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Top tips for LGBTQ+ Cruises and LGBTQ+ Cruise Travel

26 June 2015

A Pride flag flying above a Pride parade

Updated: April 2024

As we approach the summer months, it’s time we take a look at Pride and how the whole world comes together to celebrate lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender culture – and anyone and everyone else who sits on the LGBTQ+ spectrum. Festivals, parades, and parties are taking place all over the world alongside rallies, commemorations and community days, and experiencing a world of Pride with a LGBT cruise is a fantastic way of celebrating.

Pride doesn’t just celebrate everyone on the LGBTQ+ spectrum, though, it unifies us, builds important communities, and promotes equal rights worldwide; the travel industry strongly supports all of this. From Pride parades, to Friends of Dorothy groups, or to all-gay chartered cruise holidays, cruise travel caters to all your holiday preferences – whether you’re looking for the best LGBT cruises to go on as a group, an LGBT singles cruise, or an option that will whisk you around the world during Pride Month. Each cruise line is as unique as each itinerary is diverse.

So, if you’ve been scouring the best cruise deals ahead of Pride Month, but you’re not really sure what you’re looking for, we have you covered. For those of you hoping to enjoy some of the most notorious Pride festivities around the world, or even if you’ve already booked your cruise holiday, you can find some of the best celebrations in the world at just some of our favourite ports below.

Pride Port Calendar for Summer 2024

Amsterdam, Netherlands
July 27 - August 4
Las Vegas, Nevada
October 11 - October 12
Barcelona, Spain
July 18 - July 21
Marseille, France
July 7
Belfast, Northern Ireland
June 20 - June 29
Montreal, Canada
August 1 - August 11
Berlin, Germany
July 25
Mykonos, Greece
August 22 - August 28
Calgary, Canada
August 26 - September 1
New York, USA
June 22 - June 30
Copenhagen, Denmark
August 17
Oslo, Norway
June 19 - June 29
Curacao, Caribbean
September 27 - October 6
Rome, Italy
June 15
Dublin, Ireland
June 20 - 29
Stockholm, Sweden
July 29 - August 3
Ibiza, Spain
June 7 - 15
Tokyo, Japan
April 19 - April 21
Key West, Florida
June 5 - June 9
Vancouver, Canada
July 26 - August 4

Best LGBTQ+ Friendly Cruise Lines

Whether you prefer a cruise that offers modern elegance, family-friendly fun, partying all night long, or being a sophisticated single, all cruise lines have their own unique offerings when it comes to Pride and everyone on the LGBTQ+ spectrum – from the wild to the more discreet cruiser.

Most major cruise lines offer regular LGBTQ+ meet-ups and casual cocktail parties for anyone who identifies and wants to socialise with others on large cruise ships. These are commonly known as ‘Friends of Dorothy’ (FOD) meetings and are often held at one of the bars or public rooms onboard. You can find these advertised in either the ship’s daily programme or bulletin board.

If you’re thinking about arranging your own meet-up onboard your cruise, using MeetMeOnBoard.com is a great platform to do so – for solo travellers and couples alike. This will help cruisers connect with one another before boarding and can even be used to find cabin-mates, to avoid a single supplement.

Any guests who identify with any part of the LGBTQ+ spectrum can feel welcome on any cruise sailing by all staff and passengers; and when faced with near-unlimited cruise choices, it can be difficult to decide which cruise line is right for you – especially if you’re looking for LGBT friendly cruises, lesiban holidays, or transgender friendly cruises. Below, you can find just some of the most popular cruise lines with the LGBTQ+ community and more on why you should consider them for your next cruise getaway.

Celebrity Cruises

Modern and elegant with a cool vibe and five-star service, Celebrity Cruise ships are perfect for any Pride-focused getaways this summer – and the next. There’s always a huge mix of passengers onboard and Celebrity Cruises’ varied dining options, state-of-the-art activities, and luxurious spa facilities cater for them all. With Celebrity Cruises dates sailing worldwide throughout the summer, you should have no trouble finding the perfect cruise holiday for you. If there’s no ‘FOD’ meeting included in the daily programme, be sure to check the community bulletin board near Guest Relations when onboard for any LGBTQ+ specific activities and events

Two Pride flags waving in the sun
Pride flags waving

Norwegian Cruise Line

A cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line is always casual, great fun, and excellent value for money. In particular, Norwegian’s ‘Freestyle Cruising’ – when it comes to what to wear on a cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line – appeals to many LGBTQ+ guests due to its informal feel, anytime dining options, and open seating plan. Norwegian Cruise Line also always holds at least one FOD meeting on every ship, on every cruise. So, if you have a destination in mind, checking out the upcoming Norwegian Cruise Line dates is always a good idea.

Royal Caribbean

Creator of some of the largest ships at sea, Royal Caribbean attracts adventurous, fun-loving guests and a diverse crowd; this makes it perfect for LGBTQ+ guests, be them single, in couples, or families. Royal Caribbean dates throughout the summer offer some exciting voyages to the Caribbean, the Americas, and parts of Europe. With some ships hosting 6,000 passengers at once, they’re truly ‘cities at sea’ – which makes meeting new people a breeze. Activities often include ziplines, surf simulators, skydiving simulators, and Broadway shows including Cats, Mamma Mia, and We Will Rock You – absolute classics!

Cunard Cruise Line

Quite traditionally British, formal, and oozing with luxury, Cunard usually attracts the more conservative traveller. With White Glove service, five-star cuisine on offer, and diverse itineraries of activities, the ‘Queens’ – be that Anne, Elizabeth, Victoria, or Mary 2 – embody the finer things in life. If you’re considering checking out upcoming Cunard dates, you’ll be pleased to know that all ships are LGBTQ+ friendly with dedicated meet-ups on every cruise.

Two women sharing a drink on Virgin Voyages
A couple enjoying a cocktail with Virgin Voyages

Crystal Cruises

Sophisticated ultra-luxury Crystal Cruises ships attract travellers of a similar calibre, with first-class cuisine, Broadway shows and singers, and a fantastic variety of other entertainment making each cruise a memorable one. Throughout the summer, Crystal Cruises dates sail to North America and southern Europe, with Crystal Cruises offering FOD meetings on every cruise itinerary.

Carnival Cruise Line

Colourful and casual, Carnival Cruise Line are fun for all and suitable for singles, couples, and families alike. When you’re checking out any upcoming Carnival Cruise Line dates, you’ll find that LGBTQ+ meet-ups are frequent on most of their ships, with some itineraries having as many as one a day. While holidaying, you can check out the Carnival Hub app to find the day’s itinerary and a forum for you to connect and chat to other passengers you’ve met onboard.

Princess Cruises

Offering holiday-makers affordable luxury across a fleet of over 15 cruise ships, Princess Cruises is perfect for people from all walks of life looking for an exciting getaway – those who identify with any part of the LGBTQ+ spectrum included. Specific meet-ups are held almost every day on most cruise ships and Princess Cruises litters itineraries with LGBTQ+ focused events to bring people together and celebrate. If you’re checking out upcoming Princess Cruises dates ahead of summer, you’ll be pleased to know that Princess Cruises specifically avoids ‘unfriendly’ ports on every voyage.

A couple enjoying drinks in a pool on holiday
Drinks in the pool

Azamara Cruises

With a fleet of smaller ships, Azamara Cruises is a great option for people looking for an LGBTQ+ friendly cruise without the crowds of a larger cruise line or cruise ship. These smaller ships help Azamara take you into more unique destinations during your cruise holiday and its award-winning support of the LGBTQ+ community makes each voyage a memorable one. Be sure to check out all the upcoming Azamara Cruises dates ahead of the summer, but don’t worry if you don’t go during Pride specifically; you’ll find plenty of LGBTQ+ events and celebrations on every cruise.

Virgin Voyages

An adults-only cruise line with superyacht-style ships and excellent service, Virgin Voyages is a fantastic option for anyone looking for an LGBTQ+ friendly cruise during the summer and beyond. Every ship in Virgin Voyages’ fleet offers gender neutral bathrooms and each itinerary features LGBTQ+ specific events that celebrate diversity and Pride. Sailing worldwide throughout the year, you should have no trouble finding Virgin Voyages dates and destinations to suit your holiday plans.

P&O Cruises

Among the UK’s most popular cruise lines, P&O Cruises offers both adult-only and family friendly cruises throughout the year and aims to celebrate inclusion and diversity with everything they do. So, expect to find LGBTQ+ friendly cruises among the P&O Cruises dates and LGBTQ+ specific meet-ups and events littering your itinerary, should you choose to holiday with them.

A row of rainbow Pride flags
A row of rainbow Pride flags

All-gay and LGBTQ+ focused cruises

If you’re looking for something a little more tailored to the LGBTQ+ community, there are a number of ships chartered specifically for people who identify with any part of the LGBTQ+ spectrum throughout the year through companies such as Atlantis Events, Source Events, and R Family Vacations. You can also find out a little more about the best cruise lines for gay cruises right here.

Book Your Next Cruise With Iglu Cruise Today

Want to experience a luxury cruise holiday with the finest cuisine and entertainment on the seas? Well, book your next cruise getaway with Iglu Cruise today. With so many excellent cruise deals available, you're certain to find the best cruise escape for your budget and tastes easily.

In the meantime, you can also learn more about cruise holidays, cruise ships, and more by checking out the following blog posts:

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