The opportunity of a lifetime awaits with a liveaboard experience on the Avalon III, run by one of the most experienced liveaboard operators in Cuba, Avalon Fleet. Avalon III has 15 comfortable and spacious cabins that can accommodate up to 30 guests in 10 standard cabins, 1 standard-plus, and 4 air-conditioned suites, each having its own private balcony. All cabins come with their own private bathrooms and a lot of space to store equipment and luggage.
Enjoy the vessel’s dive deck that offers a lot of space for dive gear and a dedicated area to set up your camera and underwater video. At the sun deck, there is a hot tub and a fantastic roof top open bar built for guests to enjoy the magnificent view of the ocean.
Our Overall Review
Things we like:
Several divers reported that the naturalist knew what she was doing and gave valuable insight about the marine and wild life.
Many people were happy with the chef and the food he prepared.
Some divers said the locations where the dive took place revealed a abundance of marine life and coral.
The chef prepared great delicious food catered to the passengers preference.
Things we don't like:
Some divers said they needed a little more time to wonder on their own as the guide didn't leave much room for roaming on your own.
Some divers implied that not all of the equipment was allergen free for people who were allergic to rubber.
Diving on the Avalon III in Cuba
Avalon III is 49 meters (160 feet) long and goes to explore the Jardines de la Reina or Gardens of the Queen. This luxury liveaboard guarantees an excellent cruising experience in comfort and style.
All cabins in its three decks have en-suite bathrooms, comfortable beds, plenty of space for storage, and electrical plugs that have both American and European sockets. The main deck houses the deluxe cabin with picture windows and four suites with balconies are scattered all over the main and upper decks. The rest of the cabins are found on the lower deck, which have portholes to allow natural light.
At the boat deck, you will find a comfortable and spacious combination bar area, dining room, and lounge. The sun deck comes with a shaded area and of course, a Jacuzzi. At the dive deck, you will find a lot of space to store your cameras and other equipment. You can buy extra dives onboard as needed and nitrox is available as well. There are zodiacs for use for beach visits, snorkeling, or diver pickups and drop-offs.
Dining onboard Avalon III gets you the best Cuban meals like fried bananas, black bean soup, and rice and beans, as well as some Continental Italian dishes with delicious seafood. The chef’s specialty is lobster, which is served in a variety of ways. For those who don’t want seafood, there’s always beef, pork, and chicken available. There are different fruits and salads served with each meal, and for desserts, expect different kinds of pies, puddings, cookies, rum-flavoured cakes, and the famous Cuban caramel custard. Kosher and vegetarian dishes are served on request with a lot of different options available.
As for beverages, there’s bottled mineral water, tonic or sparkling water, juices, various soft drinks, rum, whiskey, beer, and a choice of excellent wines. Your package should include 6 beverages per day.
Jardines de la Reina is a complex network of untouched marine ecosystems considered by many researchers and scientists as a reference to the original form of a coral reef as Christopher Columbus discovered it.
When you first enter the water, an underwater paradise is all that comes into mind. At the Gardens you will find a healthy mangrove system that serves as a nursery area for young fish populations, filtering the water that goes to the reef along with the seagrass beds. This, in turn, protects the reef from the wave energy of the open ocean, all of which is interconnected in a very delicate network that keeps the ecosystem intact, rich, and diverse.
This is where you will find the largest populations of adult fish in the Caribbean, including large jewfish, groupers, snappers, and sharks. The only operation in the area is the Avalon Diving Center, which hosts no more than 900 divers on a yearly basis.
The Gardens of the Queen has more than 80 dive sites and counting. All dive sites in the area are protected from marine and wind currents.