• Robert Hebert

3 Reasons why Fathom Impact Travel is NOT a Waste of Your Vacation

You want me to “WORK” on my Vacation?

No one dares say it – but it’s written all over their faces when we tell them about the new cruise line “fathom” and “Impact + Travel” Vacations!

fathom travel impact activity

One of the Impact Activities that Architect Rob chose was pouring a concrete floor in a family’s home! Naturally……


I mean we know what you are thinking, because most of you are not booking! That’s why the price is so appealing… But what would be wrong with doing one day of work in an exotic place during your 7 Day Luxurious Vacation? 1. You might teach something. 2. You might learn something. 3. You will help someone. While traveling deep into a culture engaging with it’s working class people. When are you ever going to get a chance to do that? “fathom” makes all the arrangements and even gives you a comfortable ride there. The best part is that it is included in the cruise fare which right now is WAY below market rate.

Impact Travel transportation hub

The Amber Cove port facility is Brand NEW! Completed in late 2015 – to the tune of 8 Billion dollars!


impact travel busses

If you choose an Impact Activity you will be transported to it in a Brand New Clean Air Conditioned van dedicated to your group!


Impact Travel IDDI busses

Ride in comfort with people who will be your new friends when the day is done!


In this post we hope to dispel the fear of working away your vacation and explain a little more about the new fathom Travel brand and how you can take advantage of the great deals that are available right NOW! Rob and I took two fathom cruises in May. We are returning in October to do the Dominican Republic Itinerary again! Learn more about our Travel Deep plans HERE

This “fathom” Cruise is really different – Different than ANY other cruise you have ever been on or heard of!

Before we go much further you may want to read why the lower case “f” in fathom is not a mistake but the biggest misconception is –

That You are NOT required to WORK!

We understand, perhaps better than anyone, that you work hard! Many of you (like us are business owners) and you work six and seven days a week. We work from sun up to sun down to accomplish all that needs to be done – Don’t all Architects? And then on the weekends we have yard work and house work, laundry, cleaning, lawn mowing and we are even expected to check and respond to email 24/7. I mean our culture is exhausting! When someone mentions “Working on Vacation” we understand that it might just sound like the last thing you want to do and be well worthy of those “blank stares”…..

Amber Cove Dominican Republic

Perhaps all you can think about is finding the nearest Lounge Chair….. and if that’s the case you will find plenty in Amber Cove!


We heard about the new “fathom” brand some time ago and had been following them prior to the launch. We knew right away that we wanted to do the Cuba Itinerary, to see the beautiful untouched and unspoiled architecture there. We wanted to be among the first because we knew that Cuba would be very popular and perhaps the price would be out of reach at a later date if we waited. We booked our Cuba voyage first, and decided to add the Dominican Republic at the last minute. We would be sailing on the same ship on the week prior, our air was already paid for, and fathom invited us to stay!

fathom cruise sailing away from Miami

We sailed away from beautiful Miami Florida twice! Once bound for the Dominican Republic and then for Cuba!


impact travel

Cuba was fascinating, but the Dominican Republic was something so much more…..


The most unique thing about a fathom travel cruise is that It’s not a “Cruise” like we know cruises to be. This is Not your Grandmother’s Cruise.

impact travel

The view of Amber Cove as you approach the pier on Tuesday at about noon!


The most glaring difference is that in the fathom Dominican Republic Itinerary, the ship docks at Amber Cove from Tuesday afternoon to Friday afternoon, for three full days. Amber cove is the ONLY port of call. It becomes your home, while the ship floats at the pier.

impact travel

Staying in one place for three days really gives you a chance to travel deep. But wait – you really don’t have to….. there are so many options!


The second big difference between fathom and any other cruise line is that instead of a cruise director there is a group of cruise directors called “Impact Guides”. The “Impact Guides” facilitate on-board personal growth seminars, entertainment engagement, evening deck parties, and they also come along on some of the “Impact Activities” on ground. You meet them at the sail away party, and get to know them quite well by the end of your voyage, by participating in things that are going on during the week, on and off the ship. Can’t wait to see your smiling faces again!! Tatiana and Becca!

impact guides

Affectionately referred to by their leader Gilad (bottom left) as a “Motley Crew of Amazingness”!


We attended several of the seminars on the ship! One was Visual Storytelling and another Curiosity… the Storytelling one was a challenge for both of us, but we rocked it. We both learned how to turn on the grid in the settings of our smart phone cameras, in the Photography Class, and to use it for taking better photos from a professional photographer! There was a Social Media Marketing class, a Change-Maker Class, and Design your Life of Impact! There were Dominican and Cuban Dance Classes as well as a “Wine and Paint” activity, both get you out of your “comfort zone”. Nothing cost extra but the glass of wine, and we brought our own! The programming for the ship board seminars and activities was professionally developed and purchased by fathom travel from several different entities like “Curiosity Atlas” and “ASHOKA” which challenge us to understand and respond to some of the world’s most pressing problems using well honed and successful techniques for social innovation. Great topics for Architects and Business Owners! Wow this would make an awesome corporate retreat for any profession!

impact travel

What do you believe in?


impact travel

Architectural Design Components?


impact travel

A little fun to challenge your self confidence and get you out of your comfort zone!


Another difference from a “normal cruise” is that you are NOT “nickel and dime-ed to death” because so much is included. But our favorite difference is that Alcohol is NOT being confiscated at embarkation in Amber Cove… meaning you don’t have to spend a fortune to enjoy your favorite adult beverages. Rob and I even made a trip in to Puerto Plata, to a Walmart type store for a few bottles of Wine and appreciated the ability to do this….

Impact Travel

Impact Travel benefits people world wide through the free trade store on the ship – where every item has a story, just ask the shop keeper!


On a fathom cruise you will not be invited to an Art Auction or Stupid Horse Race – rather you might decide to try Meditation or Yoga in a group setting – which is included too!

Waiting for pictures from our friends on the ship of YOGA and MEDITATION to put HERE. Since we participated we didn’t take any photos!

When we visited this very same port in February on a Holland America Line Cruise Rob asked me “I wonder how much it costs to get into that water park”… the answer – NOTHING! But if you want to ride the zip line you have to buy a pass that is good all day for (wait a minute…. are you ready for this?? you won’t believe it) Twelve Bucks. That’s all. Unlimited Zip-line-ing all day! Here is a video where you can get a feel for the water park! Hint hint – something free to do if you don’t want to work away your vacation……


Another pleasant surprise was that the Head Chef is Dominican! He is tailoring all of the meals served on the ship to local Dominican cuisine, something we always said “Why don’t they have Jamaican food on the day that we spend in Jamaica?”…. Architects wonder the most obvious things, and then they wonder why it’s not obvious to everyone else – always thinking – ugh 🙂

The fathom Dominican Republic Cruise is kind of like driving to the all inclusive resort by water, taking the scenic route! Except, when you get there you are NOT stuck in a huge resort complex. You can come and go by taxi or bus, interact with the surrounding communities, Travel Deep as we call it!! Maybe you can imagine sailing away from Miami on Sunday afternoon on a beautiful ship that is a fully appointed floating hotel, where you can wine, dine, relax and play without being strapped into an airplane seat or packed into a car. It’s a great family vacation where everyone will find something to challenge their senses, their mind, and just be happy….. We guarantee you will make new friends for life – because of the experiences you will have.

impact travel

The most important difference in the fathom Impact + Travel Cruise is the difference people make on ground.

If you want to volunteer your time, and give back with your talent, you are invited to participate in up to three fathom impact activities in the Puerto Plata area.

ALL of the Impact Activities are OPTIONAL! Just sign up online. Choose something that interests you – – and say “I will!” There will be a seminar on the ship where you can learn a bit about what to expect, and maybe even a few Spanish words. All of the activities are simple and designed for people age 8 and up!

impact travelers lynn and rob

Don’t worry – you CAN do it! And IT DOESN’T COST EXTRA!!


The activities that you can choose from are:

Teaching English to Children – In 5 years, 2,700 students will receive an average of 2 years of high quality English language learning opportunities, that will enhance their qualifications for a job.

fathom impact travel teaching english

Cooperative Entrepreneurship – Community-driven economic initiatives empower and sustain communities. It’s not just producing chocolate bars and paper it’s about creating self worth. You know the idea that I can do something for myself and MY family!


Rob and I worked in two Women’s Cooperatives – Chocal (above) and RePapel (below)

fathom impact activity

While we tore up and sorted recyclable paper from a local bank, we got a chance to practice our Spanish with the ladies of RePapel – makers of artisan paper.


Reforestation – Localized deforestation has contributed to increased runoff, dangerous flooding, depleted soil nutrients, and overall climate change and we can help change that! We planted some seeds at the fathom Reforestation Nursery! In the coming months the seeds will grow into saplings and be planted by future travelers on a hillside that has been improperly clear cut!

Water Filter Production and Distribution – Fathom travelers will make 5,000+ ceramic water filters in the first year alone, providing clean drinking water to each family in their home. Imagine taking one of your kids along so that they can meet people who do not have clean running water.

impact travel

What would your son or daughter learn by participating in this?


Art Music and Sports (Seasonal) – Children who participate in creative programs are more likely to succeed through overall well being and heightened motivation. Beside that, when parents go to work, kids need something productive to do! Fathom travelers young and old can play together – each summer!

impact travel

Fathom has partner’ed with an on ground entity named IDDI. IDDI employs local people who know what is needed and how to accomplish it in Dominican Culture. Fathom does NOT arrive at the pier in a Rolls Royce bearing gifts. fathom’s Impact effort is a carefully thought out process where we EMPOWER the people to help themselves. We do the grunt work while they do more important stuff. We don’t build something and leave. We keep coming back week after week for a lasting impact….

impact travel

One of the IDDI impact guides, Leurys Cecilia Ortiz Carela visited our bus just to say “Hi” after getting off work and out of her uniform! She is really proud of the shiny new scooter!


All of this is great but the coolest thing is what happens to YOU!

Just when you thought your job was to teach, you learn something.

impact activity RePapel

Did you know? You can sing and dance away 2 minutes instead of looking at your watch?


Just when you though you were there to give, you take.

impact travel

A Dominican young man named Isidro said my Mother taught me that – “If you want to find good people, you have to be one!”


Just when you thought you were traveling in a group – – you become one – – you realize that we are all the same….

One force – One culture – Humanity…..

Impact Travel

She made my hat. Her shop was in the local craft market in the secure port area. She looked at me – picked up a hat that she thought would fit perfectly, placed it on my head and began arranging my curls like she was my Mother…. of course I bought it!


This my friends is small ship cruising with Fathom Travel… The capacity of the ship is only 700 guests.

You might wine, dine, lecture, party, dance, or work with EVERYONE on the ship!

If you are in one of the Construction Trades you could even make this a “Give Back” tax deductible trip!

If you are a corporate leader you can host your next “Retreat” or “Reward” tax deductible trip on the Adonia.

If you are a teacher you could take a group of students for an “Educational” tax deductible trip.

If you are a non religious Spiritual organization you can “Give Back” in a group – no church required.

If you are a church group you can “Give Back” in a group because it is your mission….

If you are a small business owner – you can stay connected while on a “working” vacation (wifi on the ship, free in the port)

If you are an Architect you can give back…. and take away!

We are pretty sure everyone can figure out how to make this a meaningful AND tax deductible trip!

Ask your accountant, by calling them today!

Because Vacations are an IMPORTANT component of a healthy Career, Marriage and LIFE!


#impacttravel #allinclusive #payitforwardvacation #corporateretreat #givebackvacation #concretework

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