Fathom has added two Cuba sailing dates for fall 2016 – the result of strong pent-up demand by travelers – by reducing it’s sailings to the Dominican Republic.
The additional cruises will take place the weeks of Sunday, Oct. 9, and Sunday, Nov. 6. For both week-long cruises, Fathom’s Adonia will depart Port Miami on Oct. 9 and Nov. 6 for three destinations in Cuba, including two days in Havana.
“Carnival Corporation made history when Fathom arrived in Havana on May 2 of this year, and we continue to strengthen our relationships as the only U.S. cruise company sailing to Cuba from the U.S. – and we are very grateful to Cuban officials for granting us two new dates to accommodate more travelers wanting to sail with Fathom to visit their remarkable country,” said Tara Russell, president of Fathom, referring to the first time in more than 40 years a U.S. cruise line has sailed from the U.S. to Cuba.
The Fathom brand has only one cruise ship, so travelers who are booked on one of the Dominican Republic sailings effected by the change can either go to Cuba for no additional cost, sail to the Dominican Republic at another time, or get a full refund.
Last month, Carnival Cruise’s Fathom brand announced a partnership with Airbnb to attract new customers by offering a cruise discount in exchange for becoming a new Airbnb host.
Airbnb’s tie up with Fathom, a cruise brand focused on the experiencial/social impact aspect of travel, makes perfect sense in a travel world burdened by commoditization and infinite sameness, especially for cruise ship travelers.
The headline of the Airbnb announcement of the partnership contains a deeper meaning about Caribbean travel and Cuba’s emerging coolness as a travel destination.
Competition among the various Caribbean island destinations has resulted in a loss of bargaining power for revenue derived from cruise ship visitors. According to the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association, “Cruise Industry Overview – 2014″, for the past decade, cruise tourists have made up about 40% of all tourists in the Caribbean, yet they have accounted for less than 10% of overall tourist expenditures. Charges per visitor in the Caribbean remain under $10 whereas in Bermuda the rate is $60, for example.