Sailing Holidays

Sailing Holidays in Cuba

Cuba is a exciting destination with some of the world’s finest beaches, a rich cultural heritage and a vibrant approach to life.

Cuba incorporates a fascinating blend of Latin American and Spanish cultures. Sail in the warm northeast trade winds, dive and snorkel on some of the most exquisite coral reefs in the Caribbean and when the sun goes down, party to the salsa rhythms.

Cienfuegos is one of Cuba’s largest and most prospering cities, with a tourist marina very close to the French-style centre filled with entertainment and eateries. From Cienfuegos on the south coast sail east to the beautiful Jardines de Reina Marine Park or west to Cayo Largo. This cruising area suits experienced skippers as the distances are not for the faint-hearted, especially at the start of the itinerary to get from Cienfuegos to the archipelagos when the passages are 50-60nm. 

Spend a few days in Havana before or after your charter to fully experience the vibrant culture of this fascinating city.

From the base at Cienfuegos, there are two main island groups to explore along the southern shore of Cuba. Sailing westward will take you through the Canarreos Archipelago, a 90 km stretch of small to medium sized islands with hundreds of anchorages. First day's sail is to Cayo Guano del Este, a 50nm passage, at the eastern end of the archipelago - just a one mile long and one mile wide deserted key which serves as an ideal first stop. Then sail on to Cayo Largo, a tourist resort with spectacular beaches including 'Playa Sirena', the most beautiful beach in the area. Other islands, including Cayo del Rosario, Cayo Cantiles and Cayo Campos, have coral seabeds teeming with tropical fish. Visit Cayo Iguana - but don't feed the iguanas! The turtle and crocodile farms at Cayo Rico are also worth a visit. In 2 weeks you could sail round Isla de la Juventud and back to Cienfuegos.

Sailing east will bring you to the beautiful Ancón Beach near the city of Trinidad, Cayo Blanco, Cayo Machos de Afuera and Cayo Cino Balas on your way to the Jardines de la Reina marine park at Santa Cruz del Sur, a stunning, uninhabited area protected by one of the world's longest coral barrier reefs. Here you can wind your way through channels along the keys amidst a stunning variety of marine life, iguana, pelicans, flamingos and spoonbills.

Expect some long passages of 50-60nm, especially at the start of the itinerary to get from Cienfuegos to the archipelagos.  Although you are not to sail at night within the reef areas, there is no objection to sailing in deep waters in the dark so you can make a daylight landfall.

Constant trade winds benefit the more sheltered south coast generally from an east to north-easterly direction. During the winter months, winds blow between 15-25 knots. Hurricanes are limited to the summer months of August to October. Experience level 3.

 

DAY 1 : Embark at Cienfuegos marina.  Depart yacht berth for night cruise through the Caribbean tropical waters to Cayo Largo (75nm)
DAY 2 : Arrive Cayo Largo Marina before lunch. On the way, stop for snorkelling at the two big coral reefs off Cayo Ingles or Cayo Hijo de los Ballenatos. Anchor off and explore in your dinghy the fine white beaches, snorkelling and diving spots on and near Cayo Largo. Night in the marina or anchor near Playa Sirena beach.
DAY 3 : Early morning visit to Cayo Iguana ( 2 nm from Cayo Largo).  Cruising west with a stopover at the excellent beach of Playa Rosario with nearby coral reef for snorkelling. Anchor near Canal del Rosario (35nm), which offers protection against all prevailing winds.
DAY 4 : Visit Cayo Cantiles reserve with monkeys and other wildlife. Sail north via Canal del Rosario on shallow turquoise waters of Golfo de Batabanó, on the way visit of lobster and fishing centres of Cayo Travesia or Cayo Flamenco. Anchor near Diego Pérez Lighthouse (40nm).
DAY 5 :  Sail to Cayos de Dios, Sal or Guano del Este. Snorkel at coral reef with wide variety of fish and shellfish. Anchor for the night near Guano del Este lighthouse (35nm). In the northwest of Cayo Guano there is a small beach and coral reef for snorkelling. 
DAY 6 : Weighing anchor in early morning hours, sailing east to Guajimico (45nm), a narrow cove with a small hotel with restaurant and swimming pool.
DAY 7 : Return to Cienfuegos (15nm). 

DAY 1 : Embark at Cienfuegos marina.
DAY 2 : Sail to Guajimico (15nm)
DAY 3 : Sail south east to Cayo Blanco (40nm).
DAY 4 : Sailing on the way to Cayo Zaza de Fera (20nm) visit Cayo Machos de Afuera, home to iguanas and a small restaurant.
DAY 5 : Cayo Bretón (20nm) is separated by several narrow channels and marked by a lighthouse. This is the start of the Jardines de la Reina (‘Gardens of the Queen’), a nature reserve area of exceptional unspoilt beauty. Flamingos, turtles and iguanas roam here, and the snorkelling on the coral reefs in spectacular - look out for pirate treasure said to be hidden on the cays.
DAY 6 : Sail back to civilization at the full-service Marina Trinidad (50nm).
DAY 7 : Spend the day exploring Trinidad. Leave in the late evening hours to sail back to Cienfuegos  through the night.  Arrive Cienfuegos early morning (60nm).

Start your yacht charter at Marina Cienfuegos on the south coast of Cuba. Charters start and finish any day (minimum 5 nights), giving you total flexibility over your holiday dates. One way charters to finish at Cayo Largo or Trinidad are available at extra cost.

 

planning
Captivating Cuba

Captivating Cuba

Book any yacht or catamaran from Cienfuegos more than 6 months in advance and get
5% OFF 1 week+ extra 5% OFF for 2 weeks.


PLAN YOUR HOLIDAY NOW

Prices given below. Click on the yacht names to view yacht layout & specification

Yacht charter rates are shown WITHOUT flights giving you the flexibility to book your own flights.

If you want a flight-inclusive holiday Nautilus Yachting is a fully bonded ATOL tour operator and can book flights from the UK to fit your sailing holiday. Choose from a wide choice of airlines - we are not tied to any particular airline. All flight-inclusive holidays are fully bonded for your financial protection under our ATOL 3016. Airport transfers can also be pre-arranged.

FLIGHTS TO HAVANA:
Virgin Atlantic have direct flights to Havana. Taxi transfer to Cienfuegos 3 hours 30 mins. 

 

Whether you are an experienced sailor or setting foot on a yacht for the first time, we can offer you a holiday afloat to suit you. Experience Level 1 are suitable for less experienced crews and Experience Level 3 are more suited for the experts.    

This takes into account the wind strength, tidal range and currents, distances between stops and ease of mooring. Of course even experts may choose to sail in Level 1 areas as they still offer stunning scenery and great sailing.

Experience Level 1: BVI, Bahamas, Florida Keys

Generally light winds Force 2-4, line of sight navigation, shorter sailing distances under 20nm. You will be Day Skipper standard having sailed at least 1 week or 100nm as skipper

Experience Level 2: Antigua, St Martin, St Lucia, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Grenada, St Vincent, Belize

Stronger winds up to Force 3-5 with some longer passages up to 30nm. You will be Day Skipper standard having sailed at least 2 weeks or 200nm as skipper

Experience Level 3: Cuba. One way itineraries, eg Antigua to St Martin, St Lucia to Grenadines

Stronger winds up to Force 4-7 which can lead to bigger seas on long passages between the islands. You will be Coastal Skipper standard with experience to a higher level having sailed at least 4 weeks or 400nm as skipper.

To charter a yacht bareboat or on flotilla you should be Day Skipper standard and be assisted by at least one competent crew.

At present you need an RYA Day Skipper qualification or RYA International Certificate of Competence (ICC) for charters in Croatia, Montenegro, Mallorca, Tenerife and Malta.

The RYA ICC will be ever more required by overseas port authorities but if you have skipper experience it is easily obtained in a day from RYA sailing schools in the UK such as Hamilton Sailing or Brixham Sea School 

Yacht charter rates are shown WITHOUT flights giving you the flexibility to book your own flights.

If you want a flight-inclusive holiday Nautilus Yachting is a fully bonded ATOL tour operator and can book flights from the UK to fit your sailing holiday. Choose from a wide choice of airlines - we are not tied to any particular airline. All flight-inclusive holidays are fully bonded for your financial protection under our ATOL 3016. Airport transfers can also be pre-arranged.

FLIGHTS TO HAVANA:
Virgin Atlantic have direct flights to Havana. Taxi transfer to Cienfuegos 3 hours 30 mins. 

 

Havana is the heart of Cuba’s busy political, scientific and cultural life. Old Havana, the city’s historic centre, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit a cigar factory, sipcocktails at Floridita, Hemingway's favourite bar and dine in style at the Hotel National, immortalised in Graham Greene's  "Our Man in Havana". Every bar has live music and the city is alive both day and night. 

Cienfuegos was first settled by the French and still has a Franco-Cuban feel. Fast becoming the nautical centre of Cuba due to its location on the because of the beautiful Jagua Bay. Visit the famous Terry Theatre, the Jagua Castle and the spectacular Botanical garden.

Havana Cigars manufactured in Cuba are generally thought to be without peer, thanks to the local tobacco and the expertise of the cigar makers. Even non-smokers will enjoy a tour of a cigar factory to see how cigars are made. The workers are read to while they work, not just the local newspaper, but classics which have given their names to habano brands of cigars such as Romeo y Julieta and Montecristo.

"First class service from Nautilus. On arrival our catamaran was clean and serviceable and the help given by the base staff was excellent. "
Antigua 2014 - M.M

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