Crystal Sets New Voluntourism Excursions

This September/October, Crystal Cruises’ guests and staff will help international refugees resettle in Canada, Massachusetts children-in-need survive winter, feed the hungry in Halifax, and care for stray/rescued donkeys in Antigua—all as part of the ultraluxe cruise line’s “You Care, We Care” program in New England, Canada, and the Caribbean this fall.

Volunteer opportunities are offered gratis on every 2011 sailing, giving guests and crew an easy, hands-on way to “give back” to local communities, while simultaneously providing an alternative cultural perspective to traditional shore excursions.

Participants may assist four aid organizations on five east coast Crystal Symphony voyages:

•  Cradles to Crayons (9/16 and 10/8—Boston): Prepare vital winter items for homeless/low-income children, from schoolbags to warm coats and shoes.
•  Romero House (9/30—St. John, New Brunswick): Provide kitchen aid for a housing community that assists less-fortunate locals and resettling refugees.
•  Feed Nova Scotia (10/20—Halifax): Help food bank preparation/distribution.
•  Donkey Sanctuary at the Antigua & Barbuda Humane Society (10/31—Antigua): Feed, clean, or walk the shelter’s stray donkeys, dogs and cats.

Launched in January, 2011, Crystal’s “You Care, We Care” program has been widely recognized as a trailblazing effort for socially responsible tourism.

“While we always seek unique adventures for our guests, we created this program as a very personal way for Crystal travelers to give back to the many destinations that have given us so much through the years,” says Thomas Mazloum, senior vice president operations. “We’ve already seen incredibly positive ripple effects in peoples’ lives, and we can’t wait to continue our efforts through the year.”

Crystal’s voluntourism efforts thus far in 2011 have helped orphans, animals and the environment. June/July projects include caretaking cats and birds at the oldest independent animal protection organization in Norway and a summer-long project of rehab-ing an eco-friendly salmon hatchery and education facility in Alaska.

A cornerstone of Crystal Cruises’ culture is its genuine hospitality and service that has been internationally-celebrated for two decades. This spirit of generosity extends to its respectful treatment of the environment, oceans and communities in which it travels.

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