Cruise Express announces world’s first ‘social impact’ cruises

fathom - nursery planting in Domincan Republic

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Australians wanting to help communities in need while on holiday can now join world-first ‘social impact’ cruises in the Caribbean, with leading Australian travel agency Cruise Express, now a registered seller of the world’s newest cruise line, Fathom.

Launched in June this year, Fathom offers purpose-driven travellers immersive, cultural exchange programs where passengers spend their time ashore helping locals improve their quality of life.

The first season of Fathom’s pioneering cruises aboard the 710-passenger Adonia will begin on 10 April 10 2016, with seven-night, round-trip sailings from Miami to the Dominican Republic every week until 24 April and then fortnightly until 25 September 2016.

Seven-night, round-trip cruises from Miami to Cuba aboard Adonia are planned fortnightly from 1 May to 2 October 2016, with Fathom the first company to receive sailing rights between the US and Cuba.

The new humanitarian journeys are aimed at growing numbers of socially conscious travellers keen to make lasting contributions to less well-off destinations they visit, with Fathom also hoping to foster rich and fulfilling cultural exchanges between passengers and locals.

Cruise Express Managing Director, Meg Hill, said the debut of Fathom had inspired her cruise agency, with many clients in recent years expressing a desire to give back to communities they visit on holiday but not sure how. “At Cruise Express, we believe fathom will prove very successful in tapping growing demand by caring travellers to make their holidays more meaningful,” Ms Hill said. “Travellers now have the opportunity to make personal contributions that last long after they return home. As an official agent for Fathom’s cruises, we look forward to helping more Australians make lasting social impacts in this way.”

The seven-night cruises from Miami to Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic will include three days ashore where passengers will work alongside locals on their choice of social impact activities, depending on their skills and interests. In Cuba, Adonia will call into three ports – Havana, Santiago de Cuba and Cienfuegos – offering guests a total of four days ashore to participate in local community programs.

Activities passengers can join include reforestation, clean water and cottage industry programs and the chance to work alongside local teachers to improve English skills. Before arriving in the Dominican Republic or Cuba, passengers can attend on-board education programs to learn about the culture and history of the country they will visit.

Available from April 2016, Fathom’s seven-night cruises to the Dominican Republic are available from US$1174 per person, twin-share. From May 2016, Fathom’s seven-night Cuban cruises are available from US$2300 per person, twin-share. Flights between Australia and Miami are additional and can be booked through Cruise Express.

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Royal Princess, Helsinki, Finland

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