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by Matt Alderton | October 01, 2015
Its new "Fathom" cruise brand, which will commence "social impact" cruises next spring, has announced its intended ports of call and seven-day itinerary to Cuba, Carnival Corp. announced yesterday.

Launched in June, Fathom will attempt to make cruises socially and environmentally responsible by offering travelers the chance to work alongside locals on community service projects in ports of call. Cruises will begin with one to two days at sea "preparing hearts and minds" for the on-the-ground experience. Travelers will build their own schedules and will have the flexibility each day to choose from a variety of social impact and recreational activities, which will vary in length from a few hours to multiple days.

Although the brand's first cruise will be to the Dominican Republic in April, Carnival announced in July that it also would offer seven-day cruises to Cuba from Miami. Yesterday's announcement revealed that those cruises will stop at three ports of call: Havana, Cienfuegos, and Santiago de Cuba.

"We believe there is tremendous pent up demand in the marketplace to visit this extraordinary country -- particularly in the U.S., where travelers are eager to experience Cuba -- so we wanted to share as much of the country as possible," said Tara Russell, president of Fathom and global impact lead for Carnival Corp.

Sample activities available at Cuban ports of call will include attending a Q&A session with a Cuban author, visiting a planned Soviet-style housing community, touring an organic Cuban farm, taking part in lessons at a Cuban elementary school, and having lunch in privately-owned Cuban restaurants known as "paladares."

"Cuba is a magnetic, beautiful country with tremendous opportunity for the Cuban people and for Fathom travelers to immerse, learn, grow, and flourish through educational and cultural exchange experiences that we will offer," Russell continued. "Fathom travelers will have the chance to interact, one-on-one, with artists, musicians, small business owners, health workers, and others to learn about all aspects of Cuban society and to connect and share insights and stories, leading to further progress for the Cuban people."