Have you heard that voluntourism has been exploding the past two years?
Carnival Corp. is hoping you might get onboard with the idea. The world's largest cruise company formed a new brand last year, Fathom Travel, to focus on impact travel in the form of cruises to the Dominican Republic and Cuba.
I will be joining Fathom as it takes its first cruise on Adonia, a cruise ship Carnival moved from Europe to Miami to sail weeklong Caribbean voyages. In the Dominican Republic, the program aims to connect people who want to travel with a purpose with people in countries who need assistance learning a vocation or speaking English.
The first voyage will be to Puerto Plata and Carnival's new port Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic. Fathom's Adonia is scheduled to make its first Cuba cruise May 1.
I am excited to see what the Fathom program will be like and how much it can expect to positively affect the residents in the communities it works with. I and the other passengers onboard Adonia will take part in orientation and training while on the ship for our chosen impact activities, like working at a paper-recycling facility, teaching English or working at an organic cacao nursery.
We will sail down for two days, then be at port in Puerto Plata for three days to take part in our voluntourism activities before sailing back to Miami for two days. The idea is that passengers can enjoy a mix of vacation-like time alongside periods of volunteering. The schedule includes ample opportunities for beach time and leisure activities like enjoying regional cuisine, music, sightseeing and other cultural interactions.
Our Impact Guides are a married couple, Colin Dow, a former NFL player, and Katie Dow, who was a college golfer on a nationally ranked team. Sounds like they have the kind of energy I relate to.
I look forward to sharing this experience with you and giving you an honest assessment of this revolutionary program. I will be posting to social media, as Internet connectivity allows, with the hashtags #TBINFathom and #TravelDeep, so follow along during the journey on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
As always, thanks for reading!