A cruise marketing brochure by a travel company has triggered allegations of racism for its pitch “exclusively for Brits.” The holiday company Saga Cruises later apologized for the “error.”

According to cruise news, the controversial promotional brochure was sent by Saga Cruises.

Anthony Bale, a university professor, broke the news and said his mother was “outraged” by the magazine that outlined the cruise highlights.

Bale said his aged mother asked him, “why they would say this if it’s legal.” He also posted a photograph of the promotional material on twitter.

Bale’s mother, Ruth Bale, 75, told the Guardian that she was shocked to read the brochure. Flaying the marketing pitch, Bale said cruise comprising of a single nationality is a “sad reflection” of the state of the nation.

“Are the staff going to be Brits only? How far does ‘exclusively for Brits’ extend?” she asked and dubbed the promotion “bigotry.”

Cruise firm tenders apology

After the matter became public, Saga Cruises came out with a statement of apology saying people of all nationalities are welcome to join its tours and cruise deals. It said the confusion was caused by an inadvertent error in the copy.

“We are extremely sorry for the error in the promotional leaflet that was sent to the database of one of our cruise partners,” said a spokesperson.

Noting Saga Cruises’ “proud heritage” of welcoming anybody over the age of 50, of any nationality it said the error has been corrected and regretted any injured feelings.

The holiday company said it is not a Saga brochure technically.

“Our partners at cruise.co.uk are sorry for any offense the inaccuracy in the leaflet may have caused.”

Meanwhile, data from Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) suggested the high growth in ocean cruises by the U.K. and Irish industry after the number of passengers touched two million-plus for the first time in 2018.

The U.K. and Ireland cruise industry surpassed the two million mark of 2017 when record 2,009,000 cruise passengers sailed in 2018.

The British cruise industry is dotted with big players such as P&O Cruises and Viking River cruises.

GettyImages-Cruise Ship
The Norwegian Cruise Line, Norwegian Sky cruise ship sails out of its port on October 12, 2018 in Miami Beach, Florida. Photo by Gary Hershorn/Getty Images

The former is operated by Carnival UK and owned by Carnival Corporation. According to Andy Harmer, CLIA’s UK & Ireland director, “The year 2018 was impressive for the UK and Ireland cruise industry as it illustrated how cruise has become a major player within the UK and Irish travel sector.”