Carnival has launched a new brand called fathom, seeking to carve out a new travel category it is calling ‘social impact travel’.
The new brand will offer consumers authentic, meaningful impact travel experiences to work alongside locals as they tackle community needs.
What sets fathom apart is the long-term, systematic partnership approach with its partner countries paired with the unique business model that allows for sustained impact and lasting development.
With Carnival Corporation’s new fathom brand, travellers will work with locals sculpting clay to build water filters - providing clean drinking water in a country where more than two million people do not have piped water.
The company’s first destination will be the Dominican Republic, a country known for its spectacular beauty but also a country where the average household income is approximately US$6,000 a year and more than two million Dominicans do not have access to piped water.
fathom will operate as a standalone brand, the tenth global brand in the Carnival Corporation family.
Beginning in April 2016, fathom will embark on seven-day voyages from PortMiami aboard the MV Adonia, a 710-passenger vessel redeployed from Carnival Corporation’s P&O Cruises for the start-up of the new operation.
Depending on their passions, interests and skills, travellers will have the opportunity to choose from a range of social impact activities and experiences both on-board and onshore.
“fathom will cater to a growing market of consumers who want to have a positive impact on people’s lives, and aren’t always sure where to begin,” said Arnold Donald, chief executive of Carnival Corporation.
“We believe travel is a meaningful way to allow for personal growth while making purposeful and engaging contributions to the world.
“We are so pleased that fathom will give travellers a unique opportunity to work alongside local people as part of a larger scale effort that will demonstrably improve lives.”
Based on extensive market research, fathom has identified a sizable and growing market of potential social impact travel consumers – approximately one million North Americans who are strongly predisposed, in addition to global travellers already pursuing service-oriented travel experiences worldwide – who will be interested in this type of travel offering.
In addition, the company believes fathom will attract a significant number of travellers who have never before cruised.
According to research, nearly 40 per cent of the individuals who will book a social impact trip on fathom might otherwise never have chosen to cruise.
A portion of every ticket purchase price will go directly to fathom partner organisations to cover on-the-ground activities in the Dominican Republic, including supplies, travel, personnel to assist with the activities and funding to support the partner organisations’ overall missions.
This sustained partnership between fathom and its impact partners allows these organizations to have predictable revenue streams to even further amplify their missions.