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 130 ft (40m) vessel. Be one of the fortunate few, who experience the wonders of diving in Cuba's Jardines de la Reina Marine Park.
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. Alcoholic drinks are included in your cruise. 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.
Dive experience: To join these Cuban liveaboard tours, a minimum of 50 logged dives is recommended.
Cruise price per person includes: Cabin accommodation, pre-breakfast, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, all drinks (includes beer, wine, soft drinks, juices, ice tea, coffee, drinking water), scheduled local airport transfers, 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): Port taxes (US$ 200) to be paid in advance, conservation fee (US$ 100) to be paid in advance. Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival.
Optional extras: Scuba equipment rental (US$ 250 full set per trip), torch (US$ 8 per night dive), dive computer (US$ 60 per trip), nitrox fills for enriched air certified divers US$ 100 per trip, additional onboard dives on request, dive insurance, private divemaster US$ 1 200 (subject to availability), onboard alcoholic and soft drinks (other than those included), return transfers from selected hotels in Havana to and from the boat (US$ 50). Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid in advance.
How to get there: If you wish to travel through Havana, you need to be in the city 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 06:00-06:30 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 II liveaboard at approximately 15:00 hrs for the 3 hour voyage to Jardines de la Reina National Park. On the last but one day of the trip, you will cruise back to and overnight inJucaro Port. Disembark at 9 am on the last day 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.
If you want to avoid Havana and the 6 hour bus ride, you can fly via Miami on Saturday to Santa Clara (SNU) or Camaguey (CMW). Upon your arrival you will be picked up and taken direct to the port. The journey takes 2.5 hours. On the following Saturday you will be taken back to the airport. If you have a late flight they will organise a 4 hour city tour for you to avoid to wait hours at the airport.
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 for own cabin.
Dive clubs and group discounts: Pay for 9 guests and 1 additional person can join the cruise in the Standard cabin free of charge (total 10 or more guests).
Whole boat charter rate (per night): Pay for 18 guests and 2 additional guests can join the cruise in a Standard cabin free of charge.
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:
Windows or portholes
Toilet, hot water shower and hand basin
Towels & soap
Personal TV & DVD player
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 9 usually comprises (depending on the occupancy);
1 Cruise leader
1 - 4 Instructors / Divemasters
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
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.