Fathom Explores Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba
Photos by Jason Leppert
Returning home from a cruise to Cuba aboard Fathom’s Adonia makes one realize just how special an opportunity it is to travel to the once off-limits Caribbean country, and I am grateful to have had the chance to experience it with my best friend, whose father is, in fact, from Santiago de Cuba. Havana was great, and Cienfuegos along with Santiago de Cuba rounded out the historic itinerary.
The itinerary is still in its infancy and a number of onboard programs were recently added to enhance the shoreside experiences, namely “getting to know” port orientations and Cuban history sessions, which are contextually invaluable to getting the most out of your time spent in the three destinations. But like I’ve said before, a more detailed timeline of what to expect in each port would go a very long way as well.
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Of the two last ports, Cienfuegos is only featured for a half day, and that’s honestly an adequate amount of time. With its eclectic architecture, the downtown area has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but the port lacks the overall character of Havana. That’s not to say there aren’t points of interest, however, because there are those, particularly the central courtyard and its views from above from a high cupola.
Among the people-to-people experiences enjoyed here is a choral concert performed in the Teatro Tomas Terry followed by a Q&A. The interior of the building is quite stunning with its French and Italian influences, and the singing was equally resonant with a sonic pool below the stage and talents to match. Departing from the port required sinuous maneuvers along tight waterways, and locals came out to see our ship, as we too gazed upon the sights with fervent curiosity.
Santiago de Cuba was a more interesting sto
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