The devastation experience in Vanuatu from Tropical Cyclone Pam, which ripped through Vanuatu earlier this month, has prompted charitable moves from the cruise industry which features the island nation regularly on its Pacific routes.
Cruise company Carnival Australia has announced it will donate $150,000 to the Save the Children Australia’s relief efforts in the ravaged island nation. Since the cruise line’s announcement, Carnival Corporation chairman Micky Arison has generously responsed with the announcement he will match the company’s existing $150,000 donation.
Carnival Australia CEO Ann Sherry said Mr Arison’s generous contribution through the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation has brought the total Carnival contribution to Vanuatu’s recovery to $300,000.
“Like all of us, Mr Arison has been closely following the events in Vanuatu with the utmost concern for the people of Vanuatu whom we have come to know and love over many years of cruising,” Ms Sherry said.
“We are very grateful to Mr Arison and his family foundation for this wonderful gesture, which will have an immediate and positive effect on the relief effort now underway in Vanuatu.
“We are doing everything we can to support our charity partner, Save the Children Australia. Their team is already active on the ground and has sent additional people and humanitarian aid with the first Royal Australian Air Force flight.
“It will be some time before our cruise ships can again call at Vila but we want to resume voyages as soon as authorities give the all clear because cruise tourism is the mainstay of the Vanuatu economy and it will be vital to help the country rebuild.”
Ms Sherry said P&O Cruises’ Pacific Dawn, which left Brisbane last Saturday, was due to call at Vila on Wednesday but on the advice of authorities the call will not go ahead and the ship’s itinerary has been revised.
Carnival Legend will call at Santo on Thursday, which wasn’t as badly affected by Cyclone Pam. The ship is carrying a supply of bottled water and a generator for the relief effort. The company is also developing plans for Carnival Australia ships sailing to Vanuatu to carry building materials to assist with long term reconstruction in the wake of the cyclone.