Royal Caribbean & Celebrity to Offer Free Cruises for Crisis Responders
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. has announced that they will be dedicating two of their displaced ships to operate complimentary cruises to first responders and veterans.
Due to the Novel Coronavirus outbreak, both Royal Caribbean’s Spectrum of the Seas and Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Millennium are currently out of service, and will be relocated to operate these special sailings. The 2019-built Spectrum of the Seas will move to Sydney, Australia and be deployed on free cruises in support of Australia’s first responder community who worked for weeks to control and put out the Australian bushfires. The ship has been out of service since mid-January due to the outbreak, and voyages are canceled through at least mid-March.
"When things go wrong, this is a company that wants to find a way to help," said Richard Fain, chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "At Royal Caribbean, we consider ourselves fortunate to be able to use our ships in a positive way during difficult times.”
“We are in a fortunate position to offer these brave and selfless members of the Australian community the opportunity to join us for a few days and let them relax and unwind in the company of other volunteers and first responders," added Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International. "By welcoming and accommodating them aboard Spectrum of the Seas, we hope to recognize their contribution and offer them our hospitality."
Fain said that Royal Caribbean is working with its suppliers to deliver one million N-95 protective masks into China for government distribution to affected areas. "We admire the all-out efforts of the Chinese government and people to address this crisis, and we want to bring our resources to bear to help their efforts.”
Additionally, Celebrity Millennium will be moving to Los Angeles, California earlier than previously scheduled ahead of her Alaska season, and will be offering a series of “Cruising for Heroes” voyages from March through April in support of California firefighters, other first responders, and veterans. The cruise itineraries will be three, four, and five-night cruises along the Pacific Coast.
Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and CEO of Celebrity Cruises, said, "While the circumstances have not been what any of us would have wanted, we now have the opportunity to show the State of California our stunning Celebrity Millennium and do some good in the process by honoring and helping our everyday heroes who do so much for so many. Celebrity Millennium is a beautifully appointed ship and was recently revolutionized. It's exciting to share it with this market and to honor the men and women who come to the aid of others every single day."
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. also announced that they plan to dedicate a ship in China to a series of complimentary sailings to thank first responders and medical personnel there once the outbreak is under control.
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