I've just returned home from Star Trek: The Cruise, a truly extraordinary fan event for lovers of Science, Science Fiction, and the future.
You really want to be on the next one.
Longtime Boing Boing friend Wil Wheaton headlined the third annual cruise, which this year featured stars from every series of Star Trek from The Next Generation onwards. They, along with thousands of die-hard Star Trek fans took over an entire cruise ship for a week (flying the flag of the United Federated of Planets no less), Taking part in everything from photo and autograph sessions, Science Lectures from experts in the fields of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Game Shows, Q&A sessions, and even a narrated performance of the Scopes Monkey Trial transcript.
But the real reason you should go isn't one of those events.
There's a unique culture behind Star Trek. Gene Roddenberry's optimistic vision of a utopian future attracts a certain type of fan, and there's something special about putting thousands of like-minded people and the actors who portrayed their most beloved Star Trek characters on a ship for a week. Wil Wheaton put it best in his initial address during our sendoff:
"I have been a fan of Star Trek my entire life. [...] I learned everything that was important to me from the values that Star Trek taught me: I learned to be honest, I learned to be honourable, I learned to be kind. My whole life I've wanted to live in that world that we imagined when we worked on Next Generation, and that I loved to watch when I was a little boy. We came close to it working on Next Gen, we got to pretend that we were in that world, but we have got this great opportunity over the next six days to *actually* create the world that Star Trek promises, because we all have the same influences. I think we have an opportunity for the next six days to get away from the worst person on the planet, and I'm really excited about that!"
Regardless of your views on Discovery's Klingons, who was the better captain, or insert-your-favourite-trek-argument-here, you'll find like-minded folks on the cruise. There are also several cosplay-friendly events hosted throughout the voyage. If you've ever wanted to be on a ship surrounded by folks in Starfleet uniforms and insignias, this is the place for you.
Next year, for the 25th anniversary of Star Trek: Voyager, the cruise is going to be headed up by Kate Mulgrew (Captain Janeway), and currently has representation from every TV version of Trek from The Original Series to Discovery - more than 20 cast members are slated to attend.
Here are some shots and video I took from Cruise III. See you next year!
Photos and video: Ken Snider, CC-BY-SA