(6:52 p.m. EDT) — Carnival Corporation’s new cruise line, Fathom, has made history; it has received permission from the government of Cuba to offer cruises. Carnival Corp.‘s CEO Arnold Donald told media on a conference call that Carnival has become «the first cruise company in more than 50 years to be granted approval to sail from the U.S. to Cuba.»
Fathom, Carnival’s new one-ship cruise line focused on voluntourism and social impact through cruising, is scheduled to set sail from Miami to Cuba on May 1, 2016, aboard the 704-passenger Adonia.
Carnival received U.S. approval for its seven-night Cuba itineraries in July 2015 and has been advertising and selling sailings since then. The inaugural sailing is not yet sold out, but has «solid occupancy,» says Fathom president Tara Russell.
Fathom will visit three ports in Cuba — Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba. Onshore activities will focus on Cuban music, food, culture, history, architecture and entrepreneurship. With new relaxed travel rules, passengers will be able to design their own people-to-people itineraries, as well as participate in group tours.
The cultural immersion will continue onboard with Cuban food, dance classes, films, and even Spanish lessons.
Join Fathom in Cuba from Fathom Travel on Vimeo.
Prices for the weeklong Cuba cruises start at $1,800 per person, before taxes and fees. Fathom will take care of the visa process for American travelers. Prices will include all meals, onboard activities and some onshore activities.
One American cruise line, Pearl Seas Cruises, is also selling cruises to Cuba, but has not announced approval from the Cuban government.
For more on cruising to Cuba, read our Cuba Cruise Q&A and Cuba Cruising Tips.