Tuesday, November 3, 2015

fathom Cruises: A Great Way to Have a Great Time Doing Really Good Stuff!

Last week, during the Ensemble Travel Group International Conference, I had the opportunity to spend some time with the folks from fathom (small "f"); a little startup cruise line (ironically part of the huge Carnival Corp.) and found the that magic which has been missing terribly from the cruise industry has been found in fathom's passion and inspiration. (And fathom cruises to Cuba and the northern portions of the Dominican Republic...which is pretty cool.)

Why fathom?
Let's fathom (contemplate) why a measure of depth (a fathom)
is a great name for a cruise line focused on social impact!
In a cruise world that has been so overwhelmed with hyperbole and, unfortunately, "smoke and mirrors", here is a one ship cruise line that tells you like it is...from the heart.  And it has a really interesting product that everyone from luxury to mainstream travelers should consider not only for themselves, but as a meaningful multi-generational experience that will give the family a richness (rather than little more than enormous bills and Mickey Mouse ears).

fathom's Cuba Itinerary

fathom's Dominican Republic Itinerary
What is fathom?  

Let's face it: "Social impact" to many means bad accommodations and otherwise "roughing it".  I, personally, believe that fathom's market (that would be you!) needs to know that fathom is not about a bunch of backpackers who haven't showered in two weeks living in tents eating packets of freeze-dried food and beans.  Fathom is about having social impact while being able to have a great and physically comfortable time.

Possibly because fathom is so focused on the social impact of its product it has made the decision to hold back on the cruise/travel aspect of its experience.  Goldring Travel is keenly aware that everyone has a different perspective on what their "luxury" is, but also that social consciousness alone is not going to grab those that can afford this wonderful product.  

fathom's Adonia - A beautiful R-Class ship
Because of this finding information about its ship, Adonia, on the fathom website (www.fathom.org) can be difficult. 


So while the "software" is the most important, let's talk about the hardware...so you can see that your experience starts with a very nice cruise ship and then we can - with you now relaxed about where you will be living for a week - focus on what is a wonderful experience.  

Adonia; formerly a Renaissance (actually the newest of the R Class ships), Swan Hellenic (Minerva II), Princess (Royal Princess) and P&O Cruises ship is your "home" for these one week cruises to the Dominican Republic and Cuba.  


You can expect a typical cruise line onboard experience as far as main dining and accommodations go.  Waiters and room stewards.  Clean beds, hot showers and all meals (curated dining experiences at additional cost) and lunches while having an "impact", ground transportation, lectures and more.

fathom offers Balcony, Oceanview and Inside Staterooms
There are even some truly spectacular Suites:



Now, let's move on to the Good Stuff:  The Software!  fathom is very passionately they call it "Impact Travel" or "Traveling with a Purpose".  As fathom explains:
The adventure begins in Spring 2016 with separate round-trip voyages from Miami to two of the Caribbean’s most desired destinations: the Dominican Republic and Cuba. In the Dominican Republic, you’ll have the opportunity to work side by side with local residents in existing programs that focus on improving the lives of children, families and communities. In Cuba, you’ll participate in an ongoing cultural exchange program that gives you the opportunity to interact with the Cuban people, one on one.
I can tell you from personal experience that you will receive more enrichment than those that you are helping...and they will truly appreciate your help.  Isn't that awesome? Imagine the "impact" that can have on your children or grandchildren?

Imagine how differently your children and grandchildren will look not only at the world, but you?

By the way, fathom doesn't just dump you shoreside.  Your experience starts onboard with lectures and training with workshops and activities.  You can even learn some Spanish!.  But you also have time for the pool, yoga and a host of other fun activities.  To be sure, the more you put into it, the more you will get out of it...but you get to decide how much!  (Even if you are taking this trip for your grandchildren - who have to be at least 8 years old - you can sit poolside while they delve into the world of social impact.)

Here is the general scheme for your Cuba cruise:


Getting a bit more specific, but focusing on the other destination (I can't put all the information in one article!) your projects in the Dominican Republic may include assisting people improve their speaking English (so they can get jobs in the tourism industry, etc.), assisting with reforestation or distributing water filtration systems.  How about working in a cooperative for chocolate production or arts & crafts?  Assisting with new home construction or special needs individuals?  The possibilities that are being developed by fathom in advance of your visit are truly diverse.

But is it all serious?  Absolutely not.  That is the entire point! You may well have the ability to play baseball with some of the local children.  Oh, you don't want to play baseball?  You can be a waterboy!  You don't know what a waterboy is?  They'll teach you!  You just want to watch and laugh?  That's cool too!

And, when your time in port is finished and you are sailing back to Miami you can sit back, with a smile, enjoy your time at sea and say, "I not only did something for others, I really did something for myself (and, possibly, even my family.)"

If you are interested in a fathom cruise to Cuba or the Dominican Republic? Please give me a call:

United States:        (877) 2GO-LUXURY
United Kingdom:  020 8133 3450
Australia:               (07) 3102 4685
Everywhere Else:  +1 732 578 8585


Or email me at eric@goldringtravel.com.