Popular cruise line, Royal Caribbean, says it will dispatch ships to the Caribbean to both deliver supplies as well as evacuate people affected by Hurricane Irma.
The company's president and CEO Michael Bayley told the Miami Herald that four ships from the fleet will be used to carry out Irma relief efforts.
On Tuesday, the 2,767-capacity Majesty of the Seas will sail to the U.S. Virgin Islands to deliver water, ice, food and other provisions. Meals will also be served to emergency workers before it sets sail to San Juan, Puerto Rico, to drop off an estimated 1,500 to 3,000 individuals to catch flights.
The company added that The Empress of the Seas and Enchantment of the Seas are both set to assist Key West and Tampa communities once the storm has passed and The Adventure of the Seas will make drop offs in St. Maarten.
Bayley explained that the ships are already fully equipped and staffed, though empty as a result of storm cancellations the resources will now be used in relief efforts.
“We have been such a part of the Caribbean and South Florida communities for so many decades. We are worried and anxious,” Bayley said. “At the end of the day, we want to try to help as much as we can.”
Additionally, the Norwegian Cruise Line announced plans on Friday to deploy one ship to pick up stranded tourists in the Caribbean.
“Norwegian Cruise Line is working closely with the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association and the governor of St. Thomas to execute this rescue mission,” the cruise line said in a statement Friday. “Acting as a responsible corporate citizen and supporting the destinations that our ships operate in is a core value of Norwegian Cruise Line.”
The Miami-based cruise line earlier transported their staff to safety. Tourists who are injured or have medical needs will be prioritized.