Cruise lines are rallying too help with hurricane relief for the Bahamas, including millions in donations, food and ships for evacuations.
Hurricane Dorian struck the Bahamas last Sunday and left behind “generational devastation” in the Bahamian islands of Abaco and Grand Bahama after three days, according to Prime Minister Hubert Minnis.
The death toll has climbed to over 50 and it is still expected to rise. Early estimates say that the damage could cost up to $7 billion and cruise lines are joining in the relief efforts for the Bahamas.
Royal Caribbean is promising a ship a day deliver food, while Carnival Cruise Line, MSC Group, Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings and Disney are also sending vessels in one of the biggest relief efforts by the industry.
“Our mission is that every one of our vessels in the Bahamas area continues to provide assistance by delivering supplies, plus helping evacuate children, elderly or those that need immediate medical attention, to Nassau hospitals via tenders,” said a Royal, Caribbean spokesperson.
“Our hearts are heavy after witnessing the impact and devastation caused by Hurricane Dorian across the Bahamas,” said Frank Del Rio, president and chief executive officer of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd.
“We have been cruising to these islands for over 50 years and remain committed to its wonderful people during this unprecedented event. Through our partnership with All Hands and Hearts, we vow to match all donations collected to support the country’s rebuilding efforts.”
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings has pledged a minimum commitment of $1 million toward immediate short-term relief for those affected by Hurricane Dorian.
The company has also vowed to match donations to All Hand and Hearts dollar-for-dollar to assist with rebuilding efforts across the Bahamas, including debris cleanup and removal, and the delivery of supplies and temporary shelters.
Royal Caribbean is also committing $1 million to Dorian disaster relief and will collaborate with the Bahamian Government and nonprofit partner the Pan American Development Foundation, as well as a network of Bahamian charities and the Bahamas Feeding Network.
Carnival Corporation and its Chairman, Micky Arison, will also each donate $1 million towards the relief effort through the Carnival Foundation and the Micky and Madeline Arison Family Foundation.
Carnival also announced an agreement with the Bahamas’ emergency management agency and Medley-based Tropical Shipping to help fund delivery of donated food and supplies collected across South Florida to the islands.
Disney Cruise Line also wrote on Twitter, “The Walt Disney Company, led by Disney Cruise Line, has committed more than $1 million in cash and in-kind support to help relief and recovery efforts for those in The Bahamas affected by Hurricane Dorian.”
They are also offering “a range of resources” for their more than 60 Bahamian employees from surrounding islands.
Cruise ships are also deployed to deliver relief supplies in the Bahamas.
The Norwegian Breakaway departed Miami for Nassau with donated relief supplies on September 5.
Royal Caribbean is also loading food, generators, water, cleaning supplies, clean sheets, towels, and more on their ships for direct delivery to the Bahamas.
CEO of Royal Caribbean, Richard Fain, told Fox News that the line has deviated the course of several ships to help with the relief effort. The Navigator of the Seas is hoping to dock at the island on Saturday if conditions permit, according to a spokewoman.
“We hope our $1 million donation will provide much-needed relief and help our neighbors, colleagues, and all those impacted by this devastating storm begin the long process of recovery as they work to put their lives and communities back together,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said in a statement.