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Farewell Adonia?


Regular readers may recall that when the 2016 brochure was published this spring, there was no mention of any itineraries for Adonia. At that time P&O said there were developing ‘an exciting new set of itineraries’ which hadn’t been finalised when the brochure was published. However, they did say that Adonia would spend summer 2016 in the Caribbean.

There has now been an announcement (by Carnival Corporation, not P&O) – about these plans. There is to be a new brand – “fathom’ – which Carnival Corp say will define “…. a new travel category it is calling ‘social impact travel,’ that will offer consumers authentic, meaningful impact travel experiences to work alongside locals as they tackle community needs“, and Adonia will transfer to that brand.

Here’s what is planned to happen:

Beginning in April 2016, fathom will embark on seven-day voyages from PortMiami aboard the MV Adonia, a 710-passenger vessel redeployed from Carnival Corporation’s P&O Cruises (UK) for the start-up of the new operation. Depending on their passions, interests and skills, travelers will have the opportunity to choose from a range of social impact activities and experiences both onboard and onshore“. A further comment adds: “fathom will cater to a growing market of consumers who want to have a positive impact on people’s lives, and aren’t always sure where to begin.

The company’s first destination will be the Dominican Republic, “a country known for its spectacular beauty but also a country where the average household income is approximately $6,000 USD a year and more than two million Dominicans do not have access to piped water“.

So it’s farewell Adonia… or is it? A comment on the P&O website for Adonia says “Adonia continues to be part of the P&O Cruises fleet and will be based in America. Everyone at P&O Cruises is excited and proud to be part of this assignment”, but the Carnival announcement says “fathom will operate as a standalone brand, the 10th global brand in the Carnival Corporation family”. So there’s some uncertainty there; and if Adonia is sailing out of Miami, I can’t see the GB Pound remaining as the on-board currency, nor P&O policies on gratuities, drinks prices, etc, remaining in force. But we shall see.

Here’s a link to the Carnival announcement.

What do my readers think about this? I’m sure there are a range of opinions out there, from “every little bit helps” to “rich westerners Doing Good for a couple of days isn’t the answer”. Comments, please.

Update: as expected, pricing, etc, for this venture seems to be in US$. However, Carnival expect that 50% of the prospective  passengers will be families so there will need to be some changes to Adonia given that she’s currently adults-only. Also, cruises taken on Adonia after her transfer to fathom will not accrue Peninsular Club points. So basically, although “Adonia remains part of the P&O Cruises fleet”, a cruise on her “…. is not a P&O Cruises holiday…..”. You can read all about it here.

7 Responses to “Farewell Adonia?”

  1. Janet says:

    There are plenty of volunteering options at home without paying Carnival for the privilege. I wonder if there’s a tax break in it for them?

  2. Matt BMatt says:

    It is to be run as a for-profit venture, quite unusual for “voluntourism” schemes and which I personally feel is not very authentic nor credible for the brand.

    The fact that ship is technically remaining with P&O and is only being chartered to Fathom, suggests they are very much testing the waters only with this brand and will have to wait and see if it works out…before making a more permanent commitment?

    • Tom Burke says:

      Thanks for the comment, Matt. I share your view of the credibility; and I hadn’t realised that Adonia had just been chartered to fathom.

  3. Carol says:

    I think it’s sad that Adonia has been sacrificed for this project. We’re back to 7 ships then. It’s a pity as a lot of people prefer the intimacy of a small ship.

    • Tom Burke says:

      Indeed, there are a lot of people on Facebook who aren’t happy. Some are even saying that even Oriana is a bit too big for them…. so I guess P&O will be losing them to either Thomson, CMV or Fred.

  4. Malcolm Oliver says:

    I assume that “fathom” will be a profit making exercise. It’s hard to imagine big profits, but I suppose Carnival are tapping into a market which would not normally cruise.

    I believe the cruise lines are struggling to fill there latest mega ships sailing from the UK such as Britannia and Anthem. The evidence is the deals (OBC, free all inclusive, parking and cabin upgrades) that I have seen that would not normally be offered on brand new ships. Losing smaller/older tonnage is inevitable.

    I’d definitely recommend CMV, Thomson and Fred Olsen to P&O fans who enjoy a British experience on smaller ships.

    Sorry to advertise my blog Tom, but it does feature reviews of CMV, Fred Olsen and Thomson ships.


  5. […] on Adonia, as part of its 2016 program under the new brand ‘fathom’, to which the ship will be transferred in spring 2016. The first itineraries under the new brand will be to the Dominican Republic, but subsequently Cuba […]

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