Overnight at the Hotel NH Capri La Habana or Meliá Cohíba Hotel - they both feature great lobbies serving Cuban sandwiches and mojitos. Dinner out on the town is on your own.
Transfer Day (Sunday): Half Day of fishing
Depart the hotel at approximately 4:30 am and transfer via air-conditioned bus to the small port village of Base de la Pesca, located between Playa Larga and Playa Giron on the Bay of Pigs, an approximate 2.5-hour drive on paved roads. From here transfer directly to the live-aboard, meet the crew and guides, settle into your state rooms and get gear rigged. It takes approximately 2.5 hours to motor to the first anchor point in Cayo Calvario. Reaching the first mooring by around 10:00 am, you will head out in skiffs for the first full day of fishing.
Fishing Days (Monday – Friday):
7:00 AM - Wake-up call (knock). Coffee is available in the kitchen for early risers.
Breakfast. Great assortment of fresh fruit, pastries, meats and cheeses. Your steward will take orders for made-to-order eggs.
Fishing. As soon as you are ready, you and your guide are free to load up your boat and head off. Your guide will determine the destination for the day based upon the conditions, what species you are after, rotation of the skiffs and the fishing zones inside the marine park area.
Two choices: Return to the live-aboard for a hot delicious lunch out of the sun, or an excellent pre-packed shore lunch. Your steward will visit with you in the evenings to discuss how you would like your following day's lunch prepared, and what beverages you would like packed in your cooler.
4:00 PM or 5:30 PM:
If you come in for lunch and a nap, your fishing day will end later than if you stay out on the water all day. Your guide will be very flexible, but it is important to be safely back on the mothership before sunset to allow your guide and live-aboard staff adequate time to do everything they must do each evening. Upon return to the mothership, you will be met with a cool refreshing face towel and a mojito. Your rods, reels and lines will be rinsed with fresh water and stored safely on the rod racks ready for the next day's action.
5:00 - 7:00 PM:
After a shower, join your mates on deck for cocktails and appetizers.
7:30 PM - Dinner:
A wonderful dinner of regional cuisine is served on the dining deck. Every evening is a feast of fresh fruit, daily-caught seafood, rice, beans, and salad followed by a scrumptious dessert. Following dinner, if you are up for it, you are welcome to relax on deck for after-dinner drinks, cigars and fishing stories.
Departure Day (Saturday):
There is an early wake-up call and breakfast on your last morning aboard MV Georgiana. The mothership will then head back to port in order to meet the bus that will transfer you to Habana International Airport. You should not book a flight departing Havana until sometime after 3:00 pm on this day, later if possible to mitigate any possible delays in getting from Zapata to the airport.
Cuban Departure Tax:
Since May 1, 2015 the Cuban Departure Tax will no longer be paid at destination. It should be included in the price of your trip when buying a flight or vacation package to Cuba; check with your travel agent, carrier or tour operator.
Anyone traveling to Cuba should be prepared for the reality that time and infrastructure there stopped, quite literally, in the 1950s. While this is certainly part of the allure, especially while sightseeing in and around Havana, don't expect anything to operate smoothly. Vehicles break down, delays are common, flights get cancelled, and a common joke is that it is safer to walk in the street than the sidewalk, because you're more likely to get hit by pieces of falling roof than by a car. There is no real concept of customer service (even at the supposed 5-star hotels), and it's not uncommon to show up with a reservation and get moved to a different room or even a different hotel. Just be prepared to go with the flow and take everything in stride; it's all part of the adventure of exploring this "country that time forgot."
Passport and Tourist Card:
Americans need a passport that doesn't expire until at least six months after their Cuba trip is completed. (Cuban officials generally don't stamp the passports of U.S. visitors.) The Cuban government requires U.S. tourists to apply for a visa (tourist card), a process that's typically handled by U.S. tour operators or secured from your airline at your departing airport prior to your arrival in Havana. The cost is approximately $20 – $25 USD. You will need to fill out both sides of the tourist card (see below) verbatim. One copy will be given to the immigration officer upon arrival in Havana and the other you will keep with your passport. When you depart Havana for home, you will give an immigration officer your tourist card.
At present, the only other special document needed to legally travel to Cuba is a signed affidavit stating that you are traveling for educational purposes. You will receive the affidavit from us prior to your trip. Receiving this, simply sign it and bring it with you on the trip, making you fully legal for travel.
You will need to complete and sign the Travel Affidavit (separate form). For your purposes in fishing with Zapata you will want to check the box 515.567(b).
515.567(b). I am a person whose travel to Cuba is directly incident to participation in a public performance, clinic, workshop, non-athletic competition or other athletic competition not covered by (a) above provided that: (1) the event is open to for attendance and in relevant situations participation by the Cuban public;(2) all U.S. profits from the event after the costs are donated to an independent non-governmental organization in Cuba or a U.S.-based charity, with the objective of promoting people-to-people contacts or otherwise benefiting the Cuban people: and (3) any clinics or workshops in Cuba must be organized and run at least in part, by the authorized traveler.