Carnival Corporation’s new ‘social impact’ brand Fathom will operate to Cuba as planned from next month.
The US cruise giant has secured an agreement with the Cuban government to enable Fathom to carry Cuba-born Americans to Havana after threatening to delay the May 1 launch.
The company said it had “worked closely with Cuba to allow its cruise ships to operate in a similar manner as current air charter operations to Cuba, starting with its historic inaugural voyage on May 1”.
Carnival Corporation previously announced that Fathom was starting to accept bookings to Cuba from all travellers, including individuals born in Cuba, “in anticipation of this positive outcome”.
P&O Cruises’ adapted 704-passenger ship Adonia will begin sailing to Cuba every other week under the Fathom brand.
This will be the first time in more than 50 years that a cruise ship has been able to sail from the US to Cuba, as well as the first time in decades that Cuban-born individuals will be able to sail to and from Cuba.
Chief executive Arnold Donald said: "We made history in March, and we are a part of making history again today.
"More importantly, we are contributing to a positive future. This is a positive outcome and we are extremely pleased. We want to extend our sincere appreciation to Cuba and to our team who worked so hard to help make this happen."
Tara Russell, president of Fathom and global impact lead for Carnival Corporation, added: "We have already seen tremendous interest in the incredible Cuba journey we have put together, and we are ecstatic that this historic opportunity is open to everyone who wants to travel to Cuba.
"Our guests will visit three beautiful and unique destinations on the island all in one week, with the convenience of only having to unpack once while we sail on the Fathom Adonia.
“We are looking forward to treating Fathom travelers to an unforgettable experience."
Fathom's first sailing to the Dominican Republic was cancelled after the US Coast Guard highlighted problems with the ship's fire doors.
The ship finally departed from Miami for the first time earlier this week.
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