Two weeks after Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, a week after Hurricane Irma left her destructive mark on the Caribbean and Florida, and today as Hurricane Maria barrels down, Virtuoso cruise partners continue to assist in relief efforts.
“From delivering supplies to impacted areas such as the Caribbean Islands and helping to evacuate stranded tourists and families, cruise line leaders continue to work with officials to best lend their support,” says Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA).
Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line have made aid missions to deliver supplies such as food, ice, animal supplies, water, and clothing, and both lines have made rescue missions to help those stranded in the Caribbean. The Norwegian Sky rescued more than 900 people in St. Thomas. As part of their ongoing cruise itineraries, many lines will continue to deliver supplies including medical necessities over the next several weeks. And though Royal Caribbean typically bans pets on ships, the company welcomed two dozen dogs on board the Enchantment of the Seas as they evacuated employees and their families from Miami.
Cruise lines have stepped up financially as well. Royal Caribbean will match $1 million in donations to Hurricane Irma relief and Carnival Corporation has pledged up to $10 million in matched donations– and the company and its Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation has already donated $2 million to Houston-area organizations for Harvey relief efforts.
Many cruise lines have resumed their original sailings – check with your Virtuoso travel advisor for the most up-to-date information. For example, Holland America Line’s Caribbean cruise season begins in mid-October, and no cruises have been cancelled.
Virtuoso is a member of Tourism Cares, an organization that provides disaster relief around the world. To support Hurricane Irma recovery efforts, visit the Destination Disaster Recovery Fund.
For more information about individual island recovery, check this Caribbean Travel Update for a full list of the islands open for business and which ones are on the road to recovery.
Top photo: Courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line.