Crystal Cruises, a US-based cruise company, is offering an expanded ‘You Care, We Care’ ‘voluntourism’ programme for its cruises to Europe.
In 2012, the voluntourism programme includes the opportunity to participate in European goodwill opportunities in Ukraine, Italy, and Spain, as well as those currently existing in Greece, Estonia, Norway, Croatia, Germany, and Ireland.
The new humanitarian offerings included in the 2012 European calendar include support to the homeless at a social services centre in Odessa (Ukraine), aiding the charity brotherhood of Pio Monte della Misericordia, while on tours from Sorrento and Naples (Italy), and helping out at gardens producing medicinal plants at Olacau’s AIDEM Association in Spain.
John Stoll, the company vice president, land and port operations, said, ‘Since launching last year, this program has fostered an environment for understanding and caring about cultures, places, animals, and people in a way that traditional shore excursions often don’t. (These are) worthwhile causes that serve the people and the communities in destinations around the world, and enable our guests and staff to help them hands-on during their travels.’
The other voluntourism activities on offer include providing assistance to sea turtles in Athens (Greece), starving families in Tallinn (Estonia), stray cats in Bergen (Norway), deprived youth in Dublin (Ireland), differently able people in Livorno (Italy), aged people in Dubrovnik (Croatia), and underprivileged children in Navplion (Greece).
The company is currently offering a One Week Sales Event until June 9, 2012, offering cruise fares commencing at GBP1,664 per person, and including complimentary shore excursion credits on select, all-inclusive summer and autumn voyages.