"The feedback from our travelers and our local Dominican partners who have participated in Fathom's social impact experiences in the Dominican Republic has been overwhelmingly positive and mutually beneficial," said Tara Russell, president of Fathom and global impact lead for Carnival Corporation. "Our travelers repeatedly tell us the activities and alongsided interaction with the local Dominican people is very fulfilling, rekindling their hope and passion and inspiring a whole new perspective on life. Additionally, the social impact experiences create enduring positive impact in the lives of children, families and communities, significantly affecting bright futures."
Since Fathom began its every-other-week voyages in May 2016 to Amber Cove—located on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic—its guests have been able to produce and install 730 water filters for local families, construct concrete floors for hundreds of people in 40 homes, plant nearly 16,000 seedlings and plants, and have provided approximately 17,500 hours of English conversational language skills training to adult and youth students.
Seven of the 10 Carnival Corporation brands make calls on Amber Cove—AIDA Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Costa Cruises, Fathom, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, and P&O Cruises UK. By offering Fathom experiences to guests sailing on its other brands, the company expects to provide this unique, personally enriching experience to a much wider and growing number of guests with each additional sailing. In turn, this has the potential of significantly expanding the number of traveler impact days per month and broader collective impact story in the Dominican Republic.
To expand the Fathom experience, the company will provide the following new excursions:
• Hands-On Chocolate Experience at a Women's Cooperative: Travelers will engage in an immersive cultural experience and make an impact in the Puerto Plata community during a hands-on visit to a chocolate cooperative founded by enterprising local women. Travelers visit the small community of Altamira where they discover Chocal, a tiny organic-chocolate factory run by a group of local women committed to earning an income while remaining close to their families. Travelers will have the opportunity to work alongside these women to participate in the chocolate production process from bean to bar, a truly rewarding experience.Featuring a two-berth port and a 25-acre landside development nestled in a picturesque cove, Amber Cove provides cruise guests from Carnival Corporation's brands with a convenient gateway to one of the newest Caribbean destinations—the Puerto Plata region on the island's north coast. Referred to as the "Amber Coast," the region is known for the friendliness of its people, its history and culture, and the beauty of its beaches, mountains, forests, waterfalls and rivers. In November 2015 the port also re-opened the spectacular Puerto Plata region to regular cruise ship visits for the first time in nearly 30 years, adding a new destination to the Caribbean, the world's most popular cruising region.
• Volunteer Experience at Recycled Paper & Crafts Entrepreneurship: For an experience that makes an impact on local communities, travelers may embark on an immersive cultural experience visiting artisans at a recycling micro-business. In the little village of El Javillar, travelers find the RePapel co-op, a Recycled Paper & Crafts initiative that has taught local women to repurpose natural, recycled paper into treasures. Travelers work side by side with these friendly women, discovering all aspects of the program, including creating new products for sale. Travelers may purchase keepsake products to take home as mementos of their day.
In total, there are more than 40 excursion options currently being offered to guests sailing to Amber Cove with the company's brands. This includes traditional recreational and sight-seeing cruise excursions, such as snorkeling, scuba diving, parasailing, or simply a relaxing day at the beach. Our photo above—taken during an eco-tour—illustrates an unspoiled beach along the Dominican Republic coast.
Photo © CruiseDiva.com