Summer 2007 | Upcoming gay and lesbian cruises through March 2008
By OUTTraveler Editors | AN OUTTRAVELER.COM EXCLUSIVE
The big-ship cruise companies Atlantis, RSVP Vacations, (which shares the same parent company as this Web site), Olivia and R Family Vacations -- continue to span the globe from the wondrous Galapagos Islands to the best of the Caribbean and the Mediterranean with unique, one-of-a-kind high-seas adventures for gay men and lesbians who love the thrill of arriving at a new port each day and who thrive in a social, flexible vacation environment.
Cruisers in search of more intimate and low-key vacations now have even more options in the form of small-ship cruises from RSVP Vacations, Travelpride and Romance Voyages, among others.
Ebony Pyramid offers an annual cruise for Black lesbian and gay cruise devotees who want to spend their time on board with members of their own community.
Whatever your style, you'll find a cruise vacation to float your boat. Below is a roundup of upcoming gay and lesbian cruise departures through April 2008. Be sure to check back next month for newly announced cruises or for any updates.
Spain, Italy and Greek Isles Cruise aboard Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas Barcelona to Athens Aug. 25-Sept. 2, 2007
Summer temperatures are set to soar with Atlantis' sizzling hot all-gay Mediterranean cruise. Taking in European highlights from bold and sexy Barcelona, stylish Valencia and party haven Ibiza, to magical Florence and majestic Rome and finally to spectacular haven Santorini and high-spirited Athens. The sleek, luxe Brilliance of the Seas is designed for adventure, fun and more fun. Eleven-story glass elevators give awe-striking ocean views. A rock-climbing wall, sports court, golf simulator, jogging track and two pools keep everyone fit while out at sea. The state of the art fitness center, with full range of cardio and weight training equipment, gives yet more opportunities for workouts with a view and those huge outdoor pool decks come in handy whether there's sunning, socializing or talent spotting on the schedule.
Atlantis is known for pulling out all the stops when it comes to entertainment and this Mediterranean foray is no exception; comedy, cabaret, Broadway-style shows and dance parties confetti the cruise calendar, and a casino and video bar provide yet more distractions. If you really don't want to check out of that luxurious stateroom, combine this adventure with Atlantis' Athens to Venice cruise (see below.)
Athens to Venice Cruise aboard Royal Caribbean's Brilliance of the Seas Athens to Venice Sept. 2-11, 2007
The second, longer leg (nine nights) of Atlantis' two back-to-back Mediterranean cruises features some of the most exotic and historic ports in this ancient and captivating part of the world, visiting the best of the Greek Isles, Turkey and the Adriatic.
Some highlights of this remarkably diverse itinerary include arriving in legendary Istanbul , sailing directly into the romantic Grand Canal in Venice and giving passengers the chance to explore the thrilling gay mecca of Mykonos. Other ports include Rhodes and Ephesus. After experiencing beaches and ruins, it's time to sail on to charming Corfu, more beaches at Split and, finally, to Venice.
The sleek, luxe Brilliance of the Seas is designed for adventure, fun and more fun. Eleven-story glass elevators give awe-striking ocean views. A rock climbing wall, sports court, golf simulator, jogging track and two pools keep everyone fit while out at sea. The state of the art fitness center, with full range of cardio and weight training equipment, gives yet more opportunities for workouts with a view and those huge outdoor pool decks come in handy whether there's sunning, socializing or talent spotting on the schedule.
Atlantis is known for pulling out all the stops when it comes to entertainment and this Mediterranean foray is no exception; comedy, cabaret, Broadway-style shows and dance parties confetti the cruise calendar, and a casino and video bar provide yet more distractions. Dining options are similarly bountiful on board. Open seating, casual dress and no assigned dining times make meals even more enjoyable occasions. If nine days is nowhere near enough, combine this adventure with Atlantis' Spain, Italy and Greek Isles cruise (see above.)
Los Angeles to Los Angeles Mexican Celebration Cruise aboard the Radiance of the Seas Oct. 13-21, 2007
Atlantis' fifth annual Mexican Riviera Cruise, their most popular cruise, pulls up the gangplank in L.A. and sets a course for Mexico's most luscious beach towns. Along with an overnight stay in gay-friendly Puerto Vallarta, legendary soirees, top entertainers, five superstar DJs and all sorts of onboard shenanigans make this the Pacific's premier party. Ports of call also include Ixtapa, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas.
Radiance of the Seas is a spectacular ship, with expansive glass walls, a rock-climbing wall, two-story spa, two pools, African-themed solarium, mini-golf course, golf simulator, jogging track, full size sports court, fitness center and self-leveling billiard table. A plethora of dining options feature Atlantis' signature open seating, no dress code and no assigned dining times.
Liberty Caribbean Cruise aboard the Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas Miami to Miami January 19-26, 2008
Atlantis’ legendary January cruise will be the largest gay cruise in history. Setting sail aboard the largest, newest, and most innovative cruise ship ever built, Royal Caribbean's stunning Liberty of the Seas, 3700 guests will fill this floating paradise with entertainment, spectacular parties and outrageous activities. Just some of the water-borne wonders include surfing FlowRider, climbing a multi-course rock wall and sparring in the boxing ring. An outdoor water park, indoor ice rink, sports pool and full-size volleyball court are also available to keep cruisers kept active. A four-story theater, ice shows, comedy and live music shows, and dances on the decks provide social shenanigans. The largest spa at sea and mind blowing hot tubs that hang off the edge of the ship, 112 feet above the ocean, provide the utmost in relaxation. Oh, and this vast floating party calls at ports, including Turks and Caicos, St.Thomas and Labadee.
Rio Carnival Cruise aboard Celebrity Infinity Rio to Buenos Aires February 3-15, 2008
This is one thrillingly packed itinerary that takes in the finale of Rio’s Carnival and three unforgettable days in Rio, an overnight in the famous beach town of Buzios, the unspoiled splendor of historic Parati, cosmopolitan Sao Paolo, a full day and night on the magical island of Florianopolis, a day on the beaches and a night on the town in the jet-set destination of Punta del Este, urban treasure Montevideo, and finally, gay-friendly Buenos Aires. With plenty of interaction with locals and a packed itinerary, this is a perfect way to explore these fascinating destinations. (It's also sold out!)
Celebrity Caribbean Cruise aboard Celebrity Millennium Ft. Lauderdale to Ft. Lauderdale March 2-9, 2008
Taking in the gay highlights of Florida, Fort Lauderdale and Key West, this enticing expedition sets sail for the exotic islands of Turks and Caicos, before dropping its elegant anchor at Samana and Labadee in the Dominican Republic. An overnight in Key West allows all sorts of social shenanigans. Throughout the trip, amazing diving and unspoiled white sand beaches await. The glamorous Millennium boasts the ambience of a contemporary grand hotel. Spacious modern lounges and comfortable, tasteful staterooms provide a luxurious resting place to recharge after days and nights on the high seas and beaches. The pool deck offers ample space for sunning, lounging, and dancing on beautiful tiered teak decks; the pool, hot tubs, and the spectacular indoor AquaSpa complex allow for utter relaxation. Seven bars and lounges feature live music and comedy shows. A world-class casino, onboard movie theater, and piano bar provide yet more distraction. As night falls, Millennium’s top decks will be transformed into the Caribbean’s most sophisticated nightclub, with state-of-the-art lighting, lasers, and sound and starring three of the world’s top DJs with exciting theme nights and T-dances.
RSVP VACATIONS (www.rsvpvacations.com)
Roman Empire Cruise aboard MS Westerdam Rome to Rome Aug. 9-19, 2007
This Roman holiday extravaganza sets sail from the romantic Italian capital and drops anchor in thrilling Mediterranean waters, at Naples, Messina, Corfu, Dubrovnik, Venice, Malta and Salerno. Dipping its toes into four gorgeous Mediterranean countries, RSVP Vacations' thrilling summer cruise offers Italian enchantment and Aegean intrigue as it coasts past the shores of ancient empires. The dazzling MS Westerdam offers spacious staterooms, many with verandahs for private dining and sunning. The Greenhouse Spa and Salon is the fleet's largest and most luxurious spa. Passengers can choose to dine poolside or doll themselves up and feast in the ship's two-story Vista Dining Room, Lido or Pinnacle restaurants.
Alaska Gold Rush Cruise aboard MS Amsterdam Seattle to Seattle Sept. 7-14, 2007
RSVP Vacations' Alaska Gold Rush Cruise sets out as so many rugged prospectors did, from the Emerald City, Seattle, and glides out through the Puget Sound, between the Gulf Islands and the imposing Olympic Mountains. It's a breathtaking start to an unforgettable week. Holland America Line's grand five-star MS Amsterdam carries 1,380 passengers through the incomparable scenery of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. Travel past icebergs and pods of whales and gallop down the gangplank to check out Sitka and Ketchikan, Alaska and the refined city of Victoria, capital of British Columbia. MS Amsterdam boasts state-of-the-art amenities, fine woods, exquisite art and antiques, larger staterooms, a 24/7 Internet Center and a world-class spa and fitness center.
Alaskan Frontiers aboard Holland America's MS Statendam Vancouver, B.C. to Anchorage, Alaska, Sept. 9-16, 2007
The ladies of Olivia set out for the far north once again with 2007's Alaskan Frontiers cruise. Embarking from lovely Vancouver B.C., the journey is a stunning one. MS Statendam cruises the Inside Passage, through winding fjords and past waterfalls to Ketchikan, Alaska. Adventuours souls can kayak the waterfront, explore Misty Fjords National Monument and the world's largest collection of totem poles. Other excitements scheduled include seeing Hubbard Glacier, hiking, mushing with a dog team and savoring fresh salmon, smoked over alderwood. Unscheduled wonders might include seeing an iceberg "calf" and sighting bald eagles high above.
MS Statendam boasts state-of-the-art amenities, internet access, a two-tiered dining room, the world-class Ocean spa, fitness center and the Lido Pool.
Under the Tahitian Sun aboard RSS's Paul Gaughin Papeete to Papeete, French Polynesia Sept. 15-22, 2007
Vanilla and hibiscus fill the air as Olivia's Tahitian cruise embarks on its adventure through Tahiti. The Society Islands, also known as "Paradise on Earth," the rugged volcanic islands of Raiatea, Taha'a, Bora Bora, Moorea and Tahiti are the sirens of the South Pacific. Balmy days, sultry nights, jagged peaks, emerald rain forests and the company of women beckon would-be passengers on board this delectable cruise. During the week, those on board visit deep bays and reefs, multihued lagoons and deserted motu islands, vanilla plantations and craggy mountains. Black pearls and whale and dolphin sightings are other attractions.
The MS Paul Gaughin was designed specifically to cruise French Polynesia year-round. 50 percent of spacious staterooms have balconies and the vessel offers a watersports marina, three dining venues and an enticing spa. Entertainment takes place in the sultry Connoisseur Club, La Palette piano bar and Le Grand Salon.
San Diego to San Diego Sunsets of the Mexican Riviera aboard Holland America's MS Oosterdam Oct. 20-27, 2007
Lily Tomlin vaults on board to celebrate Olivia's 100th trip in some of Mexico's sultriest spots. The cruise takes in quaint corners of Puerto Vallarta, lagoons, stunning sunsets, Cabo San Lucas' idyllic waters and amazing rock formations. To add amusement to the days at sea, Lily Tomlin is on hand and on stage.
Caribbean Dreams aboard Holland America’s MS Zuiderdam Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Fort Lauderdale January 26-February 2, 2008
Idyllic islands, the lure of adventure and vibrant nightlife are all on the menu for Olivia’s hot Caribbean cruise. The perfect escape from winter, this seven-night delight visits one luxurious port after another, including the pristine beaches and lagoons of Grand Turk and Tortola, the Dutch/French island of St. Maarten and Olivia’s exclusive private paradise Half Moon Cay.
On board the gloriously indulgent MS Zuiderdam, the majority of staterooms have verandas and the Greenhouse Spa offers even more relaxation to pampered passengers. The chic Ocean Bar and sultry Queen’s Lounge are the setting for Olivia’s legendary entertainment.
Caribbean Treasures aboard Holland America’s Ms Westerdam Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Fort Lauderdale March 30-April 6, 2008
Underwater life and nightlife get equal billing on Olivia’s enticing Caribbean Treasures Cruise. Taking in Costa Maya on the mysterious Mayan Riviera, Georgetown, Grand Turk and Half Moon Cay, this trip visits ruined temples, secret pathways, sleepy fishing villages, underwater caves and miles of white sand beaches. Highlights of the Turks and Caicos include snorkeling and diving amid tiny seahorses, hawksbill turtles, coral gardens, and giant whale sharks, as well as on shore delights in the form of a treasure trove of pastel British colonial architecture.
The dazzling MS Westerdam offers spacious staterooms, many with verandahs for private dining and sunning. The Greenhouse Spa and Salon is the fleet's largest and most luxurious spa. Passengers can choose to dine poolside or doll themselves up and feast in the ship's two-story Vista Dining Room, Lido or Pinnacle restaurants.
R FAMILY VACATIONS (www.rfamilyvacations.com)
Rosie O'Donnell and her spouse, Kelli, along with business partner Gregg Kaminsky, created a public relations smash -- and opened up an entirely new cruise market -- with the successful launch of their R Family Vacations cruise in July 2004, geared toward gay and lesbian parents and their kids of all ages. Two upcoming cruises will satisfy different tastes in the expanding gay and lesbian family travel market -- a small-ship expedition to the fabled Galapagos Islands in November is complemented by a traditional large-ship winter Caribbean cruise.
Bermuda: Summer 2007 cruise aboard NCL's Norwegian Dawn New York to New York City July 7-14, 2007
After a truly awe-inspiring farewell to New York City -- sailing down the island of Manhattan, past the Statue of Liberty and under the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, shopping, snorkeling, sunning and socializing are all on the schedule during R Family Vacations' entirely enticing Bermuda summer cruise. Setting the pace with two days on R Family Vacations' private gay and lesbian family-friendly island -- a haven of quaint seaside villages, beautiful pink sand beaches and tropical rain forests -- everyone on board will soon feel far, far away from New York. Barbeques and beach parties, kayaking and windsurfing are just some of the on-island activities. Pool parties, barbeques, Broadway-quality shows, kids' entertainment, seminars, comedy, cabaret and a casino are on offer for sea days. The Norwegian Dawn offers luxurious penthouses with floor-to-ceiling glass doors and private balcony, generous ocean-view staterooms with balcony and comfortable inside staterooms.
Spring Break on the Mexican Riviera aboard Holland America’s Ms Oosterdam San Diego to San Diego March 15-22, 2008
R Family’s first sailing to the Mexican Riviera joins forces with PFLAG as they sail south on a 1848 passenger, all-welcome cruise, to shop in beautiful Cabo San Lucas, to soak up some sunshine at the beaches of Mazatlan and to enjoy the galleries and scenery in gay-friendly Puerto Vallarta.
Scandinavia and Russia Cruise aboard Le Diamant Bergen, Norway to Stockholm, Sweden July 2-11, 2007
Travel Pride's Baltic cruise adventure is a glorious ten-day journey aboard the charming Le Diamant. An intimate ship with just 113 cabins, the sights of the Baltic come into view through cabins' double portholes, picture windows or private balconies. Starting in scenic Bergen, Norway, with its UNESCO-designated Bryggen harbor, the all-gay cruise visits the wealth of treasures in St. Petersburg, the medieval atmosphere of Tallinn, Estonia, cosmopolitan Copenhagen and Stockholm, as well as Poland's maritime hub Gdansk and stately Helsinki, Finland.
Entertainment on board includes a complimentary open-bar Tea Dance, a DJ and videos and nightly live entertainment.
New Year’s Caribbean Cruise aboard Windstar’s Wind Spirit St. Thomas, to St.Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands December 29, 2007-January 5, 2008
Leave the crowds, cold weather and 2007 behind! Escape on this thrilling cruise that glides from “America’s Paradise” St. Thomas, to the fascinating Iles des Saintes, Guadeloupe , lush Montserrat in the British West Indies and picture perfect St. Barts in the French West Indies, before reaching beach haven Jost Van Dyke , chic Virgin Gorda and finally docking back at St. Thomas. Allowing for a more intimate holiday cruise, the Wind Spirit is an exclusive craft, with only space for 150 discerning passengers. The ship boasts a casino, library, pool bar, lounge, veranda restaurant and main restaurant, as well as a salt-water pool and hot tub, water activity marina and fitness center. Spacious cabins feature flat screen televisions, DVD and CD players, iPOD docking stations, wireless internet access, Egyptian cotton linens and duvets and L’Occitane amenities. All cabins are ocean view.
ROMANCE VOYAGES (www.romancevoyages.com)
Egypt/Nile Adventure aboard Sonesta Star Goddess Cairo/Luxor, Egypt to Luxor/Cairo, Egypt February 1-14, 2008
In February 2008, gay ancient history buffs and fans of small ships can join this luxury expedition to take in the wonders of Egypt. Five days on land allow the opportunity to take in Memphis, the Step Pyramid of Zoser, the Sphinx and the only remaining ancient Wonder of the World, the Great Pyramid at Giza, while enjoying accommodations at the luxurious Mena House in Cairo. After these wonders, the group flies to Luxor to embark upon seven days on board the high-end Star Goddess, a 33-unit ship with an outdoor pool, running track, full service spa and dining room, deck bar and lounge. Historical highlights include the Valley of Kings, the Valley of Queens, the Colossi of Memnon, Aswan Dam and numerous other fascinating ports of call. Social highlights include the Captain’s Party, an Egyptian Costume Party and a Martini and Disco Night.
EBONY PYRAMID (www.ebonypyramidonline.com)
8th Annual Black Gay and Lesbian Pride: Caribbean Cruisin’ Miami to Miami October 4-8, 2007
Columbus Day weekend heats up with Ebony Pyramid’s hot island cruise. Visiting Nassau and Paradise Island, this Bahamas odyssey features the best entertainers and special events for the BLBGT community. Highlights include a White Attire Reception, parties, seminars, a dance party, bingo, talent shows and a farewell ceremony. Pre-club parties include a sizzling event at Miami club Twist.