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The Ocean Fund

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., which operates Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Cruises, established the Ocean Fund in 1996 to support marine
conservation organizations in conserving the world's oceans. The mission of the Ocean Fund is to support efforts to restore and maintain a healthy marine environment, minimize the impact of human activity on this environment, and promote awareness of ocean and coastal issues and respect for marine life.

Ocean Fund grants are made annually to a variety of nonprofit groups and institutions conducting activities directly related to marine conservation. These activities cover ocean science and conservation projects that relate to climate change, key marine species, technology and targeted education of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. stakeholders and communities. Over $11 million has been awarded to organizations since the fund's inception.

Annual grants typically average between $20,000 and $40,000. Grants are made for one calendar year only.

Letters of interest and formal proposals are requested by RCL invitation only.

Past Ocean Fund Grant Announcements 


Organizations seeking grant funding from the Ocean Fund are welcome to email the oceanfund@rccl.com throughout the year to introduce their organization, mission, programs and potential projects relevant to the mission of the Ocean Fund within the body of the email; please refrain from attaching documents to the email, as they will not be reviewed. Regretfully, due to the volume of email inquiries, only those organizations who are requested to submit a letter of interest to the Ocean Fund will receive a personalized response to their email. The Ocean Fund grant selection process is by invitation only.

  • Organizations selected to submit letter(s) of interest will receive invitations(April/May)
  • Organizations submit letter(s) of interest (May/June)
  • Letters of interest are reviewed (July/August)
  • A select group of organizations will then be requested to submit a full proposal(August)
  • Proposals are received and reviewed; recommendations are made to the Ocean Fund Grant Committee (September/October)
  • Grant Committee makes selections of grant recipients and the amount awarded to each yeahyeaorganization (November/December)
  • Grant funding disbursed (January/February)
* Organizations who are invited to submit Letter(s) of Interest will receive instructions with a more specific grant cycle timeline. The timeline and dates provided above are approximate and are intended to give potential grant recipients an indication of our typical grant cycle. The Ocean Fund reserves the right to alter the timeline and process at any time.
Frequently Asked Questions:

Q: What kind of projects does the Ocean Fund typically fund?
A: The Ocean Fund grants funding to projects related to the following categories: climate change, key marine species, innovative technologies and targeted education of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. stakeholders and communities.

Q: Our organization does not have registered charity status (U.S. 501(c)3 or international equivalent); does this mean we are unable to apply?
A: Applicants are required to have a tax exempt charity status in their country of origin or be working in partnership with a designated 501(c)3 charity organization in the United States. In this case, the U.S. partner organization must be the primary applicant for the Ocean Fund grant.

Q: What type of documentation is required for the registered tax exempt charitable status?
A: Applicants must provide a copy of the official letter form the Internal Revenue Service or equivalent government entity granting the tax exempt status with the proposal. This document must be valid for the grant year prior to application.

Q: Are there restrictions regarding the use of grant funds for salaries and overhead costs of the project?
A: A suggested guideline is to keep such costs to 30 percent or less of the total project budget. However, at this time we do not have a set restriction for the percentage of a grant that may be allocated to salary and overhead.

Q: How much money may our organization request?
A: There is a range in the dollar amounts of grants awarded. Typical grants awarded range from US $20,000 to $40,000. Organizations should request the amount required to successfully complete the proposed project, while also considering other sources of funding.

Q: I sent an introductory email and received an automated response. What do I do now?
A: Invitations for letters of inquiry are sent in March/April. Unfortunately, due to the volume of email inquiries, if you did not receive a response, we regret to inform you that your organization has not been selected. We welcome your organization to re-submit an introductory email for the next grant cycle.

Q: I sent an email and received an automated response. When will I receive an answer to my question?
A: The Ocean Fund administrator will respond to specific questions in a timely manner. Unfortunately, due to the volume of inquiries, please note that introductory emails will not receive a personalized response, unless selected for invitation.

Q: If our organization's previous letter of interest of grant proposal was declined, can we submit a new introductory email?
A: We welcome your organization to submit a new introductory email, briefly outlining a new potential project you would like to have funded that aligns with the Ocean Fund's mission. This project will be considered for the next grant cycle.

If your organization has been invited to submit a letter of interest or a grant proposal and you have questions or require assistance, please feel free to send an email to oceanfund@rccl.com and the Ocean Fund administrator will be happy to help you.


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