With the strapline ‘See Naples and die…before you get there’, one Tripoli-based cruise company is reporting a bumper season by tempting hundreds of African tourists to take up the offer of no-frills trips part of the way to the Sicilian coast.
With five questionably seaworthy vessels and a fully refurbished, century-old dhow in its fleet, ‘Ahmed is Your Med Tours’ offers exclusive one-way trips to Sicily and whatever Mediterranean port it can find without the unnecessary expense of fuel or a rudder.
The company is fighting off any opposition from other family-unfriendly cruise outfits and adult-only free-for-all excursions from the North African Coast.
A spokesperson for AYMT said: ‘Our holiday extras provide everything people need to make their trip go with a bang. They can pre-book front or back planks and choose canvas or hessian awnings for just a few hundred dinars more. A private suite in the hold is obviously extra. We also provide on-board drinking water at a very competitive price and a tour guide for the first 20 metres of the trip.’
The company boasts quality on-board entertainment including ‘Spot the Christian’ and a selection of board games such as Connect Four Hundred. The star of the fleet, the African Scream, is home to the Lido bar, an exclusive outdoor watering-hole for non-Muslims.
AYMT is also proud of its entertainment portfolio. ‘We did book Jane McDonald last year,’ said the spokesman, ‘but she pulled out at the last minute when she realised she’d have to share a dressing room with 75 other acts.’ AYMT also has an excellent safety record with only seven ships lost in the past nine months and zero customer complaints.
‘Our aim is to let our customers discover the real joy of cruising without any interference from on-board captains and crew and without sails or oars,’ the spokesman added. We guarantee that no two days will be the same and are making Titanic efforts to be the best cruising company that the Med can offer. And rest assured, no matter what, we will never subject our customers to the same indignities as Ryanair.’
Hat tip to Ref Minor