For cruise travelers who want to make their vacation a more memorable experience, as part of its gratifying new "You Care, We Care" program, Crystal Cruises announces seven more spring-summer voluntourism excursions focusing on both conservation and helping disadvantaged children. Most outings include immersive education about the cultures visited ranging from urban farming lessons in Cartagena, Colombia to Maori traditions in New Zealand.
Scheduled in conjunction with voyages through Africa, Hawaii, Alaska, and the Pacific Coast aboard Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity sailings, the complimentary shore excursions offer hands-on opportunities for guests and crew to aid communities-in-need, including:
-- Langa Township, South Africa (4/18): Assisting orphans with homework at the Siyamphambili Orphanage;
-- Astoria, Oregon (4/14 & 4/20): Working with the Friends of Ft. Stevens to improve a former Civil War fort-turned-state park;
-- Makapu-u Beach, Hawaii (5/1): Removing invasive weeds that threaten the less than 2% of original coastal plant ecosystems left on Oahu;
-- Sitka, Alaska (5/14-8/18): Supporting the operation/maintenance of the salmon hatchery and/or marine-life exhibits at the Sitka Sound Science Center; and
-- Dublin, Ireland (7/29): Helping troubled youth from St. Joseph's Youth Club with facility upkeep, activity planning, and/or simply playing a game of snooker.
"Whether from the hugs from village children or the tears from grateful adults, our volunteers always leave these places moved by the experience," says John Stoll, vice president, land and port operations. "These trips are changing lives, on both sides of the spectrum."
This year, "You Care, We Care" volunteers have bonded with young burn victims over arts and crafts, card games, and a musical "jam session" at Lima, Peru's ANQUIEM Burn Rehabilitation Center; planted trees to restore native forests at the Hakikino Conservation Reserve in Napier, New Zealand; and helped with building restoration, garden revitalization, and/or recreational activities while brightening the lives of children at orphanages and villages in Lautoka, Fiji ; Rio, Brazil ; Marigot Bay, St. Martin ; and Colombo, Sri Lanka. Voluntourism excursions for the remainder of 2011 itineraries are in development.
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. For more information, visit CrystalCruises.com.