South Florida-based cruise lines call at Bahamian ports hundreds of times each year. This week, the largest lines announced they would initiate and support efforts to provide support in the wake of Hurricane Dorian.
Carnival Cruise Line’s corporate parent and its chairman on Wednesday pledged a total of $2 million toward hurricane-relief efforts in the islands.
Carnival Corporation also announced an agreement with the Bahamas’ emergency management agency and Medley-based Tropical Shipping to help fund delivery of donated food and supplies collected across South Florida to the islands. Tropical will ship the supplies in its containers, Carnival said in a release. Carnival’s headquarters is in Doral.
The corporation’s charity arm, Carnival Foundation, and the Micky and Madeline Arison Family Foundation will each donate $1 million towards the relief effort. Micky Arison, chairman of Carnival Corporation, is also the principal owner of the Miami Heat.
“We are fully committed to supporting the critical relief and recovery efforts already underway for The Bahamas, and we are working closely with officials and affected communities to identify the needs for support and assistance,” said Carnival CEO Arnold Donald. “Our company has always been closely tied to The Bahamas with a rich history spanning many years, so it’s heartbreaking to see the impact of Hurricane Dorian, and our thoughts and prayers are with the people of The Bahamas.”
Norwegian Cruise Line also has agreed to transport donated goods collected by the City of Miami to Nassau on Thursday or Friday, Mayor Francis Suarez said. NCL is based in Miami-Dade County.
From Nassau, the goods brought in by NCL will be distributed to battered areas like Freeport, Marsh Harbour and Grand Bahama via the Bahamas’ National Emergency Management Agency, or NEMA.
Carnival’s announcement comes a day after Miami-based Royal Caribbean International and The Walt Disney Company’s Disney Cruise Line each announced a pledge of $1 million towards Bahamian relief efforts. Royal Caribbean said it is also loading goods onto its ships, including generators, water, cleaning supplies and sheets and towels, for delivery to the islands.
Miami Herald Staff Writer Samantha J. Gross contributed to this report.