LOS ANGELES, December 22, 2008 – Through a charitable donation program extending from its shore-side headquarters to its worldwide ships, Crystal Cruises is inviting its employees, guests, travel agents and the general public to help save the lives of children under five around the world.
Nearly 10 million children in impoverished countries die every year of preventable illnesses before they reach the age of five because they lack the simplest of things – clean drinking water, basic medicines, mosquito netting, and nutrition. In September 2008, Crystal Cruises became a founding partner of the CondÃ© Nast Traveler Five & Alive Fund, a program supporting children five and under in more than 30 countries around the world by preventing and treating malaria, water-borne illness, pneumonia and malnutrition.
Effective today, a link at crystalcruises.com enables people to make a tax deductible monetary contribution to Five & Alive. Additionally, Crystal Cruises’ onboard guests can make cash or check donations via an in-stateroom envelope, charge to their shipboard folios, or donate their shipboard credits.
Beginning in January, Crystal is introducing a selection of retail merchandise in which 100% of net proceeds will benefit the charity. Gift shop products include high end bracelets designed by Hubert Gems, specially designed polo and t-shirts and the coveted WebkinzÂ® stuffed toys, all of which will be available in Crystal’s onboard shopping boutiques.
In 2009, Crystal Cruises is also scheduling four unique onboard auctions conducted by the Cruise Directors on Crystal Symphony and Crystal Serenity. In addition to various Crystal Cruises memorabilia, the line will auction unique and exclusive experiences, such as appearing on its in-room television programming or behind-the-scenes private events with the executive chef and head sommelier. Auctions are planned for the line’s March 9 Trans-pacific cruise from Los Angeles to Hong Kong, its April 16 World Cruise finale from Yokohama to Los Angeles, its May 17 cruise from Dubai to Athens, and the November 12 Transatlantic cruise from Lisbon to Miami.
As little as $5 can provide a long-lasting, insecticide-treated malaria net to an African child and his mother for three years. Only $25 can buy lifesaving pneumonia antibiotics treatment that will save the lives of more than 100 children. Just $50 can distribute enough oral rehydration salts to save 500 children’s lives in India, and $100 can provide more than 35 families in Malawi with safe drinking water for a year.
“I was so impressed that so little can do so much and that more than 90% of money received funds programs that reach the field,” says Gregg Michel, president of Crystal Cruises, who with cruise director, Gary Hunter, personally joined Five & Alive in Rwanda to view the organization’s efforts. “While we continue to support numerous philanthropic projects, we are inspired and committed to raising money and awareness. Although the western world is experiencing its own financial challenges, children around the world are facing a dire need for basic services.”
About Five & Alive & Crystal Cruises
Five & Alive is a non-profit program of Population Services International (PSI). Grounded in more than a decade of accolades from travelers and critics, Crystal Cruises is dedicated to raising shipboard and shore-side awareness of responsible and respectful treatment of the environments through which we travel.
For more information and to make a donation, visit www.crystalcruises.com/partnerhome.aspx. For more information about Crystal Cruises and reservations, contact a travel agent or call 888-799-4625, or visit the luxury line’s website crystalcruises.com.