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Royal Caribbean dedicates two ships to humanitarian crisis response

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. is redeploying two ships from Asia to humanitarian efforts in Australia and California to support some of the people affected by recent crises.

Spectrum of the Seas and Celebrity Millennium

Spectrum of the Seas will be deployed from China to Australia for free cruises from Sydney in support of Australia’s first responder community during the bushfires crisis. And Celebrity Millennium is repositioning from Asia to the US West Coast to offer a series of sailings for California firefighters and other first responders and military veterans.

Royal Caribbean noted the coronavirus outbreak has caused pain and disruption around the world. 

'When things go wrong, we want to find a way to help'

‘When things go wrong, this is a company that wants to find a way to help,’ Chairman and CEO Richard Fain said. ‘At Royal Caribbean, we consider ourselves fortunate to be able to use our ships in a positive way during difficult times.’

One million protective masks to China

Fain said Royal Caribbean was working with its suppliers to deliver one million N-95 protective masks into China for government distribution into affected areas. ‘We admire the all-out efforts of the Chinese government and people to address this crisis, and we want to bring our resources to bear to help their efforts,’ he said.

Spectrum of the Seas and its crew have not been in China for more than two weeks, exceeding public health guidelines regarding the coronavirus incubation period. Today, the ship's March 5 and March 13 sailings were canceled.

‘We are in a fortunate position to offer these brave and selfless members of the Australian community the opportunity to join us for a few days and let them relax and unwind in the company of other volunteers and first responders,’ said Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International. ‘By welcoming and accommodating them aboard Spectrum of the Seas, we hope to recognize their contribution and offer them our hospitality.’

And Bayley said that when circumstances improve, Royal Caribbean will dedicate a ship in China to a series of complimentary sailings to thank first responders and medical personnel for their heroic efforts to defeat the virus.

'Cruising for Heroes'

Celebrity Millennium, meanwhile, is heading to the US earlier than scheduled, as previously reported, and will now offer a series of ‘Cruising for Heroes’ sailings in support of California firefighters, other first responders and veterans throughout March and April. A variety of three-, four- and five-night sailings have been added to the brand's offerings to travel the Pacific Coast. These cruises will leave from Los Angeles, and details will be announced soon.

‘The women and men of Celebrity were keen to have this opportunity to give back, even though this repositioning presented a challenging timeline,’ Fain said. ‘We know the hard work and sacrifice of those who have been keeping Californians safe, and it feels good to be able to say thank you.’

‘While the circumstances have not been what any of us would have wanted, we now have the opportunity to show the state of California our stunning Celebrity Millennium and do some good in the process by honoring and helping our everyday heroes who do so much for so many,’ added Lisa Lutoff-Perlo, president and CEO, Celebrity.

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