PHOTO: Fathom's Adonia in Havana, Cuba. (Photo by Jason Leppert)
Carnival Corporation's Fathom brand announced Thursday it has received approval from Cuba to add stops in Santiago de Cuba on six of its upcoming cruises to the Dominican Republic in 2017.
The seven-day sailings start at $599 — excluding taxes, fees, port expenses and some other costs — and will depart Feb. 26, March 12 and 26, April 9 and 23 and May 7.
Fathom also revealed a new itinerary for the upcoming cruises.
The cruises will depart PortMiami and spend a day at sea before arriving in Santiago de Cuba. The ship will arrive in the Dominican Republic the following day, where guests will spend a day and a half working alongside locals in hopes of making an economic, educational and environmental impact. After departing the Dominican Republic, passengers will spend one last day at sea before arriving back in PortMiami.
Santiago de Cuba is the Caribbean island nation's second-largest city behind the capital Havana and served as the capital of the Spanish colony of Cuba for much of the 16th century.
Guests on the upcoming cruises will spend a full day visiting the Cuban city, which is home to a UNESCO World Heritage site in San Pedro de la Roca del Morro Castle as well as an impressive art and music scene.
Shore excursions available for passengers to purchase include a trip to Cuba's Our Lady of Charity El Cobre Church.
"We are delighted for our travelers to have the chance to visit such a unique and breathtaking Cuban city during such a historic time," said Fathom president and global impact lead for Carnival Corp. Tara Russell in a statement accompanying Thursday's announcement. "Then, we will sail to the Dominican Republic and experience a place we love so dearly, all during one trip."
Travelers looking to book one of the upcoming Fathom cruises to the Dominican Republic featuring a stop in Santiago de Cuba should plan to put aside an additional $155, with a required Cuban travel visa costing $75 per person and gratuities estimated at $80.50 per person.
Carnival Corp. announced last month that Fathom will cease operations by summer of 2017. However, prior to that announcement, the company revealed plans to integrate the social impact concept on as many as six of its other existing cruise lines.