Carnival Australia will use four of its cruise ships to deliver vital aid to Vanuatu in the wake of cyclone Pam, which devastated the island nation on March 6.
Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Legend and Carnival Spirit will join P&O Cruises’ Pacific Dawn and Pacific Pearl to deliver bottled water, goods and power generators to the country’s worst affected areas.
The aid mission is the first of its kind undertaken by the cruise industry, and has been organised by South Pacific cruises. The tour operator will send aid alongside its regular passenger manifest, with thousands of holidaymakers booked to travel aboard each of the four ships; holidaymakers however, will not disembark when the ships dock at their ports of call in Vanuatu.
Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Legend was the first to reach the country, docking at the island of Santo on March 19th. The cruise line’s second vessel, Carnival Spirit, is expected to arrive later this week with further humanitarian aid.
Meanwhile, P&O’S Pacific Dawn will be the first cruise ship to deliver aid to Vanuatu’s most populous city, Port Vila, when it arrives on Wednesday 25th March, whilst Pacific Pearl is set to arrive in the city on Saturday 28th March after departing Sydney this Monday.
Despite carrying humanitarian aid, Pacific Dawn will make its scheduled tourist stops in Noumea and Lifou, before continuing to Port Vila to unload its shipment of humanitarian aid.
P&O have worked directly with Save the Children to secure humanitarian aid for those affected by cyclone Pam. Each ship will carry pallets of food, bottled water and tarpaulins for shelter to those whose homes were destroyed during the storm.
Carnival Australia CEO, Ann Sherry, highlighted the aid mission’s primary objective: “The two immediate calls are for humanitarian purposes only but they will also enable our Ni-Vanuatu crew on our ships to make face to face contact with their families for the first time since the cyclone hit”.
P&O has also planned to hold benefit concerts aboard each of its vessels, with the proceeds going directly to the Vanuatu relief appeal.
Carnival Australia’s relief mission comes just days after the firm pledged $300,000 to Save the Children’s Vanuatu relief effort.
Images sourced via Flickr Creative Commons and Wikimedia Commons. Credit: Graham Crumb, eGuide Travel and Phillip Capper