Panama & Costa Rica Cruise Slideshow

 

A Luxury Small-Ship Cruise Exploring Costa Rica and Panama — with the Panama Canal

January 26 to February 3, 2018

Gay Group Cruise
of Panama & Costa Rica — HIGHLIGHTS

          • One-night pre-cruise hotel stay in Panama City
          • Search for untamed wildlife — sloths, howler monkeys, scarlet macaws, white-faced capuchins
          • Stroll a butterfly- and flower-rich tropical botanical reserve
          • Hike, snorkel, kayak, paddle board, and explore by skiff — or just kick back
          • Off-the-beaten path exploration
          • Transit the Panama Canal
          • Granito de Oro, Coiba National Park (Panama)
          • Golfo Dulce (Costa Rica)
          • Osa Conservation Area (Costa Rica)
          • Manuel Antonio National Park (Costa Rica)
          • Curu National Wildlife Refuge (Costa Rica)

SLIDESHOW: Safari Voyager Cruise — Onboard & Off

 

 

Gay Cruise Panama Costa Rica

 

Panama & Costa Rica Cruise

Gay Cruise Panama Costa Rica

A Luxury Small-Ship Cruise Exploring Costa Rica and Panama — with the Panama Canal

January 26 to February 3, 2018

Gay Group Cruise
of Panama & Costa Rica — HIGHLIGHTS

  • One-night pre-cruise hotel stay in Panama City
  • Search for untamed wildlife — sloths, howler monkeys, scarlet macaws, white-faced capuchins
  • Stroll a butterfly- and flower-rich tropical botanical reserve
  • Hike, snorkel, kayak, paddle board, and explore by skiff — or just kick back
  • Off-the-beaten path exploration
  • Transit the Panama Canal
  • Granito de Oro, Coiba National Park (Panama)
  • Golfo Dulce (Costa Rica)
  • Osa Conservation Area (Costa Rica)
  • Manuel Antonio National Park (Costa Rica)
  • Curu National Wildlife Refuge (Costa Rica)

Download Detailed Itinerary

 

Bonus Feature: Our departure will have a renowned birding expert onboard so that we may enjoy a more in-depth discovery of the unique habits and characteristics of the winged creatures we encounter along the way.

Optional Post-Cruise Add-on: 5 nights exploring Costa Rica’s interior at the Arenal Volcano and Monteverde Cloudforest.

Gay Cruise Panama Costa Rica

 

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

gay travel panama costa ricaThe 62-passenger Safari Voyager will take us where the big cruise ships simply can’t go — and it’s a deluxe, all-inclusive experience throughout. Completely refurbished in 2016 the ship is ideally designed to spotlight the magnificent natural surroundings.

Please Note: Unlike our other tours this is not exclusively a Venture Out group. There will be other guests onboard — with no cap on the number of travelers in our own group.

Monkeys, sloths, iguanas, hummingbirds, toucans, and whales! By kayak, skiff, on foot, and small ship — uncover the wonders of jungles, mangroves, national parks, preserves, and the Panama Canal.

Be as active — or not — as you like!

 

gay tours panama costa ricaOne of the 20 most biologically diverse countries in the world, Costa Rica alone is home to around 4% of the earth’s total species. Add in the thousands of species of plants, mammals, and birds found in Panamá, and it’s easy to see just how vital these countries’ habitats are.

Both Costa Rica and Panamá are relatively small in size—just under 20,000 square miles and just over 29,000 square miles, respectively. And narrow Panamá is only 110 miles at its widest point. Despite their small geographic footprint, both countries have dramatically changing landscapes, reaching from the shores of the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea, to volcanic peaks that tower above 10,000 feet.

Not far from the equator, the warm tropical climate nurtures the rich tapestry of life… making for an inviting and adventurous exploration.

SAFARI VOYAGER

gay vacations panama costa rica

Undergoing refurbishment in 2016, the 62-guest Safari Voyager offers personal comforts, full uncompromising amenities, and upscale accommodations. Sights are revealed from the window-lined lounge with sweeping 270-degree views. Enjoy the vessel’s cozy library and elegant dining room, all outfitted with nautical décor. Ideally designed to spotlight the magnificent natural surroundings, the Safari Voyager features four public decks including a spacious upper sun deck.

An aft EZ Dock launch platform provides convenient access into and from the water for adventure activities. The vessel is outfitted with kayaks, paddle boards, inflatable skiffs, snorkel gear, and hiking poles. For rejuvenation and relaxation, guests can take advantage of our wellness program with fitness equipment, yoga mats, and a complimentary massage.

More information regarding the Safari Voyager can be found in the Detailed Itinerary.

SLIDESHOW: Safari Voyager Cruise — Onboard & Off

 

POST-CRUISE LAND EXTENSION

gay tours costa ricaExplore Costa Rica’s exotic interior by hiking, canopy tour, zip line, boat trip, and river rafting on a 5-night, post-cruise land extension. Destinations include Arenal Volcano National Park, La Fortuna, Monteverde Cloud Forest, Selvatura Park, and the Sarapiquí River. Visits to a coffee plantation, a sugar mill, a local school, and hot springs are also included. Information can be found in the Detailed Itinerary.

 

 

Download Detailed Itinerary

Across Andalucía!

Gay Group Tours Spain

Soulful Southern Spain

April 4-12, 2018

Gay Group Tour of Spain — HIGHLIGHTS

  • Two of Spain’s grandest palaces: the Alhambra in Granada and Seville’s Alcázar
  • Tasting sherry at a wonderful bodega with its excellent art collection in Jerez
  • Extraordinary, vibrant Seville with its magnificent cathedral
  • Flamenco show
  • Moorish Ronda, split in two by a fantastic gorge
  • Beautiful Córdoba and its resplendent Mezquita
  • Vejer de la Frontera, a charming “whitewashed” hilltown
  • Scenic train ride through the Sierra de Grazalema

Download Detailed Itinerary

 

Escorted Gay Group Vacations in Southern SpainINTRODUCTION

Southern Spain has long been a destination so attractive that it’s been invaded time and again by various cultures for nearly 3,000 years. Andalucía — the large region in southernmost Spain — has held an allure and a whiff of the exotic for a long, long time. Nowhere does Europe come closer to Africa — physically and metaphorically. Much of its natural beauty, history, culture, and architecture span two continents, and it’s this unique blending that has long given the region its distinctive flavor. In particular, it’s the legacy of the Moors, whose 700-year presence in Spain remains etched in stone across the land, which has greatly created Andalucía’s exoticism.

This itinerary will encompass two of Spain’s grandest palaces — the stunning Alhambra in Granada and the Alcázar of Seville; the magnificent cathedral of Seville; the country town of old Moorish Ronda with its winding streets perfect for wandering and split in two by a fantastic gorge; the passions of flamenco music and dancing in the old quarter of Seville; the purebred Andalucián horses at the Andalucían School of Equestrian Art in Jerez de la Frontera, a city world-renowned for its sherry production; and the stunning Mezquita in beautiful Córdoba — originally an ancient mosque now overlaid with a Renaissance-era cathedral. The super charming “whitewashed” hilltown of Vejer de la Frontera is also along our route, and a scenic train ride through the Sierra de Grazalema is another fun attraction of this trip as we retrace a historic train route there.

Another major draw is that Andalucía is popularly seen as the quintessential Spain. This is the home of nearly everything that is perceived of as stereotypically Spanish: bullfighting; flamenco; fragrant orange blossom, tapas, sherry, Gypsies . . . Come along with us and experience soulful Southern Spain!

Gay Group Tours in AndalusiaTOUR MANAGER

Our tour manager in Andalucía is by far one of our favorites over the 19 years of operating our trips. Originally from England, he made Andalucía his home 15 years ago. Since then, he has explored most nooks and crannies of Andalucía (and quite a lot of Spain, of course). His knowledge of the local culture, language, and history will take you not only on a tour, but on a journey through time to appreciate precisely how Andalucía came to be. His charm, easy-going manor, and sense of humor are also winners!

 

Download Detailed Itinerary

Gay Tours: Spain, Andalucia, Granada

Alhambra — Granada

Gay Vacations: Spain, Andalucia, Ronda

Tajo Gorge — Ronda

Gay Group Vacations: Spain, Andalucia

Pueblos Blancos

Gay Tours: Spain, Andalucia, Andalusia

Sherry Bodega

Chile – Top to Bottom

Gay Group Tours of Chile

A Luxury Adventure for Nature Enthusiasts

April 3 to 13, 2017

Gay Group Tour of Chile — HIGHLIGHTS

  • The stupendous landscape of the majestic Patagonia wildlands, where the “end of the world” descriptor makes total sense
  • The vast northern reaches of the surreal Atacama Desert, the driest place on earth, with its bizarre (and beautiful), high-altitude “moonscapes”
  • The famed and lush Lake District with its deep indigo lakes and ancient virgin forests at the foot of soaring snow-capped volcanoes
  • The Mediterranean-like heartland surrounding the capital with its excellent vineyards in fertile lands trapped between the Pacific and the Andes
  • Luxury accommodations, delicious meals, and excellent wines

Download Detailed Itinerary

 

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

Gay Travel in Atacama, ChileIf you were a geography buff in school you were probably intrigued by the very odd shape of Chile – the spindly “shoestring” country that lies between the Pacific Ocean and the mighty Andes Mountains. Top to bottom Chile extends some 2,500 miles, and that very wide range of latitudes means an extremely diverse landscape as we journey through this beautiful land. The equivalent North American latitudes would be from Hudson’s Bay, Canada down to Cancún, Mexico!

Gay Travel Patagonia ChileFor lovers of the outdoors (and wine enthusiasts, too) Chile, with its spectacular scenery, is a must-see destination in South America. It comes with an excellent tourism infrastructure, and we have sought out beautiful, luxury accommodations along the way.

Add to that a strong economy, a stable political environment, warm and inviting people, and you’ll see why Chile is making its mark as the new hotspot in South America.

 

This trip will appeal to outdoor enthusiasts who love being in nature yet who also enjoy luxury lodgings and very nice meals along the way.

Gay Group Tours of Chile

In the Atacama Desert and Patagonia we’ve selected all-inclusive, top-notch lodges that offer a variety of daily activities to choose from — from the tame to the high-octane! So wherever you fall on the physical-activity scale you should find something that suits you as long as you’re a nature lover.

Gay Tours in Atacama Desert, Chile

Such geographic variety provides not only breathtaking scenery but also the ingredients for a distinctive, varied national cuisine. Ocean delicacies are vitally important here, but European immigrants brought with them a love of robust country cooking. International cuisine has caught on here as well. And if you’re a wine lover then you know you’re in for a treat here where you can enjoy some of Chile’s excellent labels!

 

 

Download Detailed Itinerary

 

Reviews of Gay Japan Tours

Wonderful accommodations; great food; fantastic guide; good service throughout! Thank you. Looking forward to a third trip with Venture Out.

— Mike C., Vancouver, BC

Reviews of Gay Croatia Tours

You do a great job. I don’t easily relax and let someone else make all the decisions. Your trips make it possible to do both, learn, and have fun. Thank you!

— John M., San Francisco, CA

Scottish Highlands & Islands

July 12-20, 2017

Gay Group Tour of Scotland

Gay Tours of Scotland

Isle of Skye

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Edinburgh – The charming, culturally rich, historically rich capital – one of Europe’s handsomest and a UNESCO World Heritage Site — with iconic sights such as its striking medieval castle, the Royal Mile, Old Town, and Georgian architecture.
  • Stirling Castle — Historically strategic, holding fort over the passage between the Lowlands and the Highlands, home of the Stuart kings with spectacular views over a gentle countryside.
  • Rosslyn Chapel – An exquisite and ornate 15th-century cathedral-like masterpiece that is a testament to the skills of its medieval sculptors.
  • Scotch Whisky Distillery – An informative, fun tour in a lovely setting to refine an appreciation of Scotland’s national drink, and enjoying a wee dram, of course.
  • Gorgeous Landscapes – Crystal-clear lochs and rivers, wooded hills, craggy mountains, wide-open moors.
  • Isle of Skye – An island of sheer beauty with the misty Cuillin Mountains, rocky shores, hidden beaches, and shady glens, plus a historical link to Bonnie Prince Charlie as well as a modern arts and crafts scene.
  • Eilean Donan Castle – A postcard-perfect ruin standing on an island set among three lochs and arguably the most photogenic of Scotland’s myriad castles.
  • Road to the Isles — Encompassing some of the most iconic images of Scotland and considered one of the loveliest drives in Scotland with mountain views, shimmering lochs, historical places, and steeped in Jacobite history.
  • Delicious meals and lovely accommodations, of course!

Download Detailed Itinerary

 

PROGRAM SUMMARY

Gay Tours Edinburgh Scotland

Edinburgh

Beginning in Edinburgh — Scotland’s captivating capital — we see what makes this city so enticing: from its impressive, history-steeped medieval castle looking out over the city to Old Town and the Royal Mile; from lovely New Town (new meaning 1700s) to the ultramodern Scottish Parliament building; attractive Georgian- and Victorian-period architecture; the Princes Street Gardens; and the view from the volcanic crag that is Calton Hill.

The riotously ornate Rosslyn Chapel, not far out of Edinburgh, is revered for its sublime 15th-century stone carvings – some of the finest in the world – and its past is steeped in intrigue and great mystery, probably accounting for its connection to myths and legends and its appearance in The Da Vinci Code. Covering almost every square inch of stonework are human figures, animals, and plants.

Gay Travel Scotland

Scotch Whisky Distillery

Moving into the scenic Highlands we come first to picturesque Perthshire – the epitome of well-groomed rural Scotland and the long-established domain of Scotland’s well-to-do country set. For lunch we call in at a splendid baronial castle – one of the country’s grandest of grand houses — surrounded by extensive parklands and that once hosted Queen Victoria. Also in this area is a single-malt whisky distillery – reputedly Scotland’s smallest traditional distillery (hand-crafted as in Victorian times) and dating back to 1825 – where we learn about the making of Scotland’s signature drink and enjoy a “nosing” (tasting). It’s in an idyllic position tucked into the Perthshire hills.

One of the most iconic images of Scotland, Eilean Donan Castle perches on an islet set against a backdrop of mountains and guards the confluence of three lochs. The unique beauty of the place has led it to appear in movies and television and is perhaps the most photographed sight in Scotland after Edinburgh’s castle.

Gay Travel Scotland

Portree

The rugged beauty of the Isle of Skye has been proclaimed since the early 1800s when Sir Walter Scott visited. Mountains, sea, cliffs, lochs, glens, farming villages, castles, fine dining, arts and crafts – they’re all here on this remarkable island, which is also an important center of Gaelic culture and language. Our base is Portree, one of the most attractive ports in northwest Scotland with a cliff-edged harbor, fishing boats, and multicolored houses.

Skye has some extraordinary geological scenery to be seen on the Trotternish Peninsula, and then we head westward to the Glendale region where we may spot otters, seals, and dolphins off its rocky coast and eagles above. In a commanding position Dunvegan Castle has been the seat of the chiefs of Clan MacLeod for over 700 years. Of note here is the scrappy remnant of the Fairy Flag, said to have been a gift from a fairy to the clan and thought to have miraculous powers when unfurled in battle, and the castle’s gardens are attractive.

Gay Vacations Scotland

Glenfinnan Viaduct

A ferry returns us to the mainland where we then embark on one of the prettiest routes in Scotland – the Road to the Isles — a famously scenic 46 miles, passing birch and bracken-covered mountains, glassy lochs, the Caledonian Canal, and the 21-arch viaduct at Glenfinnan (where passengers get to live out Harry Potter fantasies).

A final night in Edinburgh concludes our Scotland adventure.

 

Download Detailed Itinerary

 

Gay Tours of Scotland

Blair Castle

Gay Tours of Scotland

Eilean Donan Castle

Gay Vacations Scotland

Serving Single Malts

Gay Travel Scotland

Pitlochry

Reviews of Gay Spain Tours

It was a wonderful trip and we are in love with Spain. The Venture Out tour was fantastic in all respects. In particular, the tour leader was simply the best – knowledgeable, personable, just a joy to be with. In short order it was like travelling with a good friend. I would recommend him in a heartbeat to anyone traveling to Andalusia. We had a most wonderful afternoon at his farmhouse for lunch – that was quite special.  The accommodations and restaurants throughout were perfect – the food and wine were delicious and abundant (I haven’t had the courage to get on the scale since being home). Thanks for everything you do to put these trips together. After two memorable ones, we are looking forward to planning a third!

–Peter M. and Steven M., Oakland, CA

Along the Dalmatian Coast

 

The Enchanting Beauty of Croatia

Gay Group Tours of CroatiaSeptember 16-23, 2016

Gay Group Tour of Croatia — HIGHLIGHTS

  • The stunning walled city of Dubrovnik —  one of Europe’s hottest destinations
  • Split‘s spectacular and unusual ancient core — a remnant of Ancient Rome.
  • Glitzy and gorgeous Hvar — an island destination that easily stands up to the likes of other rich playgrounds
  • The beauty of Krka National Park with its series of waterfalls and pools and the 15th-century Franciscan monastery in Visovac Lake
  • A visit to one of Croatia’s best winemakers for tastings and a delicious meal
  • Enchanting Trogir — a postcard-perfect coastal jewel in Croatia’s crown
  • A day trip into the neighboring country of Montenegro and the old quarter of Kotor with its imposing fortress and labyrinth streets
  • Beautiful architecture from the Venetian Republic era
  • Several UNESCO World Heritage Sites
  • The convenience of just two hotel bases
  • Download Detailed Itinerary

Escorted Gay Group Vacations in CroatiaCroatia is generously endowed with natural and man-made wonders, a rich repository of culture, a complicated history, and people who are warm and welcoming. Croatia’s charms include endless beaches and clear blue sea, a wealth of Roman ruins, medieval hilltop castles, and an impressive collection of natural sights.

Despite the turmoil of the 1990s that erupted with the breakdown of the former Yugoslavia, today’s Balkan countries are on the rise, and that certainly includes Croatia as the European Union’s newest member state as of 2013.

 

Gay Group Tours on the Dalmatian Coast of CroatiaIts Dalmatian Coast is spectacular, and this coast – the east side of the Adriatic Sea – is arguably prettier than the western coast (sorry, Italy). It is a sun-washed mosaic of red-tile roofs, bell towers, lush vegetation, and beautiful beaches. The region’s history is rich with very visible Roman and Venetian influences plus a mild Mediterranean climate. With the mark of Greek, Roman, and Venetian cultures — and the Dinaric Alps and the Adriatic Sea as backdrops — this skinny strip of land squished between Bosnia-Herzegovina and the sea shows off one gorgeous place after another.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites on this itinerary include:

  • Historical complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian
  • Historic city of Trogir
  • Old city of Dubrovnik
  • Natural and culturo-historical region of Kotor

Escorted Gay Vacations on the Dalmatian Coast of CroatiaDiocletian’s Palace, completed in A.D. 305 in Split, isn’t what is normally thought of as a palace. The Roman Emperor built his estate in such a grand manner that it was converted into a city after his death. Stroll down Split’s Riva, the city’s spiffy, busy promenade along the harbor, and you’ll see sidewalk cafes and restaurant tables that are rarely empty. A nearby excursion takes us to Trogir, one of the most enchanting towns on the Adriatic. It’s a postcard-perfect jewel in Croatia’s crown, with its well-preserved decorative stonework and intact medieval character. The entire town is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

We witness the beauty of Krka National Park with its waterfalls, gorges, and traces of ancient settlements along the Krka River. The falls were formed by deposits of limestone sediment (travertine), and Skradinski Buk is considered one of the best falls in Europe as it extends about half a mile and tumbles 150 feet over 17 distinct travertine deposits.

hvar2A ferry ride from Split takes us for the day to Hvar island — known for sun, glamour, and herbal fragrance, mainly lavender. Hvar town can certainly boast its share of celebrities, but many more visitors are just hip (or hip wannabe) tourists looking for a beautiful, sun-drenched, seaside place with good restaurants and nightlife. But there is some solid history here, too, and fine architecture with churches, a fortress, clock tower and monastery dating from the 15th to 19th centuries.

A stop between Split and Dubrovnik shows us the 3-mile, 14th-century defensive wall that stretches above the town of Ston from both sides and forms a horseshoe above it in the hills resembling (sort of) the Great Wall of China from a distance. Ston is well known for its oyster beds and its salt pans, and its restaurants serve fabulous versions of oysters and mussels fresh from Malostonski Bay — quite a  pleasant place for a lunch stop.

dubrovnik4The UNESCO World Heritage city of Dubrovnik has been referred to as the “Pearl of the Adriatic, a “city of stone and light,” and it is stunning. In the early 1990s shelling by Serbia wreaked havoc on the beautiful city, but now it has regained its composure and sparkles just as it did 500 years ago when it was a major sea power and endowed with Renaissance beauty. It’s now bustling with an international crowd that comes for its historic churches and buildings; designer shops; restaurants; ancient art and modern galleries; sculpted fountains and bell towers; and most famous of all, its ancient city walls, of which you can walk the entirety.

KotorDramatically beautiful Kotor (in the neighboring country of Montenegro) has a wonderful old town center with a labyrinth of marbled streets, pretty architecture, and defensive walls dating from the 9th to the 18th centuries rising steeply up the mountain behind it. Kotor makes for a pleasant day trip from Dubrovnik and also sits on one of Europe’s largest fjords so it’s just a striking setting overall.

 

Download Detailed Itinerary

Gay Scotland Tour Review

The trip was AMAZING.  I’ve been raving (intelligently for once) to all my friends . . . and regretting to myself that it took me so long to see the world a la Venture Out.  Will definitely travel with you again . . . Loved Skye, and am very glad it was on the itinerary.   I personally loved the castles . . . Hotels were fabulous . . . Restaurants great too . . . Nice balance of group time and alone time . . . So bravo!   Will be eagerly watching for future Venture Out announcements.

–Dan T., San Francisco, CA