Celestyal Cruises, the award-winning, number one choice for cruise travelers to the Greek Islands and the Eastern Mediterranean, has expanded its ongoing partnership with Athens-based Ark of the World, a non-profit organization committed to providing care and protection to children, who come from single-parent families or are without parent and who experience difficult circumstances, neglect, abandonment, lack of medical care and an uncertain future. Celestyal Cruises has been working in partnership with Ark of the World since 2016 to support their work with abandoned and abused children. Since the escalation of the conflict in Ukraine, according to United Nations’ estimates, more than 40,000 refugees have come to Greece and more than 11,000 of them are children. Celestyal Cruises and Ark of the World have once again joined forces to help this vulnerable young population and provide them with a distraction of the horrors of war and make them feel more at home in Greece.
From June 20-25, Celestyal hosted 40 refugees, mothers and children from Ukraine, onboard a cruise on the Celestyal Olympia together with volunteers from Ark of the World and its founder, Father Anthony, so they could experience destinations in their “home away from home,” such as Ancient Ephesus, Patmos, Rhodes, Heraklion and Santorini. The educational cruise provided the children with the opportunity to visit key landmarks, monuments, archaeological sites and taste the local flavors, while also enjoying other recreational on-board activities.
"We are pleased to partner with the Ark of the World, supporting their work and contribution to the vulnerable groups affected by the war in Ukraine. In these extremely trying and unpredictable times worldwide, it is values such as humanity, solidarity and hospitality that matter the most," said Frosso Zaroulea, head of public relations. Celestyal Cruises.
"In these difficult times, we sincerely thank Celestyal Cruises for their support in our work. Along with the children of the Ark of the World, refugees, mothers and children from Ukraine, the students of the Ukrainian refugee school and their teachers, who are hosted in our facilities in Athens, participated in this cruise. They have experienced the terrible and violent face of war and fled their country, but thanks to the Ark they are experiencing love, hospitality, peace and solidarity in a country unknown to them. Thanks to Celestyal's spectacular cruise, they experienced the beauty of our homeland. We are all present in life, in solidarity, in peace, for everything that characterizes us as children of God. What unites us are our problems. For what is more valuable than love, solidarity, peace and hope in society?” said Father Antonios Papanikolaou, founder of the Ark of the World.