Cruising the Caribbean: Caribs, Columbus and Castro - Jon Baines Tours

Cruising the Caribbean: Caribs, Columbus and Castro

7 - 21 Jan 2021
  • Cultural Tours

About the tour

The Caribbean and Cuba have a long, multi-faceted history that encompasses ancient cultures, colonisation and revolution, to the modern day. This cruise explores coastlines which were strategic, bountiful and beautiful, making them hotly contested by colonial powers over centuries. They attracted investment from the wealthy of the day, leaving a legacy of magnificent architecture - as well as its dark side, slavery - amongst the natural beauty and rich wildlife of the area. Travel with journalist and historian Carrie Gibson, an expert on the history of the Caribbean, for fascinating insight into the places you will visit.

Your tour leader

Picture of JBT tour leader, Carrie Gibson

Carrie Gibson

Carrie Gibson is a US-born, UK-based historian and journalist. She received her PhD from Cambridge in 2011, and her thesis focused on the Hispanic Caribbean in the era of the Haitian Revolution. She is the author of the 2014 book Empire’s Crossroads: A History of the Caribbean from Columbus to the Present Day. Her second book, El Norte: The Epic and Forgotten Story of Hispanic North America, was published in 2019. She has spent years travelling and researching in the Caribbean, Latin America, and the United States. Before embarking on a career as a historian, Carrie was a journalist for the Guardian and Observer, and continues to contribute to media outlets, including the BBC. She lives in London.

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Itinerary at a glance

  • 7 Jan (Thurs) Bridgetown, Barbados: Arrive Bridgetown and transfer to MS Braemar. Welcome drinks party
  • 8 Jan (Fri) Bridgetown, Barbados: Tour of the Garrison Savanna Historic District, including George Washington’s house. Afternoon at leisure before the ship departs Barbados
  • 9 Jan (Sat) Pointe-a-Pitre, Guadeloupe: Visit the Memorial ACTe, a cultural centre commemorating the Caribbean's slave trade & its indigenous people. Drive along the coast to Trois Rivieres, which possess an important Amerindian and colonial heritage. Learn about the arrival of Christopher Columbus and the subsequent colonisation of Guadeloupe. Visit the Petit Carbet River and see the rock engravings left by the first inhabitants of the island. Visit a former sugar factory and end at a military battery
  • 10 Jan (Sun) Road Town, Tortola, Virgin Islands: At sea. Afternoon at leisure: Talk : 'The Caribbean before Columbus'
  • 11 Jan (Mon) At Sea: Talk: ‘European Rivalry in the Caribbean’ - Carrie Gibson. Afternoon at leisure
  • 12 Jan (Tues) At Sea: Talk: ‘The ‘ever-faithful’ isle: A brief history of Cuba’ - Carrie Gibson. Afternoon at leisure
  • 13 Jan (Wed) At Sea/ Havana, Cuba: At leisure while at sea. Arrive in Havana and disembark for a classic car tour, including a drive to the panoramic viewpoint of Havana from Morro Castillo, along Malecon to Vedado, Hotel Nacional, Revolution Square and then into Miramar district to see the “Beverly Hills” of Havana in Cubanacan and Siboney. Return via Marianao to see complex of hospitals (Maternidad Obrera , Ceguera, Pediatrico) and monument to Carlos Finlay the Cuban doctor who discovered that the Aedes mosquito was the carrier of Yellow Fever. Finish in Old Havana to stop for cocktail before heading for dinner in a paladar with live music. Return to the ship for overnight.
  • 14 Jan (Thurs) Havana, Cuba: Walking architectural tour of Old Havana learning about the restoration of Havana and hearing tales of the city. Guided tour focuses on the 4 main squares of Havana: Cathedral/Arms/ San Francisco and Old Squares. Visits start in San Francisco square then onto Vieja before heading for Arms Square incl. visit to room 501 (where Hemingway wrote For Whom the Bell Tolls). Break for lunch at Doña Eutimia in Cathedral Square for traditional Cuban lunch. Afternoon at leisure with options to visits museums, local entrepreneurs or take a salsa class
  • 15 Jan (Fri) At Sea: Talk: ‘The Mayans’ - Carrie Gibson. At leisure
  • 16 Jan (Sat) Cozumel, Mexico: Depart the ship and take a ferry to the mainland, Playa del Carmen, and from here drive to Tulum. Explore the fascinating Mayan ruins with your guide. After a picnic lunch there will be time to relax or discover Tulum itself before returning to the ship in the late afternoon.
  • 17 Jan (Sun) At Sea: Talk: ‘ A brief history of Jamaica and its decolonisation’ - Carrie Gibson. At leisure
  • 18 Jan (Mon) Falmouth, Jamaica: Historic tour by trolley taking in the commercial district, residential areas as well as Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s ancestral home, Baptist Manse, Water Square and the Old Court House. There will also be a visit inside St. Peter's Anglican Church. In the afternoon there is the option to join a tour of a rum estate
  • 19 Jan (Tues) At Sea: Talk: ‘Columbus and Hispanola’ - Carrie Gibson
  • 20 Jan (Wed) Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: Walking tour of Santo Domingo, founded in 1496. Walk along Las Damas Street, the oldest paved street in the New World, and Fortaleza Ozama, the first permanent military structure built by the Spanish in the Americas, and the National Pantheon. Stop in Parque Colon and visit Columbus Palace. Afternoon at leisure before farewell drinks in the evening
  • 21 Jan (Thurs) Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: Disembark the ship and drive to Punta Cana to connect with return flights

Tour cost

Cabins start from US $3,596 per person sharing (for inside twin)

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