MIRAMAR, Florida--While the slow-moving nature of Hurricane Dorian caused unspeakable destruction in Grand Bahama and Abaco, business is fully operational in Nassau – the second-most populated cruise destination in the Caribbean – and a host of private islands, and the rapid response of the Bahamas, neighbouring destinations and Member Lines of Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) is helping Bahamians not only recover their livelihoods, but also regain cruise tourism: the lifeblood of their economy.
After less than a week since the historic event, FCCA Member Lines have already committed more than US $5 million in donations, as well as support including delivering provisions and engaging the local communities to ascertain needs and how to best help.
“Our hearts are with all of those throughout the Bahamas impacted by this historic event, and we hope this support will provide some normalcy to their lives, along with solace in these trying times,” said Michele Paige, president of FCCA. “However, the people of the Bahamas have proven their resiliency time and time again, so there is no question that those affected will build back even better. Fortunately, Nassau and cruise lines’ private islands in the Bahamas are open, fully operational and ready to welcome guests with a smile – and the knowledge that an average cruise call to the Bahamas represents more than $650,000 in local economic benefits.”
Carnival Corporation’s philanthropic arm, Carnival Foundation and its nine global cruise line brands together with the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation have pledged to donate $2 million in funding and in-kind support for relief efforts in the Bahamas.
Carnival Foundation and the company’s nine cruise line brands – Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Seabourn, AIDA Cruises, Costa Cruises, Cunard, P&O Cruises (Australia) and P&O Cruises (UK) – are pledging a total of $1 million in monetary and in-kind donations in support of immediate relief and recovery efforts in the Bahamas. Carnival Corporation Chairman Micky Arison and his wife Madeleine are matching the corporation’s commitment with a $1 million donation from the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation.
A portion of the combined pledge will immediately go to support efforts being managed by Direct Relief, an international humanitarian organisation that provides critical medications and supplies during emergency situations. In addition, Carnival Corporation and its brands are working together with local officials, community leaders and key relief and recovery organisations to identify the most urgent relief needs.
Separately, the company has launched an effort to collect and deliver food and supplies donated in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties, in Florida, for the people of the Bahamas, through a partnership with Tropical Shipping and the Bahamas National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings (NCLH) – including Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises – has relaunched Hope Starts Here, the company’s hurricane relief campaign in partnership with All Hands and Hearts, and pledged a minimum commitment of $1 million toward immediate short-term relief for those affected by Hurricane Dorian. It has also vowed to match donations dollar-for-dollar to assist with rebuilding efforts across the Bahamas, including debris clean-up and removal, and the delivery of supplies and temporary shelters.
NCLH is also coordinating with local Bahamian authorities to bring needed provisions to the affected areas, “as quickly and as humanly possible.” Norwegian Breakaway departed Miami on Saturday, with hurricane relief supplies donated by NCLH and its employees, in addition to items collected by the City of Miami, Baptist Health South Florida, the 305 Gives Back foundation and other Miami-based organisations, to be delivered to Nassau, Great Harbour Cay, the company’s private island Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas.
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. – including Azamara, Celebrity Cruises and Royal Caribbean International – has committed $1 million to disaster relief for Hurricane Dorian, with an additional $100,000 to be donated by ITM Group, its partner in the Holistica joint venture that is developing the Grand Lucayan resort in Freeport, while also pledging to match donations by guests and employees to Pan American Development Foundation (PADF), and use its ships to deliver supplies such as generators, water, cleaning supplies, clean sheets and towels.
The Walt Disney Company, led by Disney Cruise Line, has made a commitment of more than $1 million to help relief and recovery efforts in the Bahamas – including, but not limited to, a $1 million donation to non-profit relief agencies that will be undertaking recovery and rebuilding efforts, as well as the provision of supplies such as food staples and basic construction materials to those in impacted areas. Additionally, Disney employees with immediate needs in the Bahamas will have access to a range of resources. Disney Castaway Cay, Disney’s private island in the Bahamas, employs more than 60 Bahamians from Abaco and Grand Bahama, as well as several employees from other Bahamian islands.
MSC Group – one of the world’s leading container shipping and logistics conglomerates as well as the parent company of MSC Cruises – has pledged support from across all its businesses for Hurricane Dorian relief in the Bahamas. In addition to providing and delivering goods of primary necessity, MSC Group’s efforts will initially focus on semi-permanent prefabricated modular housing for the population as well as making available MSC-geared ships for cargo relief service from the US to the Bahamas.
A high-level delegation comprised of members of MSC Group’s US senior management team as well as leadership of its philanthropic arm, the MSC Foundation, also scheduled meetings in Nassau with local officials, community leaders and key relief and recovery organisations – with the objective of promptly identifying first-hand the most urgent relief needs and how the Group can support the immediate and longer-term in-kind and funding needs of the local population and businesses as they look to rebuild in the aftermath of Hurricane Dorian.
Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line (BPCL) has announced a two-fold support initiative following Hurricane Dorian’s impact. The company is accepting monetary donations online through its partner Mission Resolve, as well as donated supplies at its Riviera Beach warehouse.
BPCL also carried out a humanitarian cruise on Grand Celebration, which was loaded with food, water and other supplies, as well as first responders and volunteers. It departed on Friday evening, transported the supplies, volunteers and Bahamian residents who were stranded in South Florida; and at no cost to any volunteer or Bahamian resident, it returned the following day with Bahamian residents with proper documentation, wishing to evacuate to the US.