M/V Oceans for Youth EcoExploration
The M/V Oceans for Youth EcoExploration Program is for any group interested in experiencing multiple land and sea areas of the Gardens of the Queen National Park while snorkeling shallow reefs, lagoons, and seagrass meadows, navigating through extensive mangroves on small, private boat tours, and discovering pristine beaches guided by local marine biologists. This adventure also optional sucba diving (maximum of 4 scuba dives at two sites during a typical one-week charter).

You will explore Cuba’s pristine Gardens of the Queen (Jardines de la Reina) National Park with internationally recognized Cuban marine scientists as your guides. The Jardines de la Reina National Park is a string of islands and surrounding waters located 60 miles off the southeastern coast of Cuba. Due to the intact connectivity of the seagrass beds, mangroves, and coral reefs, the remoteness of the area, and the history of protection from coastal development, the Gardens of the Queen represents a “baseline” for a nearly pristine Caribbean marine ecosystem; an ecosystem that is home to healthy populations of Caribbean reef sharks and goliath groupers, important grazers like Rainbow parrotfish and Long-spine sea urchins, recovering endangered species such as Elkhorn coral and nesting Hawksbill sea turtles.

Itinerary Overview:
For travelers aboard the M/V Oceans for Youth, you will spend 7 nights on the liveaboard exploring the spectacular Gardens of the Queen National Park. Throughout the week, your Cuban marine biologists guides will lead nightly discussions about the wildlife, habitats, and the ecological importance of each. The theme of the week be how Cuba's conservation efforts in the national park have maintained one of the healthiest marine ecosystems in the Caribbean.rn

Day 1 - Saturday

Welcome and pick-up at Camaguey Airport by 6 pm or Santa Clara Airport by 5 pm.
Transfer to Jucaro for boarding the M/V Oceans for Youth vessel. Boarding begins at 5 pm.
Dinner and orientation starts at 7 pm.

Days 2 - 6

Arrive in Gardens of the Queen National Park and begin exploring marine and coastal habitats with Cuban biologists and resource management experts to include daily snorkeling and island excursions (with 2 optional scuba diving sites including 4 dives total). Habitats to explore and learn about:

~ Pristine marine lagoons and expansive sea grass meadows
~ Mangrove forests and channels
~ Patch and crest reefs with rare, endangered corals
~ Deserted cays and sea turtle nesting beaches (in season)
~ Daily marine ecology seminars by Cuban marine scientists

Day 7 - Saturday

8 am transfer to Camaguey or Santa Clara Airports (2 separate transfers) with lunch provided for a 1 pm arrival at your airport for departure.
  • Throughout the week, Cuban marine biologists will be speaking on ocean conservation and the ecosystem of the Gardens of the Queen.
  • Snorkeling in the Gardens of the Queen is from Sunday to Friday. Four optional scuba dives are included (snork and/or dive equipment is available for rent).
  • All meals are included. Aboard the M/V Oceans for Youth, alcoholic beverages are permitted but not included. Guests are welcome to bring and consume their own, provided they are of legal U.S. age to consume alcohol.

Join us aboard the M/V Oceans for Youth
as we "Explore, Learn, Protect".