Autism on the Seas® is First Special Needs Travel Provider to be Named a Partner of the Year by Royal Caribbean International

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Honor Acknowledges AotS’ Efforts to Help Royal Caribbean Elevate Family Programming to Better Serve the Autism Community

Royal Caribbean - Northeast Partner of the Year

Royal Caribbean - Northeast Partner of the Year

Every family deserves a memorable vacation, and with the help of Autism on the Seas, we were able to open up an exceptional opportunity for an important audience - Vicki L. Freed, SVP, Royal Caribbean

Autism on the Seas (AotS), the leading travel organization catering to vacationers with autism and other developmental disabilities, announced today that the company has been named Northeast Partner of the Year for 2015 by Royal Caribbean International. AotS is the first special needs travel partner to be honored with this distinction by Royal Caribbean.

“Autism on the Seas was the clear choice for our Northeast Partner of the Year for 2015,” said Vicki L. Freed, SVP of Sales and Trade Support & Service, Royal Caribbean International. “Every family deserves a memorable vacation, and with the help of Autism on the Seas, we were able to open up an exceptional opportunity for an important audience. Through AotS’ knowledge of the autism community, we committed to elevating our family programming onboard Royal Caribbean, allowing us to better serve the families of autistic children and making us a better company. That kind of partnership is invaluable, and we look forward to growing and accomplishing even more together in the future.”

Autism on the Seas has worked closely with Royal Caribbean for nearly ten years to help vacation dreams come true for families with special needs. In 2014, Royal Caribbean was the first cruise line to become “Autism Friendly” certified through AotS’ “Autism Friendly” Cruise Ship Certification Program. Attaining certification ensures the cruise line’s services, venues and amenities are accessible to guests with autism and other developmental disabilities.

“We are deeply honored to be the first special needs travel partner to receive this acknowledgement from Royal Caribbean,” said Mike Sobbell, Founder & President, Autism on the Seas. “Our success was made possible by the diversity-minded leadership at Royal Caribbean, who gave us the trust and cooperation to explore new and innovative accommodation approaches for the special needs community.”

This past October, AotS launched the company’s non-profit arm, Autism on the Seas Foundation. The foundation provides a Vacation Financial Assistance Program that serves to financially assist families wishing to vacation with Autism on the Seas Cruises with Staff. The financial assistance is awarded in varying amounts to immediate family members only: parents/guardians, qualifying children/adults and their siblings. Families can register for financial assistance on the foundation website: http://www.AotSF.org.

About Autism on the Seas
Founded in 2006, Autism on the Seas (AotS) is a niche travel company that organizes and staffs cruise and land resort vacations for families and adult guests with special needs, including autism spectrum disorders, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and other cognitive and intellectual developmental impairments. The Autism on the Seas Staff is qualified, experienced and educated in caring for special needs individuals. These vacations offer parents and caregivers a sense of normalcy through accommodated group activities, staff assistance throughout the entire cruise including meals, and the daily respite enable families to recharge and reconnect with siblings and other family members in the household that may take a backseat to a child with special needs. The AotS Foundation provides consultation services to cruise lines. In February 2014, AotS launched the industry’s first Cruise Ship “Autism Friendly” Certification Standard & Training program to provide cruise ships with guidelines and training to effectively accommodate families with autism and other developmental disabilities. http://www.AutismontheSeas.com

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Lisa Kaslyn
Prosper Communications
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