Carnival Corp. Unveils ‘Fathom’: New Brand for ‘Impact Travel’

by  and  rew Sheivachman
Carnival Corp. Unveils ‘Fathom’: New Brand for ‘Impact Travel’
Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald, left, with fathom president Tara Russell

NEW YORK-- Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald today unveiled “fathom,” a new cruise brand focused on “social impact travel.”

The first destination for fathom will be the Dominican Republic. Seven-day voyages from Miami to the Dominican Republic on the 710-passenger MV Adonia will begin in April 2016. The MV Adonia will be redeployed from Carnival’s P&O Cruises brand.

The brand will increase Carnival’s portfolio of brands to ten total cruise brands, with seven-day cruises priced from $1,540 per person.

“We can help do more for the world that we live in,” said Donald. “We are making a positive difference in these local economies.”

Target clients
The brand is aimed at attracting millennials, eco-conscious families and adults over 50 who are interested in making a positive impact on distant communities.

Travel agents can begin booking fathom cruises through Carnival’s travel agent portal immediately, but cruisers will begin to tailor their specific trip to their interests and cabin levels beginning in this fall.

The brand’s land-based activities will include a variety of tasks aimed at helping tackle local community needs in the Puerto Plata region of the Dominican Republic.

Cruisers will stay on the ship when it’s docked in the Dominican Republic.

Puerto Plata is located nearby Amber Cove, the new Dominican destination set to be introduced by Carnival in October 2015.

In the works since 2013
Fathom will be led by serial social entrepreneur Tara Russell, founder and chairman of Create Common Good.

She will serve as president of fathom and global impact lead for Carnival Corp., which has been working with Russell on the brand since late 2013.

“Meaningful travel can be one of the most powerful life-changing experiences one can ever have,” said Russell. “We’ve created fathom to just do that.”

Authentic experiences
Activities will include planting cacao fields, producing chocolate, teaching children English, restoring community infrastructure, and more.

Education, environmental issues and economic development will be the initial focus of the travel experience.

“Fathom puts authentic impact in the reach of normal consumers,” said Russell. “There are new travelers set to immerse in a whole new experience by ship.”

Fathom will work with established non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in order to identify opportunities for making a real difference in Puerto Plata.

Not just ‘feeling good’
Russell says the brand isn’t aimed at making cruisers feel good about a minimal commitment to giving back.

“We won’t paint a wall just to make a traveler feel good,” said Russell. “It’s very important for us to build and foster unique experiences that will offer real value [for both cruisers and locals].”

Initially, the cruise brand will partner with Entrena and the Instituto Dominicano de Desarrollo Integral, NGOs with established roots in the Northern Dominican Republic.

“Travelers will work in partnership with proven, trusted local organizations on the ground to amplify their missions for far greater, sustained impact,” Russell said.

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