P&O is offering free cruises to drought affected farmers

Senior farmer looking over the drought stricken land, during summer and fire season.

P&O Cruises Australia has warmed our cold Monday morning hearts by teaming up with Rural Aid and its Buy-A-Bale campaign to set aside 85 cabins across two separate cruises to give hard-pressed farmers and their families a break from the crippling drought in New South Wales and Queensland.

The cruises — one from Sydney to Moreton Island and the other from Brisbane to the Whitsundays — are being offered in the face of the disastrous drought that has resulted in 100 per cent of New South Wales’ land area and nearly 60 per cent of Queensland’s land area being drought declared, with large sections described as being subject to ‘intense drought’ conditions.

President P&O Cruises Australia Sture Myrmell spoke of the powerful impact of the drought on rural families and of Rural Aid’s inspiring efforts to coordinate and deliver relief to people on the land including massive road convoys of trucks carrying badly needed feed to stricken livestock.

“We know from Rural Aid that the physical and emotional toll of such a severe and prolonged drought on rural communities is enormous and that many farmers have not had a break in years,” Myrmell said.

“As much as everyone across Australia would like to, we cannot make it rain to break the drought but we can do what we can to give some farmers a welcome respite from the burden in the best way we know how by making cruise opportunities available.

“We are very proud to be working in partnership with such a widely respected organisation as Rural Aid and its Buy-A-Bale campaign to make this happen.”

Rural Aid is working with P&O Cruises to nominate farmers in New South Wales and Queensland who will sail on the cruises on Pacific Explorer and Pacific Dawn from Sydney and Brisbane on December 4 and December 10 respectively.

CEO Rural Aid Charles Alder said, “Whilst we’re moving thousands of tonnes of hay for our farmers through our Buy A Bale program, this offer from P&O Cruises will equally bring mental relief to our farmers stressing about their animals but also their own situation.

“These cruises will provide a great opportunity to break out and relax. We’ve put the call out to our volunteer base with farm-sitting experience to help allow these farmers to get away and know their farms are in good hands.”

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