Looking to blend a European vacation on a luxury cruise liner with volunteer work?
This fall Crystal Cruises offers guests the opportunity to give back in Valletta, Malta on selected Crystal Serenity voyages. The Republic of Malta is an archipelago in the central Mediterranean Sea, south of the Italian island of Sicily. This is perfect for those looking for a soft introduction to voluntourism by offering a simple way to incorporate giving back to the local community with a luxury European vacation.
Through its new Crystal Adventure program, travelers can “Go Green” in Malta, by planting trees in the island’s only national park, donating food at a local charity and learning eco-conscious planting and harvesting practices at a local organic farm. The adventure is available on Crystal Serenity’s 12-day, October 19 Mediterranean/Holy Land voyage from Athens to Rome, and the 11-day, October 31 Mediterranean/Spain voyage from Rome to Barcelona, and is $95 per person.
The eight-hour excursion includes a visit to Ta’ Qali National Park, where guests will plant trees and learn about the park’s conservation efforts. Then, a guided tour and lunch at eco-conscious Ta’ Zeppi Organic Farm and guests will help in a local orphanage and donate food.
“This excursion affords guests the opportunity to contribute to the local needs in Valletta, and also gain a better understanding of the environmental efforts of the destination,” says John Stoll, vice president, land and port operations. “Like so many Crystal Adventures, this experience offers a new point of view for guests who want to explore destinations from a deeper, more informed perspective.”
This is a prelude to Crystal’s launch of the ‘You Care, We Care’ program in 2011 that aims to bring global awareness to its six-star vacation experiences.
Increasingly, more cruise lines are including voluntourism as part of their shore excursions. Cruise West was the first to offer a voluntourism excursion in Mexico in 2007. In June, we wrote about Royal Carribean’s Oasis of the Seas’ partnership with the Red Cross in Cozumel, Mexico, that offers guests the opportunity to plant trees and shrubs in the charity’s new facility.
via cruise industry news
photo credit: cruiseweb.com