From raising money, baking cakes, sounding horns in unison to providing temporary accommodation for workers recuperating from COVID-19, individual cruise companies have taken the initiative to demonstrate their support for medical staff fighting the pandemic at the front line.
It is also an attempt to keep crew spirits up during the prolonged pandemic lockdown.
Genting Cruise Line has assigned two cruise ships, SuperStar Gemini and SuperStar Aquarius to temporarily house foreign workers who have recovered from COVID-19 in Singapore.
The two ships which can accommodate 2,000 people, have recently completed stringent evaluation checks by the Singapore government which included the introduction of increased safety and sanitisation measures for workers.
Greek cruise company, Celestyal Cruises has donated 5.5 tonnes of non-perishable food, first-aid kit and hygiene products to 7500 residents in need in Piraeus, Athens. The company donated 12,000 surgical masks and 1100 litres of liquid disinfectant to health centres treating COVID-19 patients. Celestyal is also giving away 50 three-day cruises for two people and special discounts to frontline health workers.
“Going through one of the most difficult times in modern history, our goal is to both support and offer relief to the socially vulnerable groups from the effects of the pandemic, as well as to demonstrate our gratitude to those who are at the front lines of this fight,” said chief executive, Chris Theophilides according to a report in the Telegraph in London.
ROL Cruise is planning to raise $190,000 for the National Health Service staff in the UK who have been working tirelessly to save lives during the COVID-19 outbreak. For every booking made with the cruise agent, the company will donate $47 to the NHS Charities National campaign and fund wellbeing packs, travel and volunteer expenses for NHS staff, carers and volunteers.
Crew of Saga’s Spirit of Discovery, berthed at the London International Cruise Terminal at Tilbury will bake bread and cakes for local NHS teams. The ship will also donate spare medical and sanitary supplies to a mental health facility in Kent.
Ships docked in ports waiting for cruises to resume again, have also joined in a nation wide chorus of horns for NHS key workers every Thursday evening at 8 p.m. Fred Olsen Cruise Line’s four ships berthed in the Firth of Forth, Cunard’s Queen Mary 2 and P&O’s Britannia in Southampton, have joined in this weekly sound of horns in solidarity and support.