by Lisa A. Grimaldi | August 21, 2017
Norwegian Cruise Line has canceled a cruise sponsored by far-right Canadian firm Rebel Media, following pressure from U.K.-based Hope Not Hate, an anti-racism advocacy group, according to press reports. The weeklong cruise aboard NCL's Getaway was to sail from Miami to the Western Caribbean; among the keynote speakers scheduled was Gavin McInnes, who, according to Hope Not Hate, is "known for his extreme online content and as the leader of the alt-right linked 'Proud Boys.'"
In its efforts to influence action on NCL's part, Hope Not Hate circulated a petition, stating, "We believe Norwegian Cruise Line must take a stand against racism, homophobia, sexism, transphobia and hatred of all kinds."
According to Hope Not Hate, NCL issued a statement to the organization that indicated they were canceling the event. "We recently became aware that one of several affinity groups that booked space on an upcoming sailing was associated with and espoused views that are inconsistent with Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings' core values. The company has therefore exercised its right to cancel this group's reservation and provide a full refund. As a matter of policy, the company neither discusses nor discloses the identities of our individual guests or groups."
M&C reached out to NCL for comment, but had not received a response at press time; however, a note on the Rebel Cruise website confirms the cancellation, stating: "Dear Rebel cruisers, Norwegian Cruise Line has told our travel agency that they are cancelling our entire cruise. If you have booked a ticket, please contact the travel agency for further instructions."
Hope Not Hate applauded the action, stating, "Norwegian Cruise Line's decision is most welcome and they are to be congratulated for taking this stand against racism, sexism, homophobia and hatred of all kind. In the current climate, this is a valuable example that companies have the choice to act responsibly and to refuse to allow their platforms to be vehicles for the normalization and mainstreaming of bigotry."
According to the Miami Herald, Rebel Media has initiated a petition against Norwegian Cruise Line, asking the line to reverse its decision.