These cruises for LGBTQ+ travelers offer inclusive experiences on itineraries around the world.
Cruising is back, and as passengers set sail once again, there’s no shortage of LGBTQ+-friendly cruise lines and dedicated itineraries to embark upon. Whether you’re hoping to discover centuries-old gems across Europe’s rivers, bask in the beauty of the Alaskan wilderness, or just party the night away with a vodka soda in hand and “Into You” by Ariana Grande blasting overhead, these cruise lines and tour operators offer something for every LGBTQ+ traveler.
Brand G Vacations
Specializing in curated experiences for LGBTQ+ community members since 2011, Brand G Vacations has found particular success within the realm of small-scale cruises, offering voyages on the high seas and the Earth’s most iconic rivers. With trips across spectacular rivers like the Douro, Ganges, and Amazon, each Brand G excursion provides ample opportunities for forging new friendships thanks to their low passenger count. As an added bonus, philanthropy is a central tenet of the company, with each year bringing a new partnership with a charity committed to addressing issues within the LGBTQ+ community.
A recent addition to the cruise industry, Vacaya caters specifically to LGBTQIAPK+ patrons, with cruises ranging from classic tropical island routes to truly far-flung options. In terms of classic cruise experiences, guests can find spacious suites, vibrant nightlife, and 29 drinking and dining venues aboard the Celebrity Apex on Vacaya’s annual Caribbean cruise taking place in February 2024 — but for the adventurous soul, there’s no beating one of their smaller options. Though itineraries span from the Adriatic Sea to the heart of Polynesia, each cruise offers the perfect blend of relaxing amenities and bustling nightlife to keep you occupied between ports.
The gay cruise industry is largely geared toward men, but Olivia is the industry’s reigning champion for LGBTQ+ women. The company hosts a plethora of river and open-water cruises all across the globe, with lesbian and queer woman-focused excursions to Alaska, Egypt and Jordan, and Greece on the roster for 2024. Amenities ranging from meals to self-service laundry to alcoholic beverages are all included as part of your purchase, and for those wishing to keep the party going after testing their sea legs, Olivia also offers land-based tours, with a wealth of relaxing resort stays available to book.
With beloved celebrity entertainers and dazzling dance parties on the regular, Atlantis is one of the cruise industry’s top contenders for a fun-filled, LBGTQ+-centered getaway on the high seas. For the most social of butterflies, this fall’s Italy, France, and Ibiza cruise is set to shatter records for the largest gay cruise to set sail across Europe, uniting more than 4,000 passengers on the massive Odyssey of the Seas. For a smaller-scale (but still grandiose) experience, Atlantis is putting some of Southeast Asia’s most dazzling cities on full display this November, offering a nine-night cruise along Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Bangkok.
One of the most dedicated queer allies in the water tourism world, Celebrity Cruises has gone to great lengths to partner with LGBTQ+ impact groups and promote inclusivity in the workplace, and the cruise line even offers same-sex weddings on board, officiated by the cruise captain. Though queer passengers are certain to feel welcome aboard any voyage, the company has been hosting the iconic Pride Party at Sea since 2018, imbuing cruises across the globe with an added dose of LGBTQ+-curated programs and parties throughout the month of June.
The Cruise by La Demence
While La Demence has been one of Belgium’s most coveted queer events for decades, the festivities are taking on an aquatic spin on The Cruise, a week-long journey scheduled for July 2023. Kicking off with the Italian city of Ravenna, this week-long excursion highlights fascinating destinations across the Mediterranean, with Sarandë, Malta, and Catania all gracing the itinerary — but of course, the most incredible festivities take place far beyond the shore. Equipped with dazzling amenities like an on-ship spa, a dedicated nudist deck, and a star-studded cast of entertainers, the Explorer of the Seas is a one-way ticket to a memorable jaunt across Europe’s stunning southern coast.
Source Journeys has mastered the art of cruising, providing LGBTQ+ travelers with a treasure trove of carefully curated luxury cruises. For wildlife lovers, September brings the opportunity to spot sea lions, turtles, and marine iguanas on a voyage to Ecuador’s iconic Galapagos Islands, with the Relais & Chateaux-aligned Evolve yacht serving as a particularly relaxing abode for the trip, while October’s Vietnam and Cambodia cruise highlights the rich beauty of the Mekong from urban and natural perspectives.
Uniworld River Cruises
When it comes to low-effort/high-yield travel, river cruises are hard to top. They offer an opportunity to visit a vast array of storied cities, neatly bundled into one itinerary — and in terms of uniquely LGBTQ+ experiences, Uniworld has a few special journeys in store. During an Out on the Rivers cruise, guests can attend a wide array of curated events and performances, with R Family Vacations founders Gregg Kaminsky and Kelli Carpenter taking charge of the journey. While the France-focused Brilliant Bordeaux cruise is set to depart next month, be sure to mark your calendars for April 2024’s Holland and Belgium at Tulip Time, a trip that highlights some of Western Europe’s pioneers for LGBTQ+ inclusivity.
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