy seating, 23kg checked baggage plus 7kg hand baggage allowance
Monday 28 September 2020 : VS64
departing : Havana at 19:25 (GMT-5)
arriving : London Gatwick at 09:30 (next day) Tuesday 29 September 2020
details : direct ights, economy seating, 23kg checked baggage plus 7kg hand baggage allowance
Iberostar Parque Central : Havana, Cuba
check in : Thursday 17 September 2020 check out : Saturday 19 September 2020 details : standard room, bed & breakfast
La Tortuga Liveaboard : Jardines de la Reina, Cuba
check in : Saturday 19 September 2020
check out : Saturday 26 September 2020
details : standard cabin, full board basis, wine and beer with meals
[email protected] | 020 7644 8252 |

Avalon Diving Centres : Jardines de la Reina, Cuba details : 6 days diving - 3 dives daily
Iberostar Parque Central : Havana, Cuba
check in : Saturday 26 September 2020 check out : Monday 28 September 2020 details : standard room, bed & breakfast
• One additional night in Havana after La Tortuga
• Coach transfer
• 4 nights in Varadero at 4 star all-inclusive Bella Costa
• 3 days diving with 2 dives daily on the wrecks and reefs of Varadero ________________________________________________________________________________ ACCOMMODATION DETAILS :
Bella Costa : Varadero, Cuba
check in : Sunday 27 September 2020 check out : Thursday 1 October 2020 details : standard room, all-inclusive
Marlin Barracuda : Varadero, Cuba
details : 3 days diving - 2 boat dives daily
Thursday 1 October 2020 : VS64
departing : Havana at 19:25 (GMT-5)
arriving : London at 09:30 (next day) Friday 2 October 2020
details : direct ights, economy seating, 23kg checked baggage plus 7kg hand baggage allowance
airline upgrades : we can arrange for higher class seating and/or extra baggage, please contact us for up to date pricing
liveaboard extras : night dives, tips - a €100 gratuity per diver is suggested but any tip is left to your discretion ________________________________________________________________________________
[email protected] | 020 7644 8252 |

To book this trip please contact Ryby at Blue Ocean Diving on 01622 212022 or by email [email protected]
Any change in pricing due to ight availability or other circumstances will be disclosed and discussed at time of booking.
Tickets and full travel documentation for group travel will be issued to all passengers 2 weeks prior to departure. All passengers will receive con rmation of their booking and receipt for deposit or any payment immediately after processing along with an ATOL certi cate.
Passenger names as listed on passport, together with passport number and expiry date, date of birth and nationality is required for each passenger travelling before nal documents can be distributed.
Travel and Diving Insurance are mandatory.
[email protected] | 020 7644 8252 |

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