By Cailey Rizzo
Updated February 26, 2020
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Following their ongoing efforts in battling this year's devastating bushfires, about 7,000 of Australia's first responders and their families will be able to kick back the cruise line's Spectrum of the Seas ship for free.

“We are in a fortunate position to offer these brave and selfless members of the Australian community the opportunity to join us for a few days and let them relax and unwind in the company of other volunteers and first responders,” Michael Bayley, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean International, said in a statement. “By welcoming and accommodating them aboard Spectrum of the Seas, we hope to recognize their contribution and offer them our hospitality.”

Members of the Australia Country Fire Authority work on controlled back burns on a road in Sydney, Australia in November 2019.
Brett Hemmings / Stringer via Getty

The ship will depart Sydney on two four-day cruises, one on February 29 and another on March 7. Their cruise experience will include their fare, meals and activities — including the ship’s SkyPad VR bungee trampoline experience.

In addition to the two cruises for Australian first responders, Royal Caribbean announced that it will also dedicate a ship in China for “thank you” cruises for medical personnel there. And stateside, the Celebrity Millennium ship will offer a series of cruises for first responders, firefighters and veterans in California throughout March and April.

The Spectrum of the Seas was built as a quantum-ultra-class cruise ship for the Chinese luxury market. But since the outbreak of the coronavirus, the ship has been sitting empty for the past few weeks. Crew aboard the ship have been outside of China for more than two weeks and have tested negative for coronavirus. While the ship isn’t being uses for cruises from mainland China, it will take first responders up and down the eastern coast of Australia.