fathom.org Impact + Travel Things to Know

Impact Travel Cruise FAQ

Here you’ll find answers to some questions we often get asked about Fathom, our ship, our on board and on ground activities, and what’s included in a Fathom™ impact travel experience.

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About Fathom

What is Fathom?

Fathom is the pioneer of impact travel, a new category of travel that provides the opportunity to build community with like-minded travelers, become immersed in another culture, and work alongside its people to create enduring social impact.

What makes Fathom unique?

Our focus on lasting social impact is what makes Fathom unique. Since our trips are ongoing, we are able to build a long-term partnership with local communities and partners, not just a one-time trip with a short-term spike of preparation. Unlike other service learning trips, Fathom provides an accessible, safe, and high-value experience that leads to enduring positive impact on both travelers and local communities, while still providing a flexible, fun opportunity to recharge.

Does Fathom partner with any local organizations?

In our first impact destination, the Dominican Republic, Fathom is partnering with Entrena and the Dominican Institute for Integral Development (IDDI), three local organizations with a long history of working alongside the people of the Dominican Republic to create significant improvements in the areas of education, environment, and economic development.

Is Fathom an independent company?

Fathom travel limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Carnival Corporation & plc, the world’s largest travel company.

New to Impact Travel

What is impact travel?

Pioneered by Fathom, impact travel is a new category of travel that provides the opportunity to build community with like-minded travelers, become immersed in another culture, and work alongside its people to create enduring social impact.

Why is it important?

We believe travel can make a difference for good. We also believe that many people long to make a difference in the world and within themselves, but have no idea where to begin. Globally, great things are happening to address some of the social and environmental needs in the world, but there is far more to be done. Fathom exists to connect people’s passions and gifts with the needs in the world, and to help them navigate this complex journey. Fathom exists to create meaningful social impact, and to unleash the greatness in every person. Fathom exists to put love in action.

What kind of impact activities can I participate in?

Fathom impact activities include a wide range of projects focused on education, environment, and economic development. Depending on your passions and skills, you’ll be able to spend 3 days working alongside locals and our partner organizations on the causes you really care about.

Will I have time to do other things besides impact activities?

Yes – you will be able to create your own schedule and will have the flexibility on a daily basis to choose from a variety of options, including opportunities to learn about the local culture, explore Puerto Plata, hike the coastline, or enjoy many traditional shore excursions, such as snorkeling, zip-lining or going to the beach.

Is there a set schedule of activities?

Yes, there will be a set schedule with a variety of on-ground and on-board activities each day. Prior to departing you will have the opportunity to select your preferred impact activities in the Fathom Journey Planner.

How long is the trip?

The trip spans one week, beginning and ending on Sunday. (see below for high-level itinerary)

Day 0  Board the Adonia and depart the port of Miami in the afternoon

Day 1  Travel day at sea, with impact + community programming onboard

Day 2  Arrive in Amber Cove, Dominican Republic mid-day

Day 3  On Ground in the DR, engaged in impact activities + recreation

Day 4  On Ground in the DR, engaged in impact activities + recreation

Day 5  On Ground in the DR in a.m., engaged in impact activities + recreation. Depart Amber Cove early afternoon.

Day 6  Travel day at sea, with impact + community programming onboard

Day 7  Arrive Port of Miami in the morning

How much does it cost?

Prices for Fathom Impact Travel voyages to the Dominican Republic are subject to change, but you can secure your spot with a $300 deposit. The price is based on two people sharing a room and includes on-ground impact activities and related supplies, onboard impact programs, daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and a comfortable room for a good night’s sleep. There will be a few select impact activities that will have an incremental cost due to materials and supplies.

Prices exclude taxes, fees, port expenses and gratuities. Taxes, fees and port expenses are estimated to be from $208 per person for the Dominican Republic. Gratuities are estimated at $80.50 per person. If you cancel your trip, there is a related cancellation fee: more than 91 days before departure: no fee. 90 to 76 days: fee is deposit. 75 to 46 days: 50% of fare. 45 to 31 days: 75% of fare. 30 days or less: 100% of fare. More details about pricing and what’s included can be found here.

How do we get to the Dominican Republic?

You will sail from Miami on the Adonia, the smallest and most intimate ship in the P&O Cruises fleet.

How big is the ship?

The Adonia ship carries 704 passengers.

Can I bring my family?

We would love for you to bring any family members that are at least 8 years old at the time of sailing. Impact travel is a great opportunity for families to connect, grow, and serve together.

Are there any activities designed for kids?

Impact activities are designed to include a wide range of ages. Some activities will have a minimum age for safety precautions, but we generally believe that parents are best equipped to determine what may or may not be suitable for their own kids.

Destinations

Where does the ship go?

Our first impact destination is the Dominican Republic in April 2016. The ship will sail to Amber Cove near Puerto Plata, on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic. Click here for more information on Fathom cultural exchange voyages to Cuba.

Why the Dominican Republic?

The Dominican Republic is a country of great beauty, but also of great need. The average household income in the Dominican Republic is less than $6,000 USD, and over 40% of the population is living under the poverty line. Over 3 million Dominicans do not have access to piped water. However, the country has a strong infrastructure for impact, with several community development organizations that have a long history of success working alongside the community to create programs that result in lasting transformation. Our lead on-ground Dominican impact partners, Entrena and IDDI, have deep roots in the Dominican Republic. Their long-established programs and strong community connections in the northern region of the country enable us to understand the specific needs and come alongside them to address the needs.

How long does it take to get to the Dominican Republic?

Typically the trip at sea will last a bit under 2 days, but the travel time can vary due to weather and ocean conditions.

What is it like in the Dominican Republic?

The northern Dominican Republic is a lush, beautiful area with mountains near the coastline and warm weather throughout the year. The Dominican culture is warm and inviting. While the local economy in the northern region has struggled through the years, there is strong potential and opportunity for growth.

What is the primary language in the Dominican Republic?

The primary language in the Dominican Republic is Spanish.

What if I don’t speak Spanish?

All Fathom impact activities were designed with non-Spanish-speaking travelers in mind, meaning that all should be able to participate fully without any Spanish skills whatsoever. We also believe that learning to communicate across language barriers can be an important part of the overall impact experience. However, there will always be bilingual staff accompanying travelers during impact activities.

Is the Dominican Republic safe?

The Dominican Republic is generally safe for travelers, but we recommend that travelers take standard precautions including not carrying large amounts of cash or valuables, avoid wearing flashy jewelry, or other behaviors that could draw undue attention. Our staff (both on-ground and in-office) will also be versed in extensive safety protocols in case any incidents occur.

Does Fathom go to any other destinations?

Fathom currently goes to Cuba in addition to the Dominican Republic.

What’s Included?

What’s included in the cost of the trip?

Your impact experience includes on-ground impact activities and related supplies, onboard impact programs, daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and a comfortable room for a good night’s sleep. There will be a few select impact activities that will have an incremental cost due to materials and supplies. The price is based on two people sharing a room. More details about what’s included can be found here.

What are the prices for different dates and types of staterooms?

Prices for Fathom Impact Travel voyages to the Dominican Republic are subject to change, but you can secure your spot with a $300 deposit. The price is based on two people sharing a room and includes on-ground impact activities and related supplies, onboard impact programs, daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and a comfortable room for a good night’s sleep. There will be a few select impact activities that will have an incremental cost due to materials and supplies.

Prices exclude taxes, fees, port expenses and gratuities. Taxes, fees and port expenses are estimated to be from $208 per person for the Dominican Republic. Gratuities are estimated at $80.50 per person. If you cancel your trip, there is a related cancellation fee: more than 91 days before departure: no fee. 90 to 76 days: fee is deposit. 75 to 46 days: 50% of fare. 45 to 31 days: 75% of fare. 30 days or less: 100% of fare. More details about pricing can be found here.

On Board Activities

Is there an orientation program for travelers?

Yes.  There will be programs to prepare you for impact activities and life in the DR.

Am I obligated to participate?

No.  You will have the flexibility to customize your journey before you come onboard the ship.

What other activities are available on board?

There are a variety of activities on-board, ranging from orientation to the Dominican Republic, impact education, impact activity training, personal enrichment and much more.

Is there any cost associated with these on board activities?

The on board impact activities are included in your base price, along with a wide variety of recreation & entertainment. There are select activities on board that will be available for an additional fee.

What is the recommended dress on board the ship and during activities? How do I pack?

The dress is casual, and you can come as you are. Bring warm-weather essentials like lightweight shirts, pants, sunglasses, sunscreen, bathing suit and insect repellent. Some Impact Activities require closed toed shoes and pants. It is suggested that shoulders be covered when visiting schools. Bring at least one pair of long pants, shirt that covers shoulders and a pair of shoes you do not mind getting dirty.

What dining options are available on board? Do you need to know if I have allergies?

Dining is comfortable and relaxed on board. Our menus reflect healthy, nourishing, and locally inspired dishes. Please indicate food allergies or requirements and we will help you navigate the available options.

Will there be a spa on board?

Yes, the spa offers a variety of treatments and services.

On Ground Activities

What impact activities are available on ground?

Fathom impact activities include a wide range of projects focused on education, environment, economic development, and more. Depending on your passions and skills, you’ll be able to spend 3 days working alongside locals and our partner organizations on the causes you really care about.

Below are high-level examples of impact activities you can participate in. Please see the On-Ground Activities page for more in-depth information.

Economic Development impact activities include working with local women’s cooperatives to increase product supply and improve their standard of living. You can also gain hands-on experience in making recycled paper and working with locals to create arts and crafts from the recycled paper that can provide critical income.

Education impact activities include the opportunity to work alongside local teachers to improve the English skills and academic performance of their students. You might also work with small groups of local community members to help improve their English skills, which improves their access to employment and higher income levels.

Environmental impact activities include working with local organizations to create and deliver water filters that provide life-enriching, potable water to local families. Travelers can participate in reforestation projects, from cultivating seedlings to planting trees in designated protected areas.

How will on ground activities be scheduled?

A schedule will be created based on your indicated areas of interest, current local needs, and availability.

How long does each activity take?

Impact activities may range from a few hours to multiple days. Depending on your passions and skills, you may spend up to three days on causes you care about working alongside locals and Fathom partner organizations on impact activities.

Do I have a choice of what I participate in?

Beginning in fall 2015, you will have the opportunity to review many more details about the Fathom experience on-ground and onboard the ship. At that time, you can make more specific choices about impact activities.

How strenuous are the activities? Are there limitations?

We will provide you an opportunity to let us know about your personal limitations, and we will work to ensure that the activities suit your needs.

Can I participate in impact activities every day?

Yes, there will be a variety of impact activities available each day in port.

Are travelers required to participate in the on-ground activities in the Dominican Republic?

No. Travelers are not required to participate, and have the flexibility to choose their own activities in the Dominican Republic.  However, we would strongly encourage each traveler to participate in these activities to fully experience the personal transformation that comes with this journey and to be a part of the sustainable change that you contribute through your participation.

Are there other activities available besides the impact activities?

Yes, there will be a wide variety of recreation activities and shore excursions for you to enjoy.

Is there an additional cost for these non-impact activities?

Many of the recreation activities will have an additional cost. You will also have the opportunity to enjoy the scenic beaches and explore the lush environment of the northern Dominican Republic.

Are there impact activities available for travelers who use a wheelchair or walker?

We can help select and accommodate the best activities for travelers with disabilities. Fathom does not discriminate against individuals on the basis of disability. We seek, to the extent feasible, to accommodate guests with disabilities. However, some needs require adequate time to prepare for a traveler’s arrival. It is recommended that travelers make every effort to connect with us well in advance.

Travelers who are unable to care for their basic needs (dressing, eating, and attending safety drills) must have a capable traveling companion. The medical staff on board is not available for daily care unless an individual is hospitalized in the ship’s Medical Center. In limited situations (either on board or on shore), we may find it necessary to ask the individual to make alternative travel arrangements, such as if an individual with a disability is unable to satisfy certain specified safety and other criteria, even when provided with appropriate auxiliary aids and services.

Will there be a translator to assist during impact activities?

A bilingual facilitator will be present at all activities. We will equip you with and encourage you to use basic Spanish skills.

Is there a cancellation fee for canceling booked impact activities while in port?

Impact Activities must be cancelled 24 hours in advance of activity start time. Shore Excursions must be cancelled 48 hours in advance of activity start time, or else the activity will be charged to your on ship account.

What currency is used in the Dominican Republic?

The Dominican Republic uses Dominican Pesos throughout the country, and US Dollars in some tourist areas.

What happens if the weather is bad?

Many activities can take place despite inclement weather. However, alternatives will be planned when needed.

Safety & Security

Is the ship environment safe?

All Fathom and Adonia crew members are extensively trained in precautionary health and safety measures, as well as how to respond in the case of incident. P&O Cruises, the operators of the Adonia, also has exceptional experience in caring for the comfort, health and safety of their travelers. Finally, all travelers take part in a safety briefing during their first few hours onboard to ensure that they are familiar with the ship’s safety procedures and resources.

Do you offer travel insurance (medical and trip interruption)?

We do not currently offer a Fathom Travel Protection Plan, but hope to be able to offer in the future.

Samsung Galaxy Note Advisory

Recently, Samsung announced a global “stop sale” and voluntary recall and exchange program on certain Galaxy Note7 smartphones. Such phones, with particular lithium-ion batteries, can overheat and catch fire, posing a burn hazard. As such, please be advised that all guests in possession of a Samsung Galaxy Note7 smartphone must take the following precautions, pursuant to the safety advisory notice recently issued by the U.S. Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration.(Add below link to the advisory notice)

* Turn off the device;
* Disconnect the device from any charging equipment;
* Disable all applications that could inadvertently activate the device (e.g., alarm clock);
* Protect the power switch to prevent its unintentional activation; and
* Keep the device on your person or nearby in carry-on baggage. (Do not place in checked baggage.)

As our guest, please follow the above precautions while traveling on any of our ships, and if possible, please refrain from taking these devices with you on board.

Accommodations

Can you arrange accommodations for me in Miami before or after my trip?

Fathom doesn’t arrange accommodations, but if you want to extend the people-to-people experience of your Fathom voyage, you can easily make your own bookings through Airbnb, which offers more than 1,000 choices of hosted Miami accommodations in every price range.

Even better: You can save $250 on your Fathom cruise by becoming an Airbnb host. You’ll find more details here.

What ship will I travel on?

Fathom sails on the Adonia, a 710-passenger ship that is part of the P&O Cruises fleet. The Adonia is registered in Bermuda.

How many travelers are on each voyage?

The Adonia can carry 704 travelers at double occupancy.

How many rooms does the ship have?

The Adonia has 352 staterooms.

Do you offer a program in which individual travelers can be matched to share a room?

Yes, we do offer a program for individual travelers to share a room.

If I want to share a room with other individual travelers, what is your matching criteria?

We will match travelers of the same sex, as indicated on your passport, to determine an appropriate roommate, and we will endeavor to match travelers of the same age range.

If I am traveling by myself and I want my own room, what is the single supplement charge?

The single supplement for the standard outside stateroom is based on a 50% surcharge of the double occupancy rate. For example, if a normal rate is $100, the single rate is $150.

What are the amenities in the staterooms?

Each cabin has a desk, television, radio, telephone, hair dryer, tea and coffee maker, and a safe.

Is smoking permitted onboard the Adonia?

Smoking will be allowed in two designated areas on the Lido Deck, as well as on the Promenade Deck.

Before You Go

What are your deposit and final payment policies?

A deposit per person is required at time of booking to secure your spot, and then one other payment is due 90 days prior to the trip for the balance of your fare. If you book your trip less than 90 days prior to departure, the full payment is due upon booking.

Prices exclude taxes, fees, port expenses and gratuities. Taxes, fees and port expenses are estimated to be from $208 per person for the Dominican Republic. Gratuities are estimated at $80.50 per person. If you cancel your trip, there is a related cancellation fee: more than 91 days before departure: no fee. 90 to 76 days: fee is deposit. 75 to 46 days: 50% of fare. 45 to 31 days: 75% of fare. 30 days or less: 100% of fare.

Is there a fee to change names on a reservation?

Within 150 days of the departure date, there will be a fee of $50 to change one name on a reservation.

Is there a minimum age for travelers? How about the minimum age for young adults traveling alone?

The minimum Traveler age is 8 years at the time of sailing. Traveler agrees not to book a cruise for any person under such minimum age. Travelers under the age of 21 years must travel in a stateroom with a Traveler 21 years or older who shall assume responsibility for their care during the cruise. For families or groups booking multiple staterooms, the minimum age for at least one person in each stateroom is 16 years of age, provided they are traveling with a parent or legal guardian. Each Traveler agrees and warrants that he/she will supervise any Traveler in his/her care at all times to ensure all policies, along with all other rules of the Carrier and ship, are strictly adhered to by all Travelers under their supervision.

Student Groups

Organized student/youth groups require one adult chaperone for every eight group members under 21 years of age.

An adult chaperone, whether they are a parent, relative, legal guardian or anyone else, must be at least 25 years of age or older.

Chaperones not occupying the same stateroom as the minor(s) they are escorting will have an ESC (escort) designation and travel with identifier added to their cruise reservation. This information will be provided to all shore side and shipboard personnel for purposes of ensuring compliance with the minor policy guidelines.

Adult chaperones are responsible for seeing that guests under 21 do not possess or drink alcoholic beverages on board or ashore. Any alcohol found in the possession of a guest under age 21 will be confiscated, even if found in the stateroom.

Guests under the age of 21 traveling as a part of an organized student/youth group must acknowledge in writhing their receipt of these Student/Youth Guidelines.

Failure to comply with these guidelines will result in the offender(s) being removed from the ship at the next port of call to make their own way home or, at the Captain’s option, confinement to the guest’s stateroom for the duration of the voyage. Please fill out the Minor Student Form (link to form) acknowledging you have read and understand the above guidelines. Return the completed and signed form to Fathom Reservation Administration within two weeks of receipt. Final documents will not be released without the signed acknowledgment in our office.

Do I need a tourist visa?

It is the traveler’s responsibility to identify and bring the required documents. Currently, the Dominican Republic does not require a tourist visa for travelers by ship, but the requirements do change from time to time, and the traveler should check with appropriate government contacts or a travel professional before the trip.

Do I need a passport?

Each country has its own entry requirements, and guests assume personal responsibility for having the necessary documents when boarding. Fathom highly recommends that all guests carry a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the completion date of your travel. Having a passport will enable you to fly from the U.S. to a foreign port in the event you miss your scheduled embarkation or to fly back to the U.S. if you need to disembark the ship mid-cruise due to an emergency.

Passports are normally surrendered to and held by the pursers on board to facilitate clearances in ports of call. It is prudent to photocopy the identification page of your passport and pack it separately, in case of loss or damage to the original.

Your name on your travel documents (passport, Alien Resident card, birth certificate, etc.) must be identical to those on your cruise documents. Otherwise, proof of name change (e.g. a marriage license) with a valid driver’s license (or other government issued photo ID) must be presented. Any discrepancies may prevent travel.

PLEASE NOTE: In addition, visas or other documents may be required, depending on your citizenship or residency and the itinerary. It is your sole responsibility to obtain all necessary documents for all ports of call on your itinerary. Requirements for your voyage may be found by calling your travel professional or a professional visa service. Boarding may be denied or fines may be levied against those guests without proper documentation. Payment of any fines levied is the responsibility of the individual guest.

For U.S. and Canadian Citizens:

Travel by Land or Sea: Travel document requirements vary based on cruise itinerary and whether international flights are required. Passports or Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) compliant documents are required for cruises to Alaska, Bermuda, Canada, Caribbean, Hawaii, Mexico and the Panama Canal. U.S. and Canadian citizens ages 16 and above may present one of the following valid WHTI-compliant documents:

  • Passport (recommended travel document) (valid for travel by air, land and sea)
  • Passport Card (valid for land and sea border crossings only)
  • U.S. or Canadian Issued Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL) – (valid for land and sea border crossings only)*
  • Other documents approved by the Department of Homeland Security

For a list of approved documents visit: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/information/do-i-need.html

*The EDL driver’s license, or non-driver photo identification, is offered in the U.S. states of Michigan, New York, Vermont and Washington and in the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, to applicants that can prove identity and citizenship. Please note the EDL is not the same as an Enhanced (or Endorsed) Commercial Driver’s License.

U.S. citizens on U.S. roundtrip or “closed-loop” cruises: U.S. citizens who board a cruise ship at a port within the United States, travel only within the Western Hemisphere, and return to the same U.S. port on the same ship may present a valid US passport, U.S. Passport Card, Enhanced Driver’s License or Trusted Traveler Program Card such as Nexus, Sentri or Fast Cards.

However, in the absence of any of the documentation listed above, U.S. citizens can present a government issued photo ID, along with proof of citizenship (an original or copy of his or her government issued birth certificate, a Consular report of Birth Abroad, or a Certificate of Naturalization). A passport is still the preferred document.

PLEASE NOTE –WHTI-compliant documents are only acceptable for entry or re-entry into the United States. You may be required to present additional or different travel documents, such as a passport when entering foreign countries, including some countries in the Western Hemisphere.

Birth certificates from Puerto Rico issued prior to July 1, 2010 are not valid forms of proof of citizenship that is accepted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Guests from Puerto Rico either need to present a WHTI-compliant document or a government-issued photo identification with a validated birth certificate issued after July 1, 2010.

Children: U.S. citizen children under the age of 16 traveling on a closed-loop cruise (a cruise in the Western Hemisphere which originates and ends in the same U.S. port) will be able to present their government issued birth certificate or other proof of U.S. citizenship, such as a naturalization certificate or citizenship card to sail. Birth certificates can be an original, photocopy or certified original.

It is recommended that all minors have their own passport if traveling with only one adult to ensure they can all stay together if there is an emergency and they have to disembark early to fly home (including on Closed Loop voyages).

NOTE: If you are not the parent or Legal Guardian of any minor child traveling with you, you must present an original letter signed by at least one of the child’s parents. The letter from the child’s parent must provide contact information and authorize the traveling adult to take the child on the specific cruise.

For more information regarding passports and WHTI-compliant documents, please visit http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/passports/information/do-i-need.html or call the National Passport Information Center toll free at 1-877-487-2778 or TDD/TYY at 1-888-874-7793.

Travel by AirPassports are required for all international air travel to and from the United States, regardless of age or citizenship. This includes air travel to and from Canada, Bermuda, the Caribbean and Mexico.

FOR NON-U.S./NON-CANADIAN CITIZENS: fathom highly recommends that all guests carry a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the completion date of your travel. Please carefully verify the existing identification requirements for your particular travel situation.

In addition, non-U.S. citizens who have previously been admitted to the United States for permanent residence must carry their Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551), commonly known as a Green Card. Resident aliens not in possession of this must obtain one at the nearest office of the U.S. Immigration Service.

May I bring items to donate to people in the Dominican Republic?

It’s easy to understand how your generous hearts would want to bring kind donations when traveling. We can so relate. However, our very intentional focus is on bringing empowerment to our friends and partners. We learn from them, they learn from us – it’s a beautiful symbiotic relationship. Giving things is more complicated than you might think – and we want to be mindful of long-term, sustainable development and empowerment.

Unfortunately, we are not able to accept material items for donation at this time. We kindly ask that you do not bring items to donate in the DR.

There are two reasons for this:
First, we want to encourage person-to-person connection, learning from each other, and enduring social impact.  In order to achieve this and sustain it, we appreciate your focus on giving your time, your hearts and hands, your voice, and your willingness to learn.  In the DR, distributing material donations would be disruptive during impact activities and not in line with our sustainable development goals. We so appreciate people’s desire to help, and we want to make sure we do it in a way that is beneficial for our Dominican friends in the long term.

Second, there are many Customs regulations that make it difficult or impossible to take items off the ship. And, even if you or Fathom staff were able to get the items off the ship, there are logistical complications in terms of delivering the items.

So, at this time, if travelers bring material donations, we will, unfortunately, have to ask that you take them back home.

Thank you for your understanding. We are eager to put love in action, with you – as you bring your full selves – hearts, minds, and open-minded, gracious spirits to these new overseas friends we dearly love.

I live outside the United States. Can I book a trip with Fathom?

Yes. Travelers who lives outside the US are welcome, and all travelers must pay with US-denominated currency.

Can I set up a group and are there any discounts or perks for doing this?

We welcome groups! We encourage you to organize groups for this incredible new travel experience. Our call center agents will be more than happy to help you understand our group policies and track your group booking activity.  Please contact our Groups Department at groups@fathom.org for details regarding our group policies and pricing.

I’m pregnant. Can I go on a Fathom trip?

Travelers who will enter the 24th week of pregnancy by the end of the trip will agree not to book the trip or not to participate in the trip.

What is your cancellation policy?

The deposit is fully refundable up to 91 days before departure date. If you cancel your trip, there is a related cancellation fee: more than 91 days before departure: no fee. 90 to 76 days: fee is deposit. 75 to 46 days: 50% of fare. 45 to 31 days: 75% of fare. 30 days or less: 100% of fare.

Can you arrange transportation for me to and from the airport from the ship? Hotel to ship?

No, we do not offer organized transportation to the port at this time. You are responsible for arriving to the port on your own.

Can you arrange my flights and hotel accommodations?

No, we do not offer flight or hotel booking at this time. You are responsible for arranging any necessary flight and hotel accommodations.

What time do we leave and return to Miami?

We will start embarking the ship at noon on Sunday and expect to have all travelers on board by 3:00 pm for our departure. We arrive back to Miami the following Sunday at about 8:00 am and typically have all travelers off by 11:00 am. If you schedule flights home on Sunday, be sure to allow enough time for this disembarkation process.

Do I need a Passport?

Each country has its own entry requirements, and guests assume personal responsibility for having the necessary documents when boarding. Fathom highly recommends that all guests carry a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the completion date of your travel. Having a passport will enable you to fly from the U.S. to a foreign port in the event you miss your scheduled embarkation or to fly back to the U.S. if you need to disembark the ship mid-cruise due to an emergency.

Passports are normally surrendered to and held by the pursers on board to facilitate clearances in ports of call. It is prudent to photocopy the identification page of your passport and pack it separately, in case of loss or damage to the original.

Your name on your travel documents (passport, Alien Resident card, birth certificate, etc.) must be identical to those on your cruise documents. Otherwise, proof of name change (e.g. a marriage license) with a valid driver’s license (or other government issued photo ID) must be presented. Any discrepancies may prevent travel.

PLEASE NOTE: In addition, visas or other documents may be required, depending on your citizenship or residency and the itinerary. It is your sole responsibility to obtain all necessary documents for all ports of call on your itinerary. Requirements for your voyage may be found on Fathom’s website or by calling your travel professional, Fathom Impact + Travel, or a professional visa service. Boarding may be denied or fines may be levied against those guests without proper documentation. Payment of any fines levied is the responsibility of the individual guest.

For U.S. and Canadian Citizens:
Passports or Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) compliant documents are required for cruises to Cuba and the Dominican Republic. U.S. and Canadian citizens ages 16 and above may present one of the following valid WHTI-compliant documents:
Passport (recommended travel document) (valid for travel by air, land and sea)

Passport Card (valid for land and sea border crossings only)
U.S. or Canadian Issued Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL) – (valid for land and sea border crossings only)*

Other documents approved by the Department of Homeland Security

For a list of approved documents visit: http://www.cbp.gov/travel/us-citizens/western-hemisphere-travel-initiative

*The EDL driver’s license, or non-driver photo identification, is offered in the U.S. states of Michigan, New York, Vermont and Washington and in the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec, to applicants that can prove identity and citizenship. Please note the EDL is not the same as an Enhanced (or Endorsed) Commercial Driver’s License.

U.S. citizens on U.S. roundtrip or “closed-loop” cruises: U.S. citizens who board a cruise ship at a port within the United States, travel only within the Western Hemisphere, and return to the same U.S. port on the same ship may present a valid US passport, U.S. Passport Card, Enhanced Driver’s License or Trusted Traveler Program Card such as Nexus, Sentri or Fast Cards.

However, in the absence of any of the documentation listed above, U.S. citizens can present a government issued photo ID, along with proof of citizenship (an original or copy of his or her government issued birth certificate, a Consular report of Birth Abroad, or a Certificate of Naturalization). A passport is still the preferred document.

PLEASE NOTE –WHTI-compliant documents are only acceptable for entry or re-entry into the United States. You may be required to present additional or different travel documents, such as a passport when entering foreign countries, including some countries in the Western Hemisphere.

Birth certificates from Puerto Rico issued prior to July 1, 2010 are not valid forms of proof of citizenship that is accepted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Guests from Puerto Rico either need to present a WHTI-compliant document or a government-issued photo identification with a validated birth certificate issued after July 1, 2010.

Children: U.S. citizen children under the age of 16 traveling on a closed-loop cruise (a cruise in the Western Hemisphere which originates and ends in the same U.S. port) will be able to present their government issued birth certificate or other proof of U.S. citizenship, such as a naturalization certificate or citizenship card to sail. Birth certificates can be an original, photocopy or certified original.
It is recommended that all minors have their own passport if traveling with only one adult to ensure they can all stay together if there is an emergency and they have to disembark early to fly home (including on Closed Loop voyages).

NOTE: If you are not the parent or Legal Guardian of any minor child traveling with you, you must present an original letter signed by at least one of the child’s parents. The letter from the child’s parent must provide contact information and authorize the traveling adult to take the child on the specific cruise.

For more information regarding passports and WHTI-compliant documents, please visit http://www.cbp.gov/travel/us-citizens/western-hemisphere-travel-initiative or call the National Passport Information Center toll free at 1-877-487-2778 or TDD/TYY at 1-888-874-7793.

Travel by Air : Passports are required for all international air travel to and from the United States, regardless of age or citizenship. This includes air travel to and from Canada, Bermuda, the Caribbean and Mexico.

FOR NON-U.S./NON-CANADIAN CITIZENS: Fathom highly recommends that all guests carry a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the completion date of your travel. Please carefully verify the existing identification requirements for your particular travel situation.

In addition, non-U.S. citizens who have previously been admitted to the United States for permanent residence must carry their Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551), commonly known as a Green Card. Resident aliens not in possession of this must obtain one at the nearest office of the U.S. Immigration Service.

Pre-Travel Health Considerations

What should I do if I have a disability or medical condition?

It is important that you tell us a minimum of 5 working days before departure if you or your traveling companions have a disability (including visual and hearing impairments) and/or any medical conditions so that we can ensure you have a fantastic holiday. After notifying us we will send you a questionnaire so that we can ensure we meet any requirements you might have. If you have a medical condition that necessitates the use of oxygen, will be taking an oxygen concentrator or cylinders with you, will be bringing electrical medical equipment or medical sharps, or if you require peritoneal kidney dialysis, you must let us know when you make your booking.

For the safety of all passengers we are unable to carry any passengers suffering from a contagious disease (for example measles, chickenpox etc.).

In order to ensure the safety of the passenger, the ship and all others on board, passengers who normally require assistance in the activities of daily living must be accompanied by a fit and able-bodied traveling companion.

For your own safety and wellbeing, you must be fit and healthy to travel with us and to undertake all associated flights and tours.

If your health condition as declared at the time of booking changes, you must inform fathom immediately.

If, in our opinion, you have failed to inform us of any condition which we consider may be harmful either to yourself or any other passenger during the course of your holiday we shall refuse boarding. In addition, failure to disclose any medical conditions to your insurer may result in your insurance being invalidated.

What is the status of the Zika virus in the Dominican Republic?

On January 15, 2016 the US CDC upgraded their travel notice for Zika virus to Alert Level 2 (practice enhanced precautions). Zika virus is transmitted by mosquitoes, and symptoms include fever, headache, red eyes, rash, and joint pain. The illness is usually mild and lasts between 2-7 days. However, the alert specifically references women who are pregnant or who are trying to become pregnant. (http://www.cdc.gov/zika/pregnancy/question-answers.html). The notice currently only affects specific cruises calling in to certain Caribbean, Central America, and South America countries. However, the situation is evolving so please regularly check the affected areas via the following links: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices and http://www.paho.org/hq/. Guests are reminded to take enhanced precautions against biting insects by covering exposed skin, and using insect repellent. Comprehensive health information can be found at: http://www.cdc.gov/zika/index.html.

Where can I find up-to-date health information on the Dominican Republic?

You will find up-to-date travel information on the CDC Travelers’ Health website, a US government website at http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel

We would recommend you check this for details relevant to your destination. Vaccination requirements can change from time to time and there is a risk of malaria in the Dominican Republic. We recommend that you seek advice from your medical practitioner or travel medicine clinic, at least six weeks before your cruise, to discuss your personal travel plans and obtain appropriate advice and vaccinations prior to travel. It is important for your advisor to know you will be taking part in activities that are based within communities, and that you may be ashore in the evening as the ship will remain alongside at night. A Fathom voyage is not just your ordinary cruise!

Seasonal influenza vaccination is recommended for all passengers. There is no requirement at the current time for Yellow Fever vaccination.

Mosquito-borne illnesses, including dengue, chikungunya and Zika, are prevalent in the destinations we visit, as with other Caribbean islands. We recommend guests take enhanced precautions against biting insects by covering exposed skin, and using insect repellent. Comprehensive health information can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/features/stopmosquitoes/

What type of medical facilities are available aboard the Adonia?

In the unlikely event that you or your traveling companions require emergency medical assistance, our ship has a well-equipped medical center on board, supported by qualified doctors.   Our medical center holds the distinction of being one of the first facilities in the industry to be accredited by prestigious UK-based healthcare auditors CHKS, and certified to ISO9001:2008

Can I travel while pregnant?

We regret that we cannot carry passengers who have entered their 24th week of pregnancy, or beyond, at any point in their cruise.

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