La Tortuga

Our original 110-foot double deck houseboat. A floating hotel with eight guest cabins.

Georgiana

While a guest at Los Jardines de la Reina, accommodations are provided primarily on large liveaboards or on our original 110-foot double deck houseboat, the Tortuga. The Tortuga is a floating hotel with eight guest cabins that accommodate 2/3 divers each (16 divers up to 21). Tortuga is a steel houseboat anchored in a protected channel, so it never moves. It is extremely stable, there’s no chance of getting seasick no matter the weather conditions.

There are 7 cabins on the upper deck and one on the main deck; all featuring their own bathrooms with sink, toilet and a good shower with hot water. Each cabin has its own easily adjustable air-conditioning system. On the lower level (main deck), there is a large air-conditioned dining room along with a foredeck and afterdeck, with chairs and tables, perfect for relaxing and taking the sun after a diving day. The foredeck is a very nice place to enjoy our pizza appetizer and drink cocktails or smoke Cuban cigars before dinner. Electricity on board is supplied by generators located nearby and it is available twenty-four hours a day. There are many outlets on board that provide both 110 and 220V. We have a satellite Internet service with Wi-Fi, making communications with the outside world easy and free for our guests. All you need is wireless capability with your laptop or other devices.

Dining on board combines the style of the best Continental Italian cuisine with delicious seafood and traditional Cuban favorites like rice and beans, black bean soup and fried bananas. Beverages available on board are: Bottled mineral water sparkling and tonic water, various soft drinks, juices, beers, rums, whisky and excellent wines (6 beverages/ day included in the package).

The chef on Tortuga is excellent. The day starts with a hearty breakfast. Lunch and dinners are primarily fresh fish. Lobster is our specialty and is served in a variety of ways. For those who like something different, chicken, pork and beef are also available. Salads and different fruits are served in every meal. Desserts feature our famous Cuban caramel custard, rum-flavored cakes, cookies, puddings, pies and many others. Vegetarian and kosher meals are served on request with many different choices available.

Divers booked on Tortuga will make the two-and-a-half-hour transfer to Jardines on M/Y Sol or M/Y Mares, boarding at the port of Júcaro.

Program

Arrival: The diving weeks run Saturday to Saturday. We suggest arriving into Cayo Coco, Santa Clara or Camaguey airports. Transfers from these airports are $50 per person one way to Jucaro port. If arriving into these airports, the flight must arrive no later than 12:00pm to ensure same day arrival to the port and navigation to Jardines de la Reina. If clients prefer to arrive and depart in Havana, they must arrive in the city on Friday, overnight, then take the collective land transfer to Jucaro port ($100pp one way — 6 hours). This transfer leaves Havana in the morning and ensures that clients will arriving at the port in time to board and navigate on Saturday. Guests MAY NOT arrive into Havana on Saturday, it must be at least the day before. Diving occurs Sunday thru Friday and will be up to 3 dives/day (including night dives). While on the boat, all meals and drinks are included.

Departure: The boat will navigate to Jucaro port on Friday afternoon and will overnight in port. Clients will depart between 5 and 9am on Saturday morning, depending on the group transfer needs. Flights from Cayo Coco, Santa Clara or Camaguey airports can be booked after 11am and flights out of Havana can be booked after 8:30pm on Saturday or the clients may overnight and fly home on Sunday from Havana.
*Any flights outside of these guideline times will be subject to private transfer fees*

US Citizens: our cruises fall under the "Workshops, clinics, public performances and other athletic competitions" general license 515.567(b).

Marine Biologists working with Avalon will be collaborating with the clients about marine park conservation and the Gardens of the Queen’s unique ecosystem and clients will actively be engaging in the conservation initiative and efforts during their dive week.
Please feel free to read more about this program at www.BlueSanctuary.Org


Daily routine

Diving schedule is usually at the discretion of the customers following the instructor’s suggestions with 2-3 daily dives. The day begins with a wakeup call at 7:00 am, coffee/tea ready, breakfast at 7:15 am. Our diving instructors are ready to go diving from 8:00 am. Fast diving boats are used to reach diving spots having the opportunity to explore different sites each day and enjoy the view of mangrove channels, virgin beaches, birds and other exuberant fauna during the trips. There is no chance for loneliness; dive guides and crew are available every single minute.

Our group guarantees all the equipment required to ensure safety (First Aid kits with O2 on every boat, excellent communications with mother boats and mainland, life jackets, AED etc.). Sunday morning, check-in dive to get acquainted and make sure all equipment is in good shape. During the briefings, our experienced instructors will explain every detail of the dive, from what will be seen in a particular spot to the correct behavior while diving with sharks or highlights of the area and special characteristics of the marine life present. After the first dive, surface interval in one of the beautiful beaches. Second dive and, at midday, boats will return for lunch.

Together with the instructor, arrange time for afternoon dives or for excursions through the lagoon and mangrove channels. Coming back to the live aboard, it is time to drink a frozen “mojito”, enjoy the afternoon pizza and talk about the dives. Around 8:00 pm, dinner is served and, like a family, everyone gets together around the table. Night dives available.

The staff will be in contact every minute to assist and receive special requests or suggestions. Evening time next to the bar, to watch photos and videos while breathing the sea atmosphere, it’s time to plan with the instructors what will happen next day.

On Friday there are 2 dives in the morning then a free afternoon to relax and enjoy the sunset. On Saturday morning you will be transferred to Jucaro port, leaving Jardines around 6 am arriving in Jucaro port at 9am to disembark for your transfer home. 

Tipping

Tipping is widespread in Cuba. Many Cuban workers rely on tips to supplement their basic income and they all work really hard. Tips help them get a better lifestyle. So if you receive good service, it is very good etiquette to tip accordingly.

Our Recommendations
Recommended $350-450 USD per person. This will be given to the captain or cruise director to be dispersed among the entire staff. 
We would like to remind you that we do not accept credit cards on board the boats. You will need cash for any purchases and gratuities. You can easily exchange money at the airport or at any bank for CUC (Cuban Convertible Pesos). The best currency to bring on your trip to Cuba is Euros to get a direct exchange to CUC if you plan to spend any extra time in Cuba. Otherwise, USD is the preferred currency for tips in Cuba. 

Extra Expenses

  • All port fees and conservation fees will be included on your invoice and must be pre-paid. They cannot be paid on board the boat.
  • Any rentals must be arranged and paid for in advance. They will be included on your invoice.
  • Any transfers outside of the recommended guidelines and suggestions will be subject to private transfer fees beyond the standard costsfor transfers which will also be included on your invoice.
    *If you have any questions about transfers and logistics, please do not hesitate to contact your Avalon travel representative*



Boat specifications Description
Year renovated 2015
Lenght 33.5 meters
Top speed Floating Hotel
Cruising speed Doesn't move
Max guests 20
Number of cabins 8
Bathrooms 8
Tenders 2 x 8 mt - 2 Jamaha 150 each


Boat features

  • Laundry Service
  • Leisure Deck
  • Shaded diving deck
  • Camera Station
  • Daily housekeeping
  • Audio & video entertainment
  • Free Internet
  • Air Conditioned saloon
  • Aircon Cabins
  • Sun Deck
  • Indoor Saloon
  • Non-Diver (Snorkeler) Friendly
  • Warm Water Showers
  • Photography Station
  • Outdoor Dining
  • Separate rinse for u/w camera
  • Custom built for diving
  • Charging stations

Food & Drinks

  • Western Food
  • Local Food
  • Vegetarian Options
  • Beer available
  • Selection of wines
  • Fine Cuisine
  • Snacks All Day

Diving

  • DIN Adaptors
  • Rinse hosts
  • Dive deck
  • Tenders for diving

Boat navigation, communication and safety features

  • Radio VHF/DSC/SSB
  • Life Vests
  • Fire Alarm & Fire Extinguishers
  • Oxygen
  • First Aid Kits
  • Satellite & mobile phones
  • Search light
  • Engine room CCTV
  • Crew trained in first aid
Share this:

Ask for a Quote