One of the unforgettable experiences in Havana is to take a Hemingway Cuba Cruise Excursion to follow in Hemingway’s footsteps. Few authors have captured the imagination of generations of readers when it comes to Cuba as Ernest Hemingway has. Fortunately for those of us who cruise to Cuba, Hemingway’s most famous haunts are unbelievably close to the Port of Havana where your cruise ship will dock.
Once you leave the port at Terminal Sierra Maestra, where all ships that cruise to Cuba dock, you enter into Old Havana where your adventure begins…
Our first stop will be across the bay. Have your camera ready for the amazing sights are just beginning!
There is no bridge over the Havana Bay, so you will have the opportunity to experience a tunnel, some 30 feet beneath the bay, a technological marvel that was built by a French company, Societe des Grands Travaux de Marseille in the mid 50’s under the Batista regime. For the next 30 minutes, as you travel to Hemingway’s house, Finca Vigia, your Cuba Guide will fill you with stories of Hemingway’s life on his favorite island. From the tales of his wife to his love of the Cuban people. you will have a glimpse into the life of Ernest Hemingway. Then we arrive at Finca Vigia and the beautifully maintained grounds.
While we are not allowed to enter Finca Vigia on the Hemingway Cuba Cruise Excursion, the windows and doors are left wide open for us to easily view the most important rooms in Hemingway’s house. Better known as as Museo Ernest Hemingway, it has been immaculately preserved by the Cuban Government. We’ll only share one picture here of the dining room so you can experience the rest for yourself when you take this historic excursion.
Make sure to stroll the the grounds of the estate and imagine it through the eyes of Hemingway. And if you have time take a quick stroll first to the pool. Picture Ava Gardner and Ernest Hemingway swimming here.
Just to the right of the pool rests Hemingway’s fishing boat, Pilar. You can get right up close to see it in all its glory. It is covered and protected from the elements and nicely restored.
Pilar is 38 feet in length, Hemingway originally purchased it in 1934 for the sum of $7,495 from Wheeler Shipbuilding in Brooklyn.
Mary Welsh, one of Hemingway’s wives had a lookout tower built for Ernest, so that he could have an “office with a view”.
Take a walk up the rickety stairs if you dare as here lies the most famous typewriter in Cuba.
And once up here, you will have one of the most beautiful views of Havana, just as Hemingway had.
On to our next stop in the Hemingway Cuba Cruise Excursion, Cojimar, the small fishing village where Hemingway was inspired to write “The Old Man and the Sea”. This is why you cruise to Cuba, an experience that truly makes the story come to life.
A bronze bust sculpted by Cuban sculptor Fernando Boada Martín utilizing propellors, anchors and chain links donated by local fishermen, stands proudly in the town square.
Hemingway looks out at the bay in this great tribute to the man who loved Cuba as much as Cuba loved him. Painted in the colors of the sea and the sky, it is a thrill to behold.
How about lunch at La Terraza de Cojimar, one of Hemingway’s favorite bar restaurants? I say YES!!! We all say YES!!!!
When you enter from the front door, the bar well stocked with Havana Club and art will greet you. How about a fine daiquiri!
Don’t miss this painting in a port hole of Hemingway’s First Mate, Georgio Fuentes, and the inspiration for “The Old Man and The Sea”
When you enter the dining room, the first thing you will see is Hemingway’s favorite table, looking out over the bay, always reserved just for him.
Now it’s time to head back to Old Havana for some liquid refreshment, first to Floridita, the “Cradle of the Daiquiri”.
Be sure to order a Papa Double or just “Papa” for short, Hemingway’s preferred drink at this world renowned bar.
Now that we are sufficiently satisfied, lets head on to La Bodeguita del Medio, Hemingway’s bar for his other favorite libation, the Mojito!
That’s right, it is a very small bar isn’t it? Everyone lines up to have one of their famous Mojitos. Trust me it is worth it!!
The sign speaks for itself…
If you are lucky enough to stay overnight in Havana on your Cuba cruise, now’s a good time to head back to the ship, rest up and get ready to venture out again. The sight of Havana Bay at sunset from the ship is truly magnificent.
The sun is setting, the Old Havana night calls you like a siren. Let’s head back out to visit Hemingway’s favorite Hotel Ambos Mundos. Just a short walk from the port you will enter the magic of this beautiful city.
This hotel holds the history and literary spirit of Hemingway on the 5th floor, Room 511. It is where Hemingway wrote “For Whom the Bell Tolls”. It is been preserved just as he left it. As it should be!
If you walk the corridors of this magnificent hotel you will find that the walls are sprinkled with some historic photos and classic art depicting Hemingway in his finest moments. Truly worth the trip!! Take a stroll through The Hotel Ambos Mundos and you walk in the steps of Hemingway himself.
Then be sure to sip on a Mojito in the lobby bar while listening to their pianist play the songs of Ernest’s era. The music, the atmosphere, the piano player, the romantic setting will take you back in time. We at Cruising to Cuba always make time for romance.
The night is still young and Old Havana waits with its many bars and Paladares all within short walking distance of your ship. And be sure to take a photo in the San Francisco de Asis Square before you cross the street and head back onboard from your Hemingway Cuba Cruise Excursion. The light is beautiful, as is Shauna….
And we have a list of some suggested books on Cuba that will make your experience more meaningful. having a deeper understanding of past and present Cuba will open your eyes and hearts to this wonderful and enigmatic island. Click on our Books For Your Cuba Cruise page.