Groove Cruise and Giving Back: The Whet Foundation Makes a Splash
Jason Bukema can lay a unique claim to fame – founder of the world’s largest floating party. For 19 years and more voyages than he can count, his company Whet Travel has brought a whole new dimension to ocean cruises. Turning the whole ship into a floating dance party replete with DJs, meet and greets, private parties, wellness spas, and all the other luxury experiences you can expect aboard the finest cruise ships, this once-in-a-lifetime experience will test your partying sea legs.
Their next voyage is Groove Cruise Miami, scheduled to depart January 19-23, 2023. It’s a sold-out ship, featuring some of the hottest artists today like Claptone, Jauz’s “Off the Deep End” set, Markus Schulz, and Nora En Pure, one of the top house artists in the world. With about 40 different artists and hundreds of hours of music, Groove Cruise brings the best of music festivals and all-inclusive ocean cruises together in a way that fuses fun, love, and inspiration.
Ocean cruises aren’t all Bukema does, however. What really makes Groove Cruise and Whet Travel unique is their charity initiatives, conducted through the Whet Foundation. On a typical day in Cabo San Lucas, Costa Maya, Haiti, or many other tropical locations, volunteers, crew, and even some of the DJs can be found at orphanages, helping local children, feeding the locals, cleaning up and helping with construction work, and many other jobs they complete to better the local communities they visit.
While there’s no quick and easy global fix for poverty and malnutrition, the Whet Foundation makes a difference with every cruise it makes. Sometimes, it’s not just the food or work being done, it’s simply the idea that someone cares enough to come interact with them that can change lives. This spark of hope can illuminate a hopeless world, and is a way to demonstrate our love and compassion for the world and our fellow humans.
Whet Foundation Initiatives
Whether it’s collecting and distributing donated items, beach cleanups, or art programs for kids, the Whet foundation has one major goal – to leave the community and area happier, cleaner, and more connected than they were before. For example, in 2020 a crew of 57 volunteers and DJs aboard a groove cruise went to the Casa de la Cultura de Mahahual in Costa Maya and spent their time cleaning out a construction site to install a playground they donated. Projects like this are measurable, tangible improvements to some of the communities that need them the most.
In its largest initiative yet, in 2022 the Whet Foundation started working with two facilities taking care of underprivileged children, the Solmar Foundation and Heart4Cabo. Groove Cruise passengers, after a night of partying, raving, and fun, get the chance to interact and serve the niños (children), which adds a whole new dimension to the party cruise experience.
What’s next for the Whet Foundation? They set sail for Haiti in 2023, with an initiative working to help feed malnourished children and families through Second Mile Haiti. This facility runs a live-in malnourishment recovery program along with family planning programs that work to reduce infant mortality and deaths during childbirth.
Haiti suffers from serious economic issues, with 76% of the population surviving on less than $2 a day and 10% of Haitian children suffering from serious malnutrition. In the course of its charitable work throughout the Caribbean, Mexico, and South Florida, the Whet Foundation has brought fun, love, and hope to underprivileged people around the globe.
Groove Cruise: Inspiration Through Hope
However, these types of physical, tangible charity jobs aren’t all that Bukema and the Whet Foundation are up to, with their program of “virtual sail aways” on the streaming platform Twitch raising over $50,000 to give away through a Covid relief fund to struggling workers, artists, communities, healthcare workers, and support staff.
With a lineup of world-class chart-toppers on board, a recently completed $500 million renovation on their flagship, and a sellout crowd every ride, Groove Cruise and the Whet Foundation are poised to make a major splash for years to come. Whether it’s a Michelin-starred restaurant, a bar where the drinks flow freely, or a meaningful day helping others, Jason Bukema has big plans and even bigger dreams.