Cruise ship sails into Haiti bringing aid for quake victims

//Cruise ship sails into Haiti bringing aid for quake victims

Cruise ship Independence of the Seas, which is based in the UK during the summer, arrived in Haiti today carrying much-needed relief supplies for victims of Tuesday’s earthquake.
Two more ships from the Royal Caribbean fleet – Liberty of the Seas and Navigator of the Seas – will deliver more food next week.
The company operates a private beach resort at Labadee in the north of the island, a valuable source of revenue for Haiti – much of which is pretty much off-limits to tourists at the best of times.
While tens of thousands were killed and even more made homeless in the capital, Port-au-Prince, the north coast escaped relatively unscathed and there was no damage to the pier or resort facilities at Labadee.
Royal Caribbean vice-president John Weis wrote on the company’s blog: “The supplies we are sending include rice, dried beans, water, dried milk and a variety of other canned items. This effort is going to be a marathon, so we will be partnering with Food For The Poor on the distribution in Haiti.
“I am getting a lot of questions from everyone about how they can help. I have asked them to go to Food For The Poor and make a donation. This is the best and most effective way to assist in the relief effort right now.”
Yesterday, Royal Caribbean’s president and CEO Adam Goldstein met ex-president Bill Clinton, who is a United Nations special envoy to Haiti. Adam said: “There is great willingness to help. What is required is the organised reception and channeling of aid. In other words, there must be strong communications and logistical support otherwise what people send will not get through. This is a question of co-ordination and implementation in unprecedented circumstances.”
The company has announced that it will be donating at least £1 million in aid, and that all revenue from its tours and shore excursions today in Labadee will go to the relief effort.
Virgin Atlantic has joined the relief effort and is delivering supplies and key medical personnel, aid agency workers and rescue teams to the region.
The aid and personnel will be flown out on a number of Virgin Atlantic flights to Miami, Orlando and Jamaica over the next few days. From there the aid agencies will arrange for the essential supplies to be transferred to Haiti. The airline has already committed to flying a minimum of 55 tonnes of cargo.
Sir Richard Branson, President of Virgin Atlantic, said: “Everyone who has seen the sheer destruction in Haiti over the last few days will have been moved to help in any way they can. Virgin Atlantic and our foundation Virgin Unite, have been liaising with organisations working on the relief effort with the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) to help deliver much-needed aid to the region.
“We will fly in as much aid as possible so that the agencies on the ground can respond to the needs of everyone in Haiti whose lives have been devastated by this tragedy.”
Cruise ship calls to Haiti’s neighbour, the Dominican Republic, have been unaffected by the quake.

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:33+00:00 15 January 2010|Cruise News|4 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.


  1. Diane Melkert 18 January 2010 at 1:51 am - Reply

    Royal I am so proud of your efforts in helping Haiti. We were just in Labardee, Haiti on the Liberty of the Seas and enjoyed the people there so much. Your efforts now in aiding them with Food and Water is so admirable and I just wanted you to know the From now on we are only cruising with Royal because of your unselfish efforts in helping this nation.More companies need to show this kind of compassion. I am proud to be part of the “Royal Cruise Family” Go Royal!! Thank You !! Diane Melkert and Family.

  2. Miranda Anderson 18 January 2010 at 4:23 am - Reply

    I was just asking someone the other day why nobody had paid for all the cruise ships to go there and provide housing, medical support, and sustenance for as many of the population as possible. Glad to hear that you had this idea all by yourselves. If all the lines did the same thing it would go a long way to relieving their pain.

  3. Tommy Cooper 18 January 2010 at 10:01 am - Reply

    Why aren’t the cruise ships being commandered for use as hospital ships? they have lots of beds and open spaces, can make their own water and have plenty of kitchens to provide meals. a few ships could make a world of difference.

  4. M Terra 22 January 2010 at 12:01 am - Reply

    I just got back today from a 5 night RCCL cruise to Labadee in Haiti on the Navigator of the Seas. At first i hestitated to get off the ship, but I am glad I did. RCCL not only donated 1 million USD to Haiti but I personally witnessed and photographed the palates of water, rice and cereal that were taken off the ship and transported to Port-au-prince. RCCL also assured us that every dollar spent on the island would go directly to the Haitian people, including all Royal Caribbean excursions bought. The living Haitian people on the Island need to make their bread and butter and the only way they do that is through the cruiseline. Had RCCL decided to cut off visits to Haiti, the people would have suffered even more. I salute RCCL for making this tough,but right, decision.

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