Best Gay Cruises

Best Gay Cruises: Top 10 Picks for LGBTQ+ Travelers in 2023

by Christian Petzold - updated September 18, 2023

The travel industry has transformed significantly, increasingly catering to specific interests and communities. As part of this growing trend, there’s a thriving niche of specialized cruises designed for the LGBTQ+ community. 

Enter the world of gay cruises, voyages that promise fun and relaxation, and an opportunity to be surrounded by a like-minded community in a welcoming and inclusive environment. This article explores some of the best gay cruises for your next sea adventure.

The Importance of Inclusive Travel

In the not-so-distant past, the travel industry was often an unwelcoming space for LGBTQ+ individuals. However, the advent of dedicated gay cruises has played a significant role in changing this narrative. 

These cruises are more than just a vacation – they’re a statement, a celebration of diversity and acceptance. For many, they offer a haven, an opportunity to travel freely without fear of judgment or discrimination. They represent a shift towards inclusivity, creating an environment where everyone can relax and be themselves.

Moreover, these cruises are a beacon of visibility for the LGBTQ+ community. They encourage dialogue, foster understanding, and celebrate diversity’s beauty in the most grandiose way. Through entertainment, activities, and simply existing as dedicated spaces, gay cruises contribute to the broader acceptance and recognition of the LGBTQ+ community in society.

Pool Cruise

Setting Sail with the Best in LGBTQ+ Travel

Traveling is a luxury that everyone deserves to enjoy, and when it comes to the world of cruises, there’s no shortage of options for every kind of traveler. Whether you’re seeking adventure on the high seas or the tranquility of a river journey, there’s something for everyone.

The Rise of Specialized Cruises

In recent years, the cruise line industry has recognized the diversity of its passengers and has started offering specialized experiences. From gay group cruises to LGBTQ+ friendly events, the spectrum is vast. One of the standout names in the industry is Atlantis Events, known for organizing premier gay cruises. Their expertise and events have led to them being frequently referred to as one of the top choices when discussing the best gay cruises.

River Cruises vs. Oceanic Journeys

While the vast ocean offers an expansive adventure, there’s something incredibly intimate about a river cruise. Meandering through continents, these cruises offer a closer look at cultures, with stops at lesser-known ports. Whether you’re onboard a Royal Caribbean ship charting the vast waters of the Caribbean cruise or taking a peaceful river journey, the experience is unparalleled.

Must-Visit Destinations

Every gay cruise has its highlights, but certain destinations always stand out. Puerto Vallarta, for example, is not just a beautiful beach town but also an LGBTQ+ hotspot. Many travelers have lauded its welcoming atmosphere, making it a frequent stop for many gay cruises. When on board a ship, the mention of this destination always brings a murmur of excitement among passengers.

Choosing the Right Cruise Line

When you’re looking for the best gay cruises, it’s essential to consider the cruise line. Companies like Royal Caribbean have a reputation for being inclusive and offering a broad range of experiences. However, it’s also crucial to look for cruise lines that organize dedicated gay cruises, ensuring that your journey is surrounded by like-minded individuals.

The world of cruises for LGBTQ+ travelers is broader than ever. From ocean giants to peaceful riverboats, the options are endless. Whether you’re searching for the best gay cruise to the azure waters of the Caribbean or hoping to join a gay group cruise down a tranquil river, the opportunities in 2023 are vast.

What to Look For in a Gay Cruise

So, what makes a great gay cruise? Beyond the destination, there are vital factors to consider when choosing the perfect voyage for your next vacation.

First, look at the accommodations and amenities on offer. Your cabin is your home away from home, so comfort is crucial. Many cruises offer a range of rooms, from simple and cozy to outright luxurious. The ship’s amenities – such as pools, spas, and fitness centers – also significantly affect your overall experience.

onboard entertainment and activities

Second, consider the onboard entertainment and activities. An excellent gay cruise offers various options, from drag shows to dance parties, film screenings, and themed nights. The more diverse the offerings, the better the chances of catering to a broader range of tastes and interests.

Third, consider the cruise line’s diversity and inclusivity policies. It’s essential that the cruise actively fosters an environment of respect and acceptance for all.

Finally, many of the best gay cruises offer unique LGBTQ+-themed events and parties. These could include Pride parties, drag brunches, or LGBTQ+ history talks. These events can significantly enhance your travel experience, providing opportunities to connect with others in the community and learn something new.

Choosing the best gay cruise involves finding the right balance between all these factors. In the next section, we’ll take a closer look at some of the top contenders in the industry.

unique LGBTQ themed events

11 Best Gay Cruises

1. Atlantis Events

Since starting in 1991, Atlantis Events has become the top travel company offering the best gay cruises for the LGBTQ+ community.

Each year, over 20,000 guests join Atlantis Events cruises. These trips go to exciting places like South America and the Cayman Islands.

The company offers all-gay cruises, using big ships from famous cruise lines like Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line.

Guests on these cruises can enjoy fun activities, great food, and comfortable rooms. Atlantis Events cruises also have special events like motivational speakers, drag shows, and a selection of LGBTQ+ movies that guests can watch in their rooms. This makes Atlantis Events a top choice for the best gay cruises.

2. Pied Piper Travel

Pied Piper Travel is a top agency for gay and lesbian cruises. They’ve been in the business for over 32 years and offer many trip options. They plan short trips and big trips on large ships.

They already have 50 group cruises planned until 2024. These cruises go to cool places like Antarctica, the Rio Carnival, and New Zealand. Pied Piper Travel works with big cruise companies like Celebrity Cruises, Cunard, Royal Caribbean, and Princess Cruises.

On these trips, which are some of the best gay cruises, guests can enjoy cocktail parties, meals, entertainment, and special events. There’s also a Pied Piper Host on each cruise to ensure everyone has a good time.

3. Olivia Travel

Olivia ranks highly among the best gay cruises, serving lesbians and LGBTQ women for nearly 50 years. Guests can choose between river or ocean trips to various global destinations. Onboard activities range from themed dance parties and folk concerts to writing workshops and karaoke. For relaxation, cruisers can enjoy the pool, spa, or lounges.

Olivia also offers specialized programs to connect guests with similar backgrounds, including solo traveler meetups, a program for LGBTQ women of color (Sisters at Sea), a gathering for those 40 and younger (Gen-O and Friends), and events for veterans (Women in Uniform) and mature women (OWLs – “older, wiser lesbians”). Olivia Cruises’ travelers often report a strong sense of community, adding to a fun, stress-free experience.

4. Celebrity Cruises

If you’re hunting for the best gay cruises, Celebrity Cruises should be top of your list. They’re award-winners, celebrated for their epic Pride parties and year-round LGBTQ+ events.

From night one, you’re welcomed with a particular party to meet other LGBTQ+ travelers. And the fun doesn’t stop – they’ve got a lineup of social events throughout your journey. Plus, they’re pioneers in love, being the first to host a same-sex wedding at sea in 2018.

Travelers rave about their trips with celebrities. It ticks all the boxes – friendly vibes, great food, and plenty of hangout spots. If you’re LGBTQ+ and love cruising, Celebrity Cruises is a top pick.

5. The Cruise With La Demence

Looking for the best gay cruises? Check out La Demence. It’s an all-gay cruise that’s a total blast. It’s named after a famous gay club in Brussels and has a big European crowd. But it’s not just guys – women are welcome too.

Here’s what’s fun about La Demence. You can dance all night to top DJs under dazzling lights. And it’s not just about dancing. People love their gay-friendly stops and tasty cocktails. There are also dress-up-themed nights and excellent activities like drag bingo.

And where do you go? Some of the best places. Every summer, La Demence visits Rome, Athens, Mykonos in Greece, Kotor in Montenegro, and Dubrovnik in Croatia. Talk about the best gay cruises, right?

6. Brand g Vacations

Brand g Vacations is a top choice for the best gay cruises. They started in 2011 with LGBT+ river cruises and land tours. Now, they’re adding luxury ocean liners in 2023. With trips worldwide and smaller crowd sizes, you’ll get to know your fellow passengers, mostly 40 years old and older.

The fun onboard is different from other cruises. Instead of big dance parties, you get cabaret-style shows with drag queens and gay Broadway stars. There are also great sightseeing tours and fancy meals. If you want a relaxed, luxury trip, pick Brand G.

You get lots of extras with Brand G. They give you airport transfers, hotel stays before the trip, and unlimited drinks. The cost is high, but it’s worth it. Plus, they support LGBTQ+ causes like the Elton John AIDS Foundation. With Brand G, you get one of the best gay cruises and help for a good reason.

7. Source Journeys

In the world of the best gay cruises, Source Journeys is a winner. They create luxe cruise trips for the LGBTQ+ community. Think of it like a treasure chest of dream holidays.

Picture this: cruising to the Galapagos Islands in September. You’re on the Evolve yacht, spotting sea lions, turtles, and iguanas. It’s the perfect mix of adventure and chill.

But if you fancy Asia, they’ve got you. In October, a Vietnam and Cambodia cruise showcases the beauty of the Mekong. City vibes, nature spots, it’s got it all. So, for top-notch gay cruises, keep Source Journeys on your radar.

8. Uniworld River Cruises

Want the best gay cruises with no hassle? River cruises are your answer. With Uniworld, you can explore many cool cities in one trip, just for the LGBTQ+ crowd.

You’ll enjoy fun events and shows on an Out on the Rivers cruise. Plus, the guys from R Family Vacations, Gregg Kaminsky and Kelli Carpenter, are in charge. The Brilliant Bordeaux cruise is a must.

And here’s a hot tip: April Holland and Belgium at Tulip Time cruise. It celebrates LGBTQ+ leaders in Western Europe. It’s one of the best gay cruises you can’t miss!

9. R Family Vacations

Ever heard of R Family Vacations? They’re top dogs in the best gay cruises game, especially for LGBTQ+ families. For 20 years, they’ve ensured folks feel welcome and safe when we travel.

They charter big ships like Royal Caribbean’s Wonder of the Seas. What’s onboard? Broadway shows, comedy acts, dance parties, and dinners tailored for the LGBTQ+ community.

Recently, they’ve started adult-only cruises too. Imagine a quieter, luxurious sail just for grown-ups. So whether you’ve got kids or want adult downtime, R Family Vacations has some of the best gay cruises around.

10. RSVP Vacations

Looking for the best gay cruises? Check out RSVP Vacations. They’ve been making gay cruises fun since 1985. With over 150,000 happy guests so far, they know their stuff.

What’s cool about RSVP? They charter all sorts of ships. Big ones from Holland America Line or MSC Cruises, and relaxing river cruises from AmaWaterways. There’s something for everyone.

But the best part? The onboard fun. Pool games, T-dances, bingo, and even costume contests! RSVP Vacations makes sure everyone has a great time. So, for a top-notch gay cruise, RSVP Vacations should be your pick.

11. OUTBound

OUTbound offers unique LGBTQ+ travel adventures like no other. From cruising the Danube River to discovering Africa’s landscapes, every trip is authentic.

OUTbound works with local LGBTQ+ tour operators. This means you keep connecting with our community, even when exploring ashore. You’ll dive into the local culture, history, and nature.

So, if you’re after the best gay cruises, think OUTbound. With their special focus on art, culture, and history, your journey will be truly unforgettable.

The travel world has changed, creating the best gay cruises that offer a warm and inclusive space for the LGBTQ+ community. Each cruise line, from Atlantis Events to OUTbound, brings something unique. They provide more than just a vacation; they offer a chance to enjoy exciting destinations, have fun, and express yourself freely.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Did you know?

Gay Cruises are a unique way to experience the world, offering LGBTQ+ travelers a safe and welcoming environment to explore new destinations. These cruises often feature all-gay or all-lesbian crews, creating a sense of community and inclusivity onboard.

One of the most popular features of Gay Cruises is the entertainment, which can range from drag shows to live music to comedy performances. These cruises also offer a range of activities and excursions, from beach parties to cultural tours to adventure sports. Gay Cruises are a great way to meet new people, explore new destinations, and celebrate your identity in a fun and supportive environment.

Author’s Note

These cruises are celebrations of diversity and acceptance. Whether it’s exciting parties, cultural immersion, or simply lounging in luxurious accommodations, there’s a gay cruise that’s just right for you. So, consider one of these cruises the next time you plan a vacation. It’s more than just a trip; it’s a journey that celebrates you.

Related: Best Cruise Lines for Adults, Most Fun Cruise Ship, Most Eco-Friendly Cruise Lines

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