News & Politics

Would You Pay to Cruise with Rush and Rudy?

If it’s late winter, it’s time to start thinking about a spring-break cruise. Each year, groups on the left and the right gather their boldface names aboard cruise ships and embark for sunnier destinations.

The Weekly Standard’s March cruise, featuring such speakers as William Kristol, Fred Barnes, and Ted Olson, will start in Fort Lauderdale and head for the Virgin Islands. Cabins run as much as $19,951 a person.

On the West Coast, cabins for Air America’s February cruise are just $2,760 a couple; speakers include Randi Rhodes and Paul Krugman. There’s still room aboard Rosie O’Donnell’s family-friendly gay-and-lesbian cruise up the New England coast in July.

The National Review’s ten-day May river cruise through France is sold out. It may be about $9,000 a couple, but it includes after-dinner cigars and such speakers as Bernard Goldberg and Kate O’Beirne.

The Washingtonian has obtained this industry planning memo documenting some of the cruise ideas that didn’t happen this year.

To: Boondoggle Cruises LLC CEO Jack McJunket

From: Planning Department

Re: All Aboard for Politics!

Because the political cruise market is proving lucrative for both us and the sponsoring publications, we would like to keep you up to date on our growth plans.

We’ve put together four new cruises but have run into trouble recruiting boldface names to come on board. Here’s our line-up:

1. Theme: Makeovers Galore!

Hosts: Bravo’s sassy team from Queer Eye for the Straight Guy lead an all-male cruise packed with fashion and grooming tips.

Invited guests: Mark Foley, Larry Craig, and Ted Haggard.

Destination: Key West, Florida

Marketing hook: What about a 24-hour massage parlor?

2. Theme: Heat Up the Arctic!

Host: Former vice president Al Gore leads a group northward to see the melting glaciers. The ship will feature lots of recycling and compact fluorescent light bulbs.

Invited guests: Senator James Inhofe, Exxon CEO Rex W. Tillerson, GM CEO Rick Waggoner, and American Petroleum Institute head Red Cavaney.

Destination: Arctic Circle

Marketing hook: Can we power the ship with ethanol?

3. Theme: Viva Mexico!

Host: United Farm Workers president Arturo Rodriguez leads a tour of Mexican food, culture, and the country’s thriving economy.

Invited guests: Lou Dobbs, Tom Tancredo, Rudolph Giuliani, Rush Limbaugh, and Minuteman founder Jim Gilchrist.

Destination: Cancun

Marketing hook: Can we do piñatas every hour?

4. Theme: Duck Hunt 2008

Host: The NRA’s Wayne LaPierre and Vice President Dick Cheney lead a shipful of hunting enthuisiasts to New England in the middle of duck season.

Invited guests: Senator Patrick Leahy, Adam Clymer of the New York Times, former colleague Judy Miller, US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, and Cindy Sheehan.

Destination: Migratory bird paths

Marketing hook: What about getting Michael Moore to film a movie about the cruise?