In 1884, when the British garrison at Khartoum, Egypt was under siege, a $15,000,000 rescue operation comprising 1,500 boats laden with troops and other supplies was organized. The organizer? Thomas Cook's travel agency, Thomas Cook & Son.
[The first tour arranged by Thomas Cook (in 1841)? A 48-mile round-trip, via British rail, between Leicester and Loughborough for a temperance meeting. The cost? Approximately fourteen cents.]