Crystal Cruises has introduced a complimentary, participatory shore excursion programme that enables its guests and crew to assist with charitable projects in destinations they visit during their cruise.
Beginning in 2011, the line’s “You Care, We Care” initiative is designed to assist a local project and educate participants on local community needs, as well as enhance travelers’ personal growth and their intimate connection with a destination.
On every 2011 itinerary, Crystal has planned one “You Care, We Care” Crystal Adventure in which a limited number of guests and crew can donate their time, with Crystal covering all logistical arrangements and costs.
Voluntourism experiences to date with Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity voyages include:
• Lima, Peru – Brightening the environment of the children at the ANQUIEM Burn rehabilitation center with arts & crafts;
• Cartagena, Colombia – Creating crafts with the elderly, playing soccer with the children, or urban farming with an emphasis on organic agriculture at the Granitos de Paz Foundation; and
• Puerto Vallarta, Mexico – Assisting the PEACE organization in beach and neighborhood cleanup, and perhaps helping in light construction at a local green space.
Crystal challenged its worldwide tour operators to craft excursions that contribute to meaningful local causes. “Initially, some of our ground operators questioned whether these experiences would have enough of our typical six-star tour amenities. We reminded them that we understood that these opportunities would be less refined. The contribution is selfless – yet the wonderful byproduct is that these experiences will surely be authentically enriching and rewarding,” said John Stoll, vice president, land and port operations.
The complete roster of excursions and projects is in development and availability will be limited.
“You Care, We Care” precedes another new program the line is developing to promote awareness, preservation and support of the world’s most significant historical sites.