Flying into Havana, yay! …
If you want some cool music while you read this, click play on the video at the bottom of this page.
You can buy duty free before this last flight. If you would like high end booze, this is your last chance. Cuban rum is super cheap in the marina at Cienfuegos. They also sell beer, wine and some food items.
Before you board your flight to Havana, look for a booth next to the gate. You must show them your Visa/Tourist Card before you board. Customs in Havana is pretty straight forward. All details are here: http://www.airportcuba.net/havana_customs.html .
They’ll ask some questions. You are traveling for vacation (sailing out of Cienfuegos). Your “Hotel” is where you are staying in Havana and/or Platten Sailing, Marina Marlin, Cienfuegos. Travel insurance is included in your air ticket – worst case you can purchase right there.
Leave your tourist card in your passport until you leave Cuba. You give it up at security before departing Cuba. It can take 24 hours to get a replacement.
They will search your carry-on. The rules are changing but I understand that drones and anything that says “GPS” on it are still confiscated. There is a process to have your items returned upon departure but I hear it’s tedious. VHF’s require a form to be filled out. I will jump through the hoops and have my handheld onboard for us.
Most will be staying a night or two in Havana. Do the walk around Old Havana. Consider Hemmingway’s favorite cocktail, a Daquiri where they invented the drink at restaurante Floridita. You can negotiate a personal tour in a ’57 convertible, 40-100$ or Cuc are rates I’ve seen. Check out the street vendor art, the museums, the amazing architecture and the side street bars and restaurants.
Friday March 1st we meet up at Hotel Melia Cohiba over on the coast.
Avenida Paseo, entre 1ra y 3ra, Vedado, La Habana. +53 7 8333636
The bus departs at 0900, right out front. Your hotel or B&B can arrange a taxi. It’s 15 minutes from most of Havana. You might leave your hotel by 0830. You can bring your bags into the nice lobby and have a cup of coffee if you’re early. If you miss the bus, take a taxi to Cienfuegos, about a hundred bux. We are scheduled to have lunch at Via Lagarto, where the road ends, S of Cienfuegos. Your hotel reservation is at Melia San Carlos in Cienfuegos. More details on tour schedule is here …
Saturday, March 2, get your last big shower, enjoy breakfast, check out Cienfuegos. San Fernando, the S street of the park is a walking street to the E.
The Marina …
We meet before 1800 at Marina Marlin, Platten Sailing, Cienfuegos; south of town. See map below. Arriving by 1600 can be beneficial as there is a small chance I can get us checked out of the port then instead of waiting the next morning. The taxi can drop you at the southern gate on Avenida 35 so you can leave your bags with the Platten office. If they drop you at the main gate in front of the beautiful yacht club, you can follow the path south to Platten.
The marina has a grand old ‘yacht club’ where you can have beverages and a meal. There’s a pool to sit by. There is a marina market and cool little bar in the southern area. Last minute snack and booze shopping can be done there. We spend the night onboard. Port captain boards early in the morning. He likes rum in his coffee. We’ll sail and spend the night at an idyllic, white sand cayo :).
All info from the marina is below the image/map …
My GSM Tmobile phone (ATT phones are GSM too) worked fine all over Cuba. Calls are a few dollars a minute but my phone didn’t always ring. Texts are only 50 cents, I got all of them within a few minutes. I am arriving on Feb 26. My accommodations (and cafe’s) have internet so I will check email twice a day. Have AC Journeys information, they are very helpful with any issues.
If your smartphone allows ‘offline maps’, you might download the one for Cuba. As of spring 2017 cel service in Cuba does not offer data. I prefer the Maps.me app for this.
Time Zone …
Havana and Cienfuegos are on Eastern Time or EST with no daylight savings – or GMT-5.
From Platten, they are German (sic 🙂 …
Platten Sailing Cuban S.A.
Calle 35, % 6 y 8, Marina Cienfuegos
Punta Gorda, 55100 Cienfuegos, Cuba
At the base of Platten Sailing Cuba we provide following services
- water and electricity supply
- petrol station
- weatherforecasts of Windfinder and Nacional Hurrican Center
- toilets and showers
- waste disposal
- public WiFi (new since january 2016)
- Safety and security service around the clock
- bar- restaurant of Marina Marlin
- shop of Marina Marlin
“Cienfuegos – Marina Marlin
Only on kilometer from the centre of the city is one of the most developed marina on the south coast placed. Here we offer several charter yachts for you. There you find all necessary services for charter and privat sailing yachts. We have a restaurant and the famous yacht club which is locaded in a colonial building, where you have a magnificent view al over the bay of Cienfuegos.
monohull or catamaran
The water depth in our sailing area is in the range of Cayos in many areas with only 2 m. Our catamarans need a depth of 1.4 m, so they are excellent for this area. Our monohulls have short keels so they can deal with the shallow water.
supply – shops
The Marina Cienfuegos has a supply store for the most important food and meat (meat on order). Fresh fruits and vegetables you buy at the local market. There are also several shops in Cienfuegos complement the offer. Our base manager on site will exactly explain what goods you can shop where. (See “Base”)
Communication with mobile phone works almost the whole surface of Cuba. Marina Marlin Cienfuegos supplies since January 2016 public WLAN – Wifi. (See “Base”)
Our base manager speaks perfectly English, Spanish, French and German. He is always available at for all needs and necessary information you need.
Are you interesded to rent one of our sailing yachts, please send us a Email or an inquiry. You get an offer and if you want we give more information about the wonderful sailing area and the beautiful travel destination Cuba.
hiring of lodging
We will gladly arrange accommodation locally for you, depending on whether you wish to stay in a hotel or casa particular – private accommodation.
Do you want to enjoy before or after your cruise a further piece of Cuba? We recommend the cities Havana, Trinidad and other objects around your sailing holiday. (Further information see “Desk” and the download section)
Our base leader speaks very good Spanish, English, French and German
All services of a modern marina, but also a normal, very vivid Cuban city, an environment of many cultural and natural attractions without the seclusion of a “tourist ghetto”: Cienfuegos, La Perla del Sur, the pearl of the south, makes all these requirements meet in an ideal way.
Its geographic situation in the center of a ten-mile-deep bay, with an entrance only some hundred yards wide, early made Cinefuegos an important harbour. Today the port, with sugar for export as its most important product, ranks second only to Havana. Nevertheless, the city could maintain the beauty of its setting as well as its rich architectural heritage from the 19th century. The Teatro Tomás Terry, where Caruso once performed, and the Palacio de Valle, a moorish-styled villa of an early 20th-century sugar tycoon which is nowadays featuring a restaurant, are among Cuba’s most famous historical buildings.
Come on our tour through history, architecture and surroundings of Cienfuegos.