Return to site

Crystal Cruises Linking Passengers with Charities  on Select Cruises/Article by Peter Greenberg

A cruise-ship shore excursion doesn’t have to be all about R&R.

In fact, more and more cruise lines are inviting passengers to get hands-on involvement with local communities.

Launched just over a year ago in Alaska, Holland America’s Cruise With Purpose shore excursions are now offered around the globe.

The Sustainable Bali program includes touring local bamboo plantations and rice farms to learn about the process first-hand. It also includes lunch with a local family and a visit to a school that teaches environmental education.

The Silk Tale invites cruisers to join Croatian women to produce silk thread as part of an ongoing project to restore hundreds of national costumes that were destroyed in war-time.

This year, each Crystal Cruise itinerary offers the opportunity to donate time, not money, by volunteering at a port of call.

The You Care, We Care program involves everything from beach and neighborhood clean-up in Puerto Vallerta, Mexico, to making crafts with the elderly in Cartagena, Colombia.

Even if your cruise line doesn’t offer a similar program, it may be possible to make your own arrangements. Contact local organizations to see how you can help out. â?¨

Then contact your cruise line to find out exactly how long you’ll be at port, how far the dock is, and what the transportation situation is like.

Get more tips on great experiences in our Voluntourism section.