Gay & Lesbian Cruise Choices

Gay & Lesbian Cruises banner

There are cruises out there for all types and this extends to the gay and lesbian community too. Just like anyone looking to book a cruise holiday, gay and lesbians need to choose a cruise line, ship, cabin and destination to match their individual tastes.

However, gay and lesbians have additional decisions to make when planning this type of holiday.

They will need to decide whether to choose an all-gay cruise or a gay-friendly sailing.

Chartered Sailings

The first gay exclusive cruise began in 1985 with the company RSVP, attracting the attention of famous figures such as Quentin Crisp, Armisted Maupin and Vito Russo. The news of this first-of-its-kind sailing spread quickly throughout the gay community.

The group charter was born and tour companies catering exclusively for gay and lesbian travellers included the one that started it all RSVP. Other well other established companies such as Atlantis, Aquafest and Sweet and Oliva for lesbian travel should be looked into as well.

The ships chosen for charter can range from small and intimate sailing vessels to the massive mega-ships.

For 2015, some all-gay sailings include:

  • Celebrity Silhouette’s Caribbean holiday which departs on the 1st of February
  • Mardi Gras Cruise from Auckland aboard Holland America’s Oosterdam departing the 24th of February
  • Greek island hopping with Azamara Quest commencing on the 16th of August

These types of cruises are particularly popular with singles that associate cruises with romance.

The charters that are exclusively for the gay community certainly will pack a week with plenty of meet and greets, as well as a larger amount of parties than other sailings.

Gay-Friendly Cruise Lines:

The leaders lines in the cruise industry welcome gays and lesbians as their passengers even though most of them don’t actually have dedicated itineraries.

Here are some of the well known lines that have become popular with gay and lesbian travellers:


There are eleven ships in their fleet and all of them pride themselves on catering towards all types of passengers. Celebrity ships are trendy in décor and offer exquisite dining that aficionados of food will appreciate.

Crystal Cruises

Live in the lap of luxury with this line, which is one of the most popular amongst the gay community. Crystal is a six star line that prides itself on its attention to detail. Their enrichment programs are always popular and there is a wide variety of Broadway type performances.


Contrary to their stuffy image, the ships have been given a more vibrant nightlife in recent years. The Commodore Lounge bar on Queen Mary 2 for instance is one of them. The bar is a great place to relax and talk amongst your fellow ship mates.

Norwegian Cruise Lines

Norwegian was perhaps the first line to offer Freestyle Cruising and this idea has proven ideal for the gay community with its relaxed dress code and open seating. This style has stood the test of time and the line plays host to several seminars and gatherings for gays and lesbians.


Princess is renowned for being able to accommodate a large variety of demographics. Their Personal Choice dining adapts to everyone’s taste and the nightclubs found on board their ships rival many of those found in the big cities.

Gays and lesbians searching for a cruise holiday should rely on feedback from their friends and the advice from an experienced cruise agent who will be able to advise on the perfect ship for you and or your partner.

Written by Veronica Shine