On 7 July, Carnival announced that cruises to Cuba could begin by May 2016. The company reported it had received US government licenses to offer “purposeful” cruises for people-to-people, humanitarian and other exchanges. This would make Carnival the first American cruise company to visit Cuba since the 1960 embargo imposed by President John F Kennedy.
The cruises will be operated through Carnival’s new “Fathom” brand which focuses on cruises for passengers wishing to sail to a destination to volunteer there. Launched as Carnival’s 10th global brand, Fathom’s mission is “to enrich the lives of its travellers” and expects to attract 37,000 travellers each year with that number collectively spending more than 100,000 days a year, either volunteering or immersing in local educational and cultural exchanges.
The weeklong cruises to Cuba are expected to be aboard Adonia, a small deluxe 710 passenger ship, somewhat unique in that she does not offer a casino or shows, but instead will feature Spanish classes and workshops on the island’s art and heritage. Adonia will operate similar style service-oriented trips to the Dominican Republic.
Carnival is still awaiting approval from the Cuban government.