Photo: Patagonia tour © OUT ADVENTURES
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.