Amal and Zaytouna, a flotilla of two boats with all-women crews and passengers, set sail from Barcelona en route to besieged Gaza in another maritime attempt to break Israel's illegal blockade on the tiny strip of Palestinian coastal territory.
This is a place where 1.7 million Palestinians have been locked for nearly a decade in what many describe as the "world's largest open air prison", a human laboratory that Israel uses periodically to test its weapons.
As with previous civilian voyages to Gaza, these boats are carrying prominent international figures who hope to use their stature to focus international attention on continuing Israeli crimes against Palestinians.
There are 11 women in each boat, including Malin Bjork, the European Parliament member, Mairead Maguire, the Nobel peace laureate from Northern Ireland, Fouzia Hassan, a doctor from Malaysia, and retired US army colonel Ann Wright.
There have been more than two dozen such voyages since 2008, with only five actually making it to Gaza. The rest have been intercepted by the Israeli military, which often confiscates the boats and other equipment, and arrests passengers.
And while the boats do often carry aid, including medical, building and educational supplies, organisers regard these costly and risky endeavours as largely symbolic. Spokeswoman Zohar Chamberlain Regev told Al Jazeera, "Mainly we are carrying a message of hope and solidarity [for the people of Gaza]."
It is perhaps difficult to see the real and material impact of international activists setting sail to try to visit Gaza, only to be intercepted, arrested and deported. But the significance of these endeavours becomes apparent when viewed in the wider context of popular movements taking root around the world.