Last updated: 10:33 AM ET, Tue April 26 2016

Cruising by the Numbers: Fathom's Impact on the DR (So Far)

Cruise Line & Cruise Ship | Jason Leppert | April 26, 2016

Cruising by the Numbers: Fathom's Impact on the DR (So Far)

Photo courtesy of Fathom

Fathom, Carnival Corporation’s newest cruise line, is all in the news right now as it prepares for its historic sailing from Miami to Cuba with American citizens onboard, but the brand’s inaugural itinerary to the Dominican Republic just made a positive impact in its own right, affecting locals and passengers alike. 

Fathom bills itself as a social impact cruise line, with a philosophy focusing on two components: volunteering and cultural immersion. Its cruises to the DR involve both, and those to Cuba will focus on the latter. The Adonia is the brand’s singular ship that is sailing currently to the DR every week and, beginning on May 1, will set out for Cuba for the first time and the DR again every other week thereafter, alternating between the two destinations.

READ MORE: Cuba Cruises are Officially on the Way in May from Fathom

“Our brand has been on an incredible journey, from the idea’s conception over two years ago through today,” said Russell. “We set out to do something special with Fathom by introducing the world to a unique type of travel – travel with purpose. I want to personally thank everyone who stood alongside Fathom, and had a hand in getting us to where we are today. Without your support, we would not be where we are today.”

Fathom also released statistics outlining the transformative results of its first group of volunteers in the Dominican Republic. To set the scene, the DR is a beautiful destination that is relatively impoverished with an average household income of less than $6,000 and more than 3 million locals that do not have piped water. But the potential for positive change is great, and the cruise line and its guests have begun to help in areas of economic development, education and the environment.

READ MORE: How Are Travel Agents Selling Fathom?

“We have already accomplished a lot in a short period of time – but there is still much to do,” Russell said. “While we celebrated and introduced the unique Fathom experience to our guests last week, we are looking forward to taking our guests every other week to the Dominican to continue making a profound and lasting impact for people in the country.”

Examples of the help generated, in partnership with Entrena and the Instituto Dominicano de Desarrollo Integral, Inc. (IDDI), on just the first 7-day roundtrip include the following:

Student and Community English Language

  • Impact: Almost 650 students and community members had the opportunity to interact with native English speakers.
  • Context: English proficiency is the biggest generator of employment success in the DR economy.

Reforestation & Nursery

  • Impact: More than 2,400 trees were planted.
  • Context: This will eventually generate more nutrient-rich soil, a drop in soil loss, improved air and water quality, an increase in biodiversity and greater agricultural production.

Water Filter Production

  • Impact: 50 water filters were produced.
  • Context: This helps reduce waterborne illness and indirectly promote improved work and school attendance.

Cacao and Women’s Chocolate Cooperative

  • Impact: More than 200 pounds of cacao nibs were cleaned, and over 6,000 chocolate bars were wrapped.
  • Context: It ups production and sales, resulting in increased female employment and local income.

Recycled Paper and Crafts Entrepreneurship

  • Impact: Almost 600 sheets of paper were created.
  • Context: The result is improved female income, business expansion and better morale.

Community Home Concrete Floors

  • Impact: Two homes got poured concrete floors, helping 20 people.
  • Context: The upgrade from dirt floors promotes healthier and safer family living arrangements.

The experience is both transformative to the local community and guests onboard, and thanks to the Amber Cove port where the ship docks, there is plenty of time for leisure activities as well. Carnival Corp’s private facility features a resort atmosphere with pool and waterslide attractions and access to other shore excursions such as beach visits, kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling, ATV-like buggy adventures, Puerto Plata tours, helicopter flights, fishing, horseback riding and catamaran sailings.

Seven-day Dominican Republic cruises begin at $974 per person, excluding taxes, fees and port expenses and including all meals on the ship, onboard immersion experiences, three social impact activities ashore and related supplies.

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