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Avalon II


Cruise the "Gardens of the Queen" with the Avalon II liveaboard. Building on the successes of her sister liveaboard, the Avalon I, the Avalon II was launched in 2014. 20 scuba divers are comfortably accommodated in 10 cabins across 4 decks on this 130ft (40m) vessel. Be one of the fortunate few, who experience the wonders of diving in Cuba's Jardines de la Reina Marine Park.

Length: 130 feet / 40 meters
Beam: 22 feet / 70 meters
Cruise: 9 knots
Divers: 20
Enriched air nitrox is available here
Cuba Liveaboards - Avalon Fleet II

This is the only liveaboard in the Avalon Fleet to offer nitrox. Your diving experience will be complimented by talks by the resident marine biologist and all the diving action can be captured by the videographer when requested. The generous dive deck makes kitting up a breeze. Scuba gear and camera equipment are conveniently stored in individual equipment storage spaces. The 2 dive tenders are easily accessed from the platform and are on hand to transport you to the next dive site.

When you are not in the water, the Avalon II's amenities are elegant and inviting. With lots of communal areas you will not feel like you're cruising with 20 other divers. A quiet spot can be found to relax or catch up on some reading. If you are seeking company, the sun deck featuring a large Jacuzzi is the place to be. If you prefer shade, the ample covered open air deck offers lots of seating. During the midday heat, perhaps the Caribbean influenced air conditioned saloon is the perfect spot to meet fellow divers and share your Cuban experiences. Bring along a Wi-Fi enabled device and the Avalon crew will transfer you to the sister liveaboard, Tortuga, where you can access the net.

Hearty continental Italian and Cuban fusion cuisine is waitress served aboard the Avalon II. Generous 6 alcoholic servings per day are included in your cruise. Additional wine, spirits and cocktails are also available for purchase. Like the rest of the Avalon II, you will not feel cramped in your cabin. They are well proportioned, have space to store your luggage, and you can adjust the air conditioner to your preferred setting.

From the departure in Havana, during your transfers to Jucaro port and your liveaboard tour in Jardines de la Reina Marine Park, the 9 professional staff will be on hand to make your Cuban liveaboard cruise effortless and memorable.

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Scheduled departures, prices, destinations, durations...

Click 'Request' to send an enquiry for your preferred available departure date:

March 2017
DepartReturnNo. of
nights
DestinationNo. of divesPrice
(per person)
4 Mar 10 Mar 6 Jardines de la Reina 15 US$ 4,720
April 2017
DepartReturnNo. of
nights
DestinationNo. of divesPrice
(per person)
1 Apr 7 Apr 6 Jardines de la Reina 15 US$ 4,720
May 2017
DepartReturnNo. of
nights
DestinationNo. of divesPrice
(per person)
6 May 12 May 6 Jardines de la Reina 15 US$ 4,720
June 2017
DepartReturnNo. of
nights
DestinationNo. of divesPrice
(per person)
10 Jun 16 Jun 6 Jardines de la Reina 15 US$ 5,400
December 2017
DepartReturnNo. of
nights
DestinationNo. of divesPrice
(per person)
9 Dec 15 Dec 6 Jardines de la Reina 15 US$ 5,400
30 Dec 5 Jan 6 Jardines de la Reina 15 US$ 5,400

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More Trip Details...

Cruise price per person includes: Cabin accommodation, pre-reakfast, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, 6 drinks per day (includes beer, wine, cocktails, soft drinks and 2 liters of mineral water), transfers from selected hotels in Havana to and from the boat, dives (as detailed in the cruises above, night dives are available), experienced Spanish and English-speaking divemaster(s) (max. number of 5 divers per DM), tanks, weights and weightbelts.

Cruise price per person excludes (mandatory, unless customer provides own): Scuba equipment rental (US$ 175 full set, per trip, torch US$ 8 per night dive), it is compulsory to use a dive computer: please bring your own, port taxes (US$ 200) to be paid in advance, conservation fee (US$ 100) to be paid in advance, gratuities (min US$ 200 is compulsory). Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival in US$ cash.

Optional extras: Return transfer to/from Jucaro (beginning 1 July 2017), nitrox fills for enriched air certified divers US$ 150 per trip, additional dives on request, dive insurance, videographer services, private divemaster US$ 1,200 (subject to availability), alcoholic drinks and soft drinks (other than those included). Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival in cash.

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 region was named in honor of the Spanish Queen, Isabella of Castile, by Christopher Columbus). 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.

You can fly directly to Havana's Jose Marti International airport from a number of cities. These include London (Virgin Atlantic), Moscow (Aeroflot), Toronto (Air Canada), Cancun (Interjet) and Mexico City (Aeromexico). Alternatively you can choose from a selection of airlines that provide connecting flights (Swiss Airlines, Air France, KLM, Air Europa, Iberia, Emirates, Cathay Pacific, Air China, Qatar Airways, or Avianca).

In early 2015 the United States federal government announced a change in rules for their citizens to visit Cuba. The small island nation is a mere hour flight from Florida, however booking a flight their is not as direct, A number of airlines now offer flights, however tickets are sold as charter flights through travel services. Flights are available to Havana from New York on JetBue and Sun Country Airlines. Alternative routes are from Tampa and Fort Lauderdale with ABC Charters and JetBlue or Baltimore with Island Travel & Tours. Americans traveling to Cuba will need passports and visas, a traveler reservation form and a signed affidavit (inquire with your booking agent for these forms). The requirements for US citizens to travel to Cuba are changing constantly, please ensure that you have the most current information at the time of booking your cruise. For more information see the U.S Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs website.

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 1 night before and one night after your liveaboard cruise. (Havana hotels are booked up well in advance. Airbnb is highly recommended). A representative from 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 complimentary 5-6 hour bus transfer to Jucaro Port, in Cuba's Ciego de Avila province. You will board the Halcon 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, travel via return complimentary bus and will arrive in Havana at approximately 20:30 hrs.

Diving Environment: A 3-5mm full length wetsuit is the most common exposure suit choice for Cuban water temperatures: Summer 80-84°F (27-29°C), Winter: 68-72°F (20-22°C). You can expect minimal currents, fantastic visibility of approximately 98ft (30m) and depths from 33-130ft (10-40m). Dive sites display a variety of sea grass meadows and a healthy assortment of corals. Unique to the area is the possibility of diving with up to 6 different types of sharks on the same dive. Caribbean reef sharks and silky sharks are very common. You may also encounter leopard, bull and hammerhead sharks. Fish carcasses are employed on the shark dives. Whale sharks cruise the waters from July through November. A diverse assortment of fish are encountered on dives, such as eagle rays, groupers, tarpons, snappers, parrotfish, schools of jack fish as well as southern stingrays and turtles. 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$ 220 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. 31% of the published price.

Dive clubs and group discounts: There are group discounts available for groups of 18 guests and above. Please contact us for more details.

Whole boat charter rate (per night): Whole boat charter rates are available. Please contact us for more details.


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Cabins, Berths, Showers, Bathrooms...
10 Standard cabins aboard the Avalon II are spacious and neatly furnished with the bathrooms adding a touch of elegance. All cabins feature the comforts of home, including televisions, DVD players, individually-controlled air-conditioning and private bathrooms. The 8 cabins on the main deck each have a double bed and a single bunk bed, and large windows. The lower deck features the largest cabins. These 2 cabins each have 2 double beds and portholes.

All the liveaboard cabins have:
  • Air-conditioning
  • Windows or portholes
  • Toilet, hot water shower and hand basin
  • Towels & soap
  • Personal TV & DVD player
  • Bedside reading lights
  • Cabinet and shelves
  • Bedding
  • Space for luggage
  • Life jackets
  • Round and flat 2-pin mains outlet 110 & 220 Volts - 24 hours per day
No. of toilets / showers - 10 / 10 - hot water

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Crew, Facilities, Dive Courses...
The crew of 9 usually comprises (depending on the occupancy);
  • 1 Cruise leader
  • 1 - 4 Instructors / Divemasters
  • 1 Captain
  • 1 Engineer
  • 2 Cooks
  • 3 Maids
2 Motorized dive dinghies - Dive platform with showers, camera table and rinse tanks - Air-conditioned saloon with bar, TV, DVD video & music - Book library, fish ID books, diving magazines - Open air social and dining area - Sun deck with bar, sun chairs and jacuzzi - WiFi on the sister liveaboard, Tortuga

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Menu, Cuisine Type...
The meals served on the Avalon Fleet I liveaboard are almost as renowned as the scuba diving in Jardines de la Reina. The day starts with a hearty breakfast at 07:15 hrs to fuel guests for the first dive of the day. Lunch and dinner include lobster, pork, chicken, beef, salads and fruit prepared in a continental Italian style or drawing from local Cuban influences. No Italian meal would end without delectable desserts being offered to guests.
  • 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, including pizza in between.
  • Coffee, tea, soft drinks, beer, wine, cocktails and 2 liters of mineral water per person per day (6 units in total) and snacks are provided free of charge.
  • 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.

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Technical Specifications...
  • Built in year 1980
  • Upgraded for operation in 2014, refurbished every 2 years
  • Size - 130ft x 23ft (40m x 7m)
  • Top speed - 10 knots
  • Cruising speed - 9 knots
  • 3 x 550 HP Detroit diesel engines
  • 2 Onan generators
  • 2 Bauer compressors
  • Brownie nitrox maker TM system
  • 12 liter aluminum tanks with DIN & Int. fittings
  • Electricity 110V/220V - 24 hours per day
  • Water capacity - quantity unknown
  • Watermaker - 2 x 1,500 liters per day
  • Fuel capacity - quantity unknown

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Navigation, Safety Features...
  • No life rafts
  • 2 x 150 HP Yamaha motorized dinghies
  • Radios
  • Global Positioning System (GPS)
  • Radar
  • Sounder
  • Fishfinder
  • Emergency evacuation plan
  • Searchlight and horn
  • Bilge pump alarm
  • Advanced medic first aid box, staff are MFA/EFR trained
  • Emergency oxygen
  • 20 life jackets throughout
  • Fire alarms and extinguishers throughout
  • Medical insurance is MANDATORY in Cuba
  • Customer dive insurance is NOT provided. It is suggested that divers have dive insurance due to the remoteness of the location and the high cost of emergency evacuation services. - see our insurance program for a competitive quotation

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