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Cruise Industry Embraces
Make a Difference Day at Sea and Beyond

(WASHINGTON, DC, October 26, 2018) – Throughout the month of October, Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the unified voice and leading authority of the global cruise community, is encouraging travelers to #ChooseCruise and learn more about the cruise industry. In honor of Make a Difference Day (October 27, 2018), CLIA is highlighting some of the most innovative initiatives cruise lines are taking part in to help make a difference at sea and beyond.

“Every day, the cruise industry aims to make a positive impact on the places and people it visits in each new destination,” said Cindy D’Aoust, president and CEO, CLIA. “From environmental efforts to humanitarian aid, to charitable efforts onboard, the cruise industry is constantly making strides to ensure that the places we cruise are thriving and vibrant. The entire industry celebrates the cruise lines, travelers, agents, and partners working to influence positive change at sea and on land.”

Here are some of the top cruise industry initiatives that are making a difference in oceans and on land:

  • Donations & Partnerships: One main way the industry makes a difference globally is through charitable partnerships and donations, monetary and otherwise. Costa Cruises, in partnership with the Francesca Rava Foundation, has built the Costa Crociere Foundation to assist rebuilding Norcia, Italy, after the earthquake of October 30, 2016, which damaged the town’s schools. In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, Costa started donating one Euro for every Amatriciana pasta dish served at its onboard restaurants. Guests also were able to make donations in support of the project that helped rebuild the town’s schools. Carnival Cruise Line works in partnership with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital to support the organization’s many lifesaving initiatives through innovative fundraising efforts both onboard and ashore. Since the partnership began in 2010, Carnival has raised more than $16 million for St. Jude.
  • Community Outreach: Many cruise lines support the local communities they sail to with a wealth of humanitarian efforts that give back to the resident economy. Holland America Line, working in cooperation with Fathom Impact Travel, offers a specialized Cruise with Purpose EXC Tours that give guests the opportunity to make a difference. One tour takes guests to the Puerto Plata community of Amber Cove, Dominican Republic where they participate in a hands-on visit to a chocolate factory founded by local enterprising women working to support their families. Paul Gauguin Cruises promotes sustainable travel to the island communities the line cruises to. With itineraries designed around the mission of giving back to local residents and supporting the local economy, the line encourages travelers to experience the local communities each trip visits. Paul Gauguin offers guests a chance to immerse themselves in the community by learning bark weaving and plant conservation from locals in the botanical gardens; boosting the economy in the local marketplace; and responsibly exploring ancient temples, pineapple plantations, and locally owned black pearl farms with local guides. Avalon Waterways partnered with Landmine Design which is a social enterprise that uses dignified work and design to educate and provide jobs for women living in poverty in Cambodia, one of the destinations Avalon Waterways guests visit along the Mekong River and home to a small village that is the site of the largest concentration of landmines in the world. Landmine Design was created to give women in the minefield a chance to make a living from their homes by creating and designing jewelry. For the past three years, Avalon Waterways (and the Globus family of brands), has helped this program grow from fewer than 10 women to 24 women.  
  • Educational Efforts: Cruise lines choose to make a difference by educating their cruisers about different cultures around the world and brining education to global communities. For example, AmaWaterways sponsors the ODA Free Village English School in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The school was established in 2011 in association with Opportunities of Development through Art (ODA). The cruise line’s support of the school brings critical English-language skills to local children to help improve their lives and support their success.  Celestyal Cruises actively supports the local communities in the destinations it visits, particularly in the field of education. Since 2015, more than 1,200 students on the Greek islands of Milos, Patmos and Ios have attended specialized educational programs, initiated by Celestyal Cruises and the line supports cultural NGOs to promote youth entrepreneurship, marine student development and child welfare.
  • At-Sea Sustainability: One major way the cruise industry aids in a global positive impact is by constantly striving for sustainable travel solutions. From clean tech to bans on disposable items to recycling efforts, nearly all cruise lines are constantly updating their sustainability practices. For instance, MSC Cruises is heavily invested in cleaner emissions and other environmental technology solutions including LNG-powered cruise vessels that create cleaner exhaust and produces energy with approximately 20% less CO2 emissions. The line is also investing in Selective Catalyst Reduction systems, an innovative solution that helps reduce nitrogen oxide into harmless nitrogen and water through advanced active emissions control technology. To cut down on disposable waste, when Virgin Voyages launches its first ship in 2020, there will be an onboard policy that bans all single-use plastics including plastic straws, bottled water, shopping bags, beverage stirrers, and more.

Those looking to book a cruise during #ChooseCruise can find a CLIA-Certified Travel Agent at

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Sarah Kennedy