Two major cruise lines have pledged large sums of money to help the victims of cyclone Pam, which struck last Saturday.
The category five storm has wreaked havoc and destruction on Vanuatu and at least eleven people have been confirmed dead. Aid agencies have said the area has been left in “complete devastation.”
Unsurprisingly, 3 cruise ships which had been due to sail near the affected area have been diverted. P&O’s Aurora, Celebrity Solstice and Holland America’s MS Oosterdam have all avoided the area for the safety of its passengers.
Vanuatu declared a state of emergency shortly after the cyclone hit.
Cruise Lines have responded by pledging money to help the recovery of the area and help aid agencies to support survivors.
Carnival Cruise Lines were the first to respond to the crisis, as they pledged $150,000 Australian Dollars to help the Save the Children Australia team who are already on the ground. Carnival Legend will also call at Vanuatu’s largest island of Santo and bring supplies which include fresh water and tarpaulin to create temporary shelter.
Carnival Australia issued a statement which said: “The people of Vanuatu have always welcomed our guests and crew to their beautiful islands with warm smiles and open arms. Our hearts and minds are with the inhabitants of Vanuatu.”
“We also have a number of Ni-Vanuatu staff on P&O Cruises’ ships and we are doing everything we can to help them make contact with home and families.”
Royal Caribbean has also donated $100,000 Australian Dollars to the Australian Red Cross.
Royal Caribbean Australia said in a statement: “We are deeply saddened by the devastating situation in Vanuatu. Our thoughts and prayers are with the wonderful people of this country who have long given a very warm welcome to our ships.”
“The relief donation is in addition to the recently announced partnership with the Vanuatu Government under which Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines will invest AUD$3.8million in shipping infrastructure in Vanuatu.”
Vanuatu is made up of 80 islands and is situated north east of Australia. Its capital Port Vila often welcomes cruise ships and tourism is one of the country’s main industries.
Well done to both cruise lines for donating!// END - About the Author ?>