A syndicated article recently hit the news wires featuring The Big Nude Cruise. Several news outlets published the story, such as Fox Travel’s article The Awkward Truth About Nude Cruises, each edited and slanted the story to meet their market. The key message the original article presented was that nude cruises are not about sex but about being natural. The article talked about what it was like on the cruise, how people acted, and the overall experience of public nudity in an appropriate setting.
The American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR) has estimated that 30,000 people took a nude cruise in the last year. On the AANR website their mission is “to advocate nudity and nude recreation in appropriate settings while educating and informing society of their value and enjoyment.” Nudity, or as it is often referred to “the naturistic approach”, has different levels of acceptance worldwide. Nude beaches have been a keystone of the French Riviera for decades. Recently, they are becoming less popular due to the hoards of tourist with their smart phones taking photographs. In Germany the Freikörperkultur (FKK), translated roughly to Free Body Culture, is widely accepted with many public parks having sections exclusive for FKK. However, in the United States it is less widely accepted, in fact it is often looked at as an unacceptable immoral activity.
There are a number of organizations and travel agencies in the United States that specialized in nude travel and vacations. As cruises are becoming more popular to the general public, they are of course becoming more popular for those who accept nudity. Since it is not widely accepted, the answer is full ship charters. Cruise lines often charter a ship to a company or organization, even to travel agents who meet certain requirements. Insurance companies have been known to charter a whole ship as a reward to its top agents, Television networks have been known to charter a cruise, promote the opportunity meet the cast of a TV program, and sell the cruise to fans. Special interest groups such as nudists are also chartering cruises. As these are sailings are not sold by the cruise line, you will not end up on one unexpectedly.
The point mentioned about nudity not meaning sex is a very important one that bears (no pun intended) repeating. Those who embraces the lifestyle can separate nudity from sex, in fact most nudists feel that the lifestyle leads to less sexual overtures. On theses specially chartered cruises, guests are required to remain clothed until the ship reaches international waters. The overall expectation is that you will be nude, however, there is no peer pressure to be so. There is generally a dress code for the dinning rooms requiring cover ups, and ships with specialty restaurants often require resort causal attire. The buffets generally do not have such a rule. If you are quivering thinking about the sanitation, it’s not what you may imagine. People always bring an extra towel to sit on, no different from a layer of clothes. The evening shows and discos will have a mix of people clothed and unclothed, the ships air conditioning may play a factor here.
Port calls are of course clothed, except when some cruises enjoy a stop at a private island where the nude lifestyle is accepted.
Those wondering who are attending these cruises may be surprised, more older people are going than younger ones. Many of the cruises are adult-only leading to a “quieter” atmosphere. Some nudist organizations recommend a cruise for those new to the lifestyle and about 30% of the cruisers are new to the lifestyle.
So what do you think? Are you ready to try the naturistic approach?