If you haven’t heard about the devastation inflicted on Vanuatu recently, you’ve clearly been hiding under a rock. Classified as a Category 5, Sever Tropical Cyclone Pam powered through the archipelago nation and left a trail of death and destruction in her wake. Charities, humanitarian organisations and relief workers are already on the scene, with more and more helpers joining the cause every day. Even cruise lines are showing their support, with Carnival Australia and Royal Caribbean International pledging generous donations as well as helping transport emergency supplies to local communities in need.
Floating relief to villagers in need
While Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Legend was forced to cancel calls to Port Vila and Mystery Island, it was able to deliver a generator and bottled water to Espiritu Santo. Carnival has since signed up for an ongoing commitment and joined forces with Save the Children. This will see it load up the decks of its vessels with essential construction materials such as tarpaulins and tin roofing. The materials will be dropped off during the ship’s usual leisure itineraries and used to help rebuild villages devastated by the cyclone. Jennifer Vandekreeke, Carnival Cruise Line vice president has also confirmed that donations have been flowing in from Carnival Spirit and Carnival Legend passengers.
Working together to rebuild Vanuatu
With Vanuatu being a hugely popular destination for Southern Hemisphere itineraries, cruise companies have felt a sense of responsibility when it comes to helping the local population rebuild their paradise. “Our first concern is for the people of Vanuatu who have welcomed us with open arms and warm smiles since Carnival Cruise Line started sailing from Australia in 2012. Our thoughts are with them at this terrible time,” says Vandekreeke.
So when will cruises be up and running again? Carnival has stated that “as soon as appropriate” its ships will resume calls to Port Vila and Mystery Island. Cruise tourism is an incredibly important part of the local economy and here’s hoping that the beautiful South Pacific archipelago is back on its feet as soon as possible.
Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons. Credit: John Nicholls