When the Carnival Freedom sets sail from Florida next February for an eight-day cruise to Panama, it will offer the same amenities as any other Carnival cruise: three pools, a jogging track, a 1970s dance club and a cigar bar.
But there is one stark difference. Passengers on the white behemoth of a ship, which can carry 2,974 passengers, will enjoy those facilities naked.
The ship’s expected nude sailing – the trip is 70 percent booked – underscores the vitality of the U.S. nude tourism industry, which the American Association for Nude Recreation says brings in around $440 million a year, up about 10 percent in the last decade.
“I think when we vacation, we would rather travel with like-minded people, whether nudists or jazz music lovers,” said Nancy Tiemann, owner of the nude tourism company Bare Necessities, which is arranging the cruise. “It’s not just about getting on a cruise ship and taking your clothes off.”
Eeeew! I’m not a prude, y’all. Really, I’m not. I just think clothes are pretty:
Nude tourism appears to be growing in popularity. A survey of U.S. households with income of $50,000 or more last year showed that 17 percent of respondents saw a visit to a nude or clothing-optional resort as extremely or very desirable.
Those figures were up from 12 percent a year earlier, according to the Portrait of the American Travelers Survey of 2,539 households by the Ypartnership/Harrison group.
Though I guess naked cruising would have it’s advantages: you wouldn’t have to worry about your pants not fitting at the end of the week’s buffets!