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Jardines Aggressor – Liveaboard, Gardens of the Queen
Experience Cuba’s unique marine environment during an Oceans for Youth Foundation People-to-People educational program. The Cuba Travel Program includes 10 days/9 nights arriving in Havana, Cuba on Thursday and departing Havana, Cuba on Saturday. It includes 2 nights in Havana and a week onboard the Jardines Aggressor.
Jardines de la Reina or 'Gardens of the Queen' was named by Christopher Columbus to honor Queen Isabel of Spain. It is located 60 miles off the southern coast of Cuba and is one of the largest marine parks in the Caribbean and known to have the healthiest marine ecosystem.
The Gardens of the Queen encompasses a chain of 250 virgin coral and mangrove islands extending along 75 miles of beautiful clear turquoise water. This area was declared a marine park in 1996 and has been protected since then. You can expect to see pristine coral reefs, steep walls dropping from the reef to the abyss, large populations of adult fish including sharks, jewfish up to 400 lbs, snapper, grouper and much more. There are many different species of sharks you will see including; nurse, black tip, lemon, silky and the great hammerhead.
During the program, travelers will spend 2 hotel nights at the Iberostar Parque Central Hotel in Havana, and will visit with Cuban scientists and marine experts about ocean conservation and cultural exchanges. One of these will include a presentation by world renowned expert, Dr. Julio A. Baisre. Interactive exchanges will discuss how Cuba has maintained one of the healthiest marine ecosystems in the Caribbean. Travelers will visit the town of Cojimar and Habana Vieja before spending a week on the Jardines Aggressor liveaboard. Seven days of the program will be spent on the Jardines Aggressor liveaboard exploring the spectacular Gardens of the Queen (Jardines de la Reina) National Park, located 60 miles off the southern coast. During the week, biologists and Cuban specialists will host discussions and presentations on the marine environment, conservation, and the importance of this magnificent ecosystem.
Cuba Travel Program Includes:
The Jardines Aggressor is scheduled to launch May 2016. She is 110 feet long and will accommodate 20 passengers with 6 crew.
Legal travel to Cuba
For U.S. Citizens and permanent residents, leisure travel and tourism activities still remains illegal. Visiting Cuba for those under U.S. jurisdiction is restricted to one of 12 categories enforced by the Department of Treasury. We work with a combination of foundations and marine researchers to provide full-time programs that comply with the State department’s general “People to People” educational travel license for your Gardens itinerary and for any additional add-on’s. Part of meeting these stipulations means that each traveler must have a full-time schedule of educational exchange activities that will result in meaningful interaction between the travelers and individuals in Cuba. We have travel specialists on staff that have personal experiences diving JDR, visiting Havana and beyond under these requirements. Please contact us for information and to tailor your Cuba educational and/or sustainable visit. For citizens of all other countries not subject to U.S. jurisdiction, there are no specific restrictions as far as travel to Cuba and leisure travel is permitted.