Friday, July 12, 2024
Travel

VACAYA shares pics from history-making first LGBT+ Antarctica cruise 

In addition to being the first all-LGBTQ+ expedition cruise to Antarctica, with an out gay ship’s captain to boot, VACAYA can claim bringing the first-ever drag queens onto the continent!

Sister Helen Holy (Paul J. Williams), The Liquor Mini (Danny Cabrera), Pissi Myles (Joseph D’Angio), Mini More (Stephen Harms), and Dixie Longate (Kris Andersson) planted the Pride flag onto the continent to mark the historic occasion.

The Liquor Mini (Danny Cabrera)

Since Antarctic expeditions began in 1820 with explorers Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen, Mikhail Lazarev, and John Davis (who was the first person to step foot on Antarctica in 1821), never before has an all-LGBT+ expedition sailing taken place—until the VACAYA voyage. The cruise sold out in 10 days after being announced.

Leading nearly 200 LGBT+ explorers, VACAYA boarded PONANT’s Le Boreal on December 7, 2022 in Ushuaia, Argentina and began the 2.5-day crossing of the Drake Passage, where the Atlantic, Pacific, and Southern Oceans converge, creating the most treacherous waters on earth. At 5:12pm on December 10, 2022, The Vacayans (those who travel with VACAYA are known as “Vacayans”) stepped foot on “The Ice” in Neko Harbor, Antarctica – making history with the first successful all-LGBT+ expedition cruise to Antarctica.

Captain Florian Richard (R)

VACAYA Co-founder Randle Roper said: “It’s taken over 200 years of Antarctic exploration to get here, but with VACAYA, the LGBT+ community has now officially left their mark on the 7th continent! The incredible work of the VACAYA team, our Expedition Leaders, and our fearless Captain made this journey possible.”

Out and proud Le Boreal Captain Florian Richard said, “I thank VACAYA for such an open minded and fun sailing. I’m proud to be a part of this history-making expedition.”

Passenger Jacob Carson of Orlando, Florida shared his feelings about the trip: “Words don’t do Antarctica justice. To be part of this historic expedition with VACAYA and my queer family is beyond my wildest dreams.”

Aaron Centric & Stephen Harms of Rocklin, California said: “We never imagined coming to Antarctica until VACAYA made it possible to be here with our LGBT+ family, experiencing the immeasurable beauty of this distant land. We hope this expedition inspires others to travel to places they otherwise wouldn’t.”

Michele Booher of East Lansing, Michigan: “After first traveling to Greece with VACAYA, I just knew I had to travel with them again. As a bisexual woman, I can totally be myself without fear of judgment when I travel with VACAYA. This expedition to Antarctica has been the best trip I never really knew I wanted to take, but after visiting this beautiful place, I can’t imagine spending this type of money with anyone else. The VACAYA family is supportive, fun, and always full of so much love. It doesn’t get any better than this.”

VACAYA Cruise Director Paul J. Williams of Dallas, Texas: “Traveling to Antarctica has been a life-long dream. Merely the opportunity to do this was overwhelming, and to do it with VACAYA and my LGBT+ siblings? Simply indescribable. Upon my first sighting of the 7th continent, I wept with awe as this dream became a reality. From a strictly personal perspective, I’ve had a fascination with penguins since early adulthood, and my home is full of penguin collectibles. To finally see them up close and personal in their natural habitat has brought me infinite penguin pleasure.”

Captain Florian Richard shared: “Being gay in the navy or on merchant marine ships is certainly difficult, but I do believe that every gay marine officer could have a bright and satisfying career at sea if they approach their role with professionalism and a thoughtful management style.

“For this VACAYA expedition to Antarctica, I had the chance to have my husband along. It was incredible to be able to kiss him in front of all guests and crew, knowing I wouldn’t be judged – even though I’m in a “front page” role. I can’t thank VACAYA enough for having me at the helm for this history-making expedition.”

For more information about VACAYA and upcoming itineraries, go here.

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