At a time when it feels like there are too many disasters around the world and not enough relief, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (NYSE: RCL) announced it will dedicate two ships to humanitarian efforts in Australia and California to support some of the people affected by recent crises.
The coronavirus outbreak has caused pain and disruption around the world. It is a stark reminder of the hurt that these terrible events can bring—and how fortunate we are that such traumatic events are not more frequent. “When things go wrong, this is a company that wants to find a way to help,” said Richard Fain, chairman, and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “At Royal Caribbean, we consider ourselves fortunate to be able to use our ships in a positive way during difficult times.”
Fain said Royal Caribbean was working with its suppliers to deliver one million N-95 protective masks into China for government distribution into affected areas. “We admire the all-out efforts of the Chinese government and people to address this crisis, and we want to bring our resources to bear to help their efforts,” Fain said.
The spectrum of the Seas will travel to Australia and be deployed on complimentary cruises sailing from Sydney in support of Australia’s first responder community, who worked tirelessly over many weeks of the bush fire crisis.
“We are in a fortunate position to offer these brave and selfless members of the Australian community the opportunity to join us for a few days and let them relax and unwind in the company of other volunteers and first responders,” said Michael Bayley, president, and CEO of Royal Caribbean International. “By welcoming and accommodating them aboard Spectrum of the Seas, we hope to recognize their contribution and offer them our hospitality.”
Bayley noted that the ship and its crew have not been in China for more than two weeks, exceeding public health guidelines.
And when circumstances improve, Bayley said, Royal Caribbean International will dedicate a ship in China to a series of complimentary sailings to thank first responders and medical personnel for their heroic efforts to defeat the virus.
In addition, Celebrity Millennium is repositioning to the west coast of the US earlier than previously scheduled and will offer a series of “Cruising for Heroes” sailings in support of California firefighters, other first responders, and veterans throughout March and April. A variety of three-, four- and five-night sailings have been added to the brand’s offerings to travel the breathtaking Pacific Coast. The sailings will leave from Los Angeles and details will be announced soon.
“The women and men of Celebrity were keen to have this opportunity to give back, even though this repositioning presented a challenging timeline,” Fain said. “We know the hard work and sacrifice of those who have been keeping Californians safe, and it feels good to be able to say ‘thank you.'”
Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and CEO of Celebrity Cruises, said, “While the circumstances have not been what any of us would have wanted, we now have the opportunity to show the State of California our stunning Celebrity Millennium and do some good in the process by honoring and helping our everyday heroes who do so much for so many. Celebrity Millennium is a beautifully appointed ship and was recently revolutionized. It’s exciting to share it with this market and to honor the men and women who come to the aid of others every single day.”