Official: Carnival Corp First To Cuba

Impact travel cruise line Fathom made history today with the arrival of 704-passenger Adonia in Cuba. Being the  America-based cruise line to sail from the U.S. to Cuba in over 50 years is a significant accomplishment.  Rack another win up for Corporation, parent of Fathom, their 10th and newest brand.

Good for them.
Good for Carnival Corp shareholders too.
Better, in leaps and bounds, for cruise travelers.

 

Carnival Corporation Photo

Carnival Corporation Photo

 

“Our arrival today in Havana is a special moment in history that contributes to a more positive future, ” said Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation, quickly shifted the attention from corporate accomplishment to people with “and we congratulate our colleague Arnie Perez on being the first person born in Cuba to step ashore under Cuba’s new policy,”

The occasion represented an abrupt change in Cuban policy. That policy nearly prevented that first sailing from happening too.  Fathom had initially refused to allow Cuban-Americans aboard the cruise, to comply with a law dating back to the Cold War.  A discrimination lawsuit and criticism by Secretary of State John Kerry led the cruise line to lift the ban.  Eventually, Cuba cleared the way for all to visit the island nation, ushering in a potentially huge flow of tourism at multiple destinations.

“As we worked to become the first U.S. cruise company to sail from the U.S. to Cuba in more than five decades, it was clear just how much interest there is from travelers who want to experience Cuba.” -Arnold Donald, CEO of Carnival Corporation

Fathom travelers were greeted by fanfare and a festive celebration as they arrived in Havana, the first of three destinations guests will visit on seven-night voyages to Cuba.  Those sailings will go to Cuba every other week, alternating with Fathom’s Dominican Republic itinerary.

 

In addition to Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba are also ports of call for which Carnival Corporation has obtained berthing approval.

 

Carnival Corporation Photo

Carnival Corporation Photo

 

The Fathom Experience For Cuba

Travelers will enjoy an exciting Cuban experience sailing aboard Adonia, a premium small ship where they can choose to partake in onboard experiences, including Cuban- and Caribbean-inspired food and films, music and dancing, and much more.  Adonia was originally one of the Renaissance Cruise Line ships, twin sister to Azamara Club Cruises twin sisters Azamara Journey and Azamara Quest of which we have written about extensively here.

 

Life Onboard

Special onboard programming includes everything from an orientation of Cuba’s history, customs and culture, to geographic-inspired entertainment, to casual and fun personal enrichment activities, along with conversational Spanish lessons.  The Fathom Cuba focus here is more on history, culture and customs than the more hands-on helping structure on Fathom’s visits to the Dominican Republic.

Seven-day itineraries on Carnival Corporation’s Fathom brand will generally depart from PortMiami on Sundays at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time (ET). The ship will arrive at its first destination, Havana, the following morning (Monday) at 11 a.m. ET. The Adonia returns to its homeport, PortMiami, at 7:30 a.m. ET on Sunday.

Coming Soon ?

Look for other cruise lines in the Carnival Corporation family of brands to visit Cuba.  It’s a clear answer to the call for more in the Caribbean.  Think about it. Rather than build more cruise destinations, find a way to let your ships visit Cuba.  We have no verified information that other cruise lines have received the clearance to visit Cuba but it’s sure not much of a stretch to include more…assuming all goes well with Fathom.

Pure speculation:  next to visit Cuba will be a small luxury line. Perhaps Seabourn in the Carnival Corporation family of brands.  If Azamara Club Cruises is not making a case that their (twin to Adonia) ships should be able to call too, something is wrong.

 

How To Book

To reserve a spot on future sailings, travelers may contact their travel professional or call 1-855-9Fathom. Visit Fathom’s “Cruise to Cuba”page at fathom.org to learn more about the brand’s weeklong itineraries to Cuba.

Not sure?  Complete our Traveler Survey, ask your specific questions and get our recommendation for your best booking option. That might be booking directly with the cruise line or using the services of a travel professional.  Either way, we’ll tell you the best options.