Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL) bowed to pressure and cancelled booking for a “neo-nazi” conference that was set to take place on one of its cruise ships.
The far-right, Canada-based group Rebel Media had planned to hold a 7-day-long meeting onboard a Norwegian Caribbean Cruise. The voyage was scheduled to leave from Miami in November and would take in Belize, Honduras and Mexico.
The cruise was advertised as a “great way to meet like-minded Rebels” and its members included Stephen Lennon (aka Tommy Robinson, former leader of English Defence League) and Gavin McInnes, who advocated violence against his political opponents.
The conference was publicised by Hope not Hate, campaign group who contacted Norwegian Cruise Line to express concerns about Rebel Media using its cruise ship last week. Hope not Hate set up a petition and appealed to NCL president and CEO Frank J.Del Rio “to remove the platform for someone like Gavin McInnes, who legitimises and normalises the same ideas as those aired in Charlottesville, and who wants to use their services to spread his hateful agenda.”
The statement released by NCL to Hope not Hate read:
“As a matter of policy, we do not disclose or discuss the identities of our guests or groups. However, all guests who cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line are required to adhere to the Guest Conduct Policy while on board company vessels, which, among other things, prohibits verbally abusive or offensive language directed towards anyone on-board as well as inappropriate or abusive behaviour.”
However, later the cruise line changed its position, confirming that it had cancelled the booking. Its statement said:
“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.”