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TravelThese LGBTQIA+ travel agencies can help you plan the perfect cruise

These LGBTQIA+ travel agencies can help you plan the perfect cruise


Travel is one of the best ways to experience the world and learn about cultures that are different from your own. But when you’re traveling as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, it can be comforting to venture out with a group of like-minded people.

Thinking about a cruise? Looking for gay travel agents or agencies that cater specifically to the LGBTQIA+ community? These travel companies can help you plan the perfect voyage. They mainly specialize in partial- or full-ship charters, where a large number of cabins (if not all of them) is reserved for your group. Read on to see which of these gay travel agencies might be a good fit for your LGBTQIA+-focused cruise.

Note: The information was accurate at the time of publication. Sailings are subject to availability and may be changed or canceled without notice. New voyages may also be added without notice. Check each agency’s website for the most up-to-date information.

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Atlantis Events

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Established in 1991, Atlantis specializes in LGBTQIA+ travel but mostly caters to the gay male community. Although it does offer chartered experiences at a handful of land-based resorts, most of its events are cruise ship charters.

The agency books trips for more than 25,000 travelers each year, nearly half of whom are solo travelers. In addition to raucous parties and handpicked entertainment, Atlantis provides luxury, camaraderie and adventure in some of the world’s most beautiful locations.

These trips are ideal for gay travelers looking to mingle and party, as well as couples who want to get away with others in the gay community.

Related: 3 ways to support the LGBTQIA+ community during Pride Month

Brand g Vacations

Brand g has been a premier operator of luxury river cruises and land tours for more than a decade. Lines Brand g has partnered with include Amadeus River Cruises and Uniworld River Cruises, among others. Available options take passengers along the Rhine, Danube, Mekong, Moselle, Ganges and more.

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Because the company specializes in river cruises with a few exceptions, you’ll travel with between 40 and 200 passengers in an intimate full-charter setting that caters to the LGBTQIA+ community and its straight allies.

Brand g packages include upscale amenities such as luxury small-group airport transfers and pre-cruise hotel stays and tours. The company also includes alcohol and shore excursions in its fares.

Dreams Unlimited Travel

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Dreams Unlimited Travel is a gay-owned and -operated travel agency that specializes in Disney vacations — Disney World, Disneyland, Adventures by Disney and, of course, Disney cruises — for all travelers, not just those in the LGBTQIA+ community.

In business for more than two decades, it sells a range of Disney Cruise Line voyages, as well as sailings from Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line and Celebrity Cruises.

Although they don’t necessarily offer chartered cruises, the staff is equipped to assist LGBTQIA+ travelers in finding the perfect trip for them. This means that a wider selection of voyages is available because they aren’t limited to just charters or group sailings.

GaySail

Netherlands-based GaySail organizes small-group gay charter voyages aboard sailing yachts. Each boat carries between 10 and 16 passengers, with one to three vessels sailing together for a group of anywhere from 10 to 30 men. GaySail’s nude cruise arm, GayNudeSail, offers similar sailings with a clothing-optional atmosphere.

Destination options for group sailings might include Greece, Croatia, Montenegro, the Seychelles, the Caribbean and Tahiti. Passengers can also opt for a private charter in other areas of the world. All cruises, whether group or private, include the services of a skipper and cook, as well as breakfast and lunch, with dinner organized in port and paid for via a group fund called a “kitty.”

The voyages are for gay men only, with a passenger makeup of about 30% to 40% couples and 60% to 70% singles. Guests come from all across the globe, but the official language spoken on board is English. Ages generally range from about 30 to 50, but the cruises see men from all stages of life as long as they’re fit enough to sail. (Sailing experience is not required. Passengers can choose to learn from the crew or simply relax and enjoy the trip.)

The main difference in atmosphere between a GaySail cruise and a gay cruise on a large cruise ship is that the former has more of a laid-back vibe, meaning no raucous parties, all-day entertainment or daily housekeeping services.

Olivia Travel

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Originally founded as Olivia Records with the aim of helping women launch their own music careers, Olivia Travel has planned trips for more than 350,000 lesbians and other LGBTQIA+ women since it switched its focus four decades ago.

Specializing in women-only travel for members of the LGBTQIA+ community, Olivia offers full-charter vacations, many of them cruises. Because of its musical roots, Olivia has called on big-name talent, such as the Indigo Girls and Cris Williamson, to perform on some of its sailings.

In addition to ocean cruises, the company sometimes offers river sailings.

Out Adventures

This Canada-based company focuses on gay travel for smaller groups, offering a more upscale and intimate experience. Travelers can either join existing land-based tours of no more than 16 people or plan their own tour, with the agency tailoring the experience to client preferences.

Cruises sponsored by Out Adventures max out at 40 people, ensuring you’ll feel like more than just a number. This can also present a chance for singles to meet others in a more tight-knit setting. The company’s average vacationer is 40 to 55 years old, making these trips ideal for anyone who’s no longer in the “party phase.”

Additionally, Out Adventures’ trips focus on boutique experiences in port while striving to give back to global LGBTQIA+ communities — $50 from each passenger’s booking is donated to Rainbow Railroad — while helping to ensure you have a safe and enjoyable time with regard to local customs and attitudes.

Pied Piper Travel

In business for more than 30 years, Pied Piper Travel offers gay and lesbian group sailings on several cruises each year. The company’s lines of choice in the past have included Azamara, Cunard Line and Celebrity, featuring destinations like Alaska, the Holy Land, the Mediterranean, the Caribbean, the Panama Canal and Australia and New Zealand.

Passengers tend to be mostly gay men of all ages, but lesbians and non-gay or -lesbian friends and family members are also welcome to join.

Although it isn’t possible to know how big your group will be ahead of time, past trips have hosted between 15 and 900 passengers. As long as a group minimum of 10 people is met, Pied Piper will assign an onboard host to lead group gatherings, shore excursions and more.

R Family Vacations

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Founded in 2003 by Gregg Kaminsky and Kelli Carpenter (former partner of Rosie O’Donnell, who was previously affiliated with the brand), R Family Vacations is unique in the LGBTQIA+ travel space in that its specialty is vacations for families with children.

Since O’Donnell and Carpenter parted ways in 2007, the agency has expanded a bit, venturing into the realm of adults-only LGBTQIA+ travel and personal travel.

However, a large part of its customer base still relies on the R Family name for family-friendly cruise bookings that are not full charters.

Related: LGBTQIA+ family travel tips to keep you safe and sane

RSVP Vacations

Offering gay and lesbian travel since 1985, RSVP Vacations charters entire ships for its cruises. The charters tend to be on some of the newest and largest vessels afloat, promising lots of ways for travelers to have fun on board.

In terms of entertainment, the RSVP team schedules themed parties, where costumes are highly encouraged; showcases the latest films, both gay and mainstream; and highlights performances by gay-positive singers, dancers and comedians.

Although it was acquired by Atlantis Events in 2007, RSVP — which has helped more than 100,000 members of the LGBTQIA+ community travel together — does not offer land-based trips. Like Atlantis, RSVP caters to travel for gay men, but its clientele is about 10% lesbian on each sailing.

Saltyboys Sailing Cruises

Like GaySail, Saltyboys is a Netherlands-based travel company that specializes in small-group gay-men-only cruises on sailing ships. The main difference is that while GaySail offers cruises for passengers who don’t feel comfortable going au naturel, all of Saltyboys’ voyages are designated as either clothing-optional or nudist cruises.

The Saltyboys clientele generally ranges in age from 20 to 50, but there are always exceptions.

Each vessel carries about 10 passengers in addition to the crew, and boats might sail in a flotilla of more than one vessel, meaning your group could join up with others while in port. All voyages include the services of a skipper and crew. Although no sailing experience is required, if you don’t wish to learn how to help with anchoring or do your own grocery shopping or cooking, Saltyboys also offers luxury sailings where your fare includes a cook, so everything will be handled for you.

Source Journeys

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For two decades, Source Journeys has offered all-gay luxury travel that balances adventure with class. It caters equally to singles and couples in groups ranging from 15 to 300 people. The company also donates a portion of all proceeds to LGBTQIA+ charities.

Besides land vacations and individually customized trips, Source promotes full charters of small, intimate cruise ships from lines like Windstar and Atlas Ocean Voyages. You won’t find wild parties or scandalous shenanigans, but you will enjoy an upscale experience that’s perfect for meeting other gay travelers with discerning tastes.

Source Journeys also runs partial gay charters aboard larger ships (think: vessels from Royal Caribbean and Norwegian Cruise Line), but those are generally specific Pride sailings that are shorter in duration and to less exotic destinations. Most of what the company touts are voyages to places like the Black Sea, the Dalmatian Coast, Tahiti, the Greek Isles and Antarctica.

Related: LGBTQ+ people of color now have a way to find inclusive businesses when traveling

Toto Tours

Toto Tours is the oldest LGBTQIA+-focused travel company that has had the same management throughout its tenure. Opened in 1990, the agency helps gays, lesbians and their friends and family members travel in comfort and safety.

Most of Toto’s business comes from land-based trips and tours, including customized ones, but it does occasionally add cruises to its repertoire.

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

Vacaya

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Vacaya prides itself on serving the entire LGBTQIA+ community and its allies rather than focusing heavily on just gay men. The company provides fully chartered access to all-inclusive, land-based resorts, but where it really shines is with its cruises.

Often offering both river and ocean cruise options, this travel agency mixes fun with adventure and learning on ships both large and small, allowing you to find a sailing that meets your preferences. It can also help to match you with a roommate to offset costs if you’re traveling alone.

Although Vacaya is a fledgling company, having launched in 2019 with its first season of trips, it offers a solid product.

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