The Avalon Fleet IV Live-Aboard
The Jardines de la Reina (“Gardens of the Queen”) is a vast marine park and archipelago in the southern part of Cuba. Collectively, it is an area and a fishery larger in size than the Florida Keys. This resource is ideal for fly fishermen in search of a remote setting, a pristine and untouched ecosystem, and long days on the water. It is a fishery that is home to very large numbers of tarpon in the 40 to 80-pound range, as well as large bonefish, permit, jacks, barracuda, and numerous other species. One of the most biologically diverse and healthy coral reef systems in the Caribbean, fish diversity is exceptional in ‘JDR.’
All fishing weeks onboard the Avalon IV yacht run from Saturday to the following Saturday, with five and a half full days of guided fishing. A normal week includes seven (7) nights aboard and group roundtrip transportation from to Jucaro Port from your arrival city. Upon arrival in Jucaro, clients board Avalon IV to head out to Jardines de la Reina. The season in the Jardines de la Reina runs from mid-October through the end of August, though the fishery can offer excellent fishing year-round.
The newest yacht in the Avalon fleet and launching in 2021, Avalon IV replaces the dilapidated Tortuga Houseboat in Jardines de la Reina. This massive 180-foot vessel, with a permanent mooring in the heart of Jardines de la Reina, offers 20 large staterooms with ample storage room in each room and en suite baths.
All staterooms offer plenty of space with private bathrooms, individual air conditioning, and heating controls, electricity plugs (220 and 110 volts), ample storage, and convertible double beds. A spacious and comfortable lounge area provides an indoor air-conditioned lounge area, a large indoor dining room located, and a rooftop sun deck and bar to take in the views of the Gardens of the Queens and mojitos at sunset.
This is a great option for couples or small groups who can use JA IV / Avalon IV as their base and floating hotel for the week in Jardines de la Reina. While aboard, you will be sharing the base with divers and other anglers as this is not a fishing only liveaboard, but serves as accommodations for many types of visitors to Jardines de la Reina.
Food and Beverages
Dining onboard Avalon IV is always amazing. The menu typically combines fantastic Continental Italian cuisine, fresh seafood every day, and traditional Cuban favorites like rice and beans, black bean soup, and fried plantains. If you are someone who enjoys fresh seafood, then you will be in heaven. The chefs aboard are happy to accommodate any dietary restrictions and requests that you may have. Beverages available on board include bottled water, various soft drinks, beer, rum, and imported wines. If you prefer liquor other than rum, you can bring this with you.
Typical Length of Stay
A typical stay in the Jardines de la Reina area is seven (7) nights / five and a half (5.5) fishing days, starting on Saturday and ending on Friday. A normal week includes five full days of fishing and one or two half days (depending on your schedule and mode of transportation to and from Jucaro). Additional days in Camaguey or on other parts of the island can be arranged. Combo trips between the Jardines de la Reina and other fishing areas can also be arranged. Please contact Yellow Dog for more details.
Non-Angling Activities and Options
These are remote live-aboard operations located in the mangrove wilderness of the Jardines de la Reina. This means that non-angling (and non-diving) activities are limited. If you are interested in diving, Avalon’s dive program is incredible and ‘JDR’ is considered by many to be one of the finest, most pristine dive and snorkel destinations in the entire world. Even anglers can participate in a shallow-water dive program on a few afternoons of their trip. This can be arranged after your day of fishing. Overall this specific destination is best suited for anglers and divers.
Wi-Fi is not available on Avalon IV. Some cell phone service providers now offer international plans that will allow for your phone to work while on mainland Cuba. While in Jardines de la Reina, there is NO cell service. Also, satellite phones are strictly prohibited in Cuba and will be confiscated at the airport on arrival.
How To Get There
There are direct flights from many US cities and Havana (HAV) or you can book flights to Cayo Coco (CCC) that can be booked from Canada, Mexico, and Europe. If you arrive in Havana, it is recommended that you overnight in the city prior to and after your transfer days. The transfer from Havana to Jardines de la Reina departs at approximately 7 AM and takes between 6-8 hours to get to Jucaro Port. If you plan to arrive to Cayo Coco, the transfer time is between 2-3 hours to Jucaro Port. It is important that your entire group arranges for the same arrival logistics in order to avoid private transfer costs.
Arrival and Departure Details / Times
Upon arrival at Jucaro Port, you will board the Avalon IV and begin your week in the Jardines de la Reina (Gardens of the Queen). On your final day, you will typically return to Avalon IV around 2 pm so the boat can make the return trip to Jucaro Port where Avalon IV will overnight. Early the next morning, you will disembark and return to Havana or Cayo Coco for your departing flights.
A valid passport is required for all visitors to Cuba and must be valid for at least six (6) months beyond the duration of your stay. Citizens of the United States are also required to have a Cuban entrance visa that can be secured when checking in for your direct flight to Cuba. You will be asked to sign an affidavit for your trip to Cuba and determine which OFAC category your trip qualifies for and as an American traveler, you are obligated to maintain a record of your trip for five years – documentation is supplied to you by Yellow Dog.
Yellow Dog provides airline reservations ad ticketing assistance through etcTravel Group, and a full-service airline logistics agent that can help book airline tickets, hotels, rental cars, and more. You can click here to request a quote or contact Yellow Dog for more information at 406-585-8667. etcTravel Group offers dedicated support services for all Yellow Dog clients. Service fees may apply when booking or researching tickets, and etcTravel will discuss this with you before sending quotes.
Fishing hours during a stay aboard Avalon IV are longer than in most Caribbean fishing destinations and are totally at the discretion of the clients. The day normally begins with breakfast at 7:00 AM and guides are ready to head out any time after 7:45 AM. During your week of fishing, each day you will fish the waters of JDR, and depending on tides and current conditions, you can expect runs of 30 minutes or less in order to access different fishing areas and target the top game species. Ask your guide what the plan is and if you have any preferences with regards to specific species, let him know and they will do their best to accommodate your request based on current conditions.
Boats and Equipment
The fishing boats used by Avalon are Dolphin Super Skiffs outfitted with Yamaha 60 or 70HP motors. Radios and life jackets are carried aboard every skiff. For gear and equipment, it is recommended that anglers always bring their own rods, reels, wading boots, etc. Flies, leaders, tippet, all terminal tackle, and all accessories should be packed as well, as very few items are available anywhere in Cuba! Yellow Dog will provide a complete pre-trip packing and equipment list for fishing in Cuba.
Rates and Terms
Remember that Yellow Dog’s services are completely free! When you book a trip with Yellow Dog, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge or outfitter.
Please contact Yellow Dog for rates.
- Meet-and-greet reception upon arrival to Camaguey International Airport (CMW)
- Land and water transfers to/from Camaguey to Jucaro and Avalon IV
- Seven (7) nights accommodations on Avalon IV
- Six (6) full days of guided fishing (two anglers per skiff)
- Three meals per day (all-inclusive meal service)
- Taxes and GSTs
- Full bar tab and all-inclusive drinks while aboard
What’s Not Included:
- International flights to Havana (HAV) or Cayo Coco (CCC) – Yellow Dog can help arrange
- Entry Visa for Cuba
- Fishing tackle, equipment, flies and all terminal tackle
- Gratuities for guides and staff
- Other items of a personal nature
- Conservation Fee ($300)
Avalon Cuban Fishing Centers and Live-Aboards (Cuba)
TERMS AND CONDITIONS – CANCELLATIONS
Receipt of deposit and/or final payment is acknowledgment that registrant has read and accepts the deposit, cancellation, refund and responsibility clauses for these packages. For trips outside of 90 days, a 70% deposit is required at the time of confirmation to hold all reservations and trip dates. For all Cuba trips less than 90 days out, full payment is required to secure reservations. Passport number, date of birth and full name (as printed in passport) is required to confirm any Cuba reservation. Payment for all Cuba trip must be made in US dollars and can be made using check, money order or wire transfer only (no credit card payments for Cuba trips will be accepted). All trip cancellations must be received in writing, sent to Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures, LLC. and cancellations will incur a $250.00 USD per person Yellow Dog handling fee, regardless of timing or reason. For cancellations outside of 180 days from start of trip, trip payments are refundable minus an 800 EUROS per person cancellation fee charged by operator and a $250.00 USD per person fee charged by Yellow Dog. Inside of 180 days from start of trip, deposits and/or final payments are non-refundable and no credits will be issued unless Avalon and/or Yellow Dog are able to resell the trip(s) (in which case there will also be an 800 EUROS per person cancellation fee charged by operator and a $250.00 USD per person fee charged by Yellow Dog.) No refunds will be issued for unused portions of packages. Because of the operator’s strict cancellation policies, we highly recommend the purchase of trip cancellation insurance. In no event will Avalon be responsible for any cancellation of services or operations due to inclement weather, any event of force majeure, airline delays or flight cancellations, or any other reason beyond the control of the operator. Avalon Outdoors will not refund payments in the event of poor weather. If your flights are cancelled and connections are missed, Avalon is not responsible for alternative travel arrangements including flights, hotels, meals and any other expenses incurred. Please note that credit card payments cannot be accepted for any incidentals or expenses once in Cuba. Once again, Yellow Dog strongly recommends that anglers and guests purchase travel insurance these Cuban packages.
Payment Terms For All Yellow Dog Trip Bookings
In order to lock in your trip reservation, we ask that you please remit payment at the time of receipt of invoice. For your convenience, Yellow Dog accepts on-line payments via a direct and secure ACH platform – a quick and easy way to complete your trip reservation. Note that all Yellow Dog invoices include a live link that takes you directly to the Yellow Dog ACH platform for fast and easy payment. For open and existing invoices with a remaining balance, payment reminders also include this easy link to the ACH page.
Other customary forms of payment that are accepted are checks or wire transfers. If you would like to pay in a different way or have any questions about alternate payment methods, please contact Yellow Dog at (888) 777-5060 or (406) 585-8667. We are available Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
Beginning September 1st, 2020, Yellow Dog will apply a 3% convenience fee for all credit card transactions.
Yellow Dog Flyfishing Adventures Standard Forms For Payment
- ACH online payments (for US banking institutions only).
- Traditional checks (sent via mail)
- Electronic wire payments (client is responsible for any wiring fees)
*Please contact us if you prefer or require a different payment option. Convenience fees may apply for other payment methods.
**Please be aware that the ACH platform is only available for US financial institutions and bank accounts. International payments can be made via wire or with a credit card.
Yellow Dog Customer Reviews
“Insane numbers of tarpon. While most are in the 20-80lb range the sheer quantity of fish is absurd and they’re generally happy to eat. Night fishing for tarpon was incredible and maybe a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Staff was excellent and eager to serve.” – Todd R.