The original gay vacation company kicks off Its 25th year with the launch of Its Hawaii Silver Anniversary Cruise

PRNewswire -- RSVP Vacations, the creator of the gay and lesbian cruise concept, today kicked off a yearlong celebration of 25 years of all-gay and lesbian cruises.  To commemorate its 25th birthday, the Minneapolis-based company also unveiled its Silver Anniversary Cruise to Hawaii – RSVP's first cruise to the 50th state.

RSVP Vacations produces distinctive travel packages designed for gay and lesbian travelers.  It custom tailors the traditional cruise vacation experience for its gay and lesbian guests.  RSVP pioneered the all-gay cruise concept, signing its first cruise ship charter in 1985 and hosting its first all-gay cruise in 1986.  Since then, more than 80,000 men and women have participated in RSVP's wide range of big and small ship cruises, riverboat cruises, land tours and resort vacations.

"We're thrilled and honored to have been a central force in the growth and evolution of gay and lesbian travel throughout the last 25 years," said Charlie Rounds, president of RSVP. 

"RSVP's first gay cruise sailed nearly 25 years ago, during the height of the AIDS crisis and before the collapse of the Soviet Union or the fall of the Berlin Wall," Rounds noted.  "At that time, Kevin Mossier, RSVP's founder, wanted to provide a safe vacation environment for gay people and to tailor that experience just for them.  25 years later, RSVP is still creating unique cruise and resort experiences that bring together gays and lesbians from all walks of life, celebrating the great diversity of our community."

In addition to sailing the first all gay and lesbian charter cruise – aboard the Bermuda Star in 1986 – RSVP also chartered the first ever all-gay cruise to the Mediterranean, in July 1989 on the Stella Maris.  RSVP cruises have visited ports on five continents, from Puerto Vallarta to Phuket and Montevideo to Mykonos.  RSVP has also operated tours and land resorts in South Africa, Peru, Ireland, Tahiti, and throughout Mexico.

Today – 25 years since RSVP's inception – a wide range of major travel-related companies and organizations now actively market to gay and lesbian travelers, including: domestic and international airlines; hotel chains; convention and visitors bureaus; travel agents; tour operators; and car rental companies.  RSVP also paved the way for a number of other travel and vacations companies dedicated exclusively to the gay and lesbian market.

As part of its yearlong Silver Anniversary celebration, RSVP announced its first ever cruise to one of the company's most requested destinations – the Hawaiian Islands. 

The seven-day adventure on NCL's Pride of America visits Hawaii's four most popular islands in an unforgettable all-gay vacation that blends relaxation with exploration in the U.S.'s most beautiful tropical setting.  Departing from Honolulu on Oct. 30, 2010, the cruise calls on Maui, Kauai, and Hilo and Kona on the Big Island, before returning to Honolulu on Nov. 6. Staterooms start at $899, based on double occupancy.*

A popular gay and lesbian vacation destination, Hawaii is also known for its welcoming attitude towards gay and lesbian travelers.

"We are honored that RSVP has selected Hawai'i as the destination for its Silver Anniversary cruise," said David Uchiyama, vice president for brand management, Hawai'i Tourism Authority. "Our state looks forward to sharing the beauty, culture and warm spirit of the Islands of Aloha with all of RSVP's cruise guests.  Both first-time and returning visitors will have an opportunity to enjoy the enriching experiences of Hawai'i and create fond memories that will last a lifetime," added Uchiyama.

"It took us 25 years to get to the 50th state," said Rounds.  "Our loyal guests have waited a long time for an RSVP Hawaii cruise, and we're pleased to finally deliver them an all-Hawaii itinerary on the only ship to sail exclusively within the Hawaiian Islands today."

Reservations for all RSVP programs are available through most travel agencies or directly from RSVP at 1-800-328-RSVP.  For detailed information, visit

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