Tags: Castro-Cuba | carnival | cuba | cruise | social impact | fathom

Carnival Plans 'Social Impact' Cruises to Cuba Starting in 2016

Carnival Plans 'Social Impact' Cruises to Cuba Starting in 2016
(REUTERS/PETER PARKS AFP)

By    |   Tuesday, 07 July 2015 01:19 PM

It has been decades since cruise ships have had the ability to set sail from the United States to Cuba, but according to USA Today, Carnival Corp. is set to launch a seven-night cruise there in the spring of 2016, contingent on approval by Cuban authorities.

"All of our research suggests there is huge pent-up demand for the Cuba experience," said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corp.

USA Today reports the cruise, which will sail bi-weekly out of Miami, will be operated by the company's new social impact-focused fathom brand.

"Fathom will cater to an underserved market of consumers who want to have a positive impact on people's lives, and aren't always sure where to begin," said Donald, USA Today reports. "We believe travel is a meaningful way to allow for personal growth while making purposeful and engaging contributions in the world."

The fathom brand, which currently consists of a 710-passenger vessel named Adonia, is set to launch its first "social impact voyage" to the Dominican Republic in April, USA Today said. Passengers on these cruises have a choice of volunteer activities, like teaching English in local schools or helping with planting, in the countries they visit.

According to Buzzfeed News, while the Dominican Republic "social impact" trip costs $1,540 per person and is all-inclusive for seven days, the Cuba cruise will start at $2,900 per person, a steep price increase.

The government approved the cruises "for the purpose of providing cultural, artistic, faith-based and humanitarian exchanges between American and Cuban citizens," Carnival said in a statement.

The Carnival Corp. announcement comes just days after President Barack Obama unveiled a deal with Cuba to reopen embassies in Washington and Havana in a major step toward ending decades of Cold War enmity.

Buzzfeed reports that the direct-to-Cuba expedition will make Carnival, the world's largest cruise operator, the first U.S.-based company to gain access to the island.

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It has been decades since cruise ships have had the ability to set sail from the United States to Cuba, but according to USA Today, Carnival Corp. is set to launch a seven-night cruise there in spring 2016, contingent on approval by Cuban authorities.
carnival, cuba, cruise, social impact, fathom
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2015-19-07
Tuesday, 07 July 2015 01:19 PM
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