Carnival’s Fathom Adonia Docks in Havanna, Cuba

adoniaAfter more than a half-century, American cruise passengers have returned to Cuba. Carnival Corporation’s MV Adonia docked in Havanna, Cuba today carrying hundreds of Americans including a few dozen Cuban-born Americans returning to the island for the first time in decades. The arrival of the Cuban-born passengers had been a topic of some contention as a there is a Cuban regulation barring anyone born in Cuba from entering or leaving the Communist-ruled country by sea. Under pressure from the US, Cuba agreed to lift the ban.

In addition to the historic re-establishment of travel, this cruise is unusual in other regards. The ship, MV Adonia, is operated by Carnival’s single ship brand, Fathom, and offers a very difference cruise experience than Carnival Corporation’s “Fun Ships.” Technically, tourism for U.S. citizens in Cuba is still prohibited, but the U.S. government now allows “people-to-people educational travel,” which, as the Associated Press put it earlier this spring, “is so broad it can include virtually any activity that isn’t lying on a beach drinking mojitos.” Carnival has billed the cruise as a “cultural exchange” which will make port calls in Havana, Santiago de Cuba, and Cienfuegos.

The Carnival subsidiary, Fathom, which operates the Adonia, is offering what it calls “Impact Tourism” and what others have termed “voluntourism.” In addition to the “cultural exchange” cruises to Cuba, the line is also offering cruises to the Dominican Republic which will allow passengers to volunteer their time working alongside residents on community improvement projects in hopes of improving conditions socially, economically and environmentally. While in the Dominican Republic, the ship will be used primarily as a hotel based at the Amber Cove cruise port.

U.S. Cruise Ship Arrives In Havana, Cuba For Historic Visit

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2 Responses to Carnival’s Fathom Adonia Docks in Havanna, Cuba

  1. I heard this story countless times on the news yesterday, both on the radio and cable TV. My only beef is the fact that all the reporters used the same phrase:’First American cruise ship to call on Havana in decades.” The Adonia is not an American cruise ship, it is an FOC cruise ship. An American cruise ship employs american seaman, flies the stars and stripes and adheres to all the regulations that govern U S flag vessels. The Adonia doesn’t. Sadly most americans probably believe that report and that the assortment of ships operating out of places like Bayonne, Baltimore, Miami, etc. are just that, American. What a deception. BTW This is not an attack on the crew of Adonia just a simple staement of fact.

  2. Rick Spilman says:

    That I why I chose to phrase the first sentence as “After more than a half-century, American cruise passengers have returned to Cuba.” The passengers were predominantly American.

    Carnival is an American-British cruise company listed both on the NYSE and London Stock Exchange.

    To be fair, the days when American companies produced products made exclusively or primarily by American workers is long gone. Years ago I recall buying a backpack for my son from the fine American firm, LL Bean. The backpack was made in Vietnam. On one hand this is good news, as I would rather see this country trading peacefully rather than in dirty little wars. Nevertheless, it was a reminder of just how global the economy has become.