Tapping into the growing market for queer travel, Variety Cruises is launching its first LGBTQ+ cruise in the Seychelles in autumn 2023. Jenny Southan reports

Departing on October 28, 2023, Variety Cruises will launch its first LGBTQ+ cruise to the Seychelles archipelago, with an array of onboard entertainment and offshore excursions.

Setting sail on the Pegasos, the 44-person cruise will start and finish in Mahe on St Anne Island. Every night there will be entertainment either from local dancers or musicians, and an Off Broadway Musical at Sea.

Stops will include: Curieuse island, which has giant tortoises; Cousin island, for a visit to the local bird sanctuary; and Praslin island for sightings of rare black parrots and “coco de mer” double coconuts.Variety CruisesLGBTQ+ activist Constantine Venetopoulos, part of the family that founded Variety Cruises, will join the “straight-friendly” seven-day adventure. During the trip, guests will be able to connect with the LGBTQ+ community, explore the destination’s gender history, and enjoy “signature activities”.

Constantine is a leader in gender equality, a volunteer counselor for The Trevor Project, and the director of the film Draw With Me, which was presented at the United Nations during the 50th anniversary of the Stone Wall riots. Edward Chlerich, a model and actor, will also be joining and leading the cruise.Variety CruisesPrices start from £2,026 per person and include accommodation in an air conditioned double or twin en suite cabin; full board catering (buffet breakfast and two meals daily); a welcome cocktail; theme night party; captain’s dinner; coffee, tea and water; use of snorkelling equipment; and an English-speaking cruise director.

Not included are port charges per person, soft drinks and alcohol, shore excursions, crew tips and wifi.Variety CruisesThe Seychelles is one of the few African nations with laws protecting LGBTQ+ employees from workplace discrimination. Homosexuality is legal in the destination but gay marriage is not.

Variety Cruises states on its website: “As a tourist in Seychelles, your gender identity and sexual preferences are personal and should not be a concern to anyone else. Unless your behaviour is deemed unacceptable, there have been no reported issues related to travellers’ sexuality.”

Variety Cruises is a specialist in small ship cruises, and serves destinations including Greece, Tahiti and the islands of French Polynesia, the Red Sea, West Africa and Cape Verde.

Download Globetrender’s Future of Queer Travel report to learn more about emerging LGBTQ+ travel trends.