TODAY’S LGBTQ TOUR and vacation packages are as diverse as the people they’re designed to satisfy. Indeed, whether travelers prefer culture, adventure or natural beauty — and whether they’re looking for a package that includes LGBTQ-specific activities like gay nightlife and pride outings or just a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere — there’s likely a tour that fits the bill.
For 2018 the offerings are especially diverse. HE Travel, one of the longest-running brands in the LGBTQ tour market, offers a Greek Classics: Gay Travel Greece Cultural Tour in September. It includes visits to landmarks in Athens, Sparta, Olympia and Delphi and guided tours of the Byzantine churches and monuments of Thessaloníki.
HE Travel also offers a New Orleans holiday getaway, slated March 30–April 3 and December 13–17, with accommodations in the French Quarter, a jazz brunch and visits to a Southern sugar plantation and Mardi Gras float preparations. Participants in the spring tour can also attend the Easter Parade and the Gay Easter Parade.
Another well-established name in LGBTQ tours, Zoom Vacations, offers an Israel tour timed to coincide with Tel Aviv’s gay pride celebration in June. The nine-day itinerary includes accommodations in Jerusalem, Galilee and Tel Aviv; gay nightlife outings in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem; and a visit to the fortress of Masada, among other sites.
For travelers with South Asia on their minds, Minneapolis-based Brand g Vacations put together a 15-day tour, with multiple departure dates through November, called Splendors of India and the Ganges River. Participants start in New Delhi and then fly to West Bengal for a cruise along the lower Ganges River before continuing to Rajasthan and India’s Golden Triangle.
Wildlife is a big draw for Ntaba African Safaris. In April it will stage a Rainbow Safari to South Africa with a stop in Cape Town and the opportunity to search for the Big Five, as well as optional extensions to Botswana and Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe.
For relaxation and low-key excitement in North America, Out Adventures offers a Big Gay Canadian Cottage Getaway, June 30–July 6. It begins with a weekend in Toronto and continues to a gay-owned resort in Muskoka, where guests can choose from romantic rooms, glamping tents and entire chalets. Daily yoga, water sports and Lumberjack Day — featuring archery, axe throwing and a sawing competition — are all included.
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:
History and culture are etched into every corner of Greece. Beginning with its language, the oldest written language still in existence, and moving from the traces of passing civilizations and religions to pre-historic findings and works from many movements, there’s a wealth of culture to discover on your next trip to Greece.
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.
This holiday season, escape to the Caribbean with Celebrity Cruises and reconnect with family and friends in luxurious accommodations that make you feel right at home. Savor globally inspired cuisine designed by our Michelin-starred chef, paired with the most awarded wine collection at sea. Elevate “me time” with a soothing spa treatment sure to renew. With both long and short cruises to celebrate in December, and even three special Ultimate Holiday Cruises that sail over Christmas and into the New Year, the time to gift an experience and create unforgettable memories is now. Celebrity Cruises’ Always IncludedSM pricing — drinks, WiFi and tips — ensures a seamless, carefree vacation with the ones you love.
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.