Scheduled cruises departing Australia bound for Fiji have resumed by Carnival Cruise Line, P&O Cruises, Princess Cruises and Holland America Line after the recent devastation caused nine days ago by Tropical Cyclone Winston, bringing with them a donation of $125,000 to help the nation with its rebuilding efforts.
The funding boost to the Save The Children Australia Fiji fund is in addition to monies brought by passengers, who will continue to spend on shore touring and shopping while in Fiji. Monies will be spent to help expedite reconstruction of housing, repairs to critical infrastructure such as the supply of clean water, the clean-up of fallen trees and much more.
Cruises are resuming following information from port agents and authorities that facilities were again safe to use and locals were ready to welcome passengers to its shores.
“We learned from experience with Cyclone Pam in Vanuatu last year that the community and local authorities were keen to see the ships return as soon as possible because cruise tourism was so important to their economy,” Carnival Australia (the organisation which manages the aforementioned cruise brands) CEO Ann Sherry said.
Fiji took a direct hit from Tropical Cyclone Winston, with the Category Five storm causing $650 million worth of damage to the Yasawa Islands, Port Denarau and Lautoka. Blue Lagoon Cruises and Captain Cook Cruises Fiji, which are both based in the country, escaped significant damage and were both able to resume operations shortly thereafter.
Princess Cruises’ Dawn Princess is now on its way to Fiji as part of its next scheduled sailing, visiting Suva, Lautoka (instead of Savu Savu), Denarau and Dravuni Island. Carnival Cruise Line will visit Fiji three times in the next two months, P&O will make six visits across its fleet and Holland America Line will call in once with MS Noordam in April.