When P&O Cruises President Sture Myrmell presented drought-stricken Queensland farmers Glenda and Des Gray with their ticket on one of the cruise line’s two ‘drought relief’ cruises, Glenda had a simple dream.
After six years of crippling drought and still no prospect of decent rain, Glenda had long wanted to go on a cruise to be surrounded by water but she thought she would have to win the lottery to achieve her dream.
But instead of having to win the lottery, Glenda and Des are among 140 farmers and family members sailing on P&O’s two ‘drought relief’ cruises – one currently on Pacific Dawn from Brisbane to the Whitsundays and another on Pacific Explorer from Sydney to Moreton Island.
After boarding Pacific Dawn, Glenda and Des couldn’t wait to get to the top deck to take in the view of water in every direction.
“It is incredible and the cruise is better than we could have ever imagined,” Glenda said from her vantage point as Pacific Dawn sailed from Brisbane.
“Just coming out of the Brisbane River, we had a line-up of farmers watching and wondering how we could pipe all that wonderful water back home again.”
Farmers enjoying this ‘time out’ from the drought were selected with the support of Rural Aid’s Buy-A-Bale campaign and the Salvation Army’s rural chaplains.
“It has been a pleasure to help make Glenda’s dream come true and to provide support to the rural community in this way,” Sture said.
“Having seen the impact of the drought for myself, it is remarkable to see the resilience and courage of our farmers who still don’t know when this rolling natural disaster will end.
“Our drought relief cruises on Pacific Dawn and Pacific Explorer will at least make a difference for the farmers that we have the privilege to host onboard.”