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Pacific Dawn Packs Cargo Hold with Humanitarian Aid for Cyclone-Ravaged Vanuatu

March 23, 2015 Responsible Tourism No Comments Email Email

P&O Cruises’ Brisbane-based superliner Pacific Dawn will sail for Vanuatu this afternoon with a precious cargo of humanitarian aid for the region’s cyclone-ravaged island communities.

As the first cruise ship to visit Port Vila in the wake of Cyclone Pam, the seven-night cruise to New Caledonia and Vanuatu will now double as a humanitarian aid mission.

The equivalent of a full shipping container worth of goods has been loaded onto the ship this morning and will be handed over during a brief call to Port Vila on Wednesday.

As requested by the Vanuatu Disaster Recovery Centre, supplies include 75 tents offering shelter to an estimated 450 people, and 192 tarpaulins, able to cover an area of more than 4600sqm. There are also several pallets of bottled water, tinned tuna, children’s toys, cleaning products and three industrial mulchers, which will play a vital role in the clean up and prevention of airborne disease and fire hazards.

Pacific Dawn crew collect donations from guests ahead of cruise to Vanuatu

Sydney-based Pacific Pearl will depart Sydney on Monday with twice as much aid including more food and water, sheets of corrugated iron for shelter, as well as hygiene products and batteries, which will be handed over in Port Vila on Saturday, March 28. Carnival Legend, from Carnival Australia sister brand Carnival Cruise Line, became one of the first ships to arrive in Vanuatu earlier this week, delivering bottled water, a generator and other humanitarian aid to Santo. Carnival Spirit departs Sydney on March 30 carrying another shipment of aid for the cyclone-ravaged region.

P&O Cruises Spokesman David Jones said the cruises offered guests the chance to give back to the people of Vanuatu during a time of great need.

“Our Pacific Dawn guests will be part of a humanitarian mission to help the very special people of Vanuatu who for decades have welcomed us to their islands,” Mr Jones said. “Guests have been invited to contribute directly by bringing canned food, insect repellent and personal hygiene products for distribution in Vanuatu, as well as taking part in special fundraising concerts onboard.”

On the way to Port Vila, Pacific Dawn will make her scheduled cruise calls to Noumea and Lifou. Pacific Dawn’s Port Vila visit will be limited to the few hours needed to unload the shipment of humanitarian aid. Passengers will not disembark given the state of emergency on the ground.

“We look forward to returning to Vanuatu on a regular basis and continuing to assist in the long term reconstruction of the country through ongoing aid shipments and the valuable contribution of cruise tourism to island communities,” Mr Jones said.

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