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Exploration at sea includes naked bodies — if you book a nudist cruise. These sailings are advertised as an opportunity to let it all hang out – or not. Clothing-optional sailings don’t require you to be completely naked. It’s your choice whether to cover up.

The sailings do include all sorts of rules. You must be clothed in the dining rooms, for instance.

Do not expect a ship full of bodies beautiful. Nude sailings are for adults of all ages, shapes, and sizes.

Nude cruises are not about sex, they are about body acceptance. So, don’t confuse clothing-optional cruises with couples-only swinger’s cruises, which typically are clothing optional.

Who to book with

The Big Kahuna of nude cruises is Austin, Texas-based Bare Necessities, founded in 1990. The company pioneered clothing-optional ship charters, and it takes over entire ships. Bare Necessities has worked with cruise lines that include small ship lines Star Clippers and Paul Gauguin Cruises and big ship companies Celebrity Cruises, Carnival Cruise Line and Holland America.

(Photo courtesy of Bare Necessities Tours and Travels/Facebook

© The Points Guy
(Photo courtesy of Bare Necessities Tours and Travels/Facebook

Nude cruise vacations with Bare Necessities tend to be in warm-weather spots such as the Caribbean and Mediterranean, but have also included Alaska.

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Naked cruising apparently is an experience that once you’ve tried it you want to repeat it. On any sailing, about 70% of guests have cruised with the company before. Cruises are for ages 18 and up. On its website, Bare Necessities makes clear that its cruises are not for vacationers looking to get busy while naked: “Social nudity is not a sexual activity, and we strive to dispel the misconception that it is anything but natural and beautiful.” Anyone overtly sexual may be kicked off the ship.

It’s important when booking a nude cruise to decide if you are a nudist, or a swinger. There are sailings for both.

Upcoming sailings

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Bare Necessities has sold out its post-pandemic sailing next June, a two-week jaunt around the Adriatic, embarking June 25 on Star Clippers’ five-mast, 227-passenger Royal Clipper sailing ship. You may be able to get on a waitlist.

If you have your heart set on nude cruising in Europe, Bare Necessities has booked the Royal Clipper for a sailing roundtrip from Civitavecchia, Italy (the port for Rome), July 18 to Aug. 1, 2023. You’ll be able to admire the ship’s 54,000 square feet of sails while skinny dipping in the ship’s three small swimming pools, amidst brass and teak décor. The plan is to have the ship anchor as much as possible on the itinerary for watersports activities au naturel. There will also be opportunity to hit the nude beaches of Corsica and (with clothes) explore Italy’s Amalfi Coast, Sicily, Sardinia and the French Riviera.

Closer to home, embark on a Big Nude Boat 2022 sailing on the 2,124-passenger Carnival Pride, where you can ride the waterslides, hang out at the piano bar, and dine on sinful, complimentary Guy Fieri burgers in the buff. As noted on the Bare Necessities website, the ship’s décor is appropriate for a nudist vacation. There’s a replica of Michelangelo’s naked David sculpture in the steakhouse, and mermaids decorate the walls at the Lido buffet. Bare Necessities is promoting the two-week sailing, embarking from Tampa on Feb. 13, as a “Bare Bucket List” cruise vacation. The itinerary calls at Colon, Panama, and Cartagena, Colombia, as well as San Juan, Puerto Rico, Bonaire, Curacao, and the Carnival-owned Amber Cove in the Dominican Republic.

RELATED: The ultimate guide to Carnival Cruise Line ships

In a typical year there would be additional organized nudist cruises including cabins on small yacht charters in destinations such as Croatia, but the cruise industry hasn’t quite recovered from the pandemic. Still, booking a private yacht charter for you and your friends is another opportunity to cruise naked.

Facts about nude cruises

Things you should know, beyond the need to bring copious amounts of sunscreen (used liberally in areas of the body that are not often exposed to the sun, where you would tend to burn!):

  • Pack some clothes. All guests are required to dress for meals in the dining room and specialty restaurants. You will need to put on clothes also to attend the captain’s cocktail party. You don’t need to be fancy. Nudist cruises are typically casual – you may show up wearing shorts and a T-shirt, if you want.
  • You are required to put on clothes when your ship pulls into a port or whenever the captain announces you must. The crew remains in their normal clothes at all times.
  • While you’re packing, check the planned events for your sailing. You may want to pack gear for any costume party or theme nights.
  • Once onboard, you are free to go as clothing-optional as you like in the fitness center (try naked yoga!), on the zipline, in the casino, at the pools and all other indoor and outdoor areas, including the bars and the buffet.
  • It is required that when you sit naked on any furniture – such as sun loungers or bar stools – you place a towel under your naked bottom or G-string.
  • Nudist cruises are open to couples, friends and family traveling together and solo travelers. Bare Necessities has a roommate match service for solos who don’t want to pay a high solo fare.

When possible, your ship will provide the option of visiting nude beaches – which may include the cruise line’s own private island or beach resort.

If you do want to swing

If you are looking for a clothing-optional swinger’s cruise, complete with erotic movie showings, naughty theme parties and playrooms, Bliss Cruises has several upcoming charters for like-minded “swinger couples, nudists, voyeurs and exhibitionists,” as well as the curious. These include a complete swingers’ takeover of Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, one of the largest ships in the world, on a seven-night cruise from Miami to Mexico, Nov. 14 to 21. There’s also a six-night sailing on Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Seas, embarking Miami for Mexico on April 3, 2022.

The sailings are for adults (age 21 and up) and are couples-only.

Planning a cruise? Start with these stories:

Featured photo by Stefanie Hiebl/Getty Images.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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