Community – Cruise Traveller


Our Way of Giving Back

In 2006 our Managing Director, Craig Bowen and his wife Louise chartered the Silver Shadow and ran a charity event in Sydney.  They held a three day fund raising cruise which generated over $500,000 with the proceeds going to the Humpty Dumpty Foundation, Day of Difference and others.  As fantastic as that was they had the strong  desire to do more – for the environment, the wildlife and especially the people of the incredible destinations they are fortunate to visit.

And then… they had an unexpected encounter which re-enforced that belief allowed them to personally give back.  We are pleased to share with you some of our modest contributions and those of our wonderful supplier partners.

A chance encounter in Kerala’s backwaters led to a very special friendship

Our Managing Director and his wife shared this chance encounter which has enriched the lives of both families.   

“We were lucky enough to be enjoying a houseboat cruise along the Kerala Backwaters of South West India in 2011.  We were on our private Houseboat, tied to a tree on a river bank, when a young girl was fetching a pale of milk by raft. She saw us having coffee on the deck and asked if she could talk to us, to practice her English. We chatted for a while and she invited us to meet her parents & sisters at her house.  We followed her for a fifteen minute walk through canals and over bridges and met her charming family, none of whom could speak any English at all but communicated with us easily.  

When you are so lucky to work in the cruise and travel industry, and enjoy the wildlife and wonderful people from other cultures in the world, you naturally want to give back.

In the years that followed we were pen pals with our new friend and when we asked if there was anything they needed, she asked for umbrellas and rain coats for their Monsoon season, as those items were expensive in India and she was getting sick from walking to school in the rain and getting wet.

As time went on we also paid to waterproof their small single room home; the children had been sleeping on the floor and in the Monsoon season, the rain would seep through the walls and they would wake up drenched and get sick.

As our new friend got older, she told us that her dream was to become a chef.  We decided then and there to help her achieve that dream and found a college that provided a hospitality course. We paid for the college and used our travel contacts to find a resort who provided her an internship. Our friend now works in a five-star hotel in Abu Dhabi. 

We are helping her two sisters become a nurse and a doctor, respectively. They are achieving excellent marks and we have no doubt they will succeed in their chosen careers. We are proud to sponsor this family who have so little and really value education. Craig and Louise Bowen. ”

David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust 

This trust is considered the most successful orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in the world and one of the pioneering conservation organisations for wildlife and habitat protection in East Africa. Cruise Traveller are proud to provide an annual sponsorship for the beautiful orphaned elephant Sonje.

Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

Just down the road from our business on the Gold Coast, they do amazing work in conservation efforts. In 2016 Craig and Louise Bowen auctioned a 1 Day Gold Coast Cruise earning $3,000 for Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary.

Pandaw’s Hospital ship 

 In 2008, with funds raised by cruise passengers, Pandaw bought a brand new ship and fitted it out as a floating hospital.  The 128 ft barge contains a modern clinic, dispensary, accommodation for doctors and paramedics.

Through Cruise Traveller’s relationship with Pandaw we contributed to the building of a school in Cambodia as well as funding the hospital ship throughout one of their worst typhoon seasons.

Polar Bears International

Polar Bears International are a non-profit organisation dedicated to the worldwide conservation of polar bears through research and education. We are proud to contribute to this important organisation.

World Wildlife Fund

The World Wildlife Fund are renowned for their amazing efforts for wildlife. Cruise Traveller are proud to contribute to this incredible organisation.

Supporting paper reduction

Supporting paper reduction with e-docs… many cruise lines have taken the initiative to reduce environmental impact by issuing e-docs instead of bulky paper documentation.  With smart phones and tablets it is a much easier way for cruisers to keep their documentation at their fingertips.  In fact, some Cruise Lines no longer supply hard-copy docs and supply e-docs only.  Cruise Traveller are pleased to support their efforts and offer our guests the option to go ‘e-docs only’ (where possible).  Please ask your Cruise Specialist if you prefer to receive your documents electronically. 

Our team are also very focussed on paper usage and we recycle everything we can.  Including the ‘packaging’ from the many postal and courier satchels we receive going back to Australia Posts recycling initiative.     

Mount Kilimanjaro Charity Challenge

In 2013 our Managing Director, Craig Bowen, along with our Director Joe O’Sullivan climbed Mount Kilimanjaro as part of the 2013 Mount Kilimanjaro Charity Challenge. Together Craig and Joe raised over $30,000 for the charity.  This foundation is a telecommunications industry charity that supports disadvantaged communities through fundraising, volunteering and promoting the use of technology to create solutions to social problems.  

A Day a Year

Cruise Traveller offer to our wonderful team members the opportunity spend one day each year assisting a charity or cause of their choice.  We look forward to sharing the outcome of this initiative.       

Handbags with heart

Recently our team got behind this amazing initiative and donated handbags full of goodies, the aim of which is for every woman to be afforded the dignity they deserve. We love charities who just get things done. Their work directly benefits women in crisis. Every. Single. Day.

Here are some of the many activities our amazing cruising partners are involved in (too many to list):

Adventure Canada’s Discovery Fund… In 1996 Adventure Canada established their Discovery Fund which is contributed to by every cruise guest as part of their fare.  It’s aim is to strengthen sustainable initiatives and projects in the regions they travel.

Aqua Expeditions… Aqua Expedition’s support local environmental conservation and wildlife protection initiatives including work in Peru’s Amazon restoring the taricaya turtle population with the help of local environmentalists in the Pacaya Samiria National Reserve.

Frontiers North… Canada’s north is home to many species of arctic wildlife that rely on a pristine environment. We travel responsibly to protect these fragile natural habitats, to benefit local communities and to preserve and celebrate the customs and traditions of the places we visit.  As well Frontiers North have strong commitment to community, education and giving. 

Lindblad Expeditions … One of Lindblad’s governing principles is to positively impact the areas they explore. They created the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic (LEX-NG) Fund to support projects at the global, regional, and local level.  They aim to protect the last wild places in the ocean, support innovative local projects, and facilitate conservation, research, education, and community development projects in the places they explore.

PONANT … Ponant is committed to the preservation of the environment including the Certification of each of their ships by the international Clean Ship label which certifies minimised environmental impact.