September 2, 2015
(4:40 p.m. EDT) -- Fathom, the new one-ship cruise line that aims to bring voluntourism and social impact to cruising, revealed details today about its Cuba itineraries.
The Carnival Corp. line, which began with a focus on the Dominican Republic's North Coast, has added Cuba as a destination since that country is growing in appeal and opportunity.
During a sneak preview of Fathom's community-based programming near Puerto Plata today, Fathom chief Tara Russell said that the Cuba program would focus on Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba.
While much is still in flux, Russell said that cultural immersion, including art and film, would be a major focus in Cuba. The activities on the Cuba trips won't be as focused on voluntourism as those in the Dominican Republic will be.
Fathom has already received approval from the U.S. government for the sailings, based on its anticipated people-to-people focus. The line does not have its approval yet from the Cuban government; Russell said the line is having an ongoing conversation, and efforts are gaining steam.
The first Fathom sailing will depart from Miami aboard 700-passenger Adonia, on May 1. Thereafter, the line will alternate weeklong Miami-based sailings to the Dominican Republic's Amber Cove, a new purpose-built cruise facility just outside of Puerto Plata, with weeklong cruises from Miami to Cuba.
Fathom's team also showed off some of the volunteer opportunities that cruise passengers will be able to experience. They include the chance to help make chocolate with a local woman's coalition, work with 7th grade students to support English language teaching and assisting with a newly developed water filtration product that can help raise sanitation levels for rural families.
--By Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor in Chief