Sail to a Big Gay Party

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Posted in Cruising By Mark and Dale

Lets face it. Sometimes Girls Just Wanna Have Fun! If you’ve always wanted to travel to one of the world’s most exciting LGBTQ events, why not sail there (or sail away)? These events can be sexy, fun, wild, and empowering all at the same time. Combine attendance at an iconic gay party with a pre- or post-event cruise.

Sydney Gay/Lesbian Mardi Gras

This legendary Granddaddy of all gay parties has earned a reputation as the biggest party on earth. 2019’s Parade takes place the evening of March 2 with huge parties going on that day and the next, not to mention scads of events for many days before that. The big parties sell out early, so make plans now. 

On the day after the parade, pick yourself up, dust off the glitter, drag yourself to the port and climb aboard a Queen. Cunard’s Queen Elizabeth sails March 3 for a refreshing 5-day cruise round trip from Sydney, calling on Hobart, and Port Arthur. Two sea-days are included for some much-needed detox time!

Bear Week in Sitges

We fell in love with Sitges, Spain when we visited there before boarding a Med cruise from Barcelona aboard NCL. Sitges lives up to its reputation as one of the world’s great gay resort towns, with terrific beaches and gay venues of every kind. You can get there via an easy, quick, scenic train ride from Barcelona.  (Barcelona itself deserves a visit if you haven’t been yet. We enjoyed this gay-friendly port town even if our first visit included a few minor mishaps.)

Bear Week takes place September 1-11 next year. If you’re a bear, or bear fan (funny how that phrase means something entirely different to gays than it does to straights), you don’t want to miss this party. Even if you have no affiliation with bears, the gay party atmosphere makes the event well worth a visit.

For a gaycation that will give you enough enviable stories to last for a year of brunches, combine Bear Week with a Med cruise. Norwegian Cruise Lines operates Epic from Barcelona that time of year. Book a 7-night Aug 25-Sept 1 round-trip Barcelona porting in Naples, Civitavecchia, Livorno, Cannes and Palma De Mallorca. 

Amsterdam Gay Pride

This city was known for gay-friendliness well before gay became mainstream. During Amsterdam Pride, marvel at the juxtaposition of architecture from the Dutch Golden Age, exuberantly decorated canal boats and plenty of skin. Attending Amsterdam Pride will give you an invigorating sense of the power of our international movement.

Amsterdam Gay Pride 2019 runs from July 27 to August 4. 2019, with the Canal Parade on August 3. Make travel plans soon, this city is overbooked even on non-gay days.

Amsterdam provides a perfect beginning or ending to a relaxing river cruise adventure that will recharge your engines. Board Ama Waterways in Basil and enjoy the Rhine through Germany and France right into Amsterdam for an overnight. Get off the ship, stow your luggage and grab a spot on the canal for the parade.

New York City Stonewall 50/Gay Pride Parade

Live in North America and wanna stay closer to home?  Here’s something perfect for you. Imagine World Pride, the 50th Anniversary of Stonewall, and The Big Apple all rolled into one. What an experience to be in the city where the American gay liberation movement really began. The Stonewall Inn now has National Historic Landmark status as an integral part of our community’s story.

The parade is on Sunday, June 30. Fly in early for a Broadway show. Afterwards plan a wonderful recovery in the Caribbean aboard Carnival Sunrise. She sails out of New York on July 2 for 8 nights to Grand Turk, San Juan and Amber Cove.

San Francisco 

We’ll never forget marching in the San Francisco Pride Parade in the mid-90’s. Dale was conductor of the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Chorus, appearing in concert as guests of the Lesbian/Gay Chorus of San Francisco. What a sight turning onto Market Street to see thousands of our queer brothers and sisters affirming the community we created together. This is something every LGBTQ person should experience at least once. The parade takes place June 30 next year.

Chill out in style ahead of the heat and passion of San Francisco pride on an Alaska cruise. Grand Princess offers an interesting 10-night round trip itinerary from San Francisco to Alaska. You’ll see Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Tracy Arm and Victoria. Departure is July 15, so with the July 25 disembarkation, you’ll have 5 days for shopping and fun before the parade.

Go ahead, sail into a big gay party!  MMOB’s partner, LGBTQ travel specialist Adam Martindale can help you plan a marvelous trip for 2019 combining big gay party plus cruise event.