Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has assisted the Caribbean’s hurricane relief effort by donating brand new crew uniforms worth £33,000 to two of the worst-hit islands – Barbuda and Dominica. Fred. Olsen donated 1,465 new uniform items to the islanders, including shoes, trousers, shirts and skirts, along with 2,263 items of used uniforms.
Much of the Caribbean was severely affected by the destructive force of Category 5 Hurricane Irma in September 2017, with windspeeds of up to 185mph, followed by the devastating impacts of Hurricane Maria.
Fred. Olsen’s 1,350-guest flagship, Balmoral, called into St. John’s, Antigua, which is acting as a transit port to handle aid shipments, as part of her 32-night L1726 ‘A Caribbean Discovery’ cruise. The uniforms were offloaded in the port and passed onto Antigua’s National Office of Disaster Services, for distribution to those most in need on the islands of Barbuda and Dominica.
Frances Totterdell, Fleet Inventory Manager for Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines, said:
“At Fred. Olsen, we have a long-established Caribbean fly-cruise programme, and we know that many of our guests have come to know and love this most beautiful part of the world, and share our sadness at such devastation and hardship for the local people.
“The idea to donate the uniforms came originally from our Hotel Manager, Peter Reeves, who is from Grenada. Peter knows a lot of the people on the different islands and wanted to find a way to help those most in need. At first, the crew were a bit sceptical about whether the uniforms would actually be of any use to the islanders. However, when they realised just how badly the islands had been hit, it was agreed by all that these items would be useful in some way, as many people were left with nothing, and they got behind the cause whole-heartedly.”
The 50 boxes of uniforms came from three of Fred. Olsen’s ships – Balmoral, Boudicca and Braemar – after the cruise line revamped the crews’ Housekeeping, Bar and Restaurant outfits, to follow the ‘new-look’ uniforms on board refurbished Black Watch.
In addition to the donation of crew uniforms, Fred. Olsen is supporting the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s (‘CTO’) Hurricane Relief Fund. As a long-standing member of the CTO, Fred. Olsen decided to support the Fund across its fleet to assist those CTO member destinations affected by the catastrophic storms. All monies raised by the CTO – which is aiming to reach a target of $100,000 – will be disbursed directly to the Ministries of Tourism in the impacted member states and will be used to rebuild devastated communities and provide financial relief to those most in need.
During Balmoral’s ‘A Caribbean Discovery’ cruise, the Entertainments crew hosted a number of guest activities to raise badly-needed funds on board. The ‘Fundraising Carnival’, which featured a range of fun fairground games, such as ‘Bat the Rat’, ‘Wheel of Fortune’ and ‘Guess the Weight of the Cake’, generated an impressive £1,800 for the CTO’s Hurricane Relief Fund, which will help to make a difference to those most in need in the affected regions of the Caribbean.
To learn more about the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s Hurricane Relief Fund, or if you wish to make a donation directly, please visit https://www.gofundme.com/hurricane-relief-fund-cto
Fred. Olsen Cruise Line operates in the UK with four intimately sized ships for a more personal cruising experience.