Voluntourism is a new and growing segment of travel and at Royal Caribbean International it manifests itself in several ways highlighting our commitment to the local communities we visit. We are just starting a program of voluntourism opportunities for our guests on Oasis of the Seas and if successful, will be expanded to other areas of need within the regions of our global deployment.
Guests of Oasis of the Seas have the opportunity to contribute to the local community of Cozumel, Mexico . We have partnered with select tour operators and the Mexican Chapter of the Red Cross to offer guests the chance to contribute their time with several projects. The local chapter in Cozumel provides vital services for the island’s residents and visitors. The Red Cross services the community with emergency response, medical services, lifeguard, first aid and other training, health education, and disaster preparation and relief. As part of a beautification project, guests will assist with the planting of trees and shrubs at the local chapter’s new facility. The 4-hour Voluntourism: The Mexican Red Cross Landscaping Project is available for sale online as well as onboard through this summer. The $50 price of the tour covers the materials needed for the landscaping and transportation to the facility with the remaining proceeds donated to the Cozumel chapter of the Mexican Red Cross.
In the near future, Oasis of the Seas guests also will have the opportunity to contribute to the communities of St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands (from the port of St. Thomas, USVI) and in Labadee, Haiti .
In addition to the active participation of our guests in various programs, we also support a number of worthwhile charities in destinations we serve. Here are a few examples. 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.