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Lending a Hand: The Cruise Industry Gives Back

Ingo Soerensen
AVP, Global Cruise Sales, Oracle Hospitality

Cruise operators have a track record of delighting guests and transporting them to some of the most extraordinary locations in the world. Now, they’re delivering in a completely different fashion. Here are a few ways they’re inspiring and giving back:

  • Donating food: Many hospitality companies have donated food, and their generosity continues to be demonstrated. One ship, part of the Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines fleet, was left in Bridgetown, Barbados, after the port call had to be canceled. Rather than let the ship’s food go to waste, Fred. Olsen worked with the Barbados Port to donate a container of fresh produce to local charities, including the YMCA, Barbados Homeless Society, The Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and St. Dominic’s Catholic Church children’s feeding program. Using the donation, the Red Cross alone provided food for 130 families. Fred. Olsen wasn’t the only cruise line to make such contributions. Other companies, including Hurtigruten, Pullmantur and Windstar Cruises, have also donated produce and meals to those in need.
  • Providing lodging: Several cruise companies announced that they were prepared to shift operations to support individuals in need of quarantine-friendly accommodations. Carnival Corporation’s stated that its fleet would serve as temporary hospitals for patients suffering from less-critical conditions. Meanwhile, American Queen Steamboat Company and sister company Victory Cruise Lines offered their ships to the military in the event that personnel needed to be quarantined, specifically upon arrival from or before departing to foreign countries.
  • Boosting morale: It’s difficult to overemphasize the importance of maintaining hope in these times. That’s why many cruise ships waiting in port are displaying messages, expressing solidarity, support and perseverance. For example, Princess Cruises promised a return to sea by using the lights of its balcony cabins to illuminate ships with the message #WeWillBeBack. Ships from different companies, including Celebrity Cruises and Holland America, have also come together to start a new tradition: Conducting a horn salute at 7:30 p.m. every night, a symbolic tribute to those sheltered at home and a pledge to welcome them back on board one day soon.

At Oracle Hospitality, we’re inspired by the generous acts of cruise operators and committed to get them back to sea.

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