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.
As the vaccine rolls out and travel begins to pick up, it’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Panama City with us.
The Sports Industry Awards returned with a bang last night as 200 guests packed the W Hotel Great Ball Room for the gala ceremony.
Boca Raton Resort & Club recently announced a new partnership with Major Food Groups, creating one of the best culinary destinations in the United States. Major Food Groups is the company behind some of the hottest restaurants, including Carbone, The Grill and Parm. This partnership will launch multiple dining concepts as part of the resort's $150 million transformation.
The Franklin London Launches Afternoon Tea Inspired by Victoria & Albert Museum’s “Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser”
The Franklin London – Starhotels Collezione, located in the heart of Knightsbridge, launched a new afternoon tea inspired by the “Alice: Curiouser and Curiouser” exhibit at the nearby Victoria & Albert Museum. Diners booking the tea also have the option to book an offer including a pre-reserved ticket to the in-demand exhibition.
Up Norway, Norway’s travel curator, partners with sustainability experts to offer travelers a new tour. The Discovery Route, called the “world’s most sustainable journey,” combines personal wellness with the wellness of the environment.
Enjoy additional perks at Westin Resort & Spa Puerto Vallarta, on Mexico’s Pacific Coast, with the Vitamin Sea, D & Me offer. Rates begin at $130 per night, including complimentary breakfast daily, a healthy starter at Arrecifes Restaurant, one poke bowl and one drink at El Palmar Restaurant. The use of one beachside pergola per stay is also included. The offer is valid on stays through Dec. 21, and use code S5706 to book.
The biggest names in the Middle East sporting community will gather for the Sports Industry Awards as the event returns for its eighth edition. SPIA recognizes the achievements of individuals, organizations, facilities and campaigns that contributed to the development of sport in the region.
Business travel is on the brink of returning, according to three new reports. The latest monthly Traveler Confidence Index developed by Travel Again shows business traveler confidence soared in May, with 42 percent now fully ready to travel, up from just 20 percent in April. An additional 31 percent are planning some type of business travel for summer, with 74 percent willing to travel domestically for business in the next 90 days. However, employers may not be as ready, with only 22 percent of business travel respondents with current business travel plans.