Explore Jardines de la Reina Marine Park with the Avalon Fleet's premier liveaboard, the Avalon I. The 6 night cruises depart each Saturday from the Cuban port town of Jucaro. Onboard 18 divers are accommodated in the liveaboard's 8 well-appointed cabins with TVs and DVD players, enjoy delicious Cuban and Italian cuisine and have the freedom to contribute to the week's diving itinerary.
The first in the Avalon Fleet, the 120ft (37m) long Avalon I is well designed to keep divers in comfort during their Cuban scuba diving vacation to the Queen's Gardens. The diving procedure could not be easier. You will prepare for dives on the spacious dive deck. Camera and videography equipment are conveniently waiting on the dedicated camera table. All equipment is stored on the dive tender. 2 sturdy, staircases lead to the dive platform that is a mere step into the dive tender. Dive sites are never far away from the liveaboard. After being enthralled with the pristine Jardines de la Reina diving, rinse off under the convenient dive deck showers and take care of your camera gear in the dedicated rinse tanks. Avalon I staff transfer tanks and dive gear to the dive center and prepare them for the next day's diving. Should you wish to access the world wide web, catch a short ride with the dive tender to Avalon's sister liveaboard, Tortuga, where free Internet is available on your personal bluetooth enabled device.
Sun seekers can head up to the sun deck and enjoy multiple seating options or relax in the jacuzzi. If an escape from the tropical Caribbean heat is desired, the Avalon I has an air-conditioned dining area and saloon with entertainment facilities and marine books. At the end of the day, partake in complimentary sunset aperitifs and enjoy cooling sea breezes on the shaded open air dining and seating deck. Get to know your fellow cruise guests while chatting about the day's scuba highlights and decide which dive sites you wish to discover next.
Cruise price per person includes: Cabin accommodation, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, 6 drinks per day (includes beer, wine, cocktails, soft drinks and 2 liters of mineral water), dives (as detailed in the cruises above, night dives are available), experienced Spanish and English-speaking divemaster(s) (max number of 4-6 divers per DM), tanks, weights and weightbelts.
Cruise price per person excludes (mandatory, unless customer provides own): Scuba equipment rental (US$ 200 full set per trip), torch (US$ 8 per night dive) to be paid in advance, dive computer (US$ 60 per trip) to be paid in advance, port taxes (US$ 200) to be paid in advance, conservation fee (US$ 100) to be paid in advance, transfers from selected hotels in Havana to and from the boat (US$ 200) to be paid in advance, gratuities (min US$ 200 is compulsory, crew prefer this in Euro). Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival in CUC cash.
Optional extras: Additional dives on request, dive insurance, private divemaster US$ 1,200 (subject to availability), alcoholic drinks, soft drinks (other than those included). Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival.
How to get there: Jardines de la Reina (or the Queen's Gardens) is an archipelago that is made up of over 600 cays and islands (the area was named by Christopher Columbus in honor of the Spanish Queen, Isabella of Castile). It lies in the Caribbean Sea and parallels the Cuban coast for about 93 miles (150 km). The domestic part of your journey to the archipelago begins in Cuba's capital city, Havana.
There is more on international flights and visa details (including the requirements for U.S. citizens and residents) in our how to get to Cuba information.
Arrival/Boarding/Departure: You need to be in Havana by Friday night. From Jose Marti International Airport, you can take a taxi to your pre-booked accommodation in Havana. The ride will take approximately 20-30 minutes and should cost 20-25 CUC one way. Agree on the price first, most taxis have meters however, they are rarely used. Ensure that you have accommodation reservations for at least one night before and 1 night after your liveaboard cruise (Havana hotels are booked up well in advance. Airbnb is highly recommended). A representative from Cuban Diving Centers will collect you at a very early 04:00 hrs from the Parque Central Hotel (or another agreed upon location at the time of your booking) for your 5-6 hour bus transfer to Jucaro Port, in Cuba's Ciego de Avila province. You will board the Avalon I liveaboard at approximately 09:00 hrs for the 3 hour voyage to Jardines de la Reina National Park. On the last day of the trip, you will cruise back to Jucaro Port and then travel via bus to Havana, arriving at approximately 20:30 hrs. The last dive of the trip will be around 14:00 hrs on the second last day of the trip. Please wait at least 18 hours before flying after diving.
Non-diver rate: US$ 250 off the published price.
Single supplement (if you do not want to share accommodation): This is optional - single travelers may choose to share a cabin or pay a supplement of approx. 65% of the published price.
Dive clubs and group discounts: Pay for 8 guests and 1 additional person can join the cruise in the Standard cabin free of charge (total 9 or more guests). Pay for 14 guests and 2 additional guests can join the cruise in a Standard cabin free of charge (total 16 or more guests.) See whole boat charter rate below.
The Avalon I's 8 Standard cabins are tastefully furnished in neutral tones. There are 2 cabins on the upper deck. They each have twin bunk beds, windows and share a bathroom. There are 2 triple cabins with private bathrooms on the main deck. Each cabin has twin bunk beds and a single bed with a window. The 4 cabins on the lower deck have private bathrooms and natural lighting via portholes. There are 3 cabins featuring double beds plus 1 cabin that has twin beds.
All the liveaboard cabins have:
Windows or portholes
Toilet, hot water shower and hand basin
Towels and soap
Personal TV & DVD
Bedside reading lights
Cabinet and shelves
Space for luggage
Round and flat 2-pin mains outlet 110 & 220 Volts - 24 hours per day
The crew of 11 usually comprises (depending on the occupancy):
1 Cruise leader
2 Motorized dive dinghies - Dive platform with showers, camera table and rinse tanks - Air-conditioned saloon with bar, TV, DVD & music system - Book library, fish ID books, diving magazines - Open air social and dining area - Sun deck with bar, sun chairs and jacuzzi - Internet on Avalon's sister liveaboard, Tortuga
The Avalon fleet prides itself on the high standard of meals served on their liveaboard vessels. Meals are served in either the air-conditioned dining area or the shaded open air deck. The Avalon I has 2 bars conveniently located near each dining area where you can toast your Caribbean diving holiday with pre-dinner cocktails. 3 meals are served each day, starting with a generous breakfast. A selection of fresh fruits, salads, chicken, pork and beef are also served at lunch and dinner.
Continental Italian and traditional Cuban favorites; 4-5 different dishes per sitting.
Waitress service in one of the 2 dining areas.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks in between.
Snacks and 6 beverages per person, per day are provided free of charge. Including coffee, tea, soft drinks, beer, wine, cocktails and 2 liters of mineral water.
Additional beverages are available for purchase.
Vegetarian, kosher, halal and allergic diets are catered for - please advise us of special requirements in advance.
The dining service begins with lunch, snacks and dinner on the first day of the cruise. On the last day guests are served breakfast, if the return cruise time is extended, lunch will be provided.
Lobster prepared with Cuban and Italian influences. The chef's famous Cuban caramel custard...
Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB)
Advanced medic first aid box, staff are MFA/EFR trained
20 life jackets throughout
Fire alarms and 6 extinguishers throughout
Medical insurance is MANDATORY in Cuba
Dive insurance is NOT provided. We suggest that divers have their own dive insurance due to the remote location and the high cost of emergency evacuation services. - See our insurance programme for a competitive quotation.