In 27 years of working for the MOD, I found Havana one of the warmest, friendliest and interesting places I have visited

Med Technician John Harris

And they did likewise at the three Commonwealth war graves in the city’s Colon cemetery, where British and Canadian personnel who died while serving in Cuba are laid to rest.

In return, Wave Knight’s Cuban hosts arranged numerous tours for their visitors: a rum factory, a cigar factory and Morro Castle to see the ceremonial cannon firing which takes place every night at 9pm.

“The Cuban cigar factory tour was great – learning about the process of how the cigars are made,” said 3/O(E) Ben Millward.

“It was really positive to meet and chat to Cubans working at the factory and find out about their jobs and lives.”

Sailors were also able to get ashore on their own and explore old Havana – providing a welcome break after an extensive period of counter-narcotics operations working with the US authorities throughout January.

“In 27 years of working for the MOD, I found Havana one of the warmest, friendliest and interesting places I have visited,” said Med Technician John Harris.

Steward Andy Sayer added: “Cuba is a truly unique island – different from anywhere else we have been on deployment.

“It feels on the cusp of change but still lives up to the cliché of being full of character, classic cars, and historic buildings.”