Cuba Group Dive Research Trip | Scuba Center | Legal Educational Travel to Cuba for U.S. Citizens & Residents
Scuba Center has been selling quality scuba diving and snorkeling equipment since 1973. You will find a wide selection of scuba and snorkeling equipment at both our Eagan, Minnesota and Minneapolis, Minnesota locations. Scuba Center Eagan
1571 Century Point
Eagan, Minnesota 55121
(651) 681-8434
Scuba Center Minneapolis
5015 Penn Ave South
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55419
(612) 925-4818

Cuba: Jan 31-Feb 15, 2020

Central Cuba "Land and Liveaboard"
Legal Educational Travel to Cuba for U.S. Citizens & Residents
OFAC License - Legal Cuba Travel

Join Scuba Center as we continue to explore Cuba. We have completed several trips to Cuba since 2013 and have experienced firsthand the wonderful diving and fascinating culture that Cuba offers. This trip includes dive research opportunities as well as many cultural research experiences.

 
Camagüey and Santa Lucia, Central Cuba:
Las Brisas Santa Lucia Resort | Central CubaAfter a short flight from Miami to Camagüey International Airport in central Cuba, we'll transfer by air conditioned bus (1.5 hours) to Santa Lucia. This is a sleepy town on the northeast coast of Cuba where horse drawn carriage taxis are the main transportation. Once there, we check in at the Las Brisas Santa Lucia Resort. While in Santa Lucia, you’ll enjoy environmental experiences, monitor local bull sharks, and explore historical shipwrecks. The centerpiece of the Central Cuba itinerary is the bull shark population in Nuevitas bay of Santa Lucia, Cuba where visitors will dive and participate in a shark conservation program led by a local Cuban marine biologist. “Cuba is a kind of biodiversity epicentre for sharks,” says Robert Hueter, director of the Center for Shark Research at the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium in Sarasota, Florida, who is one of many working with Cuban scientists.

CAMAGÜEY Support for the Cuban People & Humanitarian ProjectOur next destination is the quiet, clean art colony of Camagüey – world renowned for its pottery. You’ll spend the weekend in private, chic homes and soak in the cultural fabric of Cuba. If you’ve ever been to Havana, you will appreciate Camagüey’s fresh, clean air with flourishing artists of all kind. The cobblestone, European streets with Cuban flare are made for pedestrians and quaint bicycles. You’ll delight in the humility of Camagüey people who are polite, accomplished, highly educated and living out their passions in every creative way imaginable.
 
Jardines Aggressor II Liveaboard-- Gardens of the Queen:
Jardines Aggressor II Liveaboard | Gardens of the Queen, CubaAs the adventure continues, we will be transferring by air conditioned bus to Jucaro on the Southern coast (about 3 hours) where we will board the Jardines Aggressor II. We will spend 7 nights onboard the Jardines Aggressor II liveaboard yacht exploring the spectacular Gardens of the Queen (Jardines de la Reina) National Park.

Jardines Aggressor II is a 120’ yacht with a wide beam built and powered for comfort, safety and stability, is diesel-powered, cruises at 10 knots and has 110-volt power onboard. Staterooms have a hairdryer, private bathroom with a toilet and shower, and individual air conditioning climate controls. Linens are changed mid-week, by request, and fresh towels are placed in each stateroom as needed. The yacht has a roomy, air conditioned salon and dining area, sun deck complete with a hot tub, lounge and deck chairs, shaded wet bar and grill, a complete photo center with a digital video and still photo editing computer. Diving amenities include Nitrox (must be prepaid), individual dive lockers, camera table with low-pressure air hoses, and two hot, fresh water showers.
 
Cuba's Jardines de la Reina or 'Gardens of the Queen' is located 60 miles off the southeastern coast of Cuba and is the largest marine reserve in the Caribbean. In 1996, the area was declared a National Park and has been protected and managed for conservation ever since. The Gardens of the Queen National Park encompases a chain of 250 pristine coral and mangrove islands extending along 75 miles of clear, turquoise water. It is also widely recognized to represent one of the healthiest marine ecosystems in the Caribbean.

During the week aboard the Jardines Aggressor II, Cuban specialists will host discussions and presentations on the marine environment, conservation, and the importance of this magnificient ecosystem. Interactive exchanges will discuss how Cuba has maintained one of the healthiest marine ecosystems in the Caribbean. Divers will see pristine coral reefs, steep walls dropping from the reef crest into the deep, large populations of fish including Goliath grouper weighing up to 400 lbs, large schools of multiple snapper species, large rainbow and midnight parrotfishes, eagle rays, sea turtles and much more. Additionally, several species of sharks are commonly seen including silky, caribbean reef, blacktip, lemon, hammerhead, and nurse sharks, plus the occasional whale shark.
 
Itinerary (subject to change)
  • Fri Jan 31: Flight to Camagüey International Airport in central Cuba from Miami. Transfer by air conditioned bus (1.5 hours) to Santa Lucia. Check in at the Las Brisas Santa Lucia Resort (4star) All Inclusive.
  • Fri Jan 31 – Wed Feb 5: Diving is acheduled daily (up to 11 during our stay) including 1 scheduled bull shark dive. There will be opportunities to meet with local marine science specialists. You will also have the opportunity to enjoy the resort facilities and plan excursions into the sleepy village of Santa Lucia.
  • Wed Feb 5: After breakfast transfer to Camagüey (1/2 hour). A private bicycle taxi tour of the city and dinner at a local private paladar restaurant.
  • Wed Feb 5 – Sat Feb 8: Camagüey is a city of over three hundred thousand people. It is known for its pedestrian friendly cobblestone streets, multitudes of churches and art community. Here we will be staying at hand selected, upscale Bed and Breakfast private homes. Daily activities will allow us to enjoy interacting with the locals while we take in the culture, music, and food of Camagüey and surrounding area.
  • Sat Feb 8: After breakfast we will be transferring by air conditioned bus to Jucaro on the Southern coast where we will board the Jardines Aggressor. (about 3 hours)
  • Sat Feb 8 – Sat Feb 15: 7 night accommodations and 5 ½ days of diving at the beautiful Gardens of the Queen.
  • Sat Feb 15: Transfer to Camagüey International Airport for return flights home.
This trip to Cuba includes:
Full ground transfer package from airport pick-up to airport drop off
All meals
5 nights all inclusive stay at 4 star beach resort in Santa Lucia (alcohol included)
3 nights all hand selected bed and breakfast private homes
All exclusive cultural excursions and people to people engagements included
All boat dives and 1 shark dive
English speaking Cuban guide
All tips during stay except Jardines Aggressor boat crew tip
Required people to people license
7 nights accommodations on Jardines Aggressor including 5 ½ days of diving, all meals, non-alcoholic beverages, local beer and wine.
The famous vintage cars of Cuba | Cuba Dive Research Group Trip | Scuba Center Dive the incredible reefs of central Cuba | Cuba Dive Research Trip | Contact us for details
 
Not included in the package:
Airfare, Cuban visa requirements, Aggressor fees, conservation fee of $100, port fee of $190, or trip insurance.
Incidental charges: Individual group members will be responsible for their own charges including but not limited to beverages and bar bill, telephone, internet usage, sightseeing, equipment rental of any sort, crew gratuities and any other items of a personal nature. Suggested "walking around cash" will be discussed at the trip meeting.
 
US credit cards are generally NOT accepted in Cuba at this time.
 
Please note the following:

 OFAC License - Legal Cuba Travel

  • Scuba certification card required

  • A passport is required for travel

Dates: Jan 31-Feb 15, 2020
 
Trip Cost: (Double Occupancy)*
Diver: $7650  Non-Diver: $7450
 
*Prices do not include airfare, Cuban visa requirements, Aggressor fees, conservation fee of $100, port fee of $190, or trip insurance.
All rates quoted by Scuba Center include a 2% discount for cash/check payments.
Credit cards not accepted for airline ticket payments.

Reservations / Deposit Information:

Travelers going to Cuba are required to follow the people to people license standard of “meaningful interaction” with the Cuban people. Because of this requirement registering for a trip to Cuba is a slightly different than other destinations. The vendors we are partnering with are fully licensed by our treasury department to offer their services for travel in Cuba.
 
Registration is a little more involved than our other destinations, but still a simple 2 step process:
 
1) A $300 payment (check or credit card) needs to be made to Scuba Center to reserve your space. We also ask that you complete a Scuba Center Trip Application for each traveler at time of registration.
 

2) After receiving your deposit, Scuba Center will contact the Aggressor Fleet to notify them of your registration. An email with a personal link will be sent to you to complete the process. You will need to complete the Guest Information System (GIS) form that is included with the email. Anything that you do not know, such as flight schedules, should be left blank for now. Additionally, the Jardines Aggressor requires a 40% deposit to be paid directly to them. The Jardines Aggressor is $4,399 so 40% is $1,759.60. Payment instructions are included in the GIS form.

 
For information, contact Tom Pederson: (651) 681-8434

Sample packing checklist