Australia’s leading cruise organisation, Carnival Australia, today pledged $350,000 to support the Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Fund as a result of the devastating bushfires.
P&O Cruises Australia, Princess Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Cunard and Holland America Line – all of which have ships based year round in Australia or home ported here on extended seasonal deployments – are contributing.
Carnival Australia President Sture Myrmell said the global organisation had strong ties with Australia – 19 ships were based in local waters or visiting Australia over this summer cruise season.
“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,” Mr Myrmell said.
“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.”
Australian Red Cross Acting CEO Noel Clement said the organisation was overwhelmed by the outpouring of support.
“We really appreciate this generous support from Carnival Australia as well as the amazing support we’re receiving from Australians and people around the world,” Mr Clement said.
“With so many Australians affected by emergencies this summer, this donation will help us give support to people as they recover, not just now in the immediate aftermath but in the months and years ahead.
“This donation could help provide emergency assistance, deliver recovery programs, help people and communities prepare for disasters, train, equip and coordinate volunteers, and much more. So thank you, we are truly overwhelmed by the outpouring of support.”
The commitment is in addition to the $50,000 that P&O Cruises Australia and its guests combined to donate to the St Vincent de Paul Society at the end of last year to support those affected by the bushfires in NSW and QLD at the time.