LGBT+ Ocean Cruises
Major Cruise Lines
Most of the major ocean cruise lines are safe and friendly for LGBT+ travelers. They usually have casual meet-ups listed in the daily guide for LGBT+ travelers to meet and socialize.
Celebrity Cruise line is especially LGBT+ friendly. They were the first cruise line to offer onboard same sex weddings. Many of their cruises in June will have Pride parties.
The main factor for LGBT+ travelers to consider when cruising is the itinerary. While there are many relaxed and friendly spots, there are many where LGBT+ guests can be made to feel uncomfortable. Obviously, travelers should decide for themselves if they wish to visit non-friendly destinations but caution should be exercised. In fact, there are many countries where homosexuality is illegal.
The LGBT+ population makes up a noticeable portion of the cruising market. As such, not only have the major cruise lines opened up for LGBT+ travelers, but specialty cruise lines have appeared over the years. A few of the big ones include:
Olivia Travel - Founded in 1973 and offering the first all-women cruise in 1990. Olivia cruises are focused on the lesbian community and have multiple sailings each year and have even begun moving into the river cruising market.
Atlantis - Starting in 1991, Atlantis began offering all-gay resorts and cruises. Primarily designed for gay men, Atlantis has been one of the larger names in all-gay cruising. While Atlantis cruises and resorts are heavily populated by gay men, they are also welcoming to women and other members of the LGBT+ community.
Vacaya - One of the newest and largest LGBT+ travel companies to appear in recent years. Vacaya is hoping to change the way that LGBT+ travel is done. Looking to be even more inclusive to the sections of the community outside of the gay and lesbian segments while also catering to them as well. Vacaya just recently finished their inaugural cruise and is a company to keep an eye out for.
Transgender and Non-Binary Cruising
While its not hard to find cruises as a gay man or lesbian, being on a cruise ship with a lot of strangers might be more intimidating for transgender or non-binary travelers. Transgender and non-binary travelers might not have the same confidence going on an all-gay or all-lesbian cruise and the non-LGBT+ passengers on major cruise lines might feel like a minefield.
Cruising is a fun, fulfilling experience that everyone should be able to take part in. Luckily, almost every single cruise line has become accepting of non-gender-conforming people in recent years. While one should still be aware of the local politics at any ports the cruise, if you are transgender or non-binary and hoping to cruise, we recommend working with an LGBT+ friendly travel agent who can find the right cruise for you.