Carnival Corporation & plc has launched fathom, a new ‘social impact travel’ brand that will enable consumers to participate in various projects to improve education, the environment and the economy in underprivileged communities.
Operating as Carnival Corporation’s tenth global brand, fathom has been developed to enable people around the world to have a positive and long-lasting impact on the lives of others and will offer seven-day ‘social impact’ voyages onboard the 700-passenger Adonia, which currently sails in Carnival Corporation’s P&O Cruises UK fleet.
“fathom will cater to an underserved market of consumers who want to have a positive impact on people’s lives, and aren’t always sure where to begin,” said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation. “We believe travel is a meaningful way to allow for personal growth while making purposeful and engaging contributions in the world. We are so pleased that fathom will give travellers a unique opportunity to work alongside local people as part of a larger scale effort that will demonstrably improve lives. Both our travellers and the local citizens will learn and benefit from the opportunity to serve together.”
Sailing from PortMiami in the US, Adonia will take guests to fathom’s first partner destination, the Puerto Plata region of the Dominican Republic. This region was chosen because it has the infrastructure to support social initiatives and support from all levels of the local community, including the government. fathom’s programme of activities and projects was developed in close collaboration with local citizens, business and education leaders, government officials and non-governmental organisations (NGOs).
fathom guests will work with local volunteers on projects lead by Dominican-based organisations Entrena and the Instituto Dominicano de Desarrollo Integral (IDDI). A portion of every cruise ticket price will go directly to these organisations to cover supplies, travel, personnel to assist with the activities and funding to support their overall missions.
“fathom and Carnival Corporation are making a strategic bet on contributing to the development of the Dominican Republic incorporating this initiative into their business plan, which is a remarkable step for a corporation of that size,” said David Luther, founder and executive director of IDDI. “This is not just corporate social responsibility, but a vision of bringing people together as a catalyst for change, be they passengers on a ship or members of low-income communities. In doing this, fathom and Carnival Corporation are demonstrating they are willing and capable of creating experiences that transform lives.”
Each fathom journey will begin with one or two days at sea, where guests will learn more about the Dominican Republic, attend conversational Spanish lessons, activity training and creative workshops. Travellers will then be able to participate in one or more different social impact activities that have been designed to suit all ages, skill levels and physical abilities. Varying in length from a few hours up to three days, the projects will focus on improving education, the environment and economic development. For example, guests can teach English to schoolchildren, help to build water filters for underprivileged communities, assist a local women’s cooperative in producing artisan chocolates, and much more.
Guests will also have free time to explore various tourist attractions in the Dominican Republic including Carnival’s Amber Cove and the Puerto Plata region. While onboard the ship, they will be able to dine from menus inspired by the destination, visit specialised retail outlets and enjoy musical performances and cultural immersion activities.
Tara Russell, founder and chairman of food production social enterprise Create Common Good, has been appointed as president of fathom and global impact lead for Carnival Corporation.
“We created fathom to meet the real hunger in the world for purpose, while at the same time tackling profound social issues through a sustainable business model,” said Russell. “fathom has been built differently, having worked carefully to ensure any and all efforts fathom travellers engage with are authentically impactful, scalable and sustainable. fathom’s scale allows the opportunity to continuously innovate in the social impact space, while achieving holistic, transformational societal contributions that will help a broad region flourish.”
Carnival Corporation plans to expand fathom to more destinations across the globe in future.
“With fathom, we are building one-of-a-kind, collaborative community social impact models and experiences and a solid network of reputable local and global NGO partnerships that, once established, can be considered for replication across global regions and company brands,” said Russell. “As fathom grows and evolves, we will continue exploring additional fathom destinations and powerful brand partnerships we can establish, both within the Carnival Corporate family, and also more broadly outside the corporation with other like-minded impact brands.”