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7 mind-blowing gay hotspots to tick off your bucket list on a multi-stop cruise

7 mind-blowing gay hotspots to tick off your bucket list on a multi-stop cruise

Sponsored: So many blockbuster gay destinations, so little time.

From the Castro in San Francisco to Rio de Janeiro’s Copacabana Beach, the LGBTI travel bucket list contains many essential items.

Picture courtesy of The Cruise Line, posed by models

But as the world opens up with the spread of queer rights, if only there was a way of seeing the tried-and-tested gay hotspots while also taking in new and fresh destinations on the same trip…

This, of course, is the beauty of cruising. It allows you to see more of the world in a time-and-cost-effective way.

Here, we team up with The Cruise Line to bring you seven gay capitals that you can experience as part of a larger, multi-stop sea voyage!

1 Fort Lauderdale

The beachside Floridian city has long-been known as a haven for LGBTIs. Wilton Manors therein was named America’s ‘second gayest city’ after the 2010 US Census due to the large percentage of LGBTIs who live there.

This year, the city was also recognized for being the first to use trans models in its marketing materials. Meanwhile the equally glamorous (and gay) city of Miami is 37 minutes away by car.

Visit Fort Lauderdale with Eastern Caribbean Explorer cruise

Line: Princess Cruises
Ship: Crown Princess
Date: 9 December 2017 (seven nights)
Itinerary: Fort Lauderdale, St Kitts, Antigua, St Thomas, Grand Turk, Fort Lauderdale.

Prices at time of writing

Interior Staterooms from £719pp, $936, €804 (cruise-only)
Balcony Suites from £1119pp, $1458, €1251

2 Hong Kong

It’s home to to 7.3 million and boasts the most skyscrapers in the world (453 buildings over 150 meters, to be exact).

And although Hong Kong doesn’t yet offer same-sex civil partnerships or wedding equality, it’s still one of the gay-friendliest cities in Asia, and is famed for to its bustling queer nightlife.

Visit Hong Kong on the Icons of Southeast Asia cruise

Line: Windstar Cruises
Ship: Star Legend
Date: 20 January (14 nights)
Itinerary: Hong Kong, Ha Long Bay, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Ho Chi Minh City, Ko Kut, Bangkok.

Prices at time of writing

Ocean View Suites from £3999pp, $5214, €4474 (cruise-only)

3 Iceland

Former Icelandic Prime Minister Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir put this Nordic country firmly on the map for queer travelers when she became the first openly lesbian leader to be elected in 2009.

Home to just 334,000 people – most of whom live in the capital, Reykjavik – the gay scene is small, but it hardly matters; you come to Iceland for the otherworldly natural beauty. The below itinerary includes stops in the lesser-seen towns of Isafjordur (population 2,559) and Akureyri (17,302).

Visit Iceland on the Ireland, Iceland & Scotland cruise

Line: P&O Cruises
Ship: Azura
Date: 30 June 2018 (14 nights)
Itinerary: Southampton, Kirkwall, Lerwick, Reykjavik, Isafjordur, Akureyri, Belfast, Southampton.

Prices at time of writing

Early Saver Inside Cabins from £1619pp, $2110, €1811
Early Saver Balcony Cabins from £1799pp, $2345, €2013 (cruise-only)

4 San Francisco

A travel rite of passage for many, California’s fourth largest city wasn’t the setting for HBO’s seminal LGBTI drama Looking for nothing.

The below itinerary includes a one-day stop off, giving you enough time for the obligatory Golden Gate Bridge photo op, a trip to the GLBT History Museum on Castro Street and perhaps a drink at the landmark Twin Peaks Tavern, a gay bar since 1972.

Visit San Francisco on the Pacific Coastal Cruises cruise

Line: Celebrity Cruises
Ship: Celebrity Infinity
Date: 2 September 2018 (seven nights)
Itinerary: Vancouver, Seattle, Astoria, San Francisco, Monterey, Santa Barbra

Prices at time of writing

Interior Staterooms from £749pp, $976, €838
Ocean View Staterooms from £919pp, $1198, €1028 (cruise-only)

5 Rio de Janeiro

It may not be Brazil’s biggest city (that’s Sao Paulo) or its capital (that’s Brasilia). But Brazil’s sexiest city, and home to last year’s Olympic Games, is probably its most famous.

Its popularity among LGBTIs is long-recognized, and recent research has shown that queer tourism in the country proper is up 11%.

Visit Rio de Janeiro on the South America Passage cruise

Line: Holland America Line
Ship: Zaandam
Date: 3 November 2018 (16 nights)
Itinerary: Rio de Janeiro, Punta del Este, Buenos Aires, Montevideo, Stanley/Falkland Islands, Ushuaia, Punta Arenas, The Chilean Fjords, Puerto Montt, Valparaiso

Prices at time of writing

Interior Staterooms from £1899pp, $2475, €2125
Ocean View Staterooms from £2199pp, $2867, €2461 (cruise-only)

6 Los Angeles

The largest city in California and the home of Hollywood also boasts perhaps the world’s most famous gay village, the super stylish WeHo.

No visit is complete without a a trip down the Walk of Fame, a glimpse of the stars’ homes in Beverly Hills, and stop-offs in blockbuster theme parks like Disneyland Park and Universal Studios Hollywood. The below itinerary ends in this world-famous destination – and also, it starts in the aforementioned Fort Lauderdale!

Visit LA on the Thanksgiving Tropical Treasures cruise

Line: Crystal Cruises
Ship: Crystal Serenity
Date: 21 November 2018 (16 nights)
Itinerary: Fort Lauderdale, Bimini, Caldera, Corinto, Puerto Quetzal, Acapulco, Cabo San Lucas, San Diego, Los Angeles.

Prices at the time of writing

Deluxe Staterooms from £4149pp, $5408, €4641 (cruise-only)


7 Gran Canaria

Finally to the famous Spanish island that, on balance, is probably just as gay-friendly as Iceland!

Also, its population actually exceeds Iceland’s (Gran Can is home to 838,000) and then there’s the temperature – it enjoys near-year-round sun, meaning there are quite a few golden gay beaches to choose from…

Visit Gran Canaria on the Spotlight on Spain cruise

Line: Oceania Cruises
Ship: Marina
Date: 21 November 2017 (12 nights)
Itinerary: Barcelona, Malaga, Arrecife, Santa Cruz de La Palma, Santa Cruz de la Tenerife, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Tangier, Almeria, Valencia, Barcelona.

Prices at time of writing

Deluxe Ocean View Staterooms from £2599pp, $3389, €2909
Veranda Staterooms from £3069pp, $4002, €3434
Includes flights, onboard WiFi and the guests to choice of 6 free shore excursions, a free House Select beverage package or £460 ($600, €514) onboard credit (per stateroom).

For more information about The Cruise Line, visited the official website by clicking here.

The Cruise Line is a client of Gay Star News.