Enjoy the Wonders of the Caribbean
The Queen's Gardens, are located 60 Miles off the southern coast of Cuba, this archipelago comprises a chain of 250 virgin coral and mangrove islands extending along 75 miles of turquoise waters. The Jardines de la Reina was declared Marine Park in 1996, and together with the Cuban Sciences and Environment Ministry, this area has been preserved for future generations, as a complex network of untouched marine ecosystems that have been regarded by many knowledgeable scientists and organizations as a reference of what is the original status of a coral reef as it was found by Cristopher Columbus in the times of the discovery.
The underwater paradise is all that comes into your mind when you first enter the water, imagine the vertical walls covered with brightly hued sponges, huge Pilar Corals ,black corals extending the branches in the contrasting blue water, many species of gorgonians, fragile laminar corals , showing its beautiful shapes through crevices, canyons and caves .The mangroves providing an incredible nursery area for young fish populations, filtering the water that goes to the reef together with the seagrass beds and in return receiving protection from the open ocean wave energy, all interconnected in a very fragile net that here keeps its variety, richness and splendor.
The biggest populations of adult fish in the Caribbean, Sharks, Snappers and Groupers, Jewfish up to 400 Pounds are an everyday experience. Sharks are one of the main attractions and you can see them everywhere. You can easily dive with 6 different species: Silkies, Reef, Lemon, Black tip, King Hammerhead and nurse sharks. From July to November you have chances to swim with Whale Sharks. . Gardens of the Queen are certainly one of the last virgin reefs known by man. Dive and snorkel sites are well protected from the winds and sea currents. Visibility is more than 40 meters. There is a wide variety of fish and corals. You can appreciate all this also snorkeling!!!!!
The Gardens of the Queen Marine Park is a wonderful place, both in and out of the water. This marine park is probably the most important group of islands in the Caribbean, integrated for one million-acre wetlands. In addition, this marine park acts as a critical refuge for North American birds migrating along the route through Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to South America. This wildlife sanctuary hosts more than 68 species of migratory birds.
In Gardens of the Queen, participants may choose to stay aboard one of three liveaboard vessels or the Tortuga floating hotel.
• Avalon I, is a modern liveaboard that can sleep 16 in 8 staterooms. It is air conditioned with private bathrooms.
• Avalon II is a brand-new state-of-the-art vessel, larger than Avalon I with 10 staterooms. It is air conditioned with private bathrooms.
• Georgiana is a smaller liveaboard with 6 staterooms, air conditioned with private bathrooms.
• Tortuga is a small floating hotel with 8 staterooms that accommodate 2 or 3 guests each (for a total of 16-21 guests). It is air conditioned with private bathrooms.
Our cruises start on Saturday and end on Friday. You need to be in Cuba at least one night before the cruise and one after. Gardens of the Queen are 450 km from Havana and 60 miles off the southern Cuban coast: there is only one transfer/week and it is not possible to organize shorter cruises.
Cuban regulations strictly limit the number of visitors to this wilderness each year, and, as you can imagine, there is strong American demand to participate in this one-of-a-kind program. If you or your group is interested in an educational visit to Cuba’s Gardens of the Queen, give us a call.
Rates include round transfer Havana / Jucaro, 6 days accommodation, full board, 6 beverages/day (beer, soft drinks, etc), and 15 dives.