Crystal Cruises has a “You Care, We Care” voluntourism programme as part of its Crystal Adventures shore excursion schemes, which let tourists “do good” and help local communities while on vacation. These “volunteer” programmes allow guests and crew to be directly involved in worthwhile causes in the destinations they visit, bolstering cross-cultural understanding and local economies. The cruise liner sets up all the arrangements, including transportation, and offers these opportunities for free. Passengers can take their pick of philanthropic activities. These excursions include assisting at the Mustard Seed Food Bank in Victoria, Canada; helping to feed the elderly at Mercy Kitchen in Belize; and visiting the Guernsey Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in St Peter Port, the UK. Passengers can simply sign up when they are checking in online through its Priority Check-in and Planning Center, or with the Shore Excursion Manager on board. Crystal’s “You Care, We Care” is not based on a “volunteer in exchange for a free cruise” model. It is complimentary for paying cruise passengers.
“Buy a Trip, Give a Trip”
Green travel company Elevate Destinations has pioneered a “buy one, give one” travel model with a philanthropic focus on travel experience. With every trip purchased at Elevate, a portion of proceeds is channelled to a travel excursion created especially for local youths in need. With this programme, Elevate aims to broaden the horizons of under-represented youths in developing nations by taking them on culturally significant tourist sites in their home countries. These young participants climb mountains, visit historical sites, see wildlife, or join conservation projects. Past trips sponsored include excursions to a rainforest for young adults from Lifting Hands, a Costa Rican youth education centre; and a temple expedition for youths from the Cambodian Children’s Fund. Therefore, by purchasing a trip through Elevate Destinations, guests engage in philanthropy, knowing that they are sharing the spirit of travel and helping young adults embark on their first travel adventure.