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Princess Cruises Announces First-Ever Cruise To Support U.S. Veterans

SANTA CLARITA, Calif., Nov. 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --  Princess Cruises is marking Veterans Day by announcing an unprecedented cruise to support U.S. veterans, expected to raise $1 million for two highly regarded U.S. veterans organizations – the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF) and Operation Homefront. Princess President and CEO Alan Buckelew, himself a Vietnam veteran, will be on board to host the sailing.

Sailing from November 5-9, 2013 aboard Caribbean Princess from Galveston to the Western Caribbean, the four-day cruise will offer passengers the opportunity to honor both those who have served in the military as well as active duty military personnel. Onboard programming and activities – including guest lecturers, special topic panels, a Stars and Stripes Sailaway, service branch get-togethers, a film festival and more – will be custom-designed to celebrate those who have, and are, serving our country.

"We all know someone – a family member, a neighbor, a friend, perhaps ourselves – who has served," said Buckelew. "As a veteran myself, I know that America's warriors face immeasurable challenges both during active duty and when they return home. I look forward to meeting many of our passengers on board to help us raise much-needed funds to assist our veterans."  A video introduction from Buckelew is also available on YouTube.

A portion of each passenger's cruise fare totaling approximately $500,000 will be matched by Princess Cruises with a further $500,000, for a total of $1 million earmarked for the two veterans causes. Funds raised will be shared equally by both organizations.

"We are humbled by such a generous gift and grateful to our friends at Princess Cruises, and we're looking forward to the voyage," said Jan C. Scruggs, VVMF's founder and president. "We thank the company for honoring America's military members, past and present, and for supporting our efforts to ensure their sacrifices and stories will always be remembered."

"Our military families continue to make sacrifices after more than 10 years of war, and the American public has been generous in its support," said Jim Knotts, chief executive officer of Operation Homefront. "We simply wouldn't be able to help these families without donations from companies like Princess Cruises and its passengers. It is significant to note that the gratitude and respect shown by the public to our Iraq and Afghanistan veterans is very different than how our Vietnam veterans were treated. This cruise will allow passengers to express their gratitude to veterans of ALL eras. It is an honor long overdue."

The Western Caribbean cruise will sail roundtrip from Galveston, with a call at Progreso, Mexico.

Cruise fares range from $604 to $1,704 per person based on double occupancy. A portion of each fare ranging from $100 to $300 per person, depending upon cabin category, will be donated to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund and Operation Homefront.

About Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund – In 1982 the American people helped The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund complete an impossible mission to heal a nation and bring comfort and solace to a generation of veterans. Today, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund is working to complete this mission by building The Education Center at The Wall, the place on the National Mall where our heroes' stories will never be forgotten. Since the dedication of The Wall, VVMF has pursued a mission of preserving the legacy of The Wall, promoting healing and educating about the impact of the Vietnam War. Learn more at www.buildthecenter.org, or call 866-990-WALL.

About Operation Homefront -- Operation Homefront (OH) provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of military service members and Wounded Warriors. A national nonprofit with nationwide presence, Operation Homefront leads more than 4,500 volunteers and has met more than 590,000 needs since its inception in 2002. A four-star rated charity by watchdog Charity Navigator, nationally, 94 percent of total revenue donated to Operation Homefront goes directly to assist service members. For more information, go to www.OperationHomefront.net.  

The cruise launches the company's new "Cruising for a Cause" initiative where Princess will dedicate entire sailings to support select charitable causes. This new, industry-leading program will provide the line's passengers, many of whom are looking for opportunities to make positive contributions to their communities and the world, a way to make a difference even as they vacation.

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