Carnival UK Corporation: Cunard and P&O Cruises' Social Responsibility

May 13, 2014 12:00 PM ET


Cunard has an ongoing relationship with the Prince's Trust which began at the naming ceremony for the Queen Victoria at the end of 2007. The Prince's Trust needs to raise £50 million per year to help 50,000 young people. In 2011, Cunard became Gold Patron by committing to raise £500,000 in three years, making the final total raised £1 million. The Carnival UK Human Resources Business Services department takes part in the Trust's Team programme. This is designed to help 16 to 25-year-olds improve their skills, presentation and attitudes in order to enhance their employment prospects. The Team programme brings together a diverse mix of young people of widely ranging abilities, personal circumstances and backgrounds. The aim is to engage with young people through the Team, encouraging them to develop responsible attitudes and respond to an environment of discipline, routine and teamwork. Staff from Carnival UK HR run mock interview sessions with the young people for a specified "position." At the end of each Team programme, there is a presentation ceremony to reward and recognize the individuals for their achievements, but the most important result is ensuring the young people are better prepared to gain employment or an educational place in their chosen field. 

Beyond the Prince's Trust involvement, HR Business Services has also linked with the reservations department and training academy to organize work experience on a regular basis for travel and tourism students from a variety of colleges. Up to eight students come in for a week and spend time in different departments. They complete a workbook and present their findings to staff and their college tutors. This programme's target is to build up a stronger working relationship with the colleges and at the same time be better able to assess the potential of students for full-time employment at the end of their studies.

Carnival UK Guest Services also allows students from Plymouth University on board ships on turnaround days to learn how they function. The university has a degree course in cruise operations management and has been a source for Hotel Officer Cadets. Carnival UK has offered discounted rates on weekend cruises to course students and arranged meetings and interviews with key staff on board during their stay. In 2012, Carnival UK established a charity budget of its own to respond to occasional ad-hoc requests, if deemed appropriate, worthwhile and in line with the brand/company values. In addition and as part of the wider sustainability plan, Carnival UK achieves the following examples of ship/shore environmental performance and charitable projects:

  • Office paper and cooking oil recycling;
  • Onboard collection to Seafarers UK;
  • Children in Need/Sports Relief – ship & shore fund-raising;
  • Individual charitable fund-raising challenges, including Three Peaks, London marathon, and Magic Wand Appeal;
  • Southampton Christmas Children's Appeal – shoreside collection of gifts for local deprived children/families;
  • Nautical map auctions;
  • Donation of ship visits to Prince's Trust events –average raise £300 visit donated;
  • Donation of Cunard Voyages at high-end Prince's Trust events;
  • Dedicated Prince's Trust Voyages;
  • Dedicated Prince's Trust onboard events – five hosted to date raising £90,000 including an exclusive event during the naming of Queen Elizabeth, with the attendance of 200 guests including Sir Ben Kingsley and Carol Vorderman.


Carnival UK's corporate donations policy is to support charities which are local to its operations or have a connection to its business (including seafarer charities in the countries from which crew are sourced for the ships). For example, following the donation of surplus medical equipment and supplies to The Good Shepherd Hospital in Swaziland in 2008 and 2009, the company decided in 2010 to operate a similar programme of help for a remote mission hospital in the Mountain Kingdom of Lesotho. P&O Cruises also donated 160 single surplus mattresses to the Single Homeless Accommodation Project (SHAP) in Kirklees. 

Surplus bed and other linen from Carnival UK ships has also been donated to SCRATCH (Southampton City and Region Action to Combat Hardship) which aims to relieve the effects of poverty for families and individuals.