Gay Cruises Going on a Gay Cruise

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Gay cruises are one of a range of specialist cruises which are hitting this ever growing market and it's about time. Going on a cruise is always a chance to meet a variety of people. Sometimes it's part of the fun you can guarantee that there will be an even distribution of lovely, intriguing, mad and horrendous characters on even the most conventional voyage. Holiday roulette it's great.

But as the cruise industry has grown in recent decades, so has the number of ways to make it less of a gamble. With the advent of tailor made trips, you're much more likely to meet people who booked themselves on the same holiday as you because they have the same interests as you. It may remove some of the frisson of danger attached to wondering who you're going to be sitting next to at dinner for two weeks, but that's a small price to pay. Gay cruises are blossoming in number and quality for this very reason.

One of the most prominent operators for gay cruises is Atlantis Events. According to its website (www.atlantisevents.comwww.atlantisevents.com) Atlantis caters for 12,000 gay and lesbian holidaymakers each year, making it the world leader in terms of size. Atlantis thinks big too, chartering large ships and taking them on ambitious itineraries such as 2005's 'Largest Gay Cruise in History' (starting in Miami on the 3,200 passenger Navigator of the Seas).

But that's only one of the companies providing gay cruises RSVP is also a big player, and many of the big lines cater for gay groups. There are plenty of specialist agents such as Friends of Dorothy (www.friendsofdorothycruises.comwww.friendsofdorothycruises.com), Gay Cruise Vacations (www.gaycruisevacations.comwww.gaycruisevacations.com) and Cruising With Pride (www.cruisingwithpride.comwww.cruisingwithpride.com). If you want a holiday which is not on an exclusively gay/lesbian chartered boat you could try a consultant such as Ocean Voyager (www.oceanvoyager.comwww.oceanvoyager.com) who will place you in a group on a mainstream cruise. This, in fact, is one of the major decisions you'll have to make when booking to go chartered or not to go chartered? There are advantages either way: in a small group it's easier to get to know people, but on a big chartered boat there's more of a selection of people to get to know. For more general ideas about gay travel options try newsletters like Out and About and the International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association (www.iglta.comwww.iglta.com).

Be sure to book early. Really early. Some of the chartered tours get sold out a year in advance.

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