A recent article here about a couple’s visit to a nude campground got us thinking that while the confidence they have in themselves and each other which allowed them to even consider this as an activity is certainly to be admired. The picture they painted was a very traditional one of the nudist campground hidden away in the bush. To be sure these places exist and present a wonderful way to spend a few days but surely that can’t be all that’s available to those seeking a holiday, or maybe even a life less clothed can it? Well thankfully I can report there’s more, lots more. What about a nude cruise for starters?
Kim and I have done a number nude cruises over the years and most have been large affairs of more than 3,000 passengers but by far the most unique of these was one we took last year on the Royal Clipper. This is a genuinely beautiful ship with just over 200 passengers, five masts and a two week itinerary that includes some of the kinds of places only the smaller vessels can access.
Our journey commenced some weeks earlier arriving in Rome and visiting places like Pisa, the nude island of Ile Du Levant, the infamous Cap d’Adge, Geneva, the glacier at Charmix, Europe’s highest road the Stelveo Pass, Prague and Monte Blanc with its tunnel before hitting our departure point for the cruise the magnificent city of Venice. As you can appreciate by this point we’d be ready to slow down the pace a bit so two weeks on this magnificent ship should fit the bill just fine.
Sailing out of Venice on a warm summer’s evening with a drink, in one hand and a camera in the other, watching more than a thousand years of history pass by, is a memorable event on its own but knowing it’s just the start of an adventure that would see us in the eternal city of Rome two weeks later makes the whole thing seem almost almost surreal.
Alright so some of your are thinking “are you seriously telling us that you guys and two hundred others sailed around the Mediterranean nude for two weeks?”. OK I’ll fess up it wasn’t all nude sailing. There were times when the ship dropped the sails and ran its engines. But the whole nudity thing? Yes!
I’m sure there’s lots of questions about how these things work so to save space how about we just give you the answers to the top five questions we’ve been asked. I’m sure you’ll workout the rest. 1: The crew aren’t nude as well. 2: We sit on towels when using the furniture. 3: We’re dressed in port. 4: No it’s not about sex. 5: Don’t worry guys it won’t happen.
The cruise itself on what is billed as the largest and most luxurious five masted clipper in the world, an easy claim when you’re the only one in the world, along with the selected ports of call was nothing short of spectacular. Added to this the charter company works with the ship’s operators to customise the experience for us. This may be as simple as ensuring an adequate supply of towels on deck to organising nude friendly shore excursions, or even simply not arranging any shore excursions at all. An example of the latter would be the town of Piran on the island of Rab in Slovenia. Sure we went ashore, we walked around the town we took photos had coffee by the harbour and, of course bought souvenirs. But then we jumped in a water taxi and headed, as did most of the passengers, to Kandarola Beach 20 minutes away.
Kandarola Beach is like many in Europe with its beach bar, restaurant, children’s play area, showers and a requirement for nudity. So it was always going to be a big draw card for us and our fellow travellers.
Knowing that the group you’re travelling with share your less mainstream choices can make for some unique situations. At one of our stops, Lapari Italy, we decided to head for a mud bath on “Vulcano Island” our tour guide said they would stop the boat in a pleasant little cove for us to have a swim. Of course she was asked if there’d be a problem if we swam nude and she laughingly replied saying “Do what you like. It’s your holiday after all.”. Now I’m not sure if it was a language issue or she simply thought we must have been joking but the look of surprise on her face when almost all of the 50 or so passengers stripped off and plunged into the warm Mediterranean waters was priceless.
Many of you who have cruised before will have experienced ‘sea days’ a time when the ship’s entertainment department will get into full swing trying to convince passengers to join into any number of activities. While this still occurs on this ship the vessel’s size limits just how much can be on offer which in turn provides travellers time to simply relax or perhaps catch up on some of the things we’ve missed in the course of their busy lives. In my case I have felt for some time now that I haven’t been taking enough interest in some of Kim’s activities and this particular sea day presented me with an opportunity to address this. So with a fresh cold beer in hand I stretched out on a sun lounge by the pool to watch as Kim participated in a gruelling 40 minute nude aqua-aerobics class. I can only hope she appreciates the effort I’m making here.
Given this is Europe, and in particular the Mediterranean, almost every stop has a nude beach within striking distance of the port and yet despite this we only visited two of them during this cruise. Now some of you will be wondering if there’s so many why aren’t we going to them? Aren’t you supposed to be nudists? Isn’t that what nudists do? Well we’re travellers so we want to experience new places and see new, and in the case of Europe some very old things. This trip has taken us to places we’d never thought we’d see from the Fortress in Kotor Montenegro, along with some soviet era sub pens, to the more than two thousand year old ruins of Butrint in Sarande, Albania. The true value of these nude cruises seems to not be in the ability to go from one nude beach to another but from one experience to another in the comfort of simply being ourselves while enjoying the company of our like minded travellers.
One final comment on these types of experiences. Something we as nudists are often told and which both this cruise and the larger ones have proven to hold true. When you meet someone for the first time nude they have no manufactured image and have little option but to be themselves. This really is very noticeable on these cruises and you quickly learn those you do want to associate with versus those you don’t. The upshot of this is you end up making new friendships, real ones, that last well after the cruise has ended, of course you then start doing more and more cruises just to catchup, and the friendships grow. In no time at all you’ll become addicted to them just as we are. And yes, the next one is already booked.