Cruise blogger and YouTuber is once again raising money for Mercy Ships. Credit: Emma Cruises

YouTuber Emma Cruises and Hudson the Cat raise thousands for Mercy Ships

Author: Kaye Holland

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A cruise YouTube sensation has raised more than £9,000 for Mercy Ships by selling a toy replica of her friendly pet cat

Emma Le Teace, 28, from Sussex, or Emma Cruises, as she is known online, has 206,000 subscribers on YouTube alone as she reviews cruises for her international audience.

But when Emma is at home, her rescue cat Hudson enjoys making cameo appearances on her computer screen as she updates her followers on the latest deals and ‘try before you buy’ cruise tips.

So, it seemed a natural progression for Emma to start selling a plush toy version of accidental star Hudson as Captain Hudson, so others could enjoy him too. However she never expected to sell more than 1,300 of them.

Emma told World of Cruising: “I wanted to make some of these plush toys of my mascot, Hudson, and thought it would be great if my followers could take them on their cruises and post pictures of Hudson by the pool, or Hudson on deck.

"But with the minimum order of 300 I realised that it might be hard to achieve, so I wanted to find a charity that could benefit from this and help me achieve that number. The result has surpassed my expectations.”

Emma and her famous cat, Hudson. Credit: Emma Cruises

She was inspired to sell Captain Hudson toys for Mercy Ships after hearing a podcast interviewing Scott Harrison, whose life was transformed after volunteering for Mercy Ships in 2005.

In the podcast, he explains how the transformational experience of volunteering for two years as a photojournalist for Mercy Ships in Liberia and Benin, led him to start his own non-profit, Charity: Water.

Emma read more about Mercy Ships and its two floating hospitals and felt that Captain Hudson cat toys could support this life-changing work.

Speaking to World of Cruising, Emma said: “It’s incredible that we can totally transform a life with a surgery that is relatively simple and easy, things that we can easily take for granted here.

"I find it fascinating on the ship side of things too, that you can make a hospital on a ship. I like the similarities between the new hospital ship and the ships I have been on.”

Mercy Ships newest purpose-built hospital ship, Global Mercy, has elements of a ferry, as ship-makers, Stena Roro helped blend the ferry and hospital designs together to build the 174m long ship.

Emma has created around 500 videos and has been on 51 cruises, now averaging one cruise a month. It was during the pandemic enforced lockdowns that the following of her cruise channel, established in 2017, really took off – with so many people trapped at home and seeking escapism.

In 2021, the maths graduate quit her data development job to devote herself full-time to being a YouTuber and cruise writer and works with travel agents to sell the cruises she features.

Mercy Ships UK chief executive, Joanne Balaam, said: “We are so thrilled that Emma has chosen to support us and raise our profile through her Captain Hudson toy.

"When we last checked it had raised over £9,100 from 1,366 sales. Thank you so much to Emma and all her international followers who are helping to transform lives through surgery and medical training in regions where it’s needed the most.”

About Kaye Holland

Kaye is a London-based wordsmith who has written for a range of publications including The Times, The Independent, The I, Culture Trip, The Sun, and ABTA among others. In June 2022, Kaye joined the Real Response Media where she looks – together with Lucy Abbott – after the World of Cruising website. Want to get in touch? Kaye can be reached at: [email protected]