A far-right media group is planning a cruise through Europe next summer, including meetings with “local political leaders.”
Canada-based Rebel Media said it is organizing a cruise along the Danube in June, starting in Germany and ending in Hungary by way of Austria and Slovakia. Prices for the weeklong trip begin at $3,590.
According to its website, Rebel’s cruise will feature the group’s founder Ezra Levant, British far-right commentator Katie Hopkins, a former reality TV show contestant and newspaper columnist who once said she “doesn’t care” if migrants die; Daniel Pipes, an American scholar who founded the Middle East Forum think tank; and Tommy Robinson, founder of the English Defense League and a figurehead for Britain’s far right.
According to a statement from Levant on the website, those on the cruise will meet with “local political leaders of democratic political groups who are working to preserve western civilization and values — whether it’s with Viktor Orbán’s government in Hungary, or Sebastian Kurz’s government in Austria, or the growing Alternative for Deutschland [sic] party in Germany.”
Levant said the trip will be “safe and private,” adding that “I have a letter from the owner of the ship guaranteeing that we won’t be ‘deplatformed’ by the left.”
He added that the trip is “a fundraiser, to help us keep producing our independent journalism.”
Rebel Media has run cruises before, but this is the first one planned for Europe.
In August 2017, the Norwegian Cruise Line company canceled a planned Rebel trip scheduled to leave in November from Miami and take in Honduras, Belize and Mexico.
The British group Hope Not Hate launched a campaign against the cruise, pointing out that one of the scheduled participants, Gavin McInnes, has connections to the organizer of the Unite The Right demonstration in Charlottesville — a white supremacist rally that turned violent when a car plowed into a group of counter-protesters, killing one person.
The Norwegian company then pulled the plug on the cruise, saying it “espoused views that are inconsistent with Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings core values.”
However, a Rebel cruise to Israel did take place this summer. Articles written about that trip and linked to in the statement from Levant include one in which Hopkins “explains what makes Israel’s security wall so effective” and says it should be a model for the one that Donald Trump wants to build along the U.S.-Mexico border, and another with the title “Why are female IDF [Israeli Defense Forces] soldiers so beautiful?”