Passengers embarking on Crystal Cruises’ 2014 World Cruise will now have even more opportunity to give a little back to the countries and regions they will visit, thanks to the line’s expansion of its You Care, We Care programme. The initiative is part of wider philanthropic trend which is continuing to grow in popularity, ‘voluntourism’, which involves travellers partaking in worthy acts to help out local communities, wildlife areas and the environment.
The luxury line’s You Care We Care programme will take place during its 89-night Los Angeles to Southampton world voyage, on-board the Crystal Serenity, which is set to depart on January 18th with passengers able to make their charitable mark during both Asian and African sections of the journey. The initiative is something that Crystal Cruises has had an association with since 2011, usually offering one voluntourism opportunity per cruise, but passengers on the 2014 World Cruise will have a choice of seven different experiences, with the line covering all expenses involved.
Crystal Cruises’ Vice President of International Sales and Marketing, Philip Ordever, said of the initiative: “Our You Care, We Care participants have enjoyed experiencing these destinations in such an intimate, interactive and compassionate way. They love seeing facets of a culture not usually visited on a luxury holiday, and return to the ship feeling like they may have made a difference, however small or large. Just a few hours together can be incredibly informative, enriching and so memorable, for both the recipients and those giving.”
The experiences on offer include gardening on Honolulu’s Makapu’u Beach to help preserve its threatened plant life, aiding in the construction of structures and playgrounds for disadvantaged children in Takoradi, Ghana and reading to help improve the literacy of underprivileged children, as part of Singapore’s LIFE programme. Passengers will also have the chance to teach, sing and play with Cambodian orphans in Sihanoukville and also spend time looking after neglected, abandoned or orphaned children at a children’s home near Cape Town, South Africa and Durban’s SOS Children’s Village. Poignantly, there’s also the chance to craft commemorative candles which will be lit during Nagasaki’s annual Peace Ceremony, which honours those who lost their lives to the atomic bomb dropped in 1945.
By Simon Brotherton