VACAYA is the first large-scale LGBTQ vacation company for adults to launch in decades. While many queer travelers have heard of companies like Atlantis, RSVP, and Olivia, who have been the preeminent go-to for LGBTQ folks longing for escape, the mission of VACAYA takes the idea steps further by securing not only entire cruise ships but also high-end luxury resorts to capacity, and utilizing their unique all-inclusive amenities.
“All-gay Atlantis, all-gay RSVP, and all-lesbian Olivia are leaders in their respective markets for a reason,” explains Patrick Gunn, VACAYA co-founder and CMO. “But VACAYA is different. We are carving out an entirely new path for inclusivity, new destinations and unique experiences, balance, giving back, and delivering on our promise to be the travel savvy companion to our guests. It’s an exciting road to be on, to be sure, and one whose time has come.”
Indeed, VACAYA’s strategy will undoubtedly change the way queer travel operates. Challenging the “circuit party” visual of gay cruising, VACAYA vacations are targeting beyond just the partygoers (though there will be plenty of lively and welcoming parties aboard the Celebrity Summit, which holds 2,100 guests). The company’s goal is to add connection to its luscious and customized itinerary, and the intention behind it is strong.
Through the company’s ReachOUT program, on every vacation VACAYA will partner with local organizations in the communities they visit to lend a helping hand where they can. For some travelers, that manifests itself in a bit of sweat equity (volunteering a couple hours to help clean the beach, for example). For others, they can help through donations. Together, these efforts strengthen the bonds travelers have with the local communities who welcome them.
“For us, it’s about strengthening our community through shared experiences and giving back to our world,” explain VACAYA’s founders, all of whom are just as passionate about travel as their growing number of guests (nicknamed Vacayans). “It’s that constant and energizing force to connect that drives all of the Vacayans. And through our collective experiences, our guests will feel that love and passion.”
VACAYA has already gained a lucrative word-of-mouth reputation, months before its inaugural trip. In addition to the Ptown cruise, it’s secured two European river cruises that sets sail in mid-December, an Iceland Cruise setting sail in Summer 2020, as well as the entire UNICO 20°87° Riviera Maya resort in Mexico to celebrate Halloween and Day of the Dead in October 2019.
Imagine exploring Mexico in five-star all-inclusive luxury with an entire resort reserved solely for LGBTQ-identified travelers (and their allies), all of them eager to share stories and cocktails while enjoying grand parties, top-notch entertainment, and delicious food. That kind of seven-day all-inclusive queer escape has never been seen before, and it’s only the beginning.