The relentless routine of drought is a challenge at the best of times, let alone during one of the worst in living memory.
So P&O has stepped in and donated 85 cabins on two of its four-night cruises to bring struggling farming families across NSW and Queensland a well-earned break.
Some will travel from Sydney to Moreton Island on Pacific Explorer, departing on December 4, and the others will go from Brisbane to the Whitsundays on Pacific Dawn on December 10.
Rural Aid will select the farming families and organise farm sitters to take care of the farm and the animals.
News that 100 per cent of NSW was in drought, and 60 per cent of Queensland was also drought-stricken, prompted the company to act.
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“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,” President of P&O Cruises Australia Sture 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.”
Rural Aid CEO Charles Alder said the short break would give farmers a chance to step away from their daily routine and relax.
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“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,” he said.
“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.”