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Update: On April 18, Carnival announced that travelers from any country can now book a Fathom cruise to Cuba, including Cuban-born individuals. This new policy even applies to the inaugural cruise on May 1, though it may be difficult to find availability at this point.
The 704-passenger ship MV Adonia, part of Carnival’s new Fathom brand, will set sail from the Port of Miami every other Sunday from May 1 through November 13, 2016. Travelers will embark on a seven-night cruise with stops in three popular Cuban cities — Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba.
This cruise gives you the chance to really get to know more about Cuba’s culture, history and people — your daily itinerary is filled with onboard enrichment classes, as well as a number of on-the-ground cultural immersion activities and walking tours during your days in port. You’ll also have the option to workout in the onboard gym, attend yoga or meditation classes, go to the spa, relax by the pool, taste Cuban cuisine and experience Cuban music, dancing and movies during your days at sea. Note that all planned activities on land are mandatory except for one free night in Havana, but exact details on the activities have yet to be released.
Prices cover three meals a day (including lunch during your on-the-ground cultural exchange activities), three-and-a-half days of shore excursions and all onboard activities. Fathom is officially licensed by the US Department of the Treasury and allowed to conduct people-to-people educational programs within Cuba, so by traveling with Fathom, you’re covered under the 12 exceptions to visit the country.
Spots are filling up quickly, so if you’re thinking of going, don’t wait too long to book, especially if you’re looking to be a part of the historic first sailing on May 1 — as of yesterday evening, there were only ocean view and balcony rooms available. Interior cabins start at $1,800 per person for cruises in September and October (with ocean view cabins from $2,470, balcony cabins from $3,150 and suites from $7,350). Note that prices are based on double occupancy and do not include taxes, fees or port expenses of up to $208 per person. A $600 deposit is required to book, with final payment due 90 days prior to your departure. Booking is easy — we tested it out just to see what it’s like and it only took 15 minutes — plus, you can pay over the phone and they only need your name, email address and phone number to get started. Visit fathom.org or call 1-855-9Fathom for more information.
Using Points and Miles
Consider flying down a day early and staying in one of Miami’s points hotels before you set sail — like the Royal Palm South Beach Miami, SLS South Beach Miami or the Blue Moon Hotel — so you can wake up refreshed and start your cruise without worrying about your flight getting there in time. Check out this post for more ways to get the most out of your cruise and other tips on maximizing your points and miles when booking a cruise. Make sure to book with a credit card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, which gives you 2x points for travel expenses, including cruises — there are co-branded cruise ship credit cards out there, but they oftentimes aren’t the best option since the bonuses and perks tend to be pretty limited.
Are you interested in taking a Fathom cruise from the US to Cuba? Sound off below!
With great transfer partners like United and Hyatt, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game.
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