SYDNEY, 29 Feb. 2020 – Royal Caribbean International latest game-changing ship Spectrum of the Seas sailed out of Sydney Harbour this evening on her first humanitarian cruise in support of Australia’s volunteer first responder community, who worked tirelessly during the recent bushfire crisis. Carrying over 3,500 dedicated volunteer first responders and their families, Spectrum of the Seas’ first complimentary 4-night coastal cruise will return to Sydney on Wednesday 4 March.
The second “Thank You” cruise will follow the same itinerary from 7-11 March. With over 12,000 registrations received and in response to the overwhelming demand, Royal Caribbean has announced a third cruise from 13-17 March.
“We have been blown away by the first responder community’s response. To express our gratitude, we feel privileged to now be dedicating three cruises to those who have worked tirelessly to protect our Australian land,” says Gavin Smith, Managing Director, Royal Caribbean International Australia and New Zealand.
Volunteers and their families have been invited from all over Australia to sail on Spectrum of the Seas over the coming weeks, including the Barnes family from Albury, NSW who were onboard today when the first humanitarian cruise departed Sydney.
“We have 11 volunteer firefighters in our family, so we’re beyond excited to all be going on a holiday together. It’s been a tough couple of months and we’re extremely thankful to have this incredible opportunity to kick up our heels and enjoy quality time with loved ones,” said Kathleen Barnes.
Royal Caribbean worked with state-based volunteer agencies directly to notify and encourage eligible volunteers to register for their complimentary cruise. The company partnered with Lifeline to provide individual support sessions for any guests who have been impacted by the bushfires and need to talk through calling the Bushfire Recovery line 13HELP on 13 43 57.
Spectrum of the Seas sailed into Sydney’s Overseas Passenger Terminal at [17:00] this evening, crossing paths with sister ship Ovation of the Seaswho departed on a 12-night New Zealand cruise.