As earlier reported, Fathom hopes to visit Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba on seven-day round-trip cruises from Port Miami, starting May 1. Approval from Cuban authorities is pending.
Fathom said its program in Cuba hinges on authentic cultural immersion—part learning, part sharing and 'full connection with the Cuban people.' Varied artistic, educational and humanitarian activities are planned.
For example, the day in Santiago de Cuba has an activity focused on Spanish, French and Afro-Cuban heritage, specifically micro-enterprise and a culture known for rum, cigars, music and more. An economic development activity highlights Santiago's provincial economy that relies on natural resources and its entrepreneurial residents. An elementary school visit will enable travelers to interact with children and take part in their lessons, and yet another activity focuses on entrepreneurs of modern Cuba with lunch in paladares, privately owned restaurants or homes. A further activity facilitates interaction with Cuban professionals and includes a question and answer session.
All this in Santiago, with equally packed programs during two days in Havana and one in Cienfuegos/Trinidad. On two sea days, Fathom plans discussion series on topics ranging from Cuban food, music and dance to the island's micro-climates. There will be Cuban film and documentary series, talks about Cuban literature and workshops on activism and social impact.
'Cuba is a magnetic, beautiful country with tremendous opportunity for the Cuban people and for Fathom travelers to immerse, learn, grow and flourish through educational and cultural exchange experiences that we will offer,' said Tara Russell, president of Fathom and global impact lead for Carnival Corp.
'Fathom travelers will have the chance to interact, one-on-one, with artists, musicians, small business owners, health workers and others to learn about all aspects of Cuban society and to connect and share insights and stories, leading to further progress for the Cuban people,' she added.
In addition to its Cuba cruises, Fathom will sail every other week to the Dominican Republic where passengers can engage in various community-led projects.