P&O Cruises and its guests have made a $50,000 contribution to the Vinnies charity to support relief efforts for victims of the current bushfire emergency in New South Wales and Queensland.

The contribution is comprised of $25,000 from the P&O Pacific Partnership, which is funded by guests from a one-dollar guest contribution to their onboard cruise accounts, matched in full by the cruise line.

After weeks of widespread bushfires and the destruction of hundreds of homes, smoke-filled skies at sea off the coast and on shore have helped to underline for cruise guests and crew the extent of the bushfire crisis for local communities.

READ: RED ALERT: Make Time Today To Help Your Bushfire Affected Peers

 

Supporting Australian communities

On some cruises, bushfire smoke off the east coast has been so thick, P&O’s Pacific Explorer sounded its horn regularly augmenting its modern navigation systems in reduced visibility to alert other vessels.

“Everyone’s hearts were heavy onboard Pacific Explorer as we made our way through dense smoke,”

Zoltina-J Medwik-Daley, Pacific Explorer Entertainment Director

“We all thought if the bushfire smoke was affecting us off the coast in this way, how on earth could our fellow Aussies be coping at ground zero of the fires? Our thoughts and prayers were with people who were literally losing their homes. The ship’s foghorn was sounding all day as we cruised through the plumes of smoke. It was eerie. Never in my 20 years at sea have I ever experienced anything like this”, she continued.

Jack de Groot, CEO of St Vincent de Paul Society (NSW), welcomed the combined $50,000 contribution from P&O Cruises and the P&O Pacific Partnership.

“We’ve been blown away by the kindness of community members and businesses supporting the Vinnies Bushfire Appeal,”

Jack de Groot, CEO of St Vincent de Paul Society (NSW)

“This incredible $50,000 donation from P&O Cruises and their guests will help us provide immediate necessities like food, clothing and financial help for families who’ve been forced to leave their homes.”

“Importantly, it will also help them rebuild and recover once the horrors of the bushfire season are over. We will be keeping the Vinnies Bushfire Appeal open for the foreseeable future. With so many bushfires burning, we fear the worst may be yet to come.”

P&O Cruises President Sture Myrmell said the cruise line was in awe of local communities fighting day after day to protect their homes, families, pets, and livestock. P&O Cruises’ combined contribution with the P&O Pacific Partnership is a sign of our solidarity with the communities affected by the bushfire emergency,” he said.

Click here to make a donation.