Generous guests across the Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines’ fleet have joined together to raise nearly £25,000 to help the Caribbean relief effort – following the devastation caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September 2017 – and support the rebuilding of an area of the world that is so close to their hearts, the company said in a statement.
Fred. Olsen guests have raised £12,100 since November 2017, which has been donated to the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s ('CTO') ‘Hurricane Relief Fund’. From there, it will be disbursed directly to the Ministries of Tourism in the impacted Caribbean member states, to enable them to rebuild their devastated communities and provide financial relief to those most in need.
Carol Hay, Director of Marketing UK & Europe at the Caribbean Tourism Organization, said: “The support from Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has been fantastic! We can’t thank the staff and guests enough! It’s heart-warming to know that so much time and effort was taken to raise funds to support the CTO Hurricane Relief Fund. 100 percent of the funds go to help those affected; and most importantly goes towards the Sustainability of the Caribbean Tourism Product. “We look forward to continually welcoming Fred. Olsen to our shores; and thank them for helping us to build back better!”
In addition, Fred. Olsen guests have also raised a separate sum of over £11,000 to help the island of Tortola, in the British Virgin Islands, specifically. This was one of the worst-hit areas of the Caribbean, and Fred. Olsen’s Braemar – which is the ship that operates its popular Caribbean fly-cruise season – chose to donate directly to the British Virgin Islands Red Cross, to benefit the people and communities of Tortola, where the ship has been calling for a number of years.
Sharon Flax-Brutus, Director of Tourism at The British Virgin Islands Tourist Board & Film Commission, said: “On behalf of the people of the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and the Red Cross, I am overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and support for our islands from Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines and the Braemar. It is heartfelt gifts like these that continue to encourage and inspire us to work even harder at rebuilding our beautiful BVI.”
Fred. Olsen guests across its fleet of four ocean cruise ships – Balmoral, Braemar, Boudicca and Black Watch – have been taking part in a number of fun and lively onboard activities to raise funds, such as raffles, crew ‘Tug of War’ competitions, an ‘International Street Market’, ‘Human Fruit Machine’, quizzes and art auctions, all organised by the ships’ Entertainment teams.
Rachael Jackson, Public Relations Manager for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said: “We would like to thank the thousands of guests and crew across our fleet who have given so generously to raise nearly £25,000 to help the people of the Caribbean rebuild their lives and their glorious region. We have been working with the Caribbean Tourism Organization – of which we are a long-standing member – and the British Virgin Islands Red Cross, to support their hurricane relief efforts and provide assistance to those destinations most badly affected."
“We look forward to seeing the Caribbean get back on its feet and we know that this year's Braemar fly-cruise programme will receive the usual warm and friendly welcome from the people of this amazing destination!”
Fred. Olsen has also assisted the Caribbean hurricane relief effort by donating brand new crew uniforms, worth £33,000, to a further two badly-impacted islands – Barbuda and Dominica. Fred. Olsen donated 1,465 new uniform items to the islanders before Christmas last year, including shoes, trousers, shirts and skirts, along with 2,263 used uniform items.