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What is a Nudist Cruise?

By G. Wiesen
Updated Mar 06, 2024
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A nudist cruise is a cruise for nudists or those who enjoy the nudist lifestyle, sometimes also called naturalists. These cruises are effectively “clothing optional” in most situations, and those who are passengers on this type of cruise can wear as much or little clothing as they want. Certain times on this sort of cruise, however, the passengers may be required to wear clothing and the staff and crew working on this type of cruise are usually required to wear clothing as well. A nudist cruise can be an “adults only” cruise or may be available for family members of any age.

Sometimes called a nude cruise, a nudist cruise is a passenger leisure cruise in which the passengers are not required to wear clothes at all times. These types of cruises often appeal to people who are part of the nudist or naturalist lifestyle. Individuals who are part of these lifestyles often view human nudity as a natural part of existence, and believe that it is unnecessary to “hide” their bodies under clothing. As nudist colonies and resorts became increasingly popular toward the end of the 20th century, other forms of nude leisure activities arose as well, such as the nudist cruise.

Passengers on a nudist cruise are typically allowed to wear as much or as little clothing as they are comfortable with, except for certain situations. Many cruises will require clothing in formal dining areas, and passengers are usually required to wear clothing when entering and while in a port. The staff and crew members of a nudist cruise will typically not be nude, however, since many activities aboard a ship, such as cleaning and preparing food, would be potentially unsafe or unsanitary while nude. Other than these limitations, however, passengers on a nude cruise can be nude whenever and wherever they please.

A nudist cruise will typically offer many of the same features and activities that other cruises offer, only the passengers do not have to wear clothing while enjoying them. These include activities like dancing, playing shuffleboard, swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling and diving, and playing cards. Some nudist cruises are exclusively for adults and may establish this rule either to ensure adult passengers are more comfortable or to allow passengers to engage in certain adult activities, such as swinging, though this depends on the cruise. A nudist cruise can also be designed and planned for entire families to enjoy, much like many nudist colonies and resorts.

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Discussion Comments

By anon1002304 — On Oct 21, 2019

I would like to see more nudity in the world generally, for reasons which are partly sexual and partly non-sexual.

I have visited many nudist beaches in different countries, and have had a few (but only a few) sexual experiences there.

Public nudity is also a sensuous experience, as well as as interesting and worthwhile challenge to conventional sexual mores.

By anon325543 — On Mar 17, 2013

I don't see anything wrong being in the nude while on a cruise ship. When I married my wife 30 years ago, she was a nudist -- was raised that way. And it was she who got me started into nudism. And we brought up our two boys and two girls that way. Now they are nudists also. My wife and I are looking into a all nude cruise this year. We can't wait to go on the cruise. Nudity is a very beautiful thing. Who knows? If Adam and Eve had not disobeyed God, the whole world might be all nude.

By Mykol — On Oct 11, 2011

I have never been on a nudist cruise or been to any kind of nudist resort. This is something I know I would never feel comfortable with.

I do think that if people have the idea that this would be a cool thing because there would be a lot of good looking, nude people there - they might be a little bit disappointed.

I just remember the comment of one teenage boy when their family happened to drive past a nude beach - "You know, people really look better with their clothes on".

By bagley79 — On Oct 10, 2011

When we were on a caribbean cruise, there was a top deck on the ship that was a nude deck for people to sunbathe on.

We were curious to know if anybody ever used it, so checked it out - we had our swimming suits on. We just went to the top of the stairs and never saw anybody there.

I wonder what the reaction of the staff members are when they have a nudist cruise. For the people who practice this lifestyle they wouldn't think anything about it.

If this is something you had never been around before, I can imagine it might be kind of hard to deal with and act like everything was business as usual.

By wiesen — On Oct 10, 2011

@lonelygod: The companies that offer these types of cruises are pretty specialized. So the staff working for them probably have a pretty good idea of what to expect.

By lonelygod — On Oct 10, 2011

I wonder if the staff on a nudist cruise are uncomfortable working around so many naked people. I have nothing wrong with those who want to be a naturist, but I think that the people who signed up to work on mediterranean cruises and the like probably got quite a shock when every guest on the ship started to go nude.

Do you know if staff have the option to decline working on a nudist cruise?

I would hope that the companies hosting these cruises would make it easy for those on their staff to opt out if they felt uncomfortable with the situation.

By wander — On Oct 09, 2011

There are some great naturist resorts that you can go to if you aren't up for a nudist cruise right away. When I first started out with the nudist lifestyle I went to some of the nudist resorts in Florida and found them very freeing.

I think that if you are comfortable with yourself, and are tired of having to hide behind clothing in your everyday life, that being with like-minded people can be a really fulfilling thing.

I just don't like it when people assume that nudist colonies, resorts and cruises are all about sex. For most people it really is just a chance to relax and be who they are.

By SkyWhisperer — On Oct 08, 2011

@Mammmood - I’ve heard that nudist resorts are like that too. In other words, the really good looking bodies don’t frequent those resorts – it’s everyone else. I would qualify as everyone else (got to love that sexy beer belly of mine) but I would not frequent those resorts myself either.

For that reason, many people who go on these cruises are not going for prurient interests in my opinion. They are doing so for more philosophical reasons, as the article points out; they want to feel free, liberated.

Perhaps they find clothing to be repressive, almost Puritan in nature, and want to hearken back to the days before apes evolved into men, or before Adam and Eve ate the apple, whatever your worldview is.

In that sense, I have no qualms about it.

By Mammmood — On Oct 08, 2011

While I personally think there is something morally objectionable to people hopping aboard nudist cruise lines, I would like to point out that those who do so with prurient interests might be in for a shock.

If I may say this as delicately as I know how, not every nude body on that cruise will be a supermodel. They will be everyday people, in all shapes and sizes, and at various age levels and degrees of physical fitness.

Frankly, I’d prefer to stay home. I told you there was no delicate way to say this.

By snickerish — On Oct 08, 2011

Could you imagine going here as a single? And doing things such as dancing with a stranger nude?!

I will happily state that I do love to lounge in my own house in the nude. However, there are a few things about the nudist cruise that has me wondering about the idea of taking my nude behavior out in the public.

For example, if you are sitting on something do you just sit on it naked?! Or do you have your own cloth to move from chair to chair or lounge chair by the pool to lounge chair by the pool.

i know it may sound silly, but sitting on a chair in the nude after someone else has sat on it nude just doesn't seem all that appealing to me.

In any event if you were looking to spice up your life, I can only imagine that taking one of these non-traditional cruise deals would definitely leave you with some unforgettable memories... in fact just imagining the nudist dancing was enough spice for me!

By suntan12 — On Oct 08, 2011

While I would not be comfortable on a nudist cruise, I don’t see the problem with it as long as everyone onboard is an adult. I don’t think that these types of cruises are family oriented and children should not be subjected to something like this.

Clothing optional resorts are really more for adults that like this lifestyle that way no one is uncomfortable. I am sure it is a freeing experience, but I would really feel self-conscious in a resort or cruise like this and not like it very much. I am sort of old-fashioned in that regard.

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