An Afro-Cuban community meeting, a visit to Alamar, a Soviet-style community, a field trip to an organic farm, a discussion of Cuban history. These are among the shore excursions that Fathom, Carnival Corp’s new social impact travel brand, will offer to cruisers who book its new Cuba voyages next spring.
Announced in June, the Fathom cruise brand has received U.S. approval to sail from the U.S. to Cuba, and it is working to finalize Cuban approval. Currently Fathom is accepting reservations for its inaugural voyage to Cuba beginning in May 2016.
The 710-passenger Adonia will sail roundtrip from Miami and visit three ports, Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba, on its seven-day cruises, which cost about $1,800 per person. “Cuba is a magnetic, beautiful country with tremendous opportunity for the Cuban people and for Fathom travelers to immerse, learn, grow and flourish through educational and cultural exchange experiences that we will offer,” says Tara Russell, president of Fathom.
“Fathom travelers will have the chance to interact, one-on-one, with artists, musicians, small business owners, health workers and others to learn about all aspects of Cuban society and to connect and share insights and stories, leading to further progress for the Cuban people. We believe there is tremendous pent up demand in the marketplace to visit this extraordinary country – particularly in the U.S. where travelers are eager to experience Cuba – so we wanted to share as much of the country as possible,” she adds.
Some details about the port calls:
Havana: Cuba’s colorful capital is popular for its collection of Spanish-influenced castles, cathedrals, mansions and museums, and may be best known for historic Old Havana, a UNESCO World Heritage site with more than 900 landmarks. It features a lively music and entertainment scene, an eclectic mix of inspirational museums and art galleries.
Cienfuegos: Considered an architectural jewel of French influence and known as “the Pearl of the South,” this city is popular among diving enthusiasts for an undersea maze of coral columns along the coastline called Notre Dame. Among its many attractions, Cienfuegos boasts an imposing fortress – Castillo de Jagua – built to protect the city from attacks and widely recognized as one of Cuba’s most important military structures.
Santiago de Cuba: Cuba’s second-largest city, Santiago de Cuba is infused with a distinctly Caribbean spirit. The traditional site of two popular festivities – Carnaval and the Fiesta del Fuego – the city encompasses a diverse assortment of architectural influences, from the El Morro castle (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), to the Parque Céspedes in the bustling historic quarter, to the Basílica de Nuestra Señora de la Caridad del Cobre, Cuba’s most sacred pilgrimage site.