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09 Sep 2019

Cruise lines come to the Bahamas aid in wake of Hurricane Dorian
BY Tom Anstey

With relief efforts hampered by damage and flooding in the country's airports, the three cruise lines stepped in, sending ships full of supplies to those in need

With relief efforts hampered by damage and flooding in the country's airports, the three cruise lines stepped in, sending ships full of supplies to those in need
photo: Norwegian

Cruise lines including Royal Caribbean, Norweigan and Bahamas Paradise are using their vessels and finances to help the Bahamas in the wake of Hurricane Dorian.

The category five storm, which sat stationary over the islands for a day and a half, has devasted parts of the Bahamas, a place where the three cruise lines do most of their business and have staff stationed. Thousands of people are still thought to be missing, with 45 confirmed dead. Some 70,000 people have been left in need of shelter, according to the United Nations.

With relief efforts hampered by damage and flooding in the country's airports, the three cruise lines stepped in, sending ships full of supplies to those in need.

Royal Caribbean has pledged a US$1m (€905,000, £809,000) commitment to disaster relief and has said it will match staff and employee donations on top of this. Its Empress of the Seas ship has so far delivered "relief supplies and 20,000 daily meals to the Freeport, Bahamas community" with plans to send further ships with "47,000 bottles of water, 362 generators, 250 tarps, 25,000 square feet of plywood, 55,400 diapers and 7,500 pounds of pet food."

"Our mission is that every one of our vessels in the Bahamas area, continues to provide assistance by delivering supplies, plus helping to evacuate children, elderly, or those that need immediate medical attention, to Nassau hospitals via tenders," said a company statement. "We want to make them feel as comfortable as possible and look forward to welcoming them with open arms."

Royal Caribbean's newly-opened Coco Cay avoided major damage. Following clean up and repairs, the private island destination opened back up to the public today (9 September).

Norweigan has also pledged US$1m towards relief efforts, sending its Breakaway vessel to the Bahamas with further supplies.

"We've been cruising to these islands for more than 50 years and remain committed to their wonderful people during this unprecedented event," said Frank Del Rio, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings CEO.

Bahamas Paradise has sent its Grand Celebration ship filled with food, water and supplies. The cruise line also transported more than 1,100 evacuees from the Bahamasto the US. Volunteer medics were also on board.

Now downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone, Dorian arrived in the Canadian province of Nova Scotia after working its way up the US eastern seaboard. Winds over the weekend of 100mph (160kmph) toppled trees and cut power for an estimated 450,000 people.



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