Miami – (January 15, 2010 ) – Royal Caribbean Cruises, one of Haiti's largest foreign investors for almost 30 years, today announced its plans to provide at least $1 million in humanitarian relief to Haiti in response to the catastrophic earthquake in Port-Au-Prince. Royal Caribbean will be partnering with charitable organizations – such as Food for the Poor, Pan American Development Foundation, and the Solano Foundation, the company's foundation in Haiti – to provide additional assistance to the people of Haiti. Royal Caribbean will also be delivering much needed goods and supplies to Haiti via their cruise ships.
"The effect of the earthquake on Haiti has been catastrophic, leaving the country in need of not only immediate support, but assistance in their long-term recovery," said Richard D. Fain, chairman and chief executive officer, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "Royal Caribbean wants to do its part to help out not only the general response, but also our hundreds of Haitian employees and their families through this disaster."
"In addition to our financial contribution, Royal Caribbean will continue to provide economic support through the continuous business we bring to Labadee," Fain added.
Leslie Voltaire, Special Envoy of the government of Haiti to the United Nations said, "Given the terrible economic and social challenges we now face in Haiti, we welcome the continuation of the positive economic benefits that the cruise ship calls to Labadee contribute to our country."
The benefits start with Royal Caribbean International's Independence of the Seas' call today to Labadee, Haiti, which includes much needed supplies for the country.
The supplies were loaded on the ship during its call in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and include items such as rice, dried beans, powdered milk, water and canned goods. In addition, 100 percent of the company's net revenue from the destination will be contributed to the relief effort.
In the next two weeks, the following ships are scheduled to call on Labadee with additional supplies: Navigator of the Seas on Monday, January 18; Liberty of the Seas on Tuesday, January 19; and Celebrity Solstice on Friday, January 22. When the supplies arrive in Labadee, they will be transported to an offsite location to be distributed by Food for the Poor, a long time partner of Royal Caribbean in Haiti.
In addition to working with Food for the Poor to distribute relief supplies, guests sailing onboard Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises will be able to make a donation to Food for the Poor's Haiti Relief Fund, via a charge to their onboard account. Guests who would like to contribute immediately can visit Food for the Poor website to make a donation. Royal Caribbean also plans to use a portion of the $1 million donation to augment the company's Crew Relief Fund, which can be drawn on by any of the company's more than 200 Haitian crew members for assistance, as well as to match employee contributions to the partner organizations.
As the initial response effort gives way to the long-term recovery effort, Royal Caribbean will consider further support efforts.