Crystal Cruises have announced that they are extending their “voluntourism” programme for 2015.
“Voluntourism” is where guests and crew can help out in local communities they travel to, rather than just visiting them.
The chance to get involved in humanitarian and conservational activities of organisations throughout the world will now be offered over a range of 16 shore excursions.
Crystal call this programme “You Care, We Care.”
The opportunities include the chance to help a food bank in Halifax (Canada,) to plant trees in Reykjavik (Iceland), to help gather fresh produce from orchards for local low income residents in Santa Barbara (California,) visiting the society for the protection of cruelty to animals in Guernsey (Channel Islands) and to spend time with children at an orphanage in Puerto Limon, (Costa Rica.) You can also help Barcelona‘s Rehabilitation Centre for marine life and join locals in an arts and craft project in Mexico.
These activities are aimed to help guests connect with the communities that they visit, as well as giving them worthwhile experiences and interesting memories to take away.
Edie Rodriguez, President of Crystal Cruises, said: “the tremendous response to the ‘You Care, We Care’ programme continues to delight us, as our guests are savvy world travellers who relish the type of deeply immersive and authentic cultural education experienced during these excursions. The act of contributing to the world in which we all travel is extremely rewarding – for everyone.”
Crystal are not the first cruise line to give something back to the community, as river cruise line AmaWaterways have been helping a charity project in Cambodia since 2011. They founded a school there to teach local children and they take guests to visit the site, which you can read more about here.
In fact, cruise lines have often shown their kindness to communities they visit by offering help and assistance. As we reported back in March, cruise lines were some of the first on the scene to deliver aid after cyclone Pam as well as pledging donations and support.
Do you think more cruise lines should be giving something back? Would you be interested in voluntourism? Would you be happy working on your cruise? Let us know in the comments below!