100 free cruises award

In honour of Teacher Appreciation Week and to highlight the importance of travel and education, Norwegian Cruise Line relaunched its Giving Joy contest on May 3, 2021, honouring and celebrating the countless teachers who have given their all to students, virtually or in person over the last year.

The top 100 educators across the U.S. and Canada received the most votes and won a free seven-day cruise for two for a vacation of a lifetime!

The month-long campaign, which launched during National Teacher Appreciation Week (May 3 – 7, 2021), recognized deserving educators for their unwavering commitment to bringing joy to the classroom. To celebrate these incredible individuals and their often-times undervalued profession.

Norwegian Cruise Line hosted a Livestream awards celebration hosted by teenage entrepreneur Mikaila Ulmer, founder and CEO of Me and the Bees Lemonade.

During the 45-minute virtual awards event, Ulmer highlighted the important role teachers around the world play in the lives of their students and communities and reinforced the power of travel and exploration as an immersive means of education.

Viewers were also treated to special performances by “The Choir of Man” cast aboard Norwegian Encore, the Company’s newest innovative ship currently sailing to Alaska.

To conclude the ceremony, Ulmer, unveiled the top three Grand Prize winners who received the most votes, awarding them with donations for their schools.

The Grand Prize winners are:

  • Shyam Thakker from Redford Union School District in Redford, Mich. ($25,000)
  • David Sowerby from Kraft Meadows Middle School in Caledonia, Mich. ($15,000)
  • Ashley Steadman from Evans High School in Orlando, Fla. ($10,000)
Shyam Thakker from Redford Union School District in Redford, Mich.

Thakker was surprised with an additional $10,000 from PepsiCo Beverages North America and two roundtrip air tickets from Pleasant Holidays, both Cruise Line partners who were inspired by the Norwegian’s Giving Joy campaign. Costco Travel also donated gift cards to all 100 award recipients.

All Norwegian’s Giving Joy campaign honorees received a free week-long cruise, which they have until the summer of 2023 to enjoy.

To learn more about the 100 winners and their heart-warming stories, click here.