The opportunity to travel is a gift – one I never take for granted. I’ve been blessed with the good fortune to travel to far-flung destinations I never dreamed I would ever see. I’ve seen some of the most lavish spots in the world, and I’ve seen some of the most impoverished. And when I look back at my travels, it’s the trips where I was able to contribute in some way to local communities that have had the deepest, most long-lasting impact on me.

So when I learned of Carnival Corporation’s recent launch of Fathom, I was immediately on board, so to speak. Fathom is Carnival’s newest brand and with support from its sister brand P&O Cruises, Fathom strives to drive change and make an impact in the world. As part of a movement called Social Impact Travel, Fathom will be making its maiden voyage to the Dominican Republic in 2016 with the goal of helping to build and support communities on the ground there in a very real way.

Cruising has long been a favourite way to travel for many – but instead of spending your vacation on a beach (although of course, there will be time for that, too), Fathom’s social impact travel cruise on the 710-passenger Adonia will be focused on travel that transforms lives – not just the lives of the people passengers will be helping but the passengers themselves.

Passengers who sail on a Fathom cruise will be given the opportunity to provide hands-on assistance to impoverished communities in need. How does it work? Well, as you sail from Miami to the Dominican Republic, you’ll get orientation training and learn about the programs and activities that you can participate in once you arrive.

Once on the ground, you might choose to help a community gain access to clean drinking water. Or maybe you’ll choose to join members of a cacao grower’s association to plant cacao seeds that will then be transplanted to local farms. You’ll also be able to help turn kitchen scraps donated by local families into organic fertilizer that the nursery can use. Afterwards, passengers have the opportunity to visit a collective that produces artisanal chocolates using cacao from that very same farm, learning how the chocolate is made and how those tiny seedlings help to support local communities.

Take a look at a sample itinerary here:


Both onshore and off, you’ll be fully immersed in a program designed with your wellbeing in mind. Onboard the ship, you’ll find healthy breakfast options, yoga and morning meditations to start the day, lunches made with sustainable, locally sourced foods and spa services to help reinvigorate your mind, body and spirit. And of course, off the boat, you’ll be immersed in activities that give back to the communities you visit, bonding with fellow travelers over your shared desire to contribute in long-lasting and meaningful ways.

To learn more about Fathom and to book a social impact cruise, visit

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