Carnival Corporation’s ‘impact travel’ brand Fathom has finally been given the all-clear to cruise from Miami to Cuba. Authorisation was granted by the US authorities last July but it is only this week, with President Obama’s historic visit to Havana, that agreement was reached with the island’s Castro regime.
The deal was signed today (Monday) and the first cruise on board Adonia – formerly of the UK’s P&O brand – will depart on May 1.
Other non-US-based cruise lines have been able to visit Cuba despite the trade embargo imposed more than 50 years ago, but Fathom will be the first cruise line to sail from the US.
“We are excited about Cuban approval and are ready to take travellers there through an extraordinary guest experience on the beautiful MV Adonia,” said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation. “This is a historic opportunity, and we know there is pent-up demand amongst Americans who want to experience Cuba. We believe there is no better way to experience so much of Cuba in seven days. Everyone who sails with us with Fathom to Cuba will have a very special, rewarding and enriching experience with our Fathom brand.”
Adonia will visit Havana, Cienfuegos, and Santiago de Cuba during each seven-day sailing.
On board, passengers will be given the chance to experience Cuban- and Caribbean-inspired music and film options, as well as Cuban menu options. Special on-board programming will include a wide variety of activities ranging from an orientation to Cuba’s history, customs and culture, to geographic-inspired entertainment, to casual and fun personal enrichment activities, to conversational Spanish lessons, to guided sessions with the Fathom team. “We are humbled and honoured to offer a one-of-a-kind Cuban experience to our travelers,” said Tara Russell, president of Fathom.
Carnival’s announcement says the Cuba cruises will depart from Miami on Sundays at 4:30 pm. The ship will arrive at its first destination, Havana, the following morning at 11 am and Adonia returns to Miami, at 7:30 am the following Sunday. The cruises will alternate with the previously-advised week-long voluntourism cruises to the Dominican Republic.