P&O Cruises’ Sydney-based superliner Pacific Pearl will sail for Vanuatu tonight with a precious cargo of humanitarian aid to help the region rebuild following Cyclone Pam.
The 10-night cruise to New Caledonia and Vanuatu will now double as a humanitarian aid mission with
the equivalent of two full shipping containers worth of vital supplies being loaded onto the ship in Sydney and handed over during a brief call to Port Vila on Saturday (March 28).
Brisbane-based Pacific Dawn will become the first cruise ship to call at Port Vila in the wake of Cyclone Pam, with supplies including tarpaulins, tents, bottled water, canned food and industrial mulchers, set to be delivered during a brief call on Wednesday. Carnival Legend, from Carnival Australia sister brand Carnival Cruise Line, became one of the first ships to arrive in Vanuatu last week, delivering bottled water, a generator and other humanitarian aid to Santo. Carnival Spirit departs Sydney on March 30 carrying another shipment of aid.
P&O Cruises Spokesman David Jones said the cruise line would continue ongoing aid shipments as long as it was needed.
“The people of Vanuatu have been welcoming us to their islands for decades so we’re honoured to be able to play a part in the rebuilding process. We look forward to resuming regular cruise calls when the time is right and continuing to assist in the long term reconstruction of the country through the valuable contribution of cruise tourism to island communities,” Mr Jones said.