PHOTO: Orlando Ashford serves Dive-In grill items from Holland America Line's food truck at Seatrade Cruise Global 2016. (Photo courtesy of Andy Newman/Holland America Line)
Realizing that they exist in a broader world both where they deploy their ships and closer to home as well, cruise lines are keen to give back to local communities and charities. In fact, Holland America Line alone has set an impressive bar recently by making a positive impact on several different organizations. Other cruise brands—a few of which are featured here—make their contributions in a number of ways.
Holland America Line
I had the chance to personally witness Holland America Line’s giving to Seafarers' House at Port Everglades, Florida during the annual Seatrade Cruise Global conference last March 2016, and it was a treat on many levels. Not only does the company support the organization and its pastoral care, emergency assistance, local transportation, communication, wire transfer and sundries and electronics retail services for crew members, it also raised funds with a Dive-In food truck while we there. The cruise line thus helped fill stomachs and accounts.
Just this month, Holland America has more recently donated $5 million to cancer support through its On Deck for a Cause program, combining contributions from crew and guests alike and benefiting six global organizations. Passengers have been able to participate by donating $20 to the Holland America Line Foundation and walking a 5k to raise awareness onboard.
The line also donated $25,000 to Seattle Children’s Hospital’s Uncompensated Care Fund back in October 2016 in partnership with the Seattle Mariners and the “K’s for Kids” program. Plus, the company has even hosted luncheons to benefit organizations like Susan G. Komen Puget Sound, Seattle’s American Cancer Society chapter and Girl Scouts San Diego, my homeport.
Carnival Cruise Line and Princess Cruises
For parent company Carnival Corporation, it doesn't stop there. The Carnival Cruise Line and Princess Cruises brands also participate in charitable giving. Both have organizations to better the community with the Carnival Foundation and the Princess Cruises Community Foundation respectively.
Carnival partners with dozens to help their causes from Miami Children’s Museum to The Nature Conservancy. Onboard, it even invites guests to support St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital with its Groove for St. Jude dancing event where passengers can make a donation and receive a T-shirt to spread the word.
Meanwhile, Princess’ foundation betters non-profit organizations with a mission, according to its website, to, “touch the lives of the people in the places we travel, the places we are from and the places where we live through education, preservation of natural and historical global landmarks, responding to disaster relief and supporting global communities' local health and welfare efforts.” There’s even a link where you too can make a donation.
Royal Caribbean International
Another cruise line to make a difference is Royal Caribbean International in partnership with the likes of Make-A-Wish with its Wishes at Sea program, wherein family vacations are granted to children with life-threatening illnesses. The company also sponsors the Florida Governor's Points of Light Award program to recognize organizations and individuals that display great volunteer work.
Royal Caribbean additionally is active in environmental conservation with its corporate Save the Waves program and also bestows scholarships, contributions and grants. In fact, non-profit organizations dedicated to children and families, education and marine conservation can apply for a donation request.
Cruise Lines International Association
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) even has its Cruise Industry Charitable Foundation (CICF) in support of civic and community development, educational assistance and training programs, public health programs and environmental preservation initiatives.
The list of cruise brand supporters is extensive: AIDA Cruises, American Cruise Lines, Azamara Club Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Cunard Line, Disney Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises, Paul Gauguin Cruises, Pearl Seas Cruises, Princess Cruises, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Royal Caribbean International, Seabourn, SeaDream Yacht Club, Silversea Cruises, Tauck River Cruises, Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection and Windstar Cruises.