A major international cruise line has cancelled a charter booked by a far-right alliance after pressure from UK-based campaign group HOPE not Hate.
Rebel Media, which has been described as a neo-Nazi organisation, was planning to hold a week-long conference on board Norwegian Getaway, sailing from Miami in November.
HOPE not Hate, which lobbied for unity after the death of MP Jo Cox, and which has supported alternatives to far-right movements, urged Norwegian Cruise Line to cancel the booking on the grounds of Rebel Media’s links with white supremacists in north America. Last weekend’s violent clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, brought the issue to a head.
The company responded initially by saying only that “all guests who cruise with Norwegian are required to adhere to the guest conduct policy … which prohibits verbally abusive or offensive language as well as inappropriate or abusive behaviour.”
After further pressure from HOPE not Hate, Norwegian announced the booking had been cancelled, issuing a statement that 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.”
HOPE not Hate welcomed the decision, saying: “Norwegian Cruise Line 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 normalisation and mainstreaming of bigotry.”
The headline speaker lined up for the so-called ‘Rebel Cruise’ was Gavin McInnes, known for his extreme online content and the leader of the alt-right linked ‘Proud Boys’ who have a record of violent action in support of their “Western chauvinism.”