Cruises for LGBT travelers keep getting bigger, as evidenced by the January 2017 debut of what Atlantis Events calls the “largest and most extravagant gay cruise in history.” Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas will take some 5,400 passengers on an action-packed cruise slated for Jan. 22–29, 2017. Setting sail from Fort Lauderdale, the ship stops at Cozumel and Costa Maya, Mexico; and Labadee, Haiti. With 17 decks, 5 theaters, 13 restaurants and 5 dance spaces, the Allure of the Seas promises a lot of onboard activities for Atlantis passengers.
On a smaller scale, Atlantis also introduces a new itinerary from Rio de Janeiro to Buenos Aires, scheduled for Feb. 25–March 7, 2017, with three days in port at Rio during Carnival. Atlantis will offer tickets to samba school parades as well as other LGBToriented and general events. The 684-passenger Oceania Regatta then makes calls at Paraty and Porto Belo, Brazil; and Punta del Este and Montevideo, Uruguay, before docking in Buenos Aires.
Also new on the waves is the 2,650-passenger Holland America Line ms Koningsdam, making its first LGBT run with RSVP Vacations Feb. 5–12, 2017, leaving from Fort Lauderdale with stops at Key West; Grand Cayman; Roatán, Honduras; and Cozumel. The RSVP cruise will feature open-air parties and what the company calls a YouCreate Party, which allows guests to choose the theme.
Olivia, which specializes in lesbian travel, offers a wide array of cruises scheduled for 2017. Among its new itineraries is Majestic Alaska, slated for June 25–July 2, 2017, aboard the 1,380-passenger Holland America Line ms Amsterdam, departing from Seattle with scenic cruising along Alaska’s Stephens Passage and Hubbard Glacier. Also new from Olivia is an Iceland cruise, sailing July 28–Aug. 4, 2017, from Reykjavík aboard the 212-passenger Star Legend.
Many so-called mainstream cruises make it easy to connect with fellow LGBT passengers as well, often during cocktail parties and social gatherings organized with the “Friends of Dorothy” moniker. Companies like Pied Piper Travel also sell organized gay group excursions on major cruises, with special activities just for its clients. Upcoming 2017 RSVP itineraries include an Asia cruise on the Celebrity Millennium in February, a trans-Atlantic crossing aboard the Queen Mary 2 in June and a Rhine River cruise in September.
Airplane travel evokes a lot of emotions these days: excitement, anticipation, uncertainty and nervousness, just to name a few. But when you do take to the skies again, the giddiness of getting pampered at 35,000 feet can most certainly wash away the surrealness of the past year and a half — at least for the duration of a long- haul flight — as you sip Champagne and slip your feet into plush slippers. While some global airlines have paused or pushed back plans for upgrades and refreshes to their premium cabins, others have introduced exciting changes that await in your pod or lie-flat bed in first and business classes. What’s more, amenities like privacy screens, sliding suite doors and space to spread out all serve a dual purpose as methods to luxuriate in the air while keeping social distance. Here are some nice- ties to expect now and in the near future, from retrofitted seat configurations to updated décor to Michelin-starred meals:
The Global Business Travel Association’s (GBTA) Convention 2021 will be unlike any other convention before it, as we come together in person for the first time since the business travel industry drastically changed and look forward to rebuilding and reshaping the future. GBTA Convention 2021 will bring all of us together to learn from experts and each other, in-person at Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, Nov. 17–19. The safety of our attendees is our top priority. View health and safety protocols.
United Airlines is making international travel more accessible. United announced the largest trans-Atlantic expansion in its history, including 10 new flights and five new destinations including Amman (AMM), Jordan; Bergen (BGO), Norway; Azores (PDL), Portugal; Palma de Mallorca (PMI), Spain; and Tenerife (TFS) in the Spanish Canary Islands. All new routes, set to begin in spring 2022, are not served by any other North American carrier.
Galataport Istanbul, a new cruise and lifestyle destination on the Bosphorus in Istanbul, welcomed its first ship, SeaDream II, on Oct. 1. Approximately 150 passengers and crew from Bulgaria Varna arrived at 10 a.m. for a two-day homeport operation before continuing to Bulgaria Burgaz.
Since its prestige for attracting the world elite grew in the 1960s, Greece remains the go-to destination for glittering holidays. Each step of the journey is enrobed in luxury, from culinary traditions with the highest standard of execution and name-brand, high-end shopping to first-rate wellness locales and elite accommodations, like 5-star hotels, private villas and yachts.
The countdown to Halloween weekend is on! Are you are still unsure about plans? Do you go to a house party? Stay in to hand out candy? Try something different this year and join Philadelphia’s The Mütter Museum at its 6th annual Mischief at The Mütter.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and Walker Hotel Tribeca is blushing pink with an exclusive offer benefitting the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Throughout the month, guests can book an all-pink guestroom, among additional amenities.
GBTA’s Convention 2021 will bring the business travel industry together for the first time in a long time. Once again, you’ll learn and connect with experts and each other, along with discussions with leading thinkers, entrepreneurs and change makers addressing the issues that matter most.
Insight Vacations, Tourism Ireland and Tourism Northern Ireland are offering the chance to win a free trip to Ireland for two, valued at $6,000. Oct. 18–22, The Road to Ireland contest page will be updated daily with a new clue and question that contestants will need to answer for a chance to win a trip for two on Insight’s Country Roads of Ireland tour in 2022. Contestants have until 11:59 p.m. PST Oct. 29 to submit answers.