Fathom, the one-ship cruise line created by Carnival Corp.
in 2015 to offer social-impact cruises, will become a shoreside-only experience
in mid-2017, a Carnival spokesman said.
The brand's only ship, the Adonia, will be returned to the
P&O Cruises fleet in June 2017.
The company noted that the Fathom experience had been
expanded recently to other brands calling at the Carnival-owned Amber Cove port
on the north coast of the Dominican Republic.
Seven of Carnival Corp.'s 10 brands visit Amber Cove.
Besides Fathom, they are Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess
Cruises, Costa Cruises, Aida Cruises and P&O Cruises (UK).
After starting cruises to the Dominican Republic in April
2016, Fathom in May became the first ship to take passengers on regularly
scheduled cruises between the U.S and Cuba in more than 50 years.
Roger Frizzell, Carnival Corp.’s chief information officer,
said, "We plan to continue sailing to Cuba for many years to come based on
the success of our first cruises to the country, which have proven extremely
With the Adonia returning to P&O, one option would be
for Carnival Corp. to substitute a ship from one of its other brands, such as
Carnival Cruise Line, as the designated carrier to Cuba.
Frizzell said Carnival Corp. has requested approval from
Cuba to sail there with other brands, beginning in June 2017.
The Cuba cruises differ from Fathom's social-impact cruises
to the Dominican Republic because they must conform to the
"people-to-people" travel rules that govern American travel to Cuba.
Although liberalized under the Obama administration, the rules still require
tourism activities to fit into one of 12 categories that promote the exchange
of experiences, such as educational, cultural or charitable activities.
Fathom was the first new brand created by Carnival Corp.
since the 1990s that was not part of a joint venture with another company. Its
social-impact mission, spearheaded by Fathom president Tara Russell and
supported by Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald, was intended to capitalize on an
interest in voluntourism.
However, demand for Fathom's Cuba cruises outstripped demand
for the Dominican Republic sailings, as reflected in the prices. Weeklong Cuba
cruises start at about $1,800 per person on Fathom, while cruises of equal
length to the Dominican Republic have sold for as little as $199.
Frizzell said Carnival hopes to expand the Fathom experience
to other markets in the future.