fathom to offer volunteer sailings in Cuba

By ,   July 7, 2015 ,   Cruise Industry

The newest cruise line of Carnival Corp. & plc, fathom, specialized in voluntourism, will sail to Cuba starting May 2016.

Starting July 7, Tuesday, passengers are able to make reservations for the 7-night cruises between Miami and Cuba. The itineraries are expected to include at least three port calls on the island. As it was announced last month, all voyages of fathom will take place on P&O Adonia.

Designed to offer a socially motivated experience, the new line will keep April 2016 as an inaugural month, with volunteer opportunities at Carnival's private port in Dominican Republic, Amber Cove.

Beginning in May, fathom will alternate itineraries between the Dominican Republic and Cuba each week. Although the details for Cuban volunteer opportunities have not been worked out, Adonia will have its program ready, with Cuban music, films and food onboard.

The cost for a fathom cruise in Cuba starts at $2,990 per person (excluding port taxes and fees), much higher than the Dominican Republic itineraries with starting price $1,540 (including port taxes and fees). According to Tara Russell, president of fathom, since negotiations were still ongoing with Cuban authorities, port taxes and fees had not yet been finalized.

On a press call, Carnival Corporation's president and CEO, Arnold Donald, shared that he expected to prove out fathom's concept over the next year and possibly add more cruise ships.

fathom is the first line owned by American mainstream cruise company to offer sailings to Cuba. Currently, U.S.-based lines are not allowed to sail on Cuban itineraries because tourism-oriented trips are not allowed under the embargo. According to current regulations, during each call, passengers must spend 8 hours in immersive activities ashore.