Cruise ships continue calling at Haiti

Jqn 20, 2010
Author: Terry Hutson

Cruise ships of the Royal Caribbean Line are continuing to call at Haiti’s Labadee, which lies on a peninsular on the northern coast of Haiti and wasn’t affected by last week’s devastating earthquake.

In addition to bringing tourists to an area that benefits economically from tourism, Royal Caribbean has embarked on a programme of providing at least USD 1 million in humanitarian relief to Haiti.

“The effect of the earthquake on Haiti has been catastrophic, leaving the country in need of not only immediate support, but assistance in their long-term recovery. Royal Caribbean wants to do its part to help out not only the general response, but also our hundreds of Haitian employees and their families through this disaster,” said Richard D Fain, chairman and chief executive officer, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.

He said that in addition to its financial contribution, Royal Caribbean will continue to provide economic support through the continuous business it brings to Labadee.

A spokesman for the United Nations in Haiti said the action of continuing ship calls at Labadee was welcome as it provided a continuation of positive economic benefits to Haiti.

Ships that will call include NAVIGATOR OF THE SEAS which arrived at Labadee on Monday 18 January, LIBERTY OF THE SEAS which arrived yesterday (Tuesday), and CELEBRITY SOLSTICE due on Friday 22 January. Celebrity is an affiliate company of Royal Caribbean.

The continuation of cruise ship calls has sparked considerable debate about the sensitivity of the matter.

Meanwhile Carnival Corporation, the world’s largest cruise company has announced it will be donating USD 5 million towards Haiti earthquake relief on behalf of Carnival and its affiliate cruise companies.

“We are saddened by this tragedy, one of the worst natural disasters of our lifetime and we are deeply concerned for the people of Haiti and hope that this donation will help provide much-needed assistance,” said Micky Arison, chairman and CEO of Carnival Corporation & plc. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of those affected by this catastrophe,” he added.

The money has been earmarked for a number of relief organisations assisting with the relief effort in Haiti.



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