Alcoholism Stories: My Booze Cruise Nightmare

CASE STUDY: Edward in Southampton

“It all started off so well. My planned stag weekend (a four-day binge, actually!) kicked off with an enjoyable drinking session on the ferry between Harwich and Esbjerg, on Denmark’s west Jutland coast. By the evening of the third day, however, I was in intensive care.”

Edward – a 41-year-old stockbroker from Hampshire – has been enjoying booze cruises for several years. He and half-a-dozen colleagues look forward to going away at least twice a year on short sojourns to France and Belgium, to buy in bulk cheap wine, beer and spirits.  But there is more to a booze cruise than simply stocking up, as Edward explains:

“Getting as drunk as possible while away at ferry ports such as Calais, Boulogne, Ostend, Cherbourg and Dunkirk is, of course, a must for me and the lads, each time we go on a booze cruise. We get to meet Brits from all over the country who are also overseas for a few of days to take advantage of the cut-price alcohol and tobacco. Things can get a bit rowdy, to be honest. So, booze cruisers are in one sense a ferry company’s dream, and on the other hand, the bane of their lives!”

Although Denmark is not normally a Booze Cruiser’s preferred destination, Edward and his friends have been there several times.

“The television comedy drama The Booze Cruise, which featured the antics of a group of English lads going on a drinking holiday, didn’t really show the other side of binge drinking – how the consequences of consuming alcohol in truly excessive quantities in a very short period of time can be horrific. I basically drank so much that I passed out and hit my head on the floor of a harbour bar. I was rushed to Esbjerg Hospital and then later flown home to the UK.”

A dangerous addiction
Drinking yourself to death is entirely possible, simply because the liver cannot cope with such excessive quantities of alcohol in a short period of time (i.e. two or three hours). But binge drinking can also be the cause of fatal accidents, heavy falls, suicide, or drink driving deaths (where others could also lose their lives).

Do you regularly drink heavily?
Do you want to drink more sensibly but feel under pressure (from your drinking buddies) to carrying on binge drinking like them?

Are you planning to go on a booze cruise this year, but you’re worried about over-drinking and getting into bother, or even sustaining an injury, due to drink-fuelled rowdy behaviour?

If so, THINK AGAIN about your short break holiday plans to one of the aforementioned booze cruise destinations.


I could not stop drinking, having tried various methods. After making contact with Rehab Treatment UK I was put at ease immediately. All my options were carefully explained and 2 days later admitted to Rehab. Without the speedy response I would probably still be drinking today, Already, the home is a happier place. Thank you Jane for starting the process for a life of sobriety.
B. Middlesex

Thank you to Rehab Treatment UK and everyone at the Clinic that was involved in my Detox. It has been hard, but the fun everyone has made it, helped to make it easier.
S. Hull