Carnival Cruise to Dominican Republic
Carnival Corp., the nine-brand company behind the “Fun Ship” and “The Love Boat, ” is bringing the world a new volunteerism-focused cruise line, fathom.
On fathom, you and hundreds of fellow passengers take a one-week cruise during which you are trained as a volunteer. Once you get to your destination, you help with community projects such as teaching English or reforestation — or you can go to the beach and be a tourist. It’s volunteering made easy.
“This is not traditional ‘voluntourism.’ It’s not a few people on a ship going to help out Habitat for Humanity or something like that, ” Carnival CEO Arnold Donald told the Daily News.
Beginning next April, weekly fathom cruises from Miami will visit the Puerto Plata region, spending four days docked at Carnival’s soon-to-open port, Amber Cove.
On a fathom cruise, hundreds of passengers are trained on the week-long trip to the Dominican Republic. Once there, volunteers can help teach English or aid in reforestation.
The launch of the line was announced Thursday at the United Palace Theatre in Washington Heights — with members of New York’s Dominican community invited to attend.
The startup ship is the 710-passenger Adonia, currently cruising for Carnival’s P&O Cruises. Initial fathom pricing will be from $1, 540 per person for an ocean-view cabin, with a portion of the money going to partner organizations in the Dominican Republic.
As the industry struggles to lure more first-time cruisers, the target market for fathom experience includes non-cruisers — especially millennials.
The ship will not have a casino or Broadway shows, but it will have bars and entertainment and will be “fun, ” Donald said.
Fathom will be marketed through social media, travel agents and incentive companies, including to church group and companies looking for team-building opportunities, Donald said.
The 710-passenger Adonia ship will cruise volunteers to the Domincan Republic.
So-called “social impact travel” fills a niche of people who want to volunteer on vacation but don’t want to be “stuck in tents and with third-world accommodations, ” said cruise broker Stewart Chiron of cruiseguy.com.
The effort is not entirely altruistic.
“We certainly intend it to be a smart business move, ” Donald said. “We’re doing this with the intention of doing it on an ongoing basis and expanding to other places around the world.”
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