Celebrity Cruises has said it is saddened by the imminent airing of a Channel 4 programme about the cruise industry which it fears will be “biased and unbalanced”.
Channel 4’s investigative programme Dispatches sent an undercover reporter on board a Celebrity Cruises ship to conduct an expose on the cruise industry.
The documentary, due to air on Monday, has been described by the makers as a look at the “reality of life below deck for the multinational workforce who toil behind the scenes of glamorous ocean-going holidays”.
Dispatches reporter Tazeen Ahmad travelled as a passenger on a cruise ship, and also went undercover working as an assistant waiter to “discover working conditions below the legal minimum in the UK”.
Jo Rzymowska, associate vice-president and general manager for Celebrity, told Travel Weekly the cruise line had taken “immediate steps” to investigate the claims made by the undercover reporter.
“On Thursday, September 20, we were informed by producers for Channel 4 Dispatches that covert and unauthorized filming took place on Celebrity Eclipse by one of their reporters who was hired as an assistant waiter,” she said.
“Sadly, we are anticipating a biased and unbalanced programme about the labour and wage issues in the cruise industry – with Celebrity Eclipse as the show’s primary example.
Rzymowska added: “We are committed to our employees, both shipboard and shoreside. Celebrity Cruises has taken immediate steps to investigate all of the allegations made by the undercover reporter to determine their basis and validity.
“If we discover that anyone within the company, or at the hiring and placement agencies we work with, violated our procedures and requirements, we will take swift and corrective actions.
“We believe it’s the hard work and dedication of the thousands of crew members on board our ships that is the main reason why Celebrity Cruises has consistently ranked at the top of the premium cruise category since the line was founded 20 years ago, and which is confirmed by the increasing number of consumer and trade awards that Celebrity Cruises wins.”
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