Sun Princess, part of the Princess Cruises fleet, is the first cruise ship to return to Kangaroo Island after the recent bushfires. South Australian Premier Steven Marshall and Kangaroo Island’s community leaders and firefighters along with Princess Cruises’ senior vice president of Asia Pacific Stuart Allison were on hand as Sun Princess anchored off Penneshaw.

Guests came ashore on tender vessels and fanned out on a range of tours by local operators while many others visited market stalls established by the local community on the nearby Penneshaw Oval.

“Princess Cruises visit to Kangaroo Island today is an expression of solidarity with the local community and is symbolic of its resilience and courage,” said Stuart Allison, Princess Cruises senior vice president Asia Pacific, in a statement. “It is both an honor and a privilege for Sun Princess to be the first cruise ship to return to Kangaroo Island following the fires that resulted in the tragic loss of lives, property, and wildlife. We are pleased that with today’s ship visit Princess Cruises can play a part in sending a message to Australia and the world that Kangaroo Island is on the path to recovery.”

The ship is currently on a 13-night cruise from its current home port of Fremantle with the majority of guests on board residents of Western Australia. An earlier cruise to Kangaroo Island had been diverted to Port Lincoln at the height of the bushfire emergency.

Many guests had made donations to bushfire relief that will be directed to the South Australian Government Bushfire Appeal. The company is also directing revenue it would normally receive from the day’s shore excursions to the appeal.

Princess Cruises is part of Carnival Australia, which has pledged $1.9 million in total to various bushfire relief efforts in Australia. This includes $1.5 million from the Micky and Madeleine Arison Family Foundation, much of which is funding a UNICEF Australia initiative to support the back-to-school needs of children whose families lost everything in the fires in Australia this summer.

Carnival Australia had previously announced a $350,000 commitment to Red Cross Australia to support its bushfire relief efforts.

For more information, go to princess.com. For a list of the areas not impacted by the brushfires, click on our story, “Australia Bushfires & Where Your Clients Can Travel Safely.” Also, check out “Latest on Australia Fires,” for more information.