If Your Family Is Sick of Your UFO Conspiracy Theories, Here's a Vacation for You
The truth is out there … on a cruise. Or so they say.
For those of you who love nothing better than to spend hours talking about UFOs, we have identified a (nonflying) object that will whisk you away to a place where you can trade tales of extraterrestrial encounters to your heart’s desire: Holland America’s Oosterdam.
In October, the 11-deck-high floating resort will host what’s being billed as the UFO Cruise, a seminar-at-sea focused on all things alien.
Organizers of the seven-night voyage out of San Diego are promising an “incredible, mind-blowing, truth-telling” event filled with talks by more than a dozen leading UFO researchers, investigators, authors and even an abductee or two.
“It will not only uncover the lies. It will show us the truth,” claims the promotional material.
It’ll also take you to Mexico where, even if you don’t bump into ET, you can enjoy a nice day or two (or three) at a sunny beach. The voyage includes calls at Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan and Puerto Vallarta.
Of course, it's important to remember the trip traverses the Pacific. Which, as we all know, is home of the Kaijus — the destructive alien sea monsters from Guillermo del Toro’s over-the-top 2013 sci-fi, "Pacific Rim." Sure, they say it was fiction, but, well, you know.
What else is on the schedule for the UFO Cruise? For starters, there will be a nightly UFO watch on the top deck of the ship with night-vision goggles. There are also plans for the group to take part in an authentic Maya fire ceremony during the stop in Cabo San Lucas. Organizers are promising plenty of vegetarian and raw food options, in addition to nonvegetarian fare — a good thing if you don't want your cruise to devolve into a scene from "Invasion of the Body Snatchers."
Still, the activity that most piques our interest is a screening of "Travis: The True Story of Travis Walton," a 90-minute documentary about the famed (alleged) abduction of the American forestry worker in 1975. It’ll be followed by a Q&A with — you guessed it — Walton himself as well as the filmmaker, Jennifer Stein.
Other speakers at the event include Jan Harzan, executive director of the Mutual UFO Network, which touts itself as the largest and oldest UFO research organization; and Linda Moulton Howe, who documents UFO encounters and other strange phenomena at Earthfiles.com. She's also worked on The History Channel’s "Ancient Aliens" series.
Moulton Howe will lecture about such topics as whether artificial intelligence is an existential threat to humanity, and out-of-body travel by children.
One caveat about the sailing: The UFO Cruise group isn’t taking over the entire ship for the voyage, so you’re likely to encounter some nonbelievers, too. Only people who register for the seminar-at-sea through its organizers at UFOCruise.com will have access to the lectures and other group activities.
There's also a hefty mark-up to sail with the UFO Cruise group on the trip. As of today, the base cruise (without access to the UFO-themed activities) is available on Holland America’s website starting at $649 per person for a windowless “inside” cabin. But fares for the trip, including access to the UFO Cruise seminar-at-sea, start at $1,698 per person for an inside cabin, when booked by June 1. After that, starting rates jump to $1,819 per person for an inside cabin. Ocean-view cabins start at $1,899 per person.
All the above rates are “based on double occupancy” of a cabin, so the per-room rates for two are twice those amounts. The fares don’t include taxes of $115 per person.
Are you willing to pay that much to learn the truth ... or at least attend some extraterrestrial lectures and spend some time on the beach here on Earth?
Gene Sloan has written about cruising for more than 25 years and for many years oversaw USA TODAY’s award-winning cruise site, USA TODAY Cruises. He’s sailed on nearly 150 ships.