Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings will encourage team members to give back to their communities with a new Paid Volunteer Day and said it has provided more than $2m of in-kind humanitarian relief to organizations worldwide in 2020 and 2021.

The parent of Norwegian Cruise Line, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises provided these donations even while its ships have been unable to sail, supporting various causes including COVID-19 and disaster relief.

The new Paid Volunteer Day for US shoreside team members, beginning in 2021, will facilitate employees participating in the nonprofit community program of their choice.

Core values

‘Dedication to family and community is one of our company’s core values and we along with our team members around the globe are committed to doing good and making a lasting impact in our local communities, the communities we visit and on the local ecosystems through which we cruise,’ NCLH President and CEO Frank Del Rio said.

Starting this year, all full-time US shoreside team members will be given the opportunity to take eight hours of paid time off per calendar year to participate as volunteers in 501(c)(3) nonprofit community programs. Team members have historically participated in volunteer events including beach clean-ups, toy drives and food service. While in-person volunteer opportunities were limited in 2020 due to the pandemic, the company adjusted in ways including the successful completion of a virtual toy drive.

Employee donations matched

In addition, as part of NCLH’s Workplace Giving Program, the company supports four organizations by offering employees the opportunity to make automatic recurring or one-time payments through payroll deductions. NCLH matches each team member’s contribution up to $1,000 per year. The four nonprofit organizations include All Hands and Hearts, Kids in Distress, American Cancer Society and Virlanie.

As well, since the global suspension of cruising began in March 2020, the company has continued to work with organizations around the world, tallying more than $2m in-kind donations.

Examples include $1.2m in food and water to Feeding America’s local Miami food bank Feeding South Florida by the end of 2021.

The company has provided nearly $275,000 of in-kind donations in the form of JUST Water and nonperishable goods to support two community organizations and assist ongoing relief efforts in the Archipelago of San Andrés in Colombia after the devastating impact of Category 5 Hurricane Iota.

More than $225,000 in dry goods and foods went to communities in Belize impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sixteen truckloads of JUST Water went to 17 Feeding America member food banks and other nonprofit organizations in the US in areas devastated by severe winter storms in partnership with JUST Goods, Inc. and The Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation.

More than $30,000 of in-kind donations including 10 pallets of responsibly packaged, plant-based cartons of JUST Water went to the Southeast Alaska Food Bank.

For Giving Tuesday, NCLH matched every case of JUST Water purchased in December through their online store, with a water donation to local food banks in Miami and New York City. The joint effort resulted in the delivery of nearly 150,000 JUST Water cartons.