Nudist cruises gaining in popularity

June 11th, 2012 by | Permalink

Carnival Freedom sets said in February 2013 for largest nude cruise in the world. Screen shot via Bare Necessities.

February 2013 will see the setting sail of the Carnival Cruise liner Carnival Freedom. The eight-day Panama cruise will offer the usual amenities that one has come to expect from the cruise giant, such as multiple pools, a dance club, and various other attractions. One thing that will be absent from this cruise however, the heretofore omnipresent tan line. That’s right, this is a nude cruise.

The close to three thousand passenger capacity—70 percent of which is already booked— Carnival Freedom will play host to a growing craze in tourism, the nude vacation; a $440 million dollar industry according to the American Association for Nude Recreation.

The cruise is being organized by Bare Necessities, a nude tourism company owned by Nancy Tiemann. “I think when we vacation, we would rather travel with like-minded people, whether nudists or jazz music lovers. It’s not just about getting on a cruise ship and taking your clothes off,” Tiemann told Reuters.

This is no flash-in-the-pan idea that has come about recently. Tiemann started booking cruises two decades ago. The American Association for Nude Recreation also celebrated its 80th anniversary last year.

Cruises such as this have visited the Greek Isles, Croatia, the French Riviera, and even Egypt. Resorts have become more upscale and in recent years, as the popularity of au naturel travel has increased. The Portrait of the American Travelers Survey, a survey of 2539 US households with an income of $50,000 or more last year showed that 17 per cent of respondents saw a visit to a nude or clothing-optional resort as extremely or very desirable, a rise of 12 percent from the year before.

Cruises and nudist resorts typically have a strict code of conduct. Overt sexual activity is barred at resorts that fall under the American Association for Nude Recreation’s banner, and sexualized clothing or accessories are not considered appropriate. Guests are even encouraged to sit on towels to avoid sitting on furniture in the buff. However, owners occasionally have to deal with guests who come with faulty expectations, although several said that this was an increasingly rare experience.

As for the next nude travel frontier, there is no shortage of ideas for vacations many nudists describe as a stress relieving and an abandonment of societal expectations.

But the bravest new adventure that Bare Necessities is considering is a naked cruise to an unlikely destination: Antarctica.

“We are looking at ships right now,” Tiemann said, adding that her company had already successfully offered a naked cruise to Alaska. “Probably in the next two years we’ll be announcing it.”

To find out more about the “clothing optional” cruise, dubbed as the largest nude cruise gathering in the world, visit Bare Necessities website.

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