Does a Florida Company Offer ‘Euthanasia Cruises’?

A routine review of content labeled satire.

  • Published 29 December 2007

Claim

A Florida company offers "euthanasia cruises" on which terminally ill and suicidal passengers end their lives by jumping overboard.

Rating

Labeled Satire
About this rating

Origin

If you need help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255. Or contact Crisis Text Line by texting HOME to 741741.

For most people, voyages aboard cruise ships are pleasant diversions, a form of recreation that allows vacationers to travel to exotic destinations while taking the comfort and luxury of a fine hotel room along with them. For some people, cruise ships have even become a way of life, as a few retirees have opted to spend their golden years permanently at sea. Have such ocean voyages now become a way of death as well, with a company offering “euthanasia cruises” on which the terminally ill (and others wishing to end their lives) can quietly expire in the company of like-minded individuals by sliding overboard into the sea?

A Snopes reader writes:

Is this true?

“A group of Florida businessmen has created a company called Euthanasia Cruises, Ltd. Each month the company takes 25 passengers on The Last Supper, a three-masted luxury sloop, for three days at sea before the passengers voluntarily end their lives by jumping into the ocean. Although a few passengers are terminally ill, most are able-bodied adults.”

Not quite. The information about “Euthanasia Cruises, Ltd.” quoted above was taken from a satirical column by prankster Alan Abel which was published in the Fairfield County Weekly on 16 February 2006. (Abel is a regular contributor to that publication; similar recent spoof articles by him have featured a Michigan restaurant called “Hitler’s Drive-In,” operated by a proprietor who is the spitting image of his infamous German namesake, and plans to build a Miles Standish-inspired “Pilgrims’ Casino” in Connecticut.)

Although the example article cited here was published in 2006, the “euthanasia cruise” column is actually a rehashing of a hoax Alan Abel first unleashed back in 1993.