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Jardines Aggressor - Cuba Liveaboard

Discussion in 'Aggressor Adventures' started by Joe Cool, Mar 19, 2015.

  1. Joe Cool

    Joe Cool Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: GVRD, BC Canada
    Well, well, well! Look what I found this afternoon. I cannot remember if I read it somewhere but I landed on this website: Oceans for Youth Foundation

    Aggressor Fleet seems to be preparing a new boat to cruise the Jardines dela Reyna. Travel to Cuba to dive this area will be done through a travel program hosted by Oceans for Youth Foundation. Interesting tid-bit is that among the Board of Directors are Wayne H. and Wayne B. I am sure this program was set up to accommodate US scuba divers/snorkelers to Cuba. Canadians or citizens of other nations do not need special permission to enter Cuba on vacation.

    According to the Program Price page in the website, the first trip starts on April 28, 2016. Trips are 9 nights/10-days long. 2 days are spent on land then the rest on water.

    I am not sure why the 2-day land thing is needed.

    I am tempted to join this new liveaboard trip. I always dreamed of diving the Jardines dela Reyna.

    The scary part is counting on the Cuban government to follow-through with their commitment to allow this program to happen by the time the boat is ready to sail. I say 'commitment' because I would not think Aggressor would commit to preparing a new boat without some kind of blessing from the Cuban Government. I just read in the news that the Cuban government sided with Venezuela concerning a man that was recently apprehended and accused of spying for the US. This and other future incidents may sour Cuba's already warming relations with the US. I am not sure which boat Aggressor is preparing for this liveaboard program but I hope it won't go to waste like the M/Y Moon Diver that EV was preparing for trips out in Mexico's Chinchorro Banks that never happened.

    I wonder whose boat Aggressor has signed up to join them. There is currently one liveaboard operator that I know that offers trips around the Jardines dela Reyna.
  2. drrich2

    drrich2 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southwestern Kentucky
    Interesting. What's special about that location that you find compelling? Compared to the myriad other Caribbean destinations one could hit. I'm not familiar with it at all, and curious since as you've informed us this may now be 'on the radar' for the U.S.-based tourist diver.

  3. Joe Cool

    Joe Cool Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: GVRD, BC Canada

    Good question!

    Jardines dela Reina (or Reyna) or Garden of the Queen, in english, is Fidel Castro's favorite dive and fishing site. It is a pristine reef area on the south side of Cuba facing towards the Cayman Islands. It is a national park and Cuba's largest protected marine area. You can read all about it here: Cuba

    I have not been there but I have heard good things about it when I was in Cuba a few years ago.

    With its protected status, I would say that this might be the only place to experience and see a Caribbean reef system that is intact and spared from over-fishing and industrialization.

    ---------- Post added March 18th, 2015 at 10:12 PM ----------

    Here's another link to an article talking about the jardines dela Reina: http://www.uwphotographyguide.com/shark-diving-jardines-reina-cuba
  4. Wookie

    Wookie Curmudgeon Apprentice ScubaBoard Business Sponsor ScubaBoard Supporter

    Going to be interesting, since only 1,000 diver permits are issued per year for the national park in the gardens, and there are already liveaboards running in the gardens. The boat will be the Aggressor Fleet's old Ocean Diver, the boat that previously made the run from Mexico to Cuba. One of the nicest boats in the fleet, IMHO, she is set up for ocean routes instead of partially protected waters. She is in the boatyard at Owl Creek in Fort Myers getting a refit. The last time she worked was during Hurricane Rita in Venice, LA, so she will have to be gone completely through and given a facelift.

    She was bought by a South American company from Aggressor Fleet and franchised back, so there won't be any issues with American ownership. She is running the way she is because she will not be authorized to sail from a US port, of course, none of the rest of us are either. She is running as an educational charter to circumvent US visiting laws.
  5. Joe Cool

    Joe Cool Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: GVRD, BC Canada
    Capt Frank,

    Thanks for the interesting back-grounder on the Jardines Aggressor! Wow, when you say one of the nicest boats on the fleet, my interest just increased a notch. I have to see this boat when she's done.
  6. RockyHeap

    RockyHeap Scuba Instructor

    # of Dives:
    Location: BubbleLand
    I'm interested and already contacting my travel agent!
  7. reefman

    reefman Regular of the Pub

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: key largo, fl
    just received confirmation for a spot on a full boat charter for july 2016 on the Jardines Aggresssor(CUBA)! details/pricing are similar to the link provided in post#1. nothing yet on aggressor/dancer website,,,,,,,,,,,,

    key largo
  8. Joe Cool

    Joe Cool Contributor

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: GVRD, BC Canada
    Keep us posted if you do push through with your plans!

    Congratulations! I wish you a great trip. I am still on the fence on this one.
  9. BDSC

    BDSC Contributor

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Wake Forest, NC
    If folks want to go they better grab a spot in 2016 while they can. If the Republicans win the White House in late 2016 it could change everything.
  10. Lana.mcglynn

    Lana.mcglynn Scuba Instructor

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Cary NC

    I am organizing a trip through Oceans for Youth Educational Program focused on women divers (but men are welcome if they come with a Diva)

    The dates are July 28-Aug. 6, 2016, only 6 spots left

    The costs are broken down as follows

    1) Boat charges: Deluxe $3999. Non Diver Discount $250
    2) Hotel $895.pp
    3) Mandatory Subscription Fee $110.
    4) Optional; Nitrox $100

    You can contact we at Dive@divingDivas.com for more details.


    ---------- Post added April 1st, 2015 at 01:10 PM ----------

    Last edited: Apr 1, 2015

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