Cruising without a stitch on

Cruising without a stitch on

When Holland America’s Maasdam set sail to the Caribbean recently, the first thing most of the 1,250 passengers did was shed their clothes. Every stitch.

The people who organise such cruises, sometimes chartering an entire ship, say they are a wonderful way for people with similar interests or lifestyles to get together.

Take the clothing-optional cruises. Nancy Tiemann, president and co-owner of Bare Necessities Tour and Travel, says that “going to sea and nudity is a perfect match.”

Participants feel a level of comfort they sometimes can’t find on land: Because the ship is filled with only nudist passengers, there is no snickering and no sitting by the pool in a soggy bathing suit.

Passengers, however, are required to dress when the ship is in port—one reason, Tiemann says, “we like those days at sea”—and in the formal dining room, although what they wear tends to be more informal than on traditional cruises.