Olivia 40th Anniversary Cruise to Feature Lesbian Legends
Lesbian travel company Olivia is making a big splash with a lesbian celebrity cruise to the Virgin Isles, celebrating their 40th anniversary. Among special guests are Billie Jean King, Edie Windsor, Col. Grethe Cammermeyer, Chris Williamson and Tammy Smith.
"Olivia has always been a company with a social mission, and as such we seek to honor and celebrate our collective history on our trips," said Judy Dlugacz, Olivia's president and founder. "In keeping with this, we have brought together these amazing women who have worked for changes that directly benefitted women and the LGBT community over the past five decades. To have women of such caliber onboard sharing our 40th anniversary is an incredible honor."
The special Virgin Isles New Year's Eve Cruise will be held from Dec. 28, 2013-Jan. 4, 2014. Olivia has chartered a luxurious, 5-star Windstar Wind Surf, which is equipped with newly refurbished staterooms and wide-open, uncrowded teak decks.
"We always charter the entire ship or buy out the resort property, and that makes a huge difference in the women’s experience -- they can be out and free, mingle with our entertainers and special guests, and really get to know each other. Because it’s only Olivia guests onboard, we end up feeling like family by the end of the week," remarked Olivia’s Vice President of Guest Experience and Strategic Partnerships Jill Cruse.
This intimate, upscale cruise ship will call on Phillipsburg, St. Maarten; Falmouth Harbor, Antigua; Soper’s Hole, Tortola, B.V.I; Jost van Dyke Great Harbor, B.V.I.; Virgin Gorda, Prickly Pear Beach, B.V.I.; and Gustavia, St. Barthelemy.
"We are excited about setting sail on this gorgeous ship for a week of visiting ports that the larger cruise ships simply can’t get to. The amazing beaches, gorgeous waters and the renowned special guests and entertainers we have on board means we will finish our 40th Anniversary year in a very special and meaningful way," said Tisha Floratos, Olivia’s vice president of Travel and Business Operations.
Olivia will bring together community legends and extraordinary talent onboard their trips to celebrate Olivia’s 40th anniversary and usher in the new year. All 300 guests onboard this all-lesbian cruise will be treated to a memorable New Year’s Eve celebration with special guests.
Special guests include Edie Windsor, the 83-year-old New Yorker currently challenging DOMA in the U.S. Supreme Court. Windsor sued the government in 2010, after she was forced to pay $363,000 in federal taxes on the estate of her late wife, Thea Spyer.
"I love the Olivia cruises," said Windsor. "The diversity of people is incredible and the trips bring such joy. I’ve never seen or experienced anything like them in my entire life. I absolutely adore Olivia."
Tennis legend Billie Jean King will also be on hand, citing her long relationship with Olivia, and noting that, "Amidst all of the relaxing on the high seas, with a group like this you can expect some energetic and enlightening conversations."
Lesbian legend and Olivia Records original recording artist Chris Williamson was reunited with pioneer Meg Christian on a 40th Anniversary Cruise earlier this year; but entertainment on the cruise will be provided by comedian Vickie Shaw, comedian/musician Roxanna Ward and spoken-word artist CC Carter.
Military rights activists Col Grethe Cammermeyer and Tammy Smith will also be on board. Cammermeyer came out during "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" and was summarily dismissed. After a lengthy federal court battle, she was reinstated and retired with honors and full military privileges. Smith made history in 2012 when her wife, Tracy Hepner, promoted her to Brigadier General, making her the first gay or lesbian flag officer to serve openly in the U.S. military.
"Olivia has always been a company with a social mission, and as such we seek to honor and celebrate our collective history on our trips; in keeping with this, we have brought together these amazing women who have worked for changes that directly benefitted women and the LGBT community over the past five decades," said Dlugacz. "To have women of such caliber on board, sharing our 40th anniversary is an incredible honor."
Olivia began its 2013 40th Anniversary Celebration with two sold-out weeklong southern Caribbean cruises that took 4,200 women and more than 25 entertainers and special guests to Aruba, Curacao and a private Bahamian island. It continued with two Punta Cana 40th Anniversary Resort trips in May, and finishes with their 40th Anniversary Virgin Isles New Year’s Eve Cruise (December 28, 2013-January 4, 2014).
For information or tickets, call 800-631-6277 or visit www.olivia.com