“Gratitude” doesn’t fully describe how I feel about the experiences Bruce and I shared during our three Fathom Impact Travel cruises. There were so many memorable experiences that will stay with us for the rest of our lives. Any impact we made in the Dominican Republic and Cuba came back around in such wonderful ways—all described in the many blog posts I have written about our January, March, and April visits. Search “Fathom” on this blog site, and you can read about them all.
On our last cruise, as planned, we reunited with some passengers we had previously met aboard Adonia; but, we also unexpectedly saw others from our January and March cruises.
Each one of us had re-booked a Fathom Impact Travel cruise for similar reasons, and all of us were eager to continue making an impact.
When Fathom’s Adonia sets sail on May 21 to the Dominican Republic, it will be her last sailing under the Fathom flag. Her lease expires, and then she will sail to Europe to become a P&O ship once again. All of her crew with the exception of the Impact Travel Staff will sail with her.
Adonia will be missed. As a former 6-star Renaissance ship (before the company folded), she’s a classic beauty built in a style no longer seen in new ships. Beautiful mahogany, crown molding, etched glass, impeccable craftsmanship—these are all abundantly featured throughout the 704-passenger ship.
Fathom may be all about “Impact Travel” rather than the vehicle getting us to our destinations; but, what Adonia did for Fathom was to provide a more intimate atmosphere for its passengers, enabling them to meet and share experiences more easily.
A favorite place to bond with our fellow cruisers was on the aft deck outside of “The Conservatory”, the buffet and casual dining area of the ship. It became a popular meeting place for travelers to hang out with a cold drink, and swap stories of their Impact Travel activities. Friendships were made and cemented, especially during sea days when there was no concern about the time.
When Bruce and I taught arts and crafts classes aboard larger Royal Caribbean ships, we often commented about the many people we saw disembarking that we never saw during the cruise.
Not so aboard Adonia. Between the cohort meetings, workshops, dining room unassigned seating, and Impact Travel activities; we at least recognized everybody during disembarkation. We also left with many more e-mail addresses and friendships than we ever had before.
On May 28, Fathom as we know it will end. The following is an official statement I received upon request from Tara Russell, President of Fathom, regarding Fathom’s future:
There is a macro trend around the hunger for greater meaning and purpose in our everyday lives – people want to live their best story and long to go deeper. This exists independent of Fathom and manifests daily as a growing audience of consumers work to combine their purchases and experiences with their values. Fathom addresses this growing desire through travel experiences. Fathom invites travelers to get closer by traveling in new and exciting ways. Fathom heightens human connections between travelers, with new local friends and other cultures, and in any relationship a traveler may touch.
During our first season, Fathom trialed this purpose-driven concept by testing traveler appetites for travel-deep experiences with 7-day journeys on the MV Adonia to the Dominican Republic and Cuba. Nearly 10 percent of Fathom travelers who joined these sailings returned quickly to participate again and our customer satisfaction scores were among the highest in the corporation. In short, the Fathom concept was very well received.
We always intended to serve our much broader corporate audience of 12 million travelers. The popularity of the Fathom experience with travelers who sailed with us inspired us to move quickly to expand the Fathom concept – onboard, onshore and in new and creative ways to serve an even greater audience.
Going forward, Fathom Travel experiences will live aboard countless other ships operated by our nine sister brands and offer beyond immersive experiences in many geographies. Fathom is designed to intersect and inspire the lives of travelers anywhere through heightened human connections that unlock human potential and connect travelers to a bigger story.
Already, we are providing Fathom Travel experiences on-ground to travelers across six Carnival Corporation brands in the Dominican Republic. We are honored to leverage our collective scale as we come alongside our Dominican friends to create enduring contributions to the lives of families and communities. Soon Fathom experiences will also be offered on board our sister brands.
Fathom looks forward to serving the 12 million people who annually travel with Carnival Corporation, as well as the millions of new travelers who long to go deeper into our growing community. We’re nearing the end of chapter one, but there is much ahead for the rest of the Fathom story and the best is yet to come!
As of today, I have not received any definitive answer if Fathom will ever again have a dedicated ship for its Impact Travel mission. If it does, I doubt it will be intimate and casino-less like Adonia.
Thanks for the memories!