In September 2017, the tiny island of Barbuda was hit by Hurricane Irma, a devastating Category 5 storm. Two weeks later it was hit again by Hurricane Jose. More than 90 percent of the island was destroyed. Of the estimated 1,800 people that lived in Barbuda prior to the storms, only about 1,000 residents have returned and are rebuilding. One of the greatest needs is for supplies for the island’s schools.
The only cruise line to regularly call on Barbuda is Windstar Cruises, the Seattle-based small-ship cruise line that has earned a reputation for visiting small ports and traversing waterways that larger ships simply can’t navigate.
On Monday, February 25, Windstar’s Wind Surf returned and anchored off the tiny island of Barbuda where the cruise line’s president, John Delaney, hand-delivered $5,320 to The Hon Trevor Walker M.P. and Chairman of Education for the Barbuda Council and local school officials. The monies were raised onboard the ship during her seven-day cruise out of St. Maarten to help raise awareness and call out for public support to help the school children, teachers and educational system on Barbuda. Windstar matched the auction bid and guest donations.
A highlight of the cruise was a special onboard guest and renowned artist Marc Lipp, whose vibrant pop art echoes the colors and character of the Caribbean. Guests embraced the opportunity to engage with and learn from the artist and bid during a lively auction on one of his works of art, a painting of Audrey Hepburn. All the proceeds from the auction and a grant from Windstar went directly to The New Holy Trinity Primary School in Barbuda.
“It is humbling and admirable that our guests rose to the occasion to give back to the people of this small but significant Caribbean island. While our ships are small and Barbuda is a little island, peoples working together to contribute to the success of culture is of big importance.”Windstar Cruises President John Delaney
“The assistance from non-government and the private sector is critical to the rebuilding of Barbuda. Even if Windstar is a small cruise line, the contribution is mighty.”the Hon. Trevor Walker, M.P., Chairman of Education, the Barbuda Council