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All aboard! Europe’s gay cruise you need to know about

All aboard! Europe’s gay cruise you need to know about

La Demence proves it is the size of the boat, not the motion of the ocean that really matters.

Their smaller Horizon and Zenith sister cruise ships, half the size of traditional gay ‘super-cruises’, can access the Mediterranean’s hidden gems larger ships can’t reach.

La Demence will take about 1,400 passengers through exclusive locations through France, Italy and the Mediterranean from 19 to 26 July.

An offshoot of Belgium’s booming monthly La Demence party that has been rocking bodies for a quarter of a century, the La Demence Cruise celebrates its fourth year sailing through beautiful beaches and towns other gay cruise lines can’t reach.

Cruise Director Thierry Coppens told Gay Star Travel what, other than size, sets apart La Demence from other gay and lesbian cruises.

‘Our travel itinerary includes stops completely untapped by the gay cruise circuit. And because of our departure port, our passenger profile has a distinct European flavor. The majority of our passengers are French, German, Belgian, Swiss, Dutch and Spanish.’

Further setting themselves apart from typical cruises, La Demence ships don’t dock into their respective ports; they anchor in the harbor and use small raft boats to get ashore for a truly immersive experience into local scenery and culture.

This year’s La Demence port itinerary includes:

  • Marseilles, France’s second-largest city after Paris and a gay mecca in the southern part of the country
  • Portovenere – on the Italian Riviera, this UNESCO World Heritage Site features castles, churches and magnificent panoramic ocean views
  • Bonifacio – on the southern tip of Corsica, this stop is also a protected area with amazing beaches and a view of neighboring Sardinia
  • Palma – the capital of Mallorca is a royal town in the middle of the Mediterranean
  • Mahon – the capital of Menorca has miles of untouched beaches and cliff-side properties

While a smaller cruise ship means a more intimate atmosphere where it’s easy for passengers to become familiar with one another, the on-board activities and parties rival those of the bigger ships.

‘I would dare say our parties are the best of any cruise ship,’ Coppens boasts.

With a background in party organizing on the land, La Demence cruise parties on water are sure to wow.

‘We invest a lot in sound systems, laser shows and presentation screens for memorable parties. This year we have 12 DJs already confirmed.’

If La Demence’s Belgium parties are anything to go by, the cruise crowd should have something for all tastes.

‘Our parties are varied and attract open-minded people. You’ll see everything from muscle marys to bears, drag queens, young and old.’

Speaking of flavors, La Demence ships are part of French operator Croisi̬res de ӬFrance, which means days on the ship are spent enjoying the finest in French cuisine prepared by French chefs on board.

If you’re not hungry for this cruise, visit the La Demence Facebook page for some eye-candy from previous cruises.

Rates from €949 ($1,316 or £781) include 7 nights full board, soft drinks, on board activities, shows, parties, and all taxes.

For reservations, visit the La Demence website, and check out a promo video and a longer film from last year’s cruise.