Authorized under current U.S.-to-Cuba travel guidelines, the new Cuban itineraries on fathom will strictly comply with U.S. Department of Treasury rules that allow licensed travel companies to transport approved travelers to Cuba to engage in activities that support the Cuban people. Carnival Corporation is in active discussions and plans to work with the appropriate authorities in Cuba so that Cuban approval is granted.
Launched June 4th as Carnival Corporation's 10th global brand, fathom is designed as a purpose-driven brand to enrich the lives of its travelers and in the case of the Dominican Republic, drive sustainable social impact on a significant scale. The brand expects to attract 37,000 annual travelers who collectively could spend a total of more than 100,000 days a year either volunteering or immersing in educational and cultural exchanges in local communities.
Beginning in April 2016, fathom will embark on weekly 7-day voyages from Port Miami aboard the MV Adonia, a 710-passenger vessel redeployed from Carnival Corporation's P&O Cruises (UK) brand. fathom's first impact destination will be the northern region of the Dominican Republic, where Carnival Corporation's new port of call, Amber Cove, will serve as home base. Following the inaugural April month of voyages to the Dominican Republic, fathom intends to offer both Dominican and Cuban itineraries on a systematic and regular basis, giving travelers the opportunity to choose from two destinations and a range of activities from social impact in the Dominican Republic and educational and cultural exchanges in both countries designed to have a positive, transformative effect on the lives of the travelers.
"We are excited about receiving U.S. approval as the very important first step to ultimately take travelers to Cuba under the existing 12 criteria for authorized travel. We look forward to working with the Cuban authorities for their approval to help make the social, cultural and humanitarian exchanges between U.S. citizens and the people of Cuba a reality," said Arnold Donald, President and CEO of Carnival Corporation. "We know there is strong demand from travelers who want to immerse themselves in Cuban culture, so this is a historic opportunity for us to enable more people to experience Cuban society. It is also an important opportunity for our new fathom brand to expand its positive influence in the world with this potential to add full-week immersion sailings to Cuba to its already planned full-week social-impact itineraries to the Dominican Republic beginning in the spring of 2016."
Travelers may reserve travel on future fathom voyages. Prices for the 7-day trip to the Dominican Republic start at $1,540 per person, which includes an exterior cabin with a view, all meals on the ship, onboard social impact immersion experiences, three on-shore social impact activities, and related supplies, taxes, fees, and port expenses. Prices will vary by season. Fares for 7-day itineraries to Cuba start at $2,990 per person, excluding taxes, port and other government and related fees, and including all meals on the ship, onboard social impact immersion experiences, and certain on-the-ground cultural immersion activities.
Once again, we applaud Carnival Corporation for their philanthropy. We wondered last month if this new concept brand would be the first step to position the ship for people-to-people style journeys to Cuba, as well as the Domincan Republic, and it looks like we were spot on.
Image Courtesy Carnival Corporation for fathom