When charity begins on a cruise

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With P&O cruise ship Aurora well into its round the world voyage, executive purser James Cusick recently led a group of passengers on an excursion by steam train to the Juanico Winery in Uruguay.
As he recounts in his blog, following a journey hauled by a 101-year-old locomotive built by Beyer Peacock in Manchester, and in carriages built in Holland in 1925, they enjoyed a feast of barbecued beef, lamb and sausages.
Meanwhile, another group was visiting an orphanage in Montevideo, run by SOS Children’s Village, the world’s largest charity for abandoned children.
It was part of a new initiative by P&O to organise charitable shore experiences and responsible tourism to support the communities visited during long voyages.
The first Green World Tour was operated in November on the Oriana world cruise. A group of passengers and crew visited the SOS Children’s Village in Manila and approximately £500 was raised for the children, who were also given toys, games and sweets.
The tours vary in price and are non-profit making. Some include a donation and others just cover costs and passengers are free to donate as much or as little as they choose.
While sister ship Arcadia is in the Far East next month, passengers will be given the opportunity to visit a sea turtle conservation centre in Laem Chabang, Thailand; a cat and dog rescue centre on the island of Koh Samui, and a children’s home in Port Kelang, Malaysia.
Artemis passengers can choose to visit the Sunshine Village orphanage in Phuket, a school feeding project in Cape Town, and athe Laem Chabang turtle centre.
P&O Cruises managing director Carol Marlow said: “We have seen an excellent response to this new collection of tours and this shows that our passengers and crew really value the destinations that they visit and want to give something back.
“The donation included in the Peninsular School Feeding Project in Cape Town is £38 which will feed one child for a year. Every passenger who chooses one of these tours is making a wonderful contribution to the people who need it most.
“In addition to taking these tours, our passengers and crew have been incredibly generous and have donated clothes, toys, games, books and toiletries. By visiting these destinations and drawing attention to areas of need, we have been able to make a real difference and we look forward to continuing these tours in the years to come.”
UPDATE: The New York Times reports that Crystal Cruises offers one volunteer excursion per cruise; an opportunity for passengers to give time to causes that benefit destinations on their itineraries.
Among the activities available for volunteers: assisting at a burn rehabilitation center in Lima, Peru; working on an urban farm in Cartagena, Colombia; building a park in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico; working with orphans in Rio de Janeiro; painting a school or community center in St. Martin; weeding out invasive species in Honolulu; or restoring the grounds at Fort Stevens State Park in Oregon. Crew members accompany travelers on the excursions, which are free.

By | 2017-06-15T16:00:10+00:00 9 February 2011|Cruise Destinations, Cruise News|1 Comment

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.

One Comment

  1. Dan Ambornal 26 February 2011 at 9:11 pm - Reply

    P&O Cruises offering this kind of tour shows that they are really thinking ouside of the box and getting to the heart of their destinations. This will be a winning idea, hats off to them.

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