Skip To Content
- Blog -
Topic Search

Bonaire Excursion Operators Work to Change Law on Behalf of HAL Guests

Bonaire Destination Service owners Christian and Yvonne Schutlheiss proudly display the declaration allowing service animals on the island of Klein Bonaire.

Bonaire Destination Service owners Christian and Yvonne Schutlheiss proudly display the declaration allowing service animals on the island of Klein Bonaire.

In early March, a husband and wife traveling aboard Maasdam wanted to participate in the Samur Sail and Beach Adventure when the ship docked at the island of Bonaire. This exotic excursion includes a trip aboard the Samur, an authentic Siamese junk, to a beach on the uninhabited island of Klein Bonaire. The husband is blind, so the couple was traveling with their service dog. But the island of Klein Bonaire is a protected marine park, and dogs – including service dogs – are prohibited. At least they were. Christian and Yvonne Schutlheiss, owners of Bonaire Destination Service, which operates the excursion, petitioned the government to overturn the law and allow service animals on Klein Bonaire.

They were successful, and while the HAL guests who inspired the change ultimately were unable to participate in the excursion for other reasons, future cruisers will reap the benefit. “This may sound easy to do, but it took a tremendous amount of time and effort on the part of Yvonne and Christian, and we need to recognize the efforts that they make for HAL and the guests on board,” said Maureen Ricker, corporate shore excursions manager. “Doing the right thing will always pay off.”

1 Comment
  • Lynn Sien

    Yet, HAL still does not allow their ASL interpreters to go on shore excursions. I’m done with HAL and going with more Deaf friendly cruise lines. What a shame since my first cruise was at age 9 on HAL. At now 60+ I’m a cruising veteran!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*