Fathom, Carnival Corporation’s latest cruise brand, is officially headed to Cuba on May 1, 2016 after receiving final government approval from the Caribbean island nation. The cruise line had previously set out to embark on voluntourism sailings to the Dominican Republic (beginning in April 2016) before announcing Cuban cruises, and now the line is set to make both destinations part of its official program.
I was just at Seatrade Cruise Global 2016 last week and had the chance to speak to Tara Russell, President of Fathom, who was optimistic that they would receive the approval, and Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corp., who was heading down to Cuba at the time U.S. President Barack Obama was. The U.S. government had already granted travel access under new regulations that allow person-to-person exchanges, excluding outright tourism. The new permissions fit perfectly in line with Fathom, as cultural immersion was already a large part of its Dominican Republic plans in addition to service projects scheduled there.
“Today we made history,” said Donald. “It brings me tremendous pleasure to announce that Carnival Corporation has become the first U.S. cruise company in more than 50 years to be granted approval from Cuba to sail from the U.S. to Cuba.” Fa
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