Carnival Corporation has announced a series of community projects supporting children, education and emergency preparedness in the Caribbean, the world’s most popular region for cruise vacations.
Carnival Corporation and several of its brands – AIDA Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line, Holland America Line and Princess Cruises – have been working with local and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), including UNICEF and United Way of Miami-Dade and of Puerto Rico, to partner with several islands on community projects specifically tailored to their needs and designed to have a lasting impact. The islands include the Caribbean destinations of Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, Turks and Caicos Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The community improvement projects have been part of a significant donation from Carnival Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Carnival Corporation, along with the company’s brands, the Miami HEAT Charitable Fund, and the Micky and Madeleine Arison Foundation to provide up to $10 million in funding and in-kind support.
In addition to the community projects, Carnival Corporation brands continue sailing to these islands as part of the company’s leading Caribbean presence, delivering great vacations to millions of guests while also providing sustained tourism activity with a significant impact on the region’s economic growth and prosperity.
In total, the company has eight brands sailing regularly to these eight destinations, including 49 ships scheduled to make over 1,000 calls to 13 ports, totaling an estimated 2.9 million passenger movements expected for full-year 2018. And, overall in the Caribbean, Carnival Corporation and its brands are expected to make over 5,000 port calls across the entire Caribbean region in 2018, visiting 58 ports in 28 different countries and territories.
“We met with local leaders to determine specific ways we could be most helpful, and we saw common themes emerge – support was needed for children, education and future emergency preparedness,” said Marie McKenzie, vice president of global ports and Caribbean government relations. “We collaborated with several of our leading cruise brands that have a significant presence in the Caribbean to develop programs that would address common areas of need.”
Working closely with affected islands and local and international NGOs, Carnival Corporation has designed projects tailored to address the identified community needs with a sustainable, long-term impact. These community projects include:
• AIDA Cruises is working with UNICEF and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) to rebuild Dominica’s main primary school, Mahaut Primary School.
• Additionally, Carnival Cruise Line, in partnership with UNICEF, is helping fund the CHANCES orphanage, which provides a nurturing home environment for kids in need of care and protection.
• Carnival Cruise Line is working in partnership with United Way of Puerto Rico to rebuild a school that was damaged during last year’s storm season, and is also working to bring back playgrounds across San Juan, which is a homeport for the brand’s Carnival Fascination.
• Holland America Line is working with the K1 Britannia Foundation to support its Maritime Training and Boat Building Program for Youth – created in partnership with St. Maarten Sailing School, Kidz at Sea and the International Boatbuilding Training College – to provide young people with maritime training and certification, courses in boat building and the opportunity for jobs in the maritime industry after completing the program.
• Carnival Cruise Line is the founding partner and sponsor in the creation of K1 Britannia Foundation’s Disaster Relief Program to help ensure the island is fully equipped and prepared for future storms, including adequate emergency supplies, education programs and training for volunteer-response teams, and partnerships with strategic organizations to provide logistical assistance such as transportation, expertise in specialized fields, security and distribution.
• Additionally, Holland America Line has partnered with K1’s Disaster Relief & Crisis Team, K1 DIRECT. As a key sponsor, Holland America Line has adopted the search and rescue and shelter management aspects of K1 DIRECT enabling them to train volunteers and secure the necessary equipment for CPR, AED usage, First Aid, Basic Fire Safety, and more. Volunteers will also undergo training in search and rescue, psychological first aid, and various humanitarian courses regionally and internationally.
• Princess Cruises and Fathom Travel guests participated in a cleanup of Guana Bay, a beach important to three species of local sea turtles. More than 1.5 tons of trash were collected. Travelers also donated $1,500 to ART HEALS, a local program run by the National Institute of Arts to provide free art classes to the community.
Turks and Caicos Islands:
• Carnival Corporation is working in partnership with United Way of Miami-Dade and the government to build a recreation center for children on the capital island of Grand Turk where the Grand Turk Cruise Center is located. The recreation center will also double as an emergency shelter designed to withstand a Category 5 hurricane.
U.S. Virgin Islands:
• Princess Cruises, through its Princess Cruises Community Foundation, is working in partnership with the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands (CFVI) to help rebuild the Virgin Islands Children’s Museum in St. Thomas and is sponsoring a key water table exhibit. Princess Cruises is also sponsoring little lending libraries in different areas around the island to support literacy and a love of reading. And, this summer the partnership started a program that will enable low-income families to visit the museum for a minimal fee.
• Carnival Cruise Line is working to bring back a primary community playground and has partnered with the Ministry of Education to support its entertainment programs, which lost millions of dollars in musical equipment. The brand’s entertainment team is working closely with a local high school through the Ministry of Education to donate musical equipment and develop an ongoing program to assist kids in understanding entertainment opportunities aboard Carnival Cruise Line ships.
• Also in St. Thomas, Princess Cruises and Fathom Travel distributed nearly $14,000 worth of baby items to over 200 young families from the island as part of the inaugural Travel Deep sailing in January. Guests also took a trip to a local Boys & Girls Club where they built game tables, repainted facilities and met with local children.
In addition to the above efforts, Carnival Corporation is directing funding toward general UNICEF social programs in Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, and the British Virgin Islands that support education in the region.
“Carnival Corporation has been a key partner to the United States Virgin Islands for the past 30 years,” said Beverly Nicholson-Doty, commissioner of tourism for the United States Virgin Islands. “In the aftermath of the hurricanes of 2017, the Carnival team provided critical guidance on what was required for the return of cruise visits. Several executives have visited the Territory since partnering with the Department of Tourism on our Purpose in Paradise voluntourism projects. Carnival Corporation brands – Princess Cruises and Carnival Cruise Line – have committed hundreds of thousands of dollars to fund children’s programs such as the Children’s Museum, the Little Libraries program, and the building of a playground (Carnival Fun Park) at Emile Griffith Park. The corporation also has donated supplies and equipment for the Charlotte Amalie High School Gymnasium. Each community project is extremely important to our destination; however, the most important investment is the return of regular cruise calls, which make a significant impact on the economy of our islands.”
As the world’s largest cruise market, the Caribbean is a key region for the entire cruise industry and continues to drive strong demand from consumers who want to enjoy a cruise vacation in one of the most unique and beautiful travel destinations in the world. According to a recent study commissioned by the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association, the cruise industry’s annual economic impact topped $3.4 billion in direct spending in the past year, supporting nearly 80,000 jobs and $911.1 million in employee wages across only 36 Caribbean destinations that were analyzed as part of the research.