This article was published on October 2nd, 2021
Taking a gay cruise has become a hugely popular way for the gay community to travel, but for many people, the idea of a cruise is more like a holiday from hell than a trip from heaven. Cruising was once the exclusive domain of the wealthy and elite who could afford to cruise in style on some of the world’s most magnificent and expensive vessels. These days a variety of cruise companies cater to every market and gay cruising is one of the largest burgeoning markets.
To cruise or not
Atlantis and VACAYA are perhaps two of the largest and most popular gay cruise companies but there are many companies that furnish the gay cruising market, both large ship and small. These cruise companies include both large ship takeovers with thousands of guests as well as medium and small size cruises where the number of guests is just a hundred or even less. The idea of taking a gay cruise tends to split opinions with some advocating cruising as the only way to vacation and others rendering it their worst nightmare. One of the biggest concerns that many have about gay cruising is not fitting the profile of a ripped Herculean god boasting a full hairline and 5% body fat. In reality, there are a variety of gay men on board from young to old with a range of different body types. Further, these preconceived notions of what a gay cruise entails tend to reflect only the large, full ship takeovers from the large operators like Atlantis, VACAYA and RSVP, among others. Smaller ships tend to have less focus on parties and focus more on the travel experience and ports of call.
It may be true that large gay cruises can be a little overwhelming for some. You’ll be surrounded by the same crowd for at least a week and most of them will be looking to party for a significant amount of time onboard. Those looking for total relaxation and serenity might not be best suited to this type of cruising environment. If you’re partial to the idea of a gay cruise but aren’t particularly a party animal, don’t let this put you off. There are plenty of other additional smaller gay cruises that don’t involve booze and late nights. The best way to ensure you find the best balance is to seek out smaller ships as these are much more focused on exploring the destinations.
Most cruises, both large and small dock daily and give you the opportunity to explore several different port locations. While you will be privy to a handful of destinations throughout the trip, you won’t really have the time to explore any of them in great depth. If you’re the kind of traveler seeking an authentic experience and prefer to get under the skin of a place, then a cruise might not be the ideal holiday option, gay or mainstream. Cruises can also be expensive and even the less expensive products may be similar in price or more than doing an independent trip.
However, with cruising comes a stress-free experience and, more often than not, a mostly all-inclusive package so you won’t have many additional costs. Most cruises tend to include onboard meals as part of the total price you pay. For those who are happy to enjoy the highlights, a cruise is a wonderful way to see the world and Croatia is one of the top destinations to visit while cruising. Of course, if you’re seeking a large party ship, then Croatia is not an option as large ships simply can’t dock in most Croatian ports. But if you’re looking for a smaller and more intimate gay cruise with anywhere from 20 to 100 guests, then Croatia might just be the next up and coming destination.
An enthralling range of activities combined with rich culture, fine food and amazing wine, set amid some of the most scenic spots to be found on the Dalmatian Coast. All this and more awaits the LGBT+ traveler on a cruise across Croatia. So, if you are ready for an unforgettable experience in one of the most beautiful places on earth, make a beeline for a cruising trip to this pearl on the Adriatic Coast.
Croatia is fast becoming the most wanted destination in Europe for those looking to enjoy a cruising holiday with a twist. You will enjoy special features onboard the ship as you sit on the deck overlooking medieval city architecture. Evenings are spent docked in beautiful coastal towns, allowing the guests to experience the Croatian way of life.
Activities off the boat
For those seeking adventure off the boat, Croatia has plenty of options to enjoy during your cruise. Kayaking is a fun way to explore Croatia without having to worry about the crowds. The 1000+ islands along the scenic but rugged coast offer novices and hardcore enthusiasts alike a once in a lifetime opportunity to kayak in a UNESCO World Heritage site. Other exciting activities which can be combined with a cruise can include diving and snorkeling.
The best way to discover Croatia from another perspective is by going on a hiking tour with a local guide. Walking through the most offbeat roads in the country will showcase sights unknown even to many of the locals. It will help you in absorbing the smells and tastes of Croatia, which you won’t find even in a guidebook.
Another way to explore the beauty of the islands and mountains while docked in Croatia is with a cycling tour. This allows you to traverse uncharted roads and discover the wonders of nature all on your own with no one else in sight. Croatia has blossomed into an exciting European cycling destination. The raw beauty, rugged terrain and exceptional landscapes have all the ingredients that are ideal for this type of excursion. And the itineraries are catered to suit every level of cyclist. Depending on the activity you choose, there is bound to be one to match your interests off the boat.
There are few other countries in Europe that are able to provide a fortuitous blend of cruising, impressive landscapes and adventure. Stitched by no less than eight national parks, the experiences provided here remind visitors about the country’s precious heritage and historic prowess. Travelers get an opportunity to explore unique Mediterranean villages while hopping from one island to another. Common stops include Korcula, Brac, Omus, Trogir, Hvar, Vela Luka, Mljet and Slano.
The country is also becoming more and more gay-friendly with time. As tourism has increased throughout the years, it has become a top spot for gay cruises and sailing trips as the ports have excellent facilities and offerings for tourists. Though it isn’t known for having a big LGBT+ scene in the traditional sense, it is still an incredibly appealing destination. That’s actually a good reason to add some variety to your travels and explore a new destination that’s still welcoming to LGBT+ travelers.
Taking a smaller gay cruise has much to offer those who enjoy the shared experience and being around other LGBT+ travelers. It’s often appealing to single people providing a safe, friendly environment for them to meet new people. So, whether you go for the onboard experiences or the amazing activities off the boat, a Croatian gay cruise has plenty of opportunities for fun, exploration and adventure.
Auston runs the blog Two Bad Tourists and is also a freelance writer. His work has been featured in many publications including Attitude Magazine, Edge Media Network, The Houston Chronicle and ManAboutWorld Magazine.