MIAMI (CBSMiami/CNN) – Florida-based Bahamas Paradise Cruise Lines is offering Bahamians stranded by Hurricane Dorian a way home.
The cruise line took supplies, first responders and Bahamian evacuees in Florida to Grand Bahama Island on Thursday.
The cruise line told CNN that the Grand Celebration ship is also offering the chance for Bahamians to evacuate to Florida free of charge, given they have the proper documentation, when the ship leaves on September 7.
“Apart from the Bahamas we have no other home, so it was like the destruction was in our backyard,” CEO Oneil Khosa told CNN. “We felt like we had to do this for the people of the Bahamas and the island of Grand Bahama, especially given our history with the island.”
Bahamas Paradise said that the humanitarian cruise was the first ship allowed to dock at Freeport and will be delivering emergency personnel to Grand Bahama Island, including electricians and firemen, in addition to supplies.
“We have a lot of people on the ship today who will have a major positive impact on the recovery of the island,” Khosa said.
The Grand Celebration was used for a similar relief effort for Hurricane Irma and acted as a base for St. Thomas.
Bahamas Paradise is also asking for specific items to be donated at their warehouse in Riveria Beach, Florida, as well as monetary resources in partnership with the Mission Resolve Foundation.
Other cruise lines are also helping out
The Royal Caribbean, Norwegian and Carnival cruise lines also headed to the Bahamas with supplies, including generators, water, cleaning supplies, clean sheets, and towels.
The Royal Caribbean said in a tweet, that it delivered more than 43,000 water bottles and 10,000 meals to the Bahamas Thursday in coordination with the Bahamian government and The Bahamas Feeding Network. Royal Caribbean previously brought in supplies to Caribbean areas hit hard by the hurricanes, including after Hurricane Maria hit Puerta Rico.
Both Royal Caribbean and Norwegian will also donate at least $1 million each to the relief efforts in the islands, according to their press releases. Carnival also announced it will donate $2 million from various partnering foundations.
Disney, which also cruises to the Bahamas, announced it will donate more than $1 million to relief efforts.
Disney also owns a private island in the Bahamas called Castaway Cay, and according to a statement, employs Bahamians in many of its area attractions and resorts.
“We hope our $1 million donation will provide much-needed relief and help our neighbors, colleagues, and all those impacted by this devastating storm begin the long process of recovery as they work to put their lives and communities back together,” Disney Chairman and CEO Bob Iger said.
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