This Gone Girl Cruise Was Weirder Than You Could Imagine

There was no murder mystery, but grisly photos were shown
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 22, 2022 7:00 AM CDT
This Gone Girl Cruise Was Weirder Than You Could Imagine
A stock photo of the Danube in Budapest, one of the stops on the cruise.   (Getty Images / bloodua)

If it sounds more like fiction than reality, it was, kind of: an eight-day "Gone Girl Cruise" hosted by the author of the book of the same name. For Imogen West-Knights, it spurred questions, among them, "How can a cruise be themed around a book about a woman faking her own abduction to take revenge on her partner? Why is it taking place on the Danube? (Is the book not set in Missouri?)" So she bought a ticket and wrote about the experience for Slate. The first night started with a note left on her bed that bore a bloody handprint and the warning, "We will have a happy journey if it kills us..." The next night everyone found different ominous notes in their rooms (oddly, no on-ship murder-mystery ends up being staged, despite suggestions one would be). Then came the fourth evening, "one of the strangest evenings I have ever spent."

They were taken off-ship to an Austrian cellar where a former homicide chief told the true story of a prostitute-murdering serial killer and illustrated it with a slideshow that contained images of dead bodies, some horribly decomposed. As for day six, "I feel it is my duty to report that one of the excursions on the agenda for a thriller-themed cruise was a trip to the Mauthausen concentration camp. I don't feel the need to say anything more about this here, other than that it was of course harrowing, and just as bizarre to include on this itinerary as you might imagine." West-Knights details author Gillian Flynn's presence and involvement on the cruise and colorfully tells of her fellow travelers, including two women who had no idea what they signed up for. "We thought it was like: You're gone, girl! Like it was a women's travel thing," they explained. (Read the offbeat full story.)

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