There’s (understandably) a lot of hype around Christmas. But for those of us who relate more and more to the Grinch as we grow up, spending an extremely long build up to December 25th being bombarded with festive messages can be a bit much. Anyway, we all know who the real star of December is – New Year’s Eve, of course! If you’re much more likely to be seen singing auld lang syne at the top of your lungs than playing yet another drunken round of Monopoly, then we have a proposition for you: skip Christmas this year, and celebrate New Year’s Eve in Havana, Cuba on a superyacht.
Why Cuba, you ask? Well, Cubans do Christmas very differently. Although families do gather together for a Christmas Eve meal, the whole event is far from the commercial affair that we are used to. You won’t encounter any of the festive jingles that we in the capitalist world love to play on repeat, you’ll be very unlikely to encounter any turkey (win) and you definitely won’t see Santa – gifts here are instead delivered by the Three Wise Men. What’s more, everything is very much business as usual – shops are open and restaurants are bustling. Then, when it comes to New Year’s, no-one celebrates like the Cubans. What all this means is that it’s the perfect place to go to avoid all the corny Christmas traditions whilst also partying like it’s 1999.
Why travel by luxury yacht? If you want a vacation to end all other vacations, where extravagance rules and you never have to lift a finger, yachts are the only way to go. Here’s what to expect from a New Year’s yacht charter, Havana style.
New Year’s Eve in Havana, Cuba means spending the holidays how you want to
Normally the time between Christmas and New Year’s is dedicated to visiting long-distance relatives in far-away locations. Not so this year, when the mantra is you do you.
Picture the scene – you’ve chartered an amazing 26 person superyacht, with yacht company Y.CO’s Sherakhan yacht, and you’ve got two weeks cruising around Cuba, stopping exactly where you want and hanging out with all your friends in the 27°C/80.6°F heat. Life really doesn’t get better.
Head to vibrant Trinidad de Cuba and wander through eye-catching, multi-colored houses to reach the famous La Canchanchara Bar, where it’d be rude not to order the cocktail of the same name. Explore beautiful Cienfuegos, capital of Central Cuba and one of the country’s most historic cities. Meet some exotic animals at Cienaga de Zapata National Park or go diving in the crystal-clear water here. Relax on deck in the 26-person hot tub, getting into the party spirit by having the crew pop open a few magnums of champagne. However you want to spend the party season, a Cuban yacht charter has got you covered.
The wildest NYE yet
As the 31st draws round, you have so many options for your New Year’s Eve in Havana. The biggest crowd at midnight is to be found in Plaza de la Cathedral, one of the main squares, where fireworks are let off as the clocks strikes midnight. However, before this most Cubans have a celebratory home-cooked meal with family and friends, and it is so worth making friends with a few locals to get an invite. These dinners are the lively pre-party that will prepare you for what’s to come.
Once you’ve lined your stomach and are well on your way to feeling merry, you have your choice of wild parties to attend. After the fireworks, the big outdoor party moves on to El Malecon, where people celebrate until dawn. All of the local bars and nightclubs will also hold their own festivities – head to Casa la Musica or Club Torquino for some wild salsa dancing, or hit up one of the resort nightclubs for a more familiar style of new year’s celebration. On your way there, look out for locals throwing buckets of water out onto the street as the new year chimes in, symbolising the expelling of negative things from the year gone by.
When the party finally winds down ashore, take the afterparty back to the boat and continue the celebrations with champagne and dancing on deck. This is one night that never has to end!
The perfect post-party hangover cure
We’re all used to waking up on the 1st January feeling a little worse for wear, but this year the hangover won’t last for long. With a full health club onboard your luxury floating residence, you can spend the day sweating out the toxins in the sauna and steam room, catching up on gossip from the night before in the jacuzzi, or even getting an aromatherapy massage from the onboard beauty therapist.
Can’t decide what food will suit your cravings? The onboard chef can whip you up a smorgasbord of dishes to snack on, perfect for enjoying whilst horizontal on one of the yacht’s extra-comfortable sun loungers. Tan away your sins or, if you’re not quite done, choose a hair of the dog and attend one of Havana’s epic 1st January parties – the 2nd is also a bank holiday in Cuba, meaning there’s no reason not to continue the party. Suddenly, New Year’s Eve in Havana, Cuba is looking like the best idea ever!