Carnival Corp. Creates Fathom… New Social Impact Cruise Brand
Corp. has launched a new brand called fathom
™ which they say falls into
a new travel category they are terming “social impact travel". fathom will
operate as a standalone brand; the 10
th global brand within the
says that they have created
offer “authentic, meaningful impact travel experiences to work alongside locals
as they tackle community needs". Long term partnerships are being developed
with countries to help sustain impact and lasting development.
company's first destination will be the Dominican Republic, a very popular
tourist destination but, also a country where the average household income is
approximately USD 6,000/yr. and more than 2 million Dominicans do not have
access to piped water.
sail in April 2016, fathom will offer 7 day voyages from Miami aboard the MV
Adonia, a 710 pax vessel redeployed from Carnival Corporation's P&O Cruises
(U.K.) for the start-up of the new operation. Depending on their passions,
interests and skills, travellers will have the opportunity to choose from a
range of social impact activities and experiences both onboard and onshore.
“fathom will cater to a growing 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 to 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."
brought in a non-traditional, social entrepreneur, Tara Russell, Founder and
Create Common Good,
a food production social enterprise, to lead this effort. Russell will serve as
President of fathom and as Global Impact Lead for Carnival Corporation. Russell
established and led the team that has been working on the design and business
model for fathom since late 2013.
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. “We harness the assets and resources
world's largest travel and leisure company and combine them with
the talents and hearts of those working in social enterprises around the world.
“Travellers will work in partnership with
proven, trusted local organizations on the ground to amplify their missions for
far greater, sustained impact," Russell said. “Because fathom will bring
hundreds of travellers to a destination on a regular basis, fathom can achieve
focused and holistic, collaborative contributions in a broad region of the
country – allowing fathom travellers to make a collective,
transformative impact that they know will extend far beyond their involvement.
They also will know they played an important role in ensuring the region
flourishes. We are excited about making the Puerto Plata region of the
Dominican Republic our 1
st partner destination, and we are
optimistic about taking all that is being built in and through fathom to other
global destinations and to the broader Carnival corporate family."
According to Russell, the fathom team took an
innovative design-thinking approach to deeply understanding both its
travellers, as well as the needs identified by stakeholders across all parts of
society in the Dominican Republic, and will continue to leverage the unique
will mobilize, educate and equip up to 700 travellers on every trip allowing
for thousands of impact activity days per week – and tens of thousands of
travellers a year to communities of promise, providing unprecedented scale for
impact," 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."
research has identified a sizable and growing market of potential social impact
travel consumers – approximately one million North Americans who are strongly
predisposed, in addition to global travellers already pursuing service-oriented
travel experiences worldwide – who they have determined will be interested in
this type of travel offering.
addition, the company believes fathom will attract a significant number of
travellers who have never before cruised. According to research, nearly 40% of
the individuals who will book a social impact trip on fathom might otherwise
never have chosen to cruise.
According to Russell,
fathom will attract people of all ages and from all walks of life, but
especially North American, U.K. and Australian citizens ages 20 to 60 years
old. The company expects to be particularly popular among:
– people in their 20s and 30s looking to make a difference in the world;
seeking a way to open their children's eyes to other parts of the world
(approximately 1/2 of travellers are expected to be families)
50+ years of age eager to find rewarding ways to help other people apart from
writing a cheque.
the past 10 years, in countless conversations I have had with people eager to
serve others and make meaningful societal contributions, there has been a
common theme – people struggle to know where they fit in and often people have
challenges finding trusted, easy ways to make a difference," said Russell.
“fathom exists to address this desire and to create enduring, life-changing
impact, both in the communities where fathom operates, and in the lives of the
travellers who embark on one of our journeys, allowing for unique impact
experiences before, during and after the trip."
new brand selected the Puerto Plata region of the Dominican Republic as its 1
impact destination based on a number of factors: genuine needs; infrastructure
to support social initiatives; enthusiasm for the fathom concept by locals at
all layers of society including country officials; its location (proximity to
Miami and Amber Cove, the new Dominican destination being launched by Carnival
Corporation in October 2015) and its innate beauty. The fathom team worked
closely with local Dominicans, resident Dominican business and educational
leaders, Dominican government officials and leading non-governmental organizations
(NGOs) in the country to fully understand the societal needs and determine the
best way for fathom to participate in addressing those needs.
has initially identified 2 lead impact partners in the Dominican Republic –
Entrena and the Instituto Dominicano de Desarrollo Integral, Inc. (IDDI). Both
organizations have deep roots in the country, including long-established
programs and strong social connections in the northern Dominican region. Fathom
travellers will work alongside these organizations across the northern region
to help Entrena and IDDI programs achieve much greater impact. Because fathom
will regularly transport hundreds of travellers to the country, the support
should be significant and sustainable.
portion of every ticket purchase price will go directly to fathom partner
organizations to cover on-the-ground activities in the Dominican Republic,
including supplies, travel, personnel to assist with the activities and funding
to support the partner organizations' overall missions. This sustained
partnership between fathom and its impact partners allows these organizations
to have predictable revenue streams to even further amplify their
led the Dominican based non-profit IDDI, for more than 31 years, I have worked with
a very large number of corporations ranging from energy, sugar, chocolate and
cigar producers, as well as tourism and free-trade zone companies," said David
Luther, founder and Executive Director of IDDI, a non-profit organization with
the mission to help alleviate poverty in rural and urban areas of the Dominican
Republic. “I have always insisted on a horizontal relationship based on a
win-win partnership, but on many occasions it has taken a great deal of
convincing on our part for these to understand the benefits to the private
sector of improving the overall well-being of Dominican society.
and Carnival Corporation are without a doubt the exception. They are making a
strategic bet on contributing to the development of the Dominican Republic
incorporating this initiative into their business plan, which is to me a
remarkable step for a corporation of their size. 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 –
very, very innovative. In this, fathom and Carnival Corporation are
demonstrating they are willing and capable of creating experiences that
is excited about and committed to the fathom concept of impact travel for the
north coast of the Dominican Republic," said John Seibel, founder and
President, Entrena, an organization specializing in training, education and
social enterprise. “We believe this concept will enhance sustainable
development efforts to foster widespread prosperity among these Dominican
communities by improving lives, creating hope for the future, and providing
profound and meaningful experiences for fathom and for all Carnival Corporation
travellers may build their own schedules and will have the flexibility each day
to choose from a variety of social impact and recreational activities. At
launch, the company will offer a selection of fun, immersive and meaningful
activities focused on education, the environment and economic development along
with all the incredible experiences the Puerto Plata region innately has to
activities will vary in length from a few hours to multiple days. Depending on
their passions and skills, travellers may spend up to 3 days on causes they
care about, working alongside locals and fathom partner organizations on one or
more projects suitable for a wide range of ages, levels of skill and amounts of
physical activity. Sample activities may include:
Development: Help cultivate cacao plants and organic fertilizer at a
nursery and assist a local women's cooperative in producing artisan chocolates.
This activity is designed to produce high-quality plants to increase farmers'
yields through sustainable practices and – importantly – create income
opportunities for rural women. Over time, this activity will allow the
cooperative to increase their workforce so the cooperative can achieve economic
Work side by side with Dominican school teachers in classrooms to teach English
skills and help boost students' academic performance and participate in
adult-learning programs to teach small groups of local community members
conversational English to help improve their ability to qualify for jobs that
provide a higher level of income.
Provide hands-on support to craft and build water filters – using clay, a
natural resource found locally – and deliver those filters to families
throughout the community to provide healthy drinking water. With limited piped
water supply, this will make a meaningful difference in the quality of people's
lives throughout the region.
not participating in social impact activities, travellers will enjoy exploring
the beauty of the region, experiencing the many Dominican beaches and sites of
interest, or participating in any one of an array of different recreational
activities available to the entire family of Carnival Corporation brands
visiting Amber Cove and the Puerto Plata region.
onboard experience will be customized to this unique travel market, including
specialized, purposeful retail options and amenities, as well as geographically
inspired menus, music and additional onboard cultural immersion. While docked
in the Dominican Republic, the fathom ship will serve as a comfortable,
convenient home-base for travellers.
for the 7 day trip to the Dominican Republic start at $1,540 per person, which
includes an exterior cabin with a window, all meals on the ship, onboard social
impact immersion experiences, 3 on-shore social impact activities and related
supplies, taxes, fees and port expenses. Prices will vary by season.
will be 4 pricing levels, based on cabin configuration and location – interior
cabins, exterior cabins with a window, exterior balcony cabins and suites.
Additional recreational activities, cabin upgrades and dining and beverage
packages will be priced separately. Travellers may begin tailoring their trip
in fall 2015 (e.g., impact activities selection, cabin selections, etc.).
addition to leading the new fathom brand, Russell will work with Carnival
Corporation's 9 other brands in her role as Global Impact Lead on social impact
strategies and opportunities. “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 experiences and identify 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.
In addition, we will evaluate these unique fathom assets to determine which
models can be scaled across other Carnival brands as a way to bring new
experiences to existing cruise line guests."