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

Emma Cruises and Hudson the Cat with the Hudson cuddly toy

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

A YouTube sensation who has taken the online cruise holiday market by storm, is raising thousands of pounds 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 she 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. She never expected to sell more than 1,100 of them.

Emma said: “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!”

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 and a cruise ship

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

She 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, the Global Mercy, has elements of a ferry, as ship-makers, Stena Roro helped blend the ferry and hospital designs together to build the 174-metre-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 and lockdown that the following of her cruise channel, established in 2017, really took off, with so many of us trapped at home and seeking escapism.

In 2021, the maths graduate quit her data development job to devote herself fulltime to being a YouTuber and cruise writer and works with travel agents to sell 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 £8,000 from 1,118 sales, and they are on sale now, directly benefiting Mercy Ships until Sunday 5th February. 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.”

To buy the Captain Hudson toy and support the life-changing work of Mercy Ships, visit #CaptainHudson is Available (Limited Time Only) – Emma Cruises before Sunday 5th February.

Could you help transform lives like Emma? For more inspiring ideas and to find out how to become a fundraising champion, visit our fundraising page.