Sailing in a northerly direction from Cuba to the Bahamas to South Carolina.
Havana, Cuba *
Havana is the center of the Cuban government, and various ministries and headquarters of businesses are based there.
The current Havana area and its natural bay were first visited by Europeans during Sebastián de Ocampo's circumnavigation of the island in 1509. Shortly thereafter, in 1510, the first Spanish colonists arrived from Hispaniola and began the conquest of Cuba.
Shortly after the founding of Cuba's first cities, the island served as little more than a base for the Conquista of other lands.
Havana was originally a trading port, and suffered regular attacks by buccaneers, pirates, and French corsairs.
Under American influence, the city saw a new era of development. Numerous residencies, luxury hotels, casinos and nightclubs were constructed since the 1930s to serve Havana's burgeoning tourist industry, strongly reviling Miami.
There was a severe economic downturn after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and with it the end of the billions of dollars in subsidies the Soviet Union gave the Cuban government.
Neo-classical, Baroque, and colonial archiecture can be found throughout the island. The influence from different styles and cultures can be seen in Havana's colonial architecture, with a diverse range of Moorish, Spanish, Italian, Greek and Roman.
There are diverse museums, clubs and beaches for tourists to enjoy.
2 Days at Sea
Nassau is the modern-day face of the Bahamas. Much of it's atmosphere comes from development during the so-called Loyalist period from 1787 to 1834, when many of the city's finest colonial buildings were built.
After alternating periods of decline and prosperity in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the spike in trade and construction that followed World War II led directly to Nassau's emergence as a global center for tourism and finance.
12 Days at Sea
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston is a notable tourist destination, with streets lined with grand live oaks draped with Spanish moss. Along the waterfront are many beautiful and historic pastel-colored homes. The city is also an important port, boasting the second largest container seaport on the East Coast and the fourth largest container seaport in North America.
As an old colonial city, Charleston has a wide variety of museums and historical attractions. The Old Exchange and Customs House in downtown Charleston, finished in 1771, is arguably the third most important Colonial building in the nation (behind Faneuil Hall in Boston, Massachusetts and Independence Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). The building features a dungeon which held various signers of the Declaration of Independence, and also hosted events for George Washington in 1791, and the ratification of the U.S. Constitution in 1788. It has also served as a U.S. post office, the first Confederate post office, and was used by the U.S. Coast Guard.
Charleston is the location of Fort Moultrie, which was instrumental in delivering a critical defeat to the British in the American Revolutionary War, and Fort Sumter, the reputed site of the "first shot" of the American Civil War. Patriot's Point, located across the river in nearby Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, is also home to the USS Yorktown as well as several other naval vessels. There are also several former plantations in the area, including Boone Hall Plantation, Drayton Hall, Magnolia Plantation, and Middleton Place. Charleston's premier art museum is the Gibbes Museum of Art, one of the country's oldest art organizations and home to over 10,000 works of fine art. Also the Charleston Museum was the first Museum in the Americas.