Cruise lines have stepped up to raise money for Australian disaster recovery efforts as bushfires ravage parts of the country.
Carnival Corporation, Norwegian Cruise Line and Fred Olsen are just three cruise companies which have announced donations to help the crisis.
A $1.25 million donation to the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund has come from Carnival Corporation’s philanthropic arm, Carnival Foundation; five of its global cruise line brands; and the foundation set up by Carnival’s chairman and his wife, Micky and Madeleine Arison.
The Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation’s pledge represents some $1 million of that sum.
All five brands which collected for the donation - including P&O Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Cunard, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises - have ships linked with Australia.
"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," said Sture Myrmell, president of Carnival Australia.
"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."
The company’s commitment comes after a combined AU $50,000 donation from P&O Cruises Australia to the St Vincent de Paul Society in late 2019 after earlier bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland.
Staff and guests onboard Fred Olsen Cruise Line’s ship Boudicca, and at the company’s head office, also raised £5,000 for the cause.
On the ship there was a ring toss, ‘name the koala’ competition, live performance by the Boudicca Orchestra and silent auction for a navigational chart of Australia signed by the Senior Bridge Officers.
Back on land, office workers hosted a dress-down day, bake sale and raffle.
That money will be donated to the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park and the South Australian Bushfire Appeal.
Peter Deer, managing director at Fred Olsen, said: "To see the impact that these fires have had is truly heart-breaking, with so many communities and species of wildlife now facing very uncertain times."
The 880-guest Boudicca is currently part-way through an 168-night Grand Voyage, which included a stop off on Australia’s Kangaroo Island just days before the fires struck.
Elsewhere, Norwegian Cruise Line has given AU $250,000 to the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund.
Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive of NCL, said: "We are saddened by the devastation caused by the ongoing bushfires in Australia."
Other travel firms which have fundraised towards the country’s recovery include Three Little Birds PR, APT, and Intrepid - which raised more than $500,000.
Felicity Calvert, head of partnerships at the Australian Red Cross, added: “While these bushfires are devastating and unprecedented, the support from people and organisations around the world to help Australia is truly heartening."
Support the disaster fund by visiting www.redcross.org.au/campaigns/disaster-relief-and-recovery-donate
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