Yesterday, Carnival Corporation announced the launch of its 10th cruise brand, Fathom Travel. Fathom will be a unique brand with an interesting new focus – cruise travel with a social purpose. Yes, there’s a ship. Yes, there’s food and a pool on board. But when you arrive at your destination, you will focus on helping people bring about positive change in their community.

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Logo image courtesy of Carnival Corp.

Carnival launched the new brand at an event yesterday in New York which I attended. Arriving, I admittedly had no idea what the buzz was about, the #ImpactTravel hashtag should have been a clue for me. The first Fathom Travel cruise will set sail in April 2016 using P&O’s Adonia, a smaller ship.

Adonia, Fathom Travel, #ImpactTravel

Image courtesy of Carnival Corp.

There’ll be a few typical cruise activities for sure and time to focus on unwinding at sea, but that’s where the similarities to your typical cruise will end.

“The unique focus of fathom is on making a lasting social impact, not just taking a one-time trip. The fact that the trips are ongoing allows us to build long-term relationships with local communities and impact partners in the Dominican Republic, so that each group of travelers builds on the impact of the ones who came before. We’re all on a journey, really. And many of us are still in search of that elusive sense of purpose, the one that makes the journey matter by allowing us to know that we’ve helped make a difference in at least one life, in at least one tiny corner of the world.”

Carnival Corp. and Fathom have partnered with the Dominican Republic initially and their focus will be on making a lasting positive impact on the island by working with locals to improve their community. I’ll have more to say as Fathom Travel moves towards its first sailing.

MJ’s Take

I like it. Cruising has a lot of untapped potential, but I have to admit that I did not see this coming. That said, I think it has potential to attract new customers to cruising, those who are focused on traveling with a purpose to have a real and lasting social impact. I like the fact that Carnival is starting small, with the 710 passenger Adonia. But I like that they are thinking outside the box even more. This could create an entirely new market within cruising. I’ll have a lot more to say about Fathom Travel as they move towards their first cruise.

-MJ. June 5, 2015