They say that imagination blossoms with imperatives. What’s more, relatively few circumstances are more obliged—more unpreventable and secure—than a boat on the untamed oceans. So as an idea examination, the possibility of a weeklong journey excited me. As a reality, well, I’m an unmarried 29-year-old New Yorker who works at a start-up. My dossier places me miles outside the normal journey taking demographic.
The indifference of millennials like me toward cruising is not lost on industry executives, who are starting to see a market ripe for—you guessed it—disruption. Among these leaders is Tara Russell, president of a new venture called Fathom. The cruise line is a tiny subsidiary of the behemoth Carnival Corporation, and its fleet consists of one ship, the 704-passengerAdonia, which alternates seven-day voyages to the Dominican Republic and Cuba. But what is a small initiative now could have, if it succeeds, very large implications for an industry looking for its next customer base. Instead of casinos, comedians, and show tunes, Fathom offers guests opportunities to build water filtration systems, tutor children, and meet local artists. “Impact travel” is the brand’s stated purpose, and some of the goals include equipping more than 15,000 homes with