Guests will be able to help children plant and harvest vegetables at a school in Saint Lucia (Image: Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines)
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has created a series of ‘voluntourism’ shore excursions that will be offered in parts of the Caribbean that were most affected when Hurricanes Irma and Maria struck in autumn 2017.
Available to guests from 2019, the shore excursions have been organised as a follow-up from Fred. Olsen’s 2017 fundraising efforts, which resulted in its customers donating more than £25,000 (US$32,482).
“Our new ‘Closer to the Real Caribbean’ concept is aimed at helping our guests to provide support and assistance to communities in the Caribbean, a destination that they cherish and care about a great deal,” said Clare Ward, director of Product and Customer Service for Fred. Olsen. “We know from our pre-cruise surveys that our guests look forward to our ‘Scenery & Wildlife’ and ‘Community & Way of Life’ shore experiences the most on the majority of our Caribbean cruise calls, and we therefore felt that we should offer our guests the opportunity to be able to work together and ‘give something back’ to the destination.”
Highlights of the new Caribbean ‘voluntourism’ shore excursion programme include a visit to Fond Assau Primary School in Babonneau, Saint Lucia. Guests will be driven from the port of Castries to the school, where they will be greeted by the principal and then participate in lessons, singing and dancing, or helping the pupils to plant or harvest produce in the school’s greenhouse. They will be able to sample the vegetables, which are used to make students’ lunches. The excursion will conclude with a scenic drive back to the cruise ship.
Another excursion will enable guests to help remove debris and rebuild the Syndicate Nature Trail at the foot of Morne Diablotins, which is Dominica’s tallest mountain. After working on the trail, guests will be taken along the coast to the fishing village of Toucari so they can dine at the ‘Keepin’ It Real’ bar and restaurant. Guests will then have the opportunity to relax on the beach or go snorkelling, paddleboarding or kayaking before returning to their cruise vessel in Roseau.
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