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TravelBest gay cruises 2024 and 2025: Don't miss these 11 sailings

Best gay cruises 2024 and 2025: Don’t miss these 11 sailings


There’s never been a better time to consider a gay cruise. Itineraries include more remote destinations, and more charter companies are offering a wider variety of cruise experiences to meet the full spectrum of the LGBTQ+ community. Also, the ships chartered are almost uniformly elevated and luxurious.

No longer are gay and lesbian groups and full-ship charters relegated to old, tired vessels. Full-ship gay charters command big business for the cruise industry, and major cruise lines are responding by offering their newest and most exciting ships. Many charter companies will take over the entire ship, bringing aboard their own dance parties, entertainment, activities and hosts to tailor the vacation experience to their audience.

The magic of a gay cruise lies in the shared experience of traveling with your community. Each sailing fosters an environment where you can be yourself. You can choose whether to blend in with the crowd or stand out and be celebrated for your flair.

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Bonds often form more quickly and naturally aboard a ship where you’re surrounded by your people, especially on full-ship charters where large mixers kick off each sailing.

Expect welcome parties with themes that go beyond just a name tag, whether that’s icebreaker games or an opportunity to dress up in a way that signifies where you’re from or how you identify. You’ll find more openness throughout the ship compared to a traditional nonthemed cruise, especially on the pool deck, as many passengers seek out the experience to expand their social circle.

Don’t miss the boat on making lifelong friends during an epic cruise vacation. Here are 11 of the best gay cruises in 2024 and 2025.

Note: Unless otherwise indicated, all sailings listed had availability at the time of publication. Voyages are subject to sell out without notice.

R Family Vacations’ 2024 Summer Cruise

ALL INCLUSIVE PHOTO PROJECT/CELEBRITY CRUISES

Date: July 7-13, 2024

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Join R Family Vacations for a special group sailing on board Celebrity Beyond. While this is not a full-ship charter, R Family will host many exclusive group activities during the sailing, including performances by Broadway belters, an LGBTQ+ comedy show, dance parties, a theater camp and special R Family dinners.

The ship will depart from Fort Lauderdale, with stops in Perfect Day at CocoCay, Royal Caribbean’s private island in the Bahamas; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Bimini, Bahamas.

R Family was the first LGBTQ+ family travel company and has been a leader in the LGBTQ+ family travel market for 20 years, creating the opportunity for queer families to connect and share in the joy of travel. The company has since expanded beyond family travel to include adults-only, small-ship sailings.

Rates for the company’s summer cruise start at $920.79 per person, including taxes, fees and gratuities.

How to book: Visit R Family’s website for pricing and availability, or call 917-522-0985 to book.

Vacaya’s Europe River Cruise 2024

VACAYA CRUISE

Date: Aug. 3-15, 2024

If you’re looking for one of the best Pride celebrations in the world, Vacaya’s Europe River Cruise 2024 is the place to be. The cruise begins with the ship docked in the heart of Amsterdam for two nights during its celebrated Pride festival. Catch the one-of-a-kind floating Pride parade that snakes its way through the city as you revel in the party atmosphere.

The travel company’s Europe River Cruise will bring LGBTQ+ passengers to many ports in the Netherlands and Belgium on a luxury river ship, the newly revamped Advance by Transcend (the former Crystal Mahler).

The 12-night itinerary begins with two nights in Amsterdam, followed by stops at Volendam, Edam, Utrecht, Nijmegen, Kinderdijk, Schoonhoven, Heusden, Rotterdam and Dordrecht in the Netherlands. The journey finishes in Belgium with a stop in Ghent and an overnight in Antwerp. The itinerary finishes in time to make the quick trip down from Antwerp to Brussels for the stunning Flower Carpet Festival.

Rates for available cabins start at $6,997 per person based on double occupancy and do not include port fees, administrative fees or gratuities. Fares do include an open bar and unlimited internet. Only a handful of cabins remain for this summer sailing.

How to book: Check the latest cabin availability and book Vacaya’s Europe River Cruise 2024 on Vacaya’s website or by calling 718-504-0404.

Source Journeys’ Treasures of Venice and Dalmatian Coast

Date: Aug. 17-24, 2024

Source Journeys has been a small-group LGBTQ+ charter company for more than 20 years, hosting a handful of small-ship charters and land-based tours each year. Source prides itself on a shipboard atmosphere of acceptance, where all feel welcome.

Of the company’s upcoming trips planned, its summer 2024 Venice and the Dalmatian Coast cruise on Star Clippers’ Royal Clipper is a highlight, as it charters the world’s largest sailing ship.

The round-trip itinerary from Venice, Italy, includes a stop in Kotor, Montenegro, before hitting up the highlights of Croatia, including Dubrovnik, Zadar, Hvar, the Pakleni Islands and Rovinj.

Pricing for the seven-night cruise starts at $2,899 per person based on double occupancy. The fare does not include port fees, gratuities, or pre- and post-cruise packages.

How to book: Reserve your spot on the Treasures of Venice and the Dalmatian Coast cruise via Source Journeys’ website or by calling 305-672-9779.

Related: From Medellin to Taipei: 12 underrated LGBTQIA+-friendly destinations to visit in 2024

Olivia’s Majestic Alaska Cruise

ANDREW PEACOCK/GETTY IMAGES

Date: Sept. 21-28, 2024

Olivia is the most renowned and popular travel group for lesbians, having hosted more than 300 trips for 350,000-plus women. Among the many trips on the books for the next two years, Olivia will charter its first-ever large-ship Alaska cruise on Holland America’s Eurodam.

Join 2,100 women for a seven-night cruise through Alaska from Seattle. The itinerary includes visits to Juneau, Glacier Bay, Icy Strait Point, Sitka and Ketchikan, Alaska, as well as Victoria, British Columbia. Several renowned guests and performers will also be on board.

The sailing is currently sold out, but you can add yourself to the waitlist. When cabins were still available, pricing started from $1,499 per person based on double occupancy, not including fees and airfare.

How to book: Reserve your spot on Olivia’s website or by calling 800-631-6277.

Related: 15 Alaska cruise mistakes you never want to make

Out Adventures’ Egypt: Nile River Cruise & Cairo

ANTON PETRUS/GETTY IMAGES

Date: Nov. 8-17, 2024; March 7-16, 2025; Nov. 7-16, 2025

Check the Great Pyramids of Giza off your bucket list, trace Egypt’s queer history while exploring the tomb of Khnumhotep and Niankhkhnum, and lose yourself in Cairo’s bustling bazaars on Out Adventures’ nine-night Egypt tour. The trip features three nights in a hotel in Cairo, followed by a four-night Nile River cruise and two additional nights in Cairo before flying home.

You’ll sail with a small group of no more than 20 gay men (and their allies and families) with excursions that’ll include visits to Luxor Temple, the Royal Tombs in the Valley of the Kings and the Abu Simbel temple complex.

Out Adventures has a number of gay charter cruises, some combined with land tours, planned through 2025. The trips focus on groups no larger than 40 to enable a more tight-knit sense of community and connection. Additionally, the small size allows Out Adventures’ groups to travel to more exotic, remote destinations.

There are only a few spaces left for the November 2024 sailing, with more availability for the 2025 sailings. Rates for these sailings start at $5,395 per person based on double occupancy, not including taxes, tips and fees.

How to book: Book your spot on the Nile River cruise on the Out Adventures website or by calling 866-360-1152.

Related: 4 things to consider before booking an LGBTQ cruise

GaySail’s Gay Nude Cruising in Tahiti

Date: Nov. 16-23, 2024

Anchors aweigh, and off with your clothes! GaySail’s nude sailings offer the rare chance to sail au naturel in the safe confines of a private, full-charter catamaran.

GaySail’s upcoming Tahiti cruise will take two small catamarans of up to 14 gay men each, for a total of 28. They’ll embark on a journey to many of the highlights of the South Pacific, including Bora Bora, Maupiti and Moorea.

GaySail has an impressive lineup of small-ship charters scheduled, including both clothing-optional and all-nude sailings. The charter company predominantly caters to European gay men (its headquarters is in Amsterdam), but men from all around the world are welcome to join.

Pricing for the sailing starts at 2,495 euros (about $2,696) per person, including taxes and fees.

How to book: While the experience of sailing naked will be freeing, the sailing is not free. Book your reservation on the GaySail website or email [email protected] for more details.

Outbound’s Rhine River Christmas Market Cruise

FOKKEBOK/GETTY IMAGES

Date: Dec. 14-21, 2024

The best part of a winter river cruise is docking in a port that’s a few steps away from the warm glow and transfixing scents of a European Christmas market. The best part of booking that cruise with Outbound, a charter company that focuses on LGBTQ+ travelers, is going to those markets with your newfound group of queer friends.

Outbound will take passengers on the Rhine River this December on Emerald Cruises’ Emerald Sun. The itinerary begins in the Netherlands and stops in ports in Germany, France and Switzerland, where guests can sample the local warm chestnuts and mulled wine.

A few cabins are still available for the 2024 cruise, with rates starting at $2,997 per person based on double occupancy. Fares do not include port fees and taxes.

How to book: Reserve your spot on the Outbound website or by calling 916-683-1000.

Atlantis’ 35th anniversary celebration

Date: Feb. 3-10, 2025

Atlantis is the largest gay cruise charter brand. When it hosts a sailing, the company takes over some of the biggest ships at sea.

To celebrate its 35th year in business, Atlantis is hosting a weeklong Eastern Caribbean voyage on Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas. The itinerary, which will take passengers round-trip from Miami, includes calls on San Juan, Puerto Rico; St. Maarten; and Labadee, one of Royal Caribbean’s private destinations.

There will also be three days at sea for cruisers to enjoy some relaxation and onboard fun, which includes zip lining, surf simulators, rock climbing walls, an ice skating rink, laser tag and, of course, plenty of jaw-dropping entertainment. (Don’t miss the nighttime diving shows at the wake-facing AquaTheater and a roster of signature Atlantis performers in the main theater.)

Prices for this sailing start at $1,299 per person for an inside cabin. If you’re cruising alone and would like to be partnered with someone to share costs, Atlantis offers a roommate matching program.

How to book: Visit Atlantis’ website, or call 310-859-8800.

Vacaya’s Caribbean Cruise 2025

VACAYA CRUISE

Date: Feb. 22-March 1, 2025

Now in its sixth year of large-scale charter cruises and full resort buyouts, Vacaya is changing its annual winter Caribbean itinerary in 2025. Instead of sailing round-trip from southeast Florida, this year’s island getaway will depart from New Orleans. The travel operator will be chartering Royal Caribbean’s Brilliance of the Seas for a sailing taking place the week prior to Mardi Gras (scheduled for March 4, 2025).

The ship will depart from New Orleans and stop in Cozumel, Mexico; George Town, Grand Cayman; and Yucatan (Progreso), Mexico, with three days at sea.

Vacaya is the first and only large-scale travel group to openly and outwardly welcome the entire LGBTQIAPK (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, polygamous/polyamorous and kink) community and its allies.

The vibe on board is friendly and easygoing, the entertainment is Broadway-caliber and the nightly parties are more about gay anthems than house beats. The company also features an opportunity to give back on each trip with its ReachOut program, where passengers can volunteer with a local project while in port.

Fares for available cabins on the upcoming Caribbean cruise start at $1,147 per person based on double occupancy, not including port taxes, fees and gratuities.

How to book: Get up-to-the-minute availability on the cabins and their locations for the Caribbean Cruise 2025 on Vacaya’s website or by calling 718-504-0404.

Related: 11 things I learned on my first gay cruise

Brand g Vacations’ 2025 Amazon Cruise and Machu Picchu Discovery

Avalon Waterways’ Delfin III. DELFIN AMAZON CRUISES

Date: March 30-April 11, 2025

Join a small group of 40 other LGBTQ+ travelers for Brand g’s four-night cruise on the Amazon River on Delfin III, an all-suite ship owned and operated by Delfin Amazon Cruises. The cruise is part of a 13-day luxury vacation package that will capture many highlights of Peru, most notably with a glass-domed train journey to Machu Picchu.

Brand g is known for its intimate, small-ship charters with a focus on all-inclusive luxury. The tour is priced based on the cruise cabin you select and still has availability in the base-rate suites. Trip fares start at $7,699 per person based on double occupancy, not including taxes, tips and fees.

How to book: This sailing is currently sold out, but you can add yourself to the waitlist by visiting the Brand g website or by calling 952-405-9309.

Related: 21 tips and tricks that will make your first cruise go smoothly

Brand g’s 2025 Norway, Greenland and Iceland cruise

Date: July 31-Aug. 9, 2025

Brand g continues to expand its full-ship charters for LGBTQ+ travelers and their straight allies with its 2025 Norway, Greenland and Iceland cruise. The travel operator will charter Atlas Ocean Voyages’ World Voyager, a luxury expedition ship, as it sails the Arctic waters in the temperate summer months.

The all-inclusive trip includes nearly everything but the guarantee you’ll spot a polar bear. You will, however, witness vast and diverse bird colonies on Clavering Island, Greenland.

The nine-night itinerary starts at the top of the world in Longyearbyen in Norway’s Svalbard archipelago. Guests will visit additional Svalbard ports including Ny-Alesund and Gashamna, before crossing to Greenland, stopping in Wollaston Foreland/Clavering Island, sailing the Kaiser Franz Josef Fjord, and visiting Ittoqqortoormiit and Hurry Inlet, Scoresbysund. The journey ends in Reykjavik, Iceland.

Fares for available cabins on the upcoming Norway, Greenland and Iceland cruise start at $7,999 per person based on double occupancy, not including port taxes, fees and gratuities.

How to book: Check the latest cabin availability and book Brand g’s 2025 Norway, Greenland and Iceland on Brand g’s website or by calling 952-405-9309.

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