Fathom, Carnival Corporation’s 10th and newest cruise brand, has added three new shore excursions to its already-popular selection of in-country experiences for its week-long cruise vacations in Cuba. The new excursions follow Fathom’s recent announcement that it is adding two new sailing dates to Cuba on Oct. 9 and Nov. 6, the result of high pent-up demand by travelers choosing to explore Cuba with Fathom, the only U.S. cruise line sailing from the U.S. to the largest and most enticing destination in the Caribbean.
Beginning with the Sept. 18 sailing on the MV Adonia, Fathom travelers may now choose from three additional on-shore adventures that have been added to the already-popular list of activities and experiences available during the cruise. These new excursions include:
- Walking in the footsteps of one of the country’s most famed former residents by visiting Earnest Hemingway’s home, watering holes and hangouts, including the small village that inspired The Old Man and the Sea, his Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winning book.
- Venturing outside Havana to explore the lush Cuban countryside and small communities.
- Experiencing the combination of revolution, rum, religion and salsa in Santiago de Cuba. The tour includes visits to Cuban hero Jose Marti’s grave and home of Cuba’s patron saint during Fathom’s fascinating and off-the-beaten-path excursion into the Sierra Maestra mountain range along the island’s eastern side.
These three new offerings augment an already full set of fun, one-of-a-kind experiences developed specifically for Fathom travelers. The variety of excursions provides plenty of options to enjoy the island and its people, food, music, architecture, culture and history, which have already generated high satisfaction ratings from Fathom travelers.
All Fathom-sponsored activities are designed with comfort and entertainment in mind and every detail is handled so travelers can make the most of their time in the country.
Travelers need to unpack their suitcases just once, and never have to worry about how they will get from one location to the next. Fathom takes care of all those details and even provides traveler visas and medical insurance in Cuba.
“One of the beautiful things about traveling to Cuba with Fathom is that travelers spend less time planning and more time playing,” said Tara Russell, president of Fathom. “Our guests quickly learn they want to cherish every single minute they spend in Cuba and discover what makes the island such a special place. We have experienced very high demand from travelers wanting to go on an adventure to Cuba with the comfort, convenience and peace of mind that comes with traveling with Fathom. The word is spreading: Going on a cruise with Fathom to Cuba is the best way to visit Cuba.”
Because Fathom is focused on ensuring travelers maximize their time on-shore to enjoy more of each destination, Fathom remains in each country for an extended time. Cuba travelers have a total of almost four full days on-shore in Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba.
“We want the Fathom Cuban experience to be unlike anything travelers have ever before encountered, so we created unique and exciting adventures to take travelers up close and personal into the heart of three very distinct Cuban cities – Havana, Santiago de Cuba and Cienfuegos,” said Russell. “And, with the introduction of three new fantastic, engaging experiences on the ground, Fathom travelers have even more opportunity to get off the beaten path to absorb the rich fabric of Cuban society.”
On-shore tours also provide ample time for travelers to explore sites on their own, as well as stops along the way to dine on authentic Cuban cuisine or sip rum and coffee with the locals. Additional details about the new tours include:
- In Hemingway’s Footsteps (Five hours) – Ernest Hemingway fans and curious travelers will see Havana through the eyes of the famed author. From the cobblestone streets of Old Havana to the shores of fishing village Cojimar, the spirit of Hemingway is immortalized in bars, museums and recipes. Travelers may follow in Hemingway’s footsteps as they explore the streets he once called home.
Travelers visit Hemingway’s home “Finca Vigia,” stop by his favorite fishing spot and inspiration for “The Old Man and The Sea” – the village of Cojimar – step into the room in which Hemingway wrote “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” and grab a bite and drink at one of his favorite restaurants or watering holes.
The excursion includes lunch and refreshments. The per-person price is $59.
- Beyond Havana: Exploring the Cuban Countryside (Nine hours) – Travelers will have a rare opportunity to experience rural life in Cuba as they crisscross thecountryside known for its coffee and sugar production. One highlight is Las Terrazas, developed in the 1960s as part of Cuba’s Green Revolution andrecognized today as a UNESCO biosphere reserve. Las Terrazas has become an ecotourism hotspot and a sustainable community model for artists, farmers and families utilizing organic farming and medicine.
Travelers can interact with doctors who transform flora and fauna into alternative medicines, visit the vibrant art community and organic farms, and wander the ruins of a former French coffee plantation. Cuban coffee sipped inside a biosphere may be the best in the world.
The tour includes lunch at one of Las Terrazas’ locally sourced restaurants and refreshments throughout the day. The per-person price is $69.
- Magic of Santiago Featuring El Cobre (Six hours) – Travelers looking to experience the coming together of revolution, rum, religion and salsa will not want to miss this tour of Santiago de Cuba – Cuba’s former capital and the third of three destinations during the week-long cruise to Cuba. Starting downtown in picturesque Antonio Maceo Revolution Square, travelers proceed to the final resting place of famed Cuban hero Jose Marti before touring San Juan Hill, home to the Rough Riders assault during the Spanish-American War.
The tour ventures beyond the limits of the Santiago city center into the Sierra Maestra mountain range for the city of El Cobre, a historic copper mining town with African influence. Here travelers will visit the famous Basilica de Nuestra Señora de la Caridad del Cobre, where they will hear about the role religion plays in the daily lives of local communities while learning about the history of the shrine and the impact made during the Pope’s visit in September 2015.
Travelers also will have the option to attend a mass (when available), as well as listen to the sounds of the city’s famed steel drum band, El Cobre. The per-person price is $69.
Travelers interested in heading off on their own also have the option of self-certifying with approved People to People activities. For example, travelers may choose to take a spin around Havana in a mint-condition classic American car, sample a variety of richly-flavored Cuban rum, groove along to lively Cuban rhythms at a tropical Cabaret, or enjoy an authentic Cuban meal in one of Cuba’s many distinctive restaurants. The choices for fun, entertainment and exploration are virtually limitless.
A highly popular element of Fathom’s Cuban cruise vacation is enjoying the island while taking advantage of all the amenities of a modern hotel available aboard the intimate and well-appointed Adonia, which serves as home base throughout the seven-day voyage. Guests also appreciate the dining, entertainment and specially designed onboard programs about Cuba that are included as part of the cruise.
In addition to the shore excursions, Fathom’s guests may participate in several onboard programming activities that provide insight into Cuba’s storied history and rich cultural heritage, giving guests a base of knowledge before ever stepping foot in the country.
Entertainment options also abound aboard the Adonia. Travelers may dance to the rocking rhythms of live music or they can get into the groove during lively Cuban dance classes. If they prefer, they may try their luck at Domino Throwdown or Havana Architecture Bingo, or take time to learn a little bit of Spanish while sipping sangria.
Prices for seven-day itineraries to Cuba in 2016 start at $1,599 per person. In 2017, starting prices will be $1,699, excluding Cuban visas, taxes, fees and port expenses, and include all meals on the ship and lunch while in the three ports, onboard experiences and on-the-ground activities. Prices will vary by season. To secure a spot on future sailings, a fully refundable $600 per person deposit is required for all cabin categories and occupancy levels. Final payment is due 90 days prior to departure. To reserve a spot on future sailings, travelers may call Fathom toll-free at 1-855-932-8466 or work with a travel professional.