Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. will join humanitarian relief efforts in response to the catastrophic damage caused by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, the company announced.
"Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the storm," said Richard D. Fain, chairman and chief executive officer, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "More than 12,800 of our employees call the Philippines home. We want to do everything we can to help them, their families, and their neighbors heal from this terrible tragedy."
Filipinos are the largest nationality represented on the six cruise lines that make up Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., which employs 60,000 crew members on 41 ships around the world.
Since the storm, Royal Caribbean has taken steps to help crew members attempt to communicate with relatives in the Philippines. Company executives also held a special meeting Monday morning with more than 200 Filipino crew members aboard Vision of the Seas, which was docked near the company's headquarters in Miami, to let them know that more would be done, including matching contributions from employees dollar-for-dollar. Contributions can be made online at www.worldvision.org/royalcaribbean.
The company said its efforts to help the people of the Philippines would total $1 million.
The cruise company will collaborate with its local manning agency, Philippine Transmarine Carriers, Inc. (PTC), to assess the storm's impact on crew members and their families. The companies have deployed an emergency team to the hardest-hit areas in the Philippines, and will establish a central communications point where employees currently on Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, Pullmantur, Azamara Club Cruises, CDF Croisieres de France, and TUI Cruises ships, can ask for assistance in reaching their family members, and where employees who are not currently on ship assignments can check in.
Royal Caribbean will be partnering with World Vision to provide broader assistance to storm victims. World Vision, which has operated in the Philippines since 1954, has deployed emergency relief teams across the country to provide food, hygiene, and shelter kits, and to assess mid- and long-term needs.
Port Everglades, Florida-based Seafarers House, which offers refuge, resources, renewal and respect to the maritime community through multi-faith service, will be conducting religious services onboard several of Royal Caribbean's ships while in port, so that crew members have a place to gather. Royal Caribbean is reaching out to similar organizations that serve crew members in other ports of call around the world.