SOURCE: Crown Cruise Vacations

Crown Cruise Vacations

September 26, 2013 13:00 ET

11 Ways to Take a Cruise Vacation and Give Back Through Volunteerism

Sophisticated Cruise Specialists at Crown Cruise Vacations Assist With Extraordinary Vacations

PRINCETON, NJ--(Marketwired - Sep 26, 2013) - If you're considering cruise travel but at the same time would like to "give back" or contribute in some way, here are 11 cruise lines that offer ways to cruise and give back or contribute in some way at the same time. The cruise experts at Crown Cruise Vacations can assist with these extraordinary cruises, whether you want to learn more or you are ready to plan something for yourself, your family or a group.

1. AmaWaterways

AmaWaterways is proud sponsor of the ODA Free Village English School in Siem Reap, Cambodia, established in 2011 in association with the Orphans and Disabled Arts Association. Financial support to the school brings critical English-language skills to local children of grammar-school age to help improve their lives and assist with subsequent employment opportunities.

Surrounded by the famous temples of Angkor, the Siem Reap area is uniquely tied to the Khmer culture and relies primarily on tourism. AmaWaterways guests touring the Angkor Archaeological Park as part of their 16-day "Vietnam, Cambodia and the Riches of the Mekong" itinerary are given the opportunity to visit the school during their excursion to the nearby Banteay Srei temple.

2. Celebrity Cruises

Voluntourism excursions include St. John, Virgin Islands, National Park and Community Foundation, where cruisers participate in meaningful community volunteer work as you take on various tasks to help the island, including coastal management, trail upkeep, eco-education, reforestation, community service and maintenance. You will contribute towards a National Site, which will endear you to have pride that you have helped keep this island pristine.

Onboard programs like Celebrity Freedance give you a way to help support life-saving research in a fun, engaging way that celebrates your vacation. Join the cruise director's staff and learn a choreographed dance routine to be performed during your cruise. Purchase a Celebrity Freedance class with t-shirt onboard, and $10 goes to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

On each voyage of Celebrity Solstice, Celebrity Equinox and Celebrity Eclipse, the Corning Museum of Glass Hot Glass Show gaffers will create and auction glass art with 100% of the winning auction bid going to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Celebrity also donates $3 of the $4 price of each non-alcoholic pink cocktail, Sparkling Rose, sold and $2 from the sale of every Excite the Senses lifestyle book to BCRF during select times of the year.

3. Crystal Cruises

Crystal offers a complimentary "You Care. We Care" Crystal Voluntourism Adventure on every itinerary (where possible). The "You Care" element offers guests the opportunity to make a difference in the places Crystal ships visit at a very local level, while the "We Care" portion represents Crystal's own investment in preserving precious historical sites around the world.

These adventures focus on hands-on volunteer efforts with no obligation of financial donations. With the goal of improving destinations for future generations, Crystal Voluntourism Adventures allow guests to directly contribute to a need or cause specific to the community being visited.

A couple of examples of a number of current excursions being offered are:

  • The LIFE Programme (Learning is Fun & Exciting) (Singapore) helps children who are facing multiple challenges attain their age appropriate literacy level. For the volunteer-minded, this specially planned experience is a chance to perhaps read with the children or play games, creating lasting memories for both you and the students with whom you interact.
  • Making a Difference: Weeding & Learning at Makapu'u Beach (Oahu Hawaii) Less than two percent of Oahu's original coastal plant ecosystems remain intact. Today, you will have the opportunity to ensure that one of the best remaining native plant communities survive as you join a limited number of guests on this volunteer-focused excursion, offered as part of Crystal's "You Care, We Care" program.

4. Holland America Line

Cruise With Purpose Excursion Collection: For every global citizen who has ever dreamed of either giving back or paying it forward, the innovative Cruise with Purpose Collection is quite simply about improving our planet one voyage at a time. Assist in scientific research, bring much-needed supplies to an orphanage, participate in a fair trade program or cultural exchange, replant native forest or restore fragile habitat. Your footprint will be light and your soul enriched.

Holland America Line and the Holland America Line Foundation continue to take the fight against cancer to the high seas with On Deck for a Cause, a non-competitive 5k fundraising walk on each sailing. This program supports cancer organizations in North America, Europe and Australia: Cancer Council Australia, Canadian Cancer Society, Deutsche Krebshilfe (German Cancer Aid), KWF Kankerbestrijding (Dutch Cancer Society), Cancer Research UK and American Cancer Society and helps raise significant funds for cancer research, education, screening and treatment programs.

Guests of all ages are invited to donate $20 to the Holland America Line Foundation, with a minimum of 80 percent ($16) being distributed to the organizations. The remaining 20% will cover program and administrative expenses. On a day at sea, participants are invited to join in a 5k walk around the ship's wide teak decks. Guests may walk less or not at all, as they prefer. Participants will also receive an On Deck for a Cause T-shirt and wristband, and a reception follows the walk. Depending on the ship, the distance to reach 5k ranges from nine to 12 laps.

5. Lindblad Expeditions

The Lindblad family has spent decades exploring the world's wildest places, and has undertaken multiple efforts in support of conservation, education and marine stewardship raising nearly $10 million in collaboration with our guests in the last 10 years alone. Lindblad has also initiated a number of programs to reduce impacts of its activities on the regions it visits.

In an effort to raise more monies for conservation and sustainable tourism projects around the world, Lindblad Expeditions and National Geographic launched a Joint Fund for Exploration and Conservation to support initiatives around the world, with a special focus on the regions they explore.

6. MSC Cruises

MSC AND UNICEF GET ON BOARD FOR CHILDREN INITIATIVE

MSC and UNICEF's partnership is based on the "Get On Board For Children" initiative, which relies on donations generously made by guests cruising abroad all ships of MSC Cruises' fleet. MSC Cruises' guests are invited to get on board for children and make a difference by offering a small donation in addition to their cruise fare. This can be as little as EUR 1 which can simply be added to the bill at the end of their cruise. UNICEF products are also sold on board the MSC fleet, and the money raised from these sales is given to the project. To date, 2 million euros have been raised for the project.

MSC has additional UNICEF programs for Africa.

7. Norwegian Cruise Line

Save a Turtle Excursion is for anyone who wants to leave Cozumel a little better than how they found it. You will be led by the biologist's team member who spearheads the Save the Endangered Sea Turtle Program. This is a hand's on tour in that you will actually save the sea turtles. The Save a Sea Turtle Program has been one of Cozumel's best kept secrets. The groundbreaking new conservation system has been adopted by many other state wide programs with the help from local volunteers. This tour is only available for guests on the Norwegian Jewel's October 2013 sailings.

8. Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises offers the "Cruising for a Cause" initiative that dedicates an entire sailing to support select charitable causes. This industry-leading program provides a way for you to make a difference even as you vacation on the following cruises:

4-day Western Caribbean cruise onboard Caribbean Princess November 5 - 9, 2013, to support U.S. veterans.

5-day Western Caribbean cruise onboard Ruby Princess February 10 - 15, 2014, to support the American Heart Association.

9. Royal Caribbean International

In addition to the active participation of our guests in various programs, RCI supports a number of worthwhile charities in destinations served. In Europe guests sailing on Brilliance of the Seas who purchase a shuttle bus pass in Venice also will receive a Chorus Pass ticket, a $13 per person value, which provides entrance to 16 of the most important churches in Venice. The Chorus Association, a non-profit, will reinvest the funds from Royal Caribbean's purchase of the Chorus Pass tickets in the restoration and maintenance of the priceless churches and the cultural heritage represented in the more than 1,000 pieces of art. The aim of the Chorus Association is to contribute to the safeguarding, conservation, and restoration of the architectural and artistic heritage of churches in the city of Venice.

Guests sailing on Splendour of the Seas, Navigator of the Seas, Brilliance of the Seas and Vision of the Seas who visit Kusadasi (Ephesus), Turkey and participate in select full day tours will have a tree planted near the House of Mary in their honor and will receive a certificate to this effect. This project is focused on the re-forestation of this critical historical site.

In Juneau, Alaska, guests sailing on Radiance of the Seas and Rhapsody of the Seas can purchase the Whales & Glaciers: Citizen Science Adventure tour. Guests will play a significant role in a monitored citizen science program while viewing the likes of whales, seals, porpoises, sea lions and sea birds in their natural habitat. This tour provides guests with hands-on experience collecting water samples, trawling for plankton, and recording animal behaviors. All observational data-logging will improve scientists' understanding of the local food chain and other environmental variables that effect marine populations.

10. Seadream Yacht Club

Over the past several years, SeaDream I & SeaDream II have made the Transatlantic voyages a bit more fitness oriented by creating a challenge of sorts. The guests (and crew) walk laps on deck for the fresh air, for the health benefits and they are also raising money for charity at the same time.

During the April 2013 Transatlantic voyages, "Steps for Charity" will raise money for The Asia Foundation. The Asia Foundation improves lives, expands opportunities, and helps societies flourish across a dynamic and developing Asia and works with innovative leaders and communities to build effective institutions and advance path breaking reforms. Together with their partners, the line is committed to Asia's continued development as a peaceful, just and thriving region of the world.

11. Silversea Cruises

Offers some "give back" excursions, such as Experience Rural Life and SOS Village. The Experience Rural Life half-day tour provides a glimpse of rural life around Nha Trang along with the opportunity of visiting a SOS Children's Village and allowing you to 'Give Back' to the community. The SOS Children's Village non-profit organization based in the United Kingdom provides a loving home for more than 78,000 children in 125 countries. Silversea Cruises is proud to donate a portion of your tour cost to this worldwide organization.

Sophisticated cruise specialists at Crown Cruise Vacations can assist with any of these "give back" and contribution cruise options. For more information and to book your extraordinary cruise call 1-877-283-1114 toll-free USA/Canada, +1-609-945-9801 direct dial or visit http://www.crowncruisevacations.com/

About Crown Cruise Vacations
Sophisticated cruise specialists at Crown Cruise Vacations assist with extraordinary and conventional cruises and travel, designed to delight clients as they take dream vacations. Great value and unparalleled service are the cornerstones of Crown Cruise Vacations.

Crown Cruise Vacations was named North America's Leading Cruise Travel Agent 2012 by the prestigious World Travel Awards, which acknowledges excellence across all sectors of the global travel and tourism industry. Crown Cruise Vacations is the preferred provider of Artful Traveler's PTV at Sea cruises, which enrich, inspire and entertain with informative programming presented by some of public broadcasting's most acclaimed personalities.

Based in Princeton, New Jersey, Crown Cruise Vacations specialists are comprised of a unique team of experienced, accredited travel agents and managers with a multitude of years selling leisure travel. For more information, please visit us at http://www.crowncruisevacations.com/.

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