Our Top Picks of LGBT Cruises and Vacation Packages

Written by | Travel

Atlantis Cruises with lots of men

Atlantis Cruises — All image credits courtesy of the respective cruises.

Admit it, it’s been awhile since you’ve gone on a vacation, hasn’t it? If you haven’t been on a cruise before there’s never been a better time. Whether it’s fun in the sun, European Christmas Markets, glacier encounters or ancient ruins you’re after there’s definitely a cruise for you. Gone are the days when cruises were tailored just for the nuclear family unit or shirtless dancing (don’t worry, there’s still plenty of tea dance options if that’s what you’re after). Book a suite with your best friend, beau, or go stag and meet a ship full of new Judy’s from all over the world. We went through the hundreds of upcoming options to sail to Europe, the Caribbean, Asia and the Arctic circle and found some incredible voyages to new and trusted locations.

ATLANTIS

Atlantis Events is the world’s largest company specializing in all-gay vacations. Back in 1991 the company held their first all-gay resort event with 300 guests at a Club Med Resort in Playa Blanca, Mexico. Cruising with Atlantis is a unique, all-gay vacation to new places with a variety of opportunities for new adventures and ways to play. Enjoy incredible performances by artists like “Showbiz Spitfire” Paige Turner, Sutton Lee Seymour, Charlie Hides and NYC cabaret sensation Shanna Sharp.  atlantisevents.com; Booking

Upcoming Atlantis Events:

  • Europe’s Largest All-Gay Cruise… Ever, August 25th – September 1st, 2019, an opportunity to sail the best of Italy, Spain and France with 5,400 guys from around the world. Step off the Barcelona coast and onboard the epic Royal Caribbean Oasis of the Seas, one of the largest cruise ships in the world and get ready for all kinds of amazing experiences like the oceanside AquaTheater, Studio B ice rink (yes, an ice rink), zip lining experiences, the Broadway hit musical Cats, designer stores and more. The Oasis of the Seas features 17-decks with 29 loft suites and comfortable and spacious 2,700 staterooms. Step off the ship to explore Palma de Mallorca, Provence, Florence, Civitavecchia, Naples and the beautiful island of Capri.
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BRAND G

Brand g was founded in 2011 as “the next generation in gay travel”, recognizing that LGBT travelers were on the hunt for new and more exotic types of travel opportunities. The brand initially jumped on the river cruising craze offering deluxe river cruise tours, eventually adding deluxe land-only tours to countries like Africa, Ireland, Japan and Scotland. The company has grown to a five-man staff producing and operating eleven trips annually. brandgvacations.com; Booking

Upcoming Brand g trips:

  • Prague & Danube River Cruise, August 11 – 20, 2019, a seven-night deluxe Danube riverboat cruise featuring two pre-cruise nights hotel accommodations during Prague Pride. The gorgeous ship Amadeus Queen will bring guests along the Danube to Passau, Melk, Vienna, Bratislava and finally Budapest, one of the hottest destinations in Europe. Highlights include expeditions to Schonbrunn Palace, home to many of the Habsburg emperors, Prague’s Old Town Square with Astronomical Clock, Melk’s Benedictine Abbey, and a memorable farewell illuminations evening cruise in Budapest.
  • Budapest to Bucharest Danube River Cruise, August 20-29, 2019, a deluxe seven-night Lower Danube riverboat cruise featuring Budapest, the “Iron Gates” and two post-cruise nights in Bucharest. With itinerary stops that feature five countries (Hungary, Croatia, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Romania) the cruise will venture through the Carpathian Mountains and to the Black Sea. Be the first of your friends to visit cities like Vukovar, Belgrade, Svishtov, and Harsova.
  • Splendors of India & the Ganges River September 30 – October 12, 2019, a thirteen-day exploration kicks off at the Imperial Hotel New Delhi. The tour includes such destinations as Kolkata, Kalna, Matiari, Khushbagh, Mayapur, Jaipur and Agra. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Humayun’s Tomb, inside the walls of the ancient Mughal capital of Old Delhi, Tour the Hazarduari Palace in Murshidabad, explore the fabled pink city of Jaipur and the legendary Taj Mahal.
VACAYA room

VACAYA room

VACAYA

“We’re rewriting the playbook,” states VACAYA CEO Randle Roper. “With only a few notable exceptions, options for our community have been severely limited.” VACAYA, created by award-winning tourism and travel executives with over 100 years of combined experience in entertainment, hospitality, and travel, offers LGBT+ travelers a new choice – one that is exclusively tailored to the desires and needs of our community. VACAYA is the first large-scale full-ship/full-resort LGBT+ vacation company to do a number of things, including offering a full-resort takeover from The Leading Hotels of the World’s UNICO 20°87° Hotel Riviera Maya, offering guests opportunities to give back to the communities they visit, sail on Celebrity Summit following her multi-million-dollar refresh, offering online booking 24/7/365 and more! myVACAYA.com; Booking

Some upcoming VACAYA adventures include:

  • VACAYA Ptown Cruise on Celebrity Summit, sailing from August 11-18, 2019 from New York (Port Liberty) on Celebrity Summit, this seven-night cruise will make history as not only the largest all-gay cruise to ever sail to Ptown Carnival, but the largest ship to ever overnight in Provincetown.
  • VACAYA Mexico Resort: VACAYA is going to reinvent the all-inclusive resort experience in conjunction with the gorgeous 5-star UNICO 20°87° Hotel Riviera Maya from October 27 – November 2, 2019. Together, this match made in heaven will take luxury to new places with an official gay takeover through Halloween and the Day of the Dead.
  • Queer Eye for the Christmas Markets. You heard that correctly, VACAYA is heading to Europe with their seven and fourteen-night option beginning December 5, 2019. Get in the holiday spirit on a luxurious Emerald Star-Ship from Amsterdam to Budapest. Mulled wine, anyone?

Source Events

For the past eighteen years, Source Events has “made dreams come true by taking (their) clients on journeys to the world’s most exceptional destinations, perfectly curated with only the most unique experiences.” Craig Smith, the owner of Source Events left a successful law practice in the Bay area to follow his dream of creating extraordinary travel experiences for the mind, body & spirit with and for like-minded friends. The cruises are more intimate voyages with 150-300 guests so you can connect and meet other guests a bit easier. The company brings hosts, entertainment, DJs and a wellness team to offer yoga, meditation and educational talks at sea.  sourceevents.com; Booking: 888-SOURCE-8

Upcoming Source Events include:

  • A Voyage Around Iceland: August 13 – 20, 2019, Source travelers will get a taste of one of the most gay-friendly destinations in the world. The trip, coinciding with Reykjavik’s Gay Pride celebration just before the cruise (August 8 – 11, 2019), will take guests in and around the “land of fire and ice” to explore the volcanoes, glaciers, geysers, waterfalls, fjords and a bit of gay culture (of course). The Star Breeze, an all-suite yacht, will travel to Reykjavik, Heimaey Island, Seydisfjordur, Akureyri, Isafjordur and more destinations to explore UNESCO World Heritage Sites, nature reserves, fjords, an art canyon, nature baths, and more.
  • The Greek Islands Discovery: from August 24 – 31, 2019, guests board the Star Clipper and Star Flyer, each carrying 170 guests in total pampered comfort. Guest will start and finish their voyage in Athens and venture to Milos, Santorini, Bodrum (Turkey), Mykonos, Sifnos and Spetses and make treks to the Acropolis, a beach expedition in Milos, take a guided tour of the UNESCO site of Akrotiri, check out Halicarnassus (the location of one of the Seven Wonders of the World) the UNESCO site and mythical birthplace of Apollo, and more.

RSVP VACATIONS

RSVP Vacations, established in 1985, was a true pioneer in the gay and lesbian cruise concept. Their first cruise, “A Cruise to Remember” left the New Orleans port just after Valentine’s Day in 1986 with 750 guests ready to live it up and soak up the adventure of a lifetime. Over the years RSVP has welcomed luminaries and legends of the LGBTQ+ community with events like High Tea with Quentin Crisp, a Q&A with Armistead Maupin, a look at Broadway with Harvey Fierstein and Anthony Rapp. RSVP Vacations builds a total community with each and every cruise. They book the entire ship and “run it (their) way”, customizing every aspect to their guests with events like singles dinners, sing-a-longs, pool games and dance parties. rsvpvacations.com

RSVP Vacations view

RSVP Vacations

Upcoming RSVP Vacations:

  • All-Gay RSVP Summer in Alaska Cruise, July 14 – 21, 2019, sailing from Seattle to the most majestic state of Alaska. Admit it, you’ve always wanted to live your Northern Exposure fantasy with 1900 new friends. Board Holland America Oosterdam, the ideal blend of modern and classic and get up close and personal with America’s 49th state. Take in mind blowing performances in the Mainstage, Queens Lounge and get up close and personal with performers in RSVP’s Piano Bar, Billboard Onboard. Leave your tank top in the room and twirl with the kweens at Lido Pool, home to RSVP’s Legendary T-Dances and parties. The cruise itself heads from Seattle to Juneau, allowing guests to take in the spectacular Mendenhall Glacier, Hubbard Glacier, the quaint Sitka, Ketchikan, and the picturesque Victoria, Canada. We’ll see you in Alaska!

OLIVIA

Ladies, all the ladies…The story of Olivia goes back to 1973 when Judy Dlugacz teamed up with nine partners after singer/songwriter Cris Williamson recommended she start a women’s record company. In 1990, Olivia hosted its first “concert on a cruise”, which ultimately inspired “Olivia Travel” which has become THE Travel company for lesbians. “Our goal was to create a safe, free, inclusive environment for lesbians on vacation,” stated Dlugacz in a past press release. Their vacations have featured incredible headliners like Melissa Etheridge, k.d. Lang, Heart and the Indigo Girls; social justice pioneers like Billie Jean King and Edie Windsor; comedians like Whoopi Goldberg, Lily Tomlin and Wanda Sykes. While each trip has its own “special flavor” Olivia always charters the whole ship so it’s “all women, all the time.” olivia.com; Reservations: 800-631-6277

Upcoming Olivia Cruises:

  • Tahitian Paradise Luxury, August 24 – August 31, 2019, take in “balmy days, sultry nights and islands that appear to float just above the breaking waves” on this seven-night itinerary with stops in Papeete, Tahiti; Huahine, Society Islands; Bora Bora, Society Islands; and Moorea, Society Islands. Accommodations for eight nights and seven days aboard Paul Gauguin Cruises’ ms Paul Gauguin ship, a six-star luxury ship with epic staterooms and gorgeous suites. Announced entertainment includes Teresa Trull, Barbara Higbie, Gina Yashere, and the popular DJ Rockaway.
  • Gems of the Italian & French Riviera Luxury Cruise, October 5 – 12, 2019, the best of the Mediterranean expedition featuring stops in Rome, Sorrento, Florence, Portovenere, Portofino and Monte Carlo. Learn more.
  • Cuba & Caribbean Cruise, January 22 – 29, 2020 Learn more.

R FAMILY VACATIONS

R Family Vacations was founded by travel entrepreneur Kelli Carpenter and Gregg Kaminsky in 2003 and featured on HBO’s Emmy-nominated documentary All Aboard. R Family Vacations was the first travel company to create vacations for LGBT families (and their friends). The inaugural cruises set sail in 2004 and since then over 20,000 guests have embarked on trips with Kelli and Gregg. R Family Vacations doesn’t just do family expeditions, they recently expanded to offer some LGBT adult-only options, The Broadway Cruise V and a new partnership with TZELL Travel. rfamilyvacations.com; Bookings: 917-522-0985

Upcoming R Family Vacations Cruises:

  • Out On The Danube: from September 21 – 28, 2019 R Family Vacations teams up with U by Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection for an all-inclusive, all-adult LGBT vacation on the Danube River. Let your hair down for the departure in Munich (Regensburg) with stops in Passau, Linz, Melk, Wachau Valley, Durnstein, Vienna, Bratislava, and Budapest. Onboard the ship, indulge in mixology classes, cooking classes, dance parties, cabaret singers, LGBT comedy and more!
  • Hawaiian Islands Cruise: from May 9 – 16, 2020 check into the NCL’s Pride of America, the only cruise ship that sails round trip from Honolulu year-round. Join a group of sixty and go island hopping, whale watching, volcano exploring and more! Depart from Honolulu, Oahu and travel to Kahului, Maui; Hilo, Hawaii; Kona, Hawaii; Nawiliwili, Kauai before returning to Honolulu.
virgin ship

Virgin Voyages

VIRGIN VOYAGES

When we heard Virgin Group Founder Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Voyages and CEO Tom McAlpin were open for business we immediately leaned in. Virgin Voyages’ first fleet will be known as the “Lady Ships”, with a tip of the hat to Virgin’s British heritage. Four ships are currently on order for 2020, 2021, 2022 and 2023. The Scarlet Lady, the first in the fleet, will arrive at the Port of Miami in 2020 for her inaugural sail. This exciting first season will include stops including Havana, Cuba; Maya Sol voyages to Costa Maya, Mexico; and the Dominican Republic. Adult by design, the Scarlet Lady will be a “sanctuary at sea for the 18 plus traveler.” The Scarlet Lady will bring city-like eating to the sea and essentially “throw out the traditional cruise dining rule book, with no buffet, no main dining room, no forced formal wear, no assigned seating, no assigned dining times and enhanced the choice for sailors to grab a bite by keeping doors open until well into the night and in some cases the early hours of the morning.” Razzle Dazzle, designed by Concrete Amsterdam will offer a fabulous Drag Brunch for sailors to live it up with the Scarlet Lady’s resident drag performer and friends.  virginvoyages.com; Booking

Some upcoming Virgin Voyages include:

  • Scarlet Lady, the company’s first ship, is officially open for bookings with voyages starting April 1. Havana After Dark, the inaugural voyage. Depart Miami for the vacation you’ve been waiting for. The ship stops at a private club (the Beach Club) in Bimini, Bahamas before stopping in Havana. Take in the scenic back alleyways of Pata Vieja, the artists and bohemian bars of Cayo Hueso or chill with the locals outside of the Malecon.
  • Sir Richard Branson’s Birthday Voyage, departing July 15, 2020. Join Sir Richard Branson and his celebrity friends and fellow sailors for a four-night Havana After Dark voyage. Cabins are available starting at $3,100.
  • Mayan Sol, a five night adventure picking up the anchor in Miami on Friday, April 10 will sail to the unexplored shores of the Yucatan Peninsula. Venture to Costa Maya, the Beach Club in Bimini with an unforgettable stop to explore ancient ruins.

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Last modified: April 23, 2019