Fathom Impact Travel to the Dominican Republic

Updated 11/02/2016

Disclosure – Although the Fathom experience is no longer available, Carnival cruise line offers a similar experience on a Carnival ship.

Before describing the People to People week-long experience on Fathom‘s Adonia, here is some information just announced regarding a one-day experience when traveling on Carnival Corporation’s other brands that visit Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic.

Carnival Corporation announced Wednesday, November 2, 2016, that it will expand its Fathom brand’s social impact excursions in the Dominican Republic to six other cruise lines beginning in November 2016.

Guests sailing AIDA Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Costa Cruises, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises and P&O Cruises UK voyages with scheduled calls in Amber Cove will be able to purchase a social impact excursion as they would a traditional shore excursion.

The expansion will include the launch of two new excursion offerings, including the Hands-On Chocolate Experience at a Women’s Cooperative and the Volunteer Experience at Recycled Paper & Crafts Entrepreneurship.

The former will allow guests to work hands-on in the Puerto Plata community through a chocolate cooperative founded by local women. Travelers will explore an organic-chocolate factory in Altamira and work alongside the women to produce chocolate bars. Meanwhile, the latter experience will transport guests to the village of El Javillar, where they’ll work alongside local women recycling paper into products for sale.

“The feedback from our travelers and our local Dominican partners who have participated in Fathom‘s social impact experiences in the Dominican Republic has been overwhelmingly positive and mutually beneficial,” said Fathom president and Carnival Corporation global impact lead Tara Russell in a statement.

“The social impact experiences create enduring positive impact in the lives of children, families and communities, significantly affecting bright futures,” Russell added. “It is exciting to now offer thousands of guests who sail with our family of brands to Amber Cove the opportunity to be part of Fathom‘s social impact experience and broader story.”

According to Carnival, since Fathom began every-other-week cruises to Amber Cove this past May, guests participating in the experiences have contributed to the installation of 730 water filters for local families and have helped construct concrete flooring in as many as 40 homes, in addition to providing other services.

Currently, Fathom continues to explore new global opportunities and said it plans to reveal additional experiences in the coming months.

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The Week-Long Impact Travel Cruise on Fathom™ Adonia

The first thing you need to know is that this is not your typical cruise. When Carnival Corporation announced their plans to offer social impact travel, many people didn’t know what that meant, let alone what to expect.  Why would anyone pay nearly double the price of a typical Caribbean cruise and not be able to partake in typical excursions, among other normal cruise activity? Of course, part of the answer has to do with the fact that fathom™ gives cruisers the opportunity to do some good. But as it turns out, there’s far more to the experience than people think. Is a fathom™ voyage right for you?

1. A Fathom™ cruise is not for everyone.

If you’re looking to spend a week drinking, gambling, and lounging by the pool, the MV Adonia is probably not the right ship for you. “Maybe you’ve been on a cruise before,” Fathom’s™ site explains. “But we can almost guarantee, you’ve never been on one quite like this.” While there are most of the modern conveniences you’d expect to find, although no casino, these voyages are living proof that in this case, that it’s the destination, not the journey.

2. Helping others feels wonderful.

fathom dominican republic

In the Dominican Republic, deforestation is a problem which has caused everything from flooding to mudslides. So, to suddenly get off a bus and be involved in planting trees to help combat the problem is a wonderful feeling.  We’re all part of the world’s problems, but for a while, you can be part of the solution. During fathom’s™ first year, they’re expecting to plant approximately 20,000 trees which will help reduce the number of natural water-based disasters in the Dominican Republic. It’s hard not to feel great about helping save the planet.

3. Amber Cove serves as your base.

amber cove layout

Amber Cove, Puerto Plata

For four days, Tuesday through Friday, the ship remains docked in Amber Cove. So when you’re not off doing social impact activity, you can spend time lounging by the pool or in a cabana, or ziplining at the port. Plus, there’s wifi access, so you can keep in touch with those at home and encourage others to follow your example by giving impact travel a try.

4. It’s a learning experience

 After setting sail from Miami, you’ll have an opportunity to learn more about the environment you’re heading into and the various ways in which you will be able to help. The better prepared you are, the more of an impact you’ll be able to make. To that end, you can spend your sea days learning a little Spanish, attending workshops designed to help put your skills to use in the best way possible, and perhaps getting to know yourself better through programs designed to enrich your life as well.

5. You can help as much or as little as you want.

In the days leading up to your fathom™ experience, you can learn more about the impact activities available during your particular voyage. While fathom™ guests are encouraged to take part and participate, it is an entirely voluntary situation on Dominican Republic sailings. It’s also a great opportunity for a family to take a unique vacation together (but there is a requirement that all members of the traveling party must be at least 8 years old at the time of departure).

To Summarize

This cruise would be a learning experience and opportunity for personal growth. Reading about activities ranging from recycling programs and building water filtration systems to teaching others how to speak English could be exciting, and you could end up not only feeling good about helping to improve the lives of others, but having a great time along the way.  While impact travel with fathom™ is not right for everyone, it is definitely something worth considering if you are looking for a way to give a little back to the world.

Fathom™ is a different kind of cruise that combines one’s love of travel with the desire to make a difference in the world. Fathom™ is defining a new category of travel, Social Impact Travel. Part of the Carnival Corporation family, Fathom offers consumers authentic, meaningful travel experiences to enrich the life of the traveler and work alongside locals as they tackle community needs in the Dominican Republic.

As an update, social-impact brand Fathom™ has added a delicious touch to their Dominican Republic travel experience with Chef Emil Vega. The award-winning Dominican culinary expert has designed a menu for the specialty restaurant Ocean Grill with authentic flavors, like Grilled Seafood Salpicón, Mofongo and Aguají, Pescado con Coco (Fish Criollo and Coconut), and Vegetarian Pastelón – dish made with layers of plantains, spinach, and cheese. “I set out to create for travelers an extraordinary, authentic Caribbean culinary experience that allows them to savor a range of gastronomical possibilities featuring regionally inspired ingredients,” said Chef Emil. “Fathom™ understands that an important aspect of immersing in any unique culture is to explore its cuisine, which we are happy to make available to travelers from the moment they step aboard Fathom™’s Adonia.”

Fathom™ is now offering special fares during the inaugural season that start at just $299 per person for week long cruises to the Dominican Republic.  In addition to special fares, third and fourth passengers in a cabin will price at 50% off double occupancy fares. For cruises to the Dominican Republic through May 27, 2017 prices will start at:

  • Inside Cabin – $299 per person (free upgrade to ocean view)
  • Ocean View Cabin – $299 per person
  • Balcony Cabin – $599 per person
  • Suite – $999 per person

Tara Russell, president of fathom™ and global impact lead for Carnival Corporation, gave the following statement:

“We want to provide unique ways for our guests to give, learn, grow in spirit, and help build a sense of community that reaches out to the wider world. Our maiden voyage is behind us, but there is still so much all of us can accomplish together. It is an exciting time for us all, and we look forward to bringing people with a passion for travel and a desire to make a difference in this world to the Dominican Republic so we may keep up the significant impact we have already accomplished.”

Fathom™ is unique in that it leverages Carnival Corporation’s expertise and scale for a one-of-a-kind business model to create long-term collaboration with its partner countries, allowing for sustained social impact and lasting development. Fathom™ will serve the sizable and growing market of potential social impact travel consumers – approximately one million North Americans – in addition to global travelers already pursuing service-oriented travel experiences worldwide.

Sailing aboard the Mv Adonia, a 704-passenger vessel redeployed from Carnival Corporation’s P&O Cruises (UK), Fathom will engage, mobilize, educate and equip travelers on every Dominican Republic trip allowing for rich personal enrichment and thousands of impact activity days per visit– and tens of thousands of travelers a year to communities of promise, providing unprecedented scale for impact.

As noted above, inaugural season prices for the seven-day trips to the Dominican Republic start at $299 per person, excluding taxes, fees and port expenses and including all meals on the ship, on board social impact immersion experiences, three on-shore social impact activities and related supplies. To secure a spot on future sailings, a fully refundable $300 per person deposit is required for all cabin categories and occupancy levels. Final payment is due 90 days prior to departure.

Separately, fathom™ also offers seven-day itineraries to Cuba starting at $1,899 per person, excluding Cuban visas, taxes, fees and port expenses and including all meals on the ship, lunch during scheduled on-the-ground activities, on board immersion experiences and certain on-the-ground cultural immersion activities. Prices vary by season. To secure a spot on future sailings, a fully refundable $600 per person deposit is required for all cabin categories and occupancy levels. Final payment is due 90 days prior to departure.

For more information on Cuba’s similar impact travel journey, please see our Cuban Fathom™ blog article.

We at Getaway Dreams Come True Travel will assist you in finding a people-to-people experience in the Dominican Republic or Cuba. To schedule your personalized lifetime memories Vacation  Planning Session, please call 724.752.2655.


Photos courtesy of Fathom™ impact travel.

You may wish to view our other blog on Amber Cove and related blogs:

New Amber Cove Port in the Dominican Republic

Ten Southern Ports of Call and Possible Excursions

Are You Visiting a Cruise Line Private Island or Destination?

Is a Cruise Travel Vacation for You?

Tips for Cruising on a Budget


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