As Australians contend with the devastation of raging bushfires, the cruise line industry is lending financial support.
Carnival Corporation has committed more than US$1.25m (€1.12m) to support disaster recovery, with US$1m (€899,280) from the family foundation of Carnival Corporation’s chairman Micky Arison and his wife Madeleine, and US$250,000 (€224,820) from the Carnival Foundation and five of the company’s brands – P&O Cruises (Australia), Carnival Cruise Line, Cunard, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises.
“Our cruise lines carried hundreds of thousands of Aussies and international guests on voyages this summer, and this gesture is a sign of our solidarity with the local community,” said Sture Myrmell, president of Carnival Australia, which comprises several of the corporation’s brands operating in the country. “As a cruise shipping organisation with close ties to Australian communities developed over many years, we have been shocked by the devastation from this ongoing disaster. Our cruise lines are contributing to the Australian Red Cross’ disaster relief and recovery work because of the organisation’s experience in dealing with the effects of natural disasters and its national reach.”
Added Myrmell: “Communities affected by the bushfire crisis are in immediate need, and we are pleased to be able to contribute in a way that ensures help can be delivered where it is needed most and as quickly as possible. This contribution is being made on behalf of all of our guests who are no doubt equally shocked and concerned at what has happened to their fellow Australians.”
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, which operates the Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises brands, committed A$250,000 (€155,170) to the Australian Red Cross disaster relief and recovery fund to support emergency relief efforts for communities affected by the unprecedented bushfires in the region.
“We are saddened by the devastation caused by the ongoing bushfires in Australia,” said Frank Del Rio, president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings. “Our A$250,000 donation to the Australian Red Cross will go directly to relief and recovery efforts for those affected by these historic fires.”
Since July 2019, Australian Red Cross teams have responded to 30 bushfire-related emergencies and supported more than 18,600 people, through the efforts of more than 1,590 volunteers and staff. The organisation has provided support to displaced people in more than 69 evacuation and recovery centres and is also providing emergency grants to help people who have lost homes in the fires cover immediate needs.
“While these bushfires are devastating and unprecedented, the support from people and organisations around the world to help Australia is truly heartening,” said Felicity Calvert, head of partnerships at Australia Red Cross.
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the world’s largest cruise industry trade association with representation in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australasia, has been closely monitoring the situation.
“Our thoughts are with all those affected by the fires,” the association said in a statement. “To date, only minor itinerary changes have been necessary to a small number of cruises visiting specific locations in south-eastern Australia. The country’s major cities and most of its coastline remain open to visitors and most cruises are continuing unaffected and as scheduled. The cruise industry is committed to supporting the wider tourism community in spreading the message that Australia remains open and accessible, in order to protect the economic benefits of tourism in communities that have not been affected by the fires.”