As you cruise the world on your holidays, there’s a good chance that in some regions of the world, you may encounter some communities and destinations where the population are a little less advantaged than us.

Cruising being the indulgence that it is, it’s therefore little surprise there is demand now for cruisers to have an opportunity to give back while they are on holiday. Aware of these desires to do good while still having a good time, cruise operators have formed partnerships with a number of charitable organisations and developed a range of causes which guests can support if they so wish.

From fun runs to humanitarian shore excursions, there is generally something out there for everyone. Let’s take a look at some of the causes Australia’s favourite cruise lines offer for you to contribute to while on your sea holiday.

Carnival Cruise Line

Westmead Childrens Hospital's famous Bandaged Bear with Captain Adriano Binacchi of Carnival Spirit.
Westmead Childrens Hospital’s famous Bandaged Bear with Captain Adriano Binacchi of Carnival Spirit.

The “Fun Ship” cruise line has characteristically adopted a fun take on helping others in need while aboard your cruise. A recent initiative implemented by the line sees guests able to participate in a unique event known as “Wiggle for Westmead” – a large dance party held up on the lido deck, with dances and games for guests of all ages.

Guests can purchase a T-shirt and wristband they can wear to the party, with all proceeds being donated to the Sydney Children’s Hospital at Westmead. The Western Sydney hospital is one of Australia’s largest child focused hospitals, providing services to over 80,000 children and their families each year.

P&O Cruises Australia

Blankets that have been knitted aboard Pacific Dawn are donated to Save The Children.
Blankets that have been knitted aboard Pacific Dawn are donated to Save The Children.

Choosing ‘Save the Children’ as P&O’s preferred charity organisation was easy for the brand.

Armed with a desire to give something back to the many South Pacific ports which had been welcoming P&O and its guests for years, the cruise line established the P&O Pacific Partnership in cooperation with Save The Children, working to improve education and health services in the Pacific Islands.

By the end of 2016, it is expected more than a million dollars will be raised for the partnership. Guests assist with the partnership through an automatic $1 donation per person, charged to their onboard accounts (although this can be removed if you insist). Additional opportunities are also available at different parts of your voyage to raise funds, with auctions for memorabilia such as navigational charts occurring towards the end of each cruise.

Guests can also knit blankets which will be distributed through Save the Children to people in need in the South Pacific. This particular activity was hugely subscribed during cruises in the immediate aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Pam in 2015, when blankets were in huge demand.

Keep an eye on each day’s “Pacific Daily” programme for scheduled auction & activity times.

Royal Caribbean

Opportunities to contribute to the Make-A-Wish Foundation are available on a Royal Caribbean cruise.
Opportunities to contribute to the Make-A-Wish Foundation are available on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

Royal Caribbean’s ships are the ultimate holiday for thousands of kids each year, so it’s little surprise many sick kids also ask to go on a cruise as their “Make a Wish” request.

Royal Caribbean donates dozens of cruises each year to enable these wishes to come true, however significant costs are faced by the program, such as flights and accommodation prior to and following a cruise. Guests can donate to these costs by participating in the “Walk for Wishes” program by purchasing a T-shirt from the entertainment team onboard. You can also get involved by walking laps of the pool deck with members of the ship’s crew.

Holland America Line

Guests and crew participate in an on deck for a cause walk.
Guests and crew participate in an on deck for a cause walk.

Calling in at over 350 ports around the world each year, Holland America Line certainly knows it’s a wide world out there. Recognising this, HAL set out to ensure that its charitable efforts weren’t focused on one particular country.

The cruise line set out to establish an event capable of helping people in its six largest markets – the United States, Canada, Australia, Netherlands, Germany, and the UK. In each country, HAL found and partnered with cancer charities which help thousands of people each year. The onboard event takes form as “On Deck for a Cause” and is a a non competitive five-kilometre event which sees guests purchase a T-shirt and walk laps around the ship’s teak promenade decks.

Crystal Cruises

Luxury brand Crystal Cruises offers guests a chance to help out local communities during select port calls.
Crystal Cruises offers guests a chance to help out local communities during select port calls.

Luxury line Crystal Cruises takes giving back at sea to a whole new level with the line providing complimentary “You Care, We Care” excursions in some ports. Guests and crew can participate in volunteer activities such as cleaning up a beach in Mexico or helping to rehabilitate sea turtles in Tahiti.

The unique opportunities book fast, so express interest early if you wish to partake.

Seabourn

Seabourn’s charitable efforts extend to a pact with UNESCO to protect the numerous World Heritage sites the line visits on its global voyages.

Efforts are made to educate guests on conservation methods at famous sites such as the Great Barrier Reef and Taj Mahal through a special range of shore excursions, which also aim to showcase the destination and why efforts should be made to protect it. Profits from these shore excursions are donated to UNESCO to further their conservation work.

Have you made a charitable contribution at sea? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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