Cruise lines pledge Australian bushfire relief cash

Carnival Corporation and Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings have both made donations to help support Australian bushfire disaster recovery efforts.

The bushfire crisis has been ongoing in Australia since September and 27 people have died.

More than $1.25 million has been pledged by Carnival Foundation – the corporation’s philanthropic arm – five of its global cruise line brands together with the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation.

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The pledge includes $1 million from the family foundation of Carnival chairman Arison and his wife, in addition to $250,000 from Carnival Foundation and five brands – P&O Cruises (Australia), Carnival Cruise Line, Cunard, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises.

All five brands have ships based year-round in Australia or homeport seasonally in the country.

The $1 million will be provided to support “the most timely and urgent relief needs throughout the country”.

The $250,000 donation has been committed to the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund.

The company’s commitment follows a combined A$50,000 donation from P&O Cruises (Australia) and passengers late last year to support residents of New South Wales and Queensland impacted by local bushfires.

Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings has donated A$250,000 to the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund to support emergency relief efforts for communities affected by bushfires.

Carnival Australia president Sture Myrmell said: “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.

“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.

“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 president and chief executive Frank Del Rio said: “We are saddened by the devastation caused by the ongoing bushfires in Australia.

“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.”

Outside of the cruise industry, Singapore Airlines also pledged to donate A$100,000 to the Red Cross’ Disaster Relief and Recovery appeal.

Regional vice president Philip Goh said: “Australians have supported us for the past 53 years and we hope that this donation will go some way to supporting the people and communities affected by these bushfires.

“It is difficult to fathom the scale of the fires across Australia as it has now affected an area more than 140 times the size of Singapore.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those who have been affected and, like many, we convey our sincere thanks and gratitude to firefighters across the country who continue to battle the blazes.”

The airline said it would review passengers’ requests to change bookings on a case-by-case basis. tw4

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