The Origin of the Booze Cruise

Booze CruiseNational Prohibition (1920-1933) led to a huge boom in the cruise industry. By taking what were advertised as “cruises to nowhere,” people could legally consume alcohol as soon as the ship entered international waters where they would typically cruise in circles. The cruises quickly became known as “booze cruises.”


  • September 14, 2011

    The Sediment blog

    But let’s also acknowledge the more recent use of the term – when UK consumers realised that by crossing the Channel to France, they could obtain alcohol much more cheaply. 

    Ferries, particularly out of season, reduced fares to an absurd extent (eg £1 return!) and Brits would do a cross-Channel “round trip” in a day. Huge wine warehouses opened up in proximity to ferry ports simply in order to sell to booze-cruising Brits. In some cases, travellers would even load up on duty free on the ferry itself, and simply turn around in the dock car park before returning home!The rising value of the Euro, coupled with European tax legislation and changes to duty free, have killed off these booze cruises. Sadly…

  • September 14, 2011

    Kris Chislett

    Ahhhh yes! The old “Dover to Calais” run! I remember once we almost ran into a problem with the fuzz for bringing back too much plonk. Those were the days!

Leave a Reply