Vacaya set sail on the first all-LGBTQIA expedition cruise in Antarctica aboard Ponant’s Le Boreal.
The expedition departed from Ushuaia, Argentina on December 7, 2022, and began the two-and-a-half-day crossing of the Drake Passage, according to a press release.
The co-founder of Vacaya, Randle Roper said: “It’s taken over 200 years of Antarctic exploration to get here, but with Vacaya, the LGBTQIA+ community has now officially left their mark on the 7th continent! The incredible work of the Vacaya team, our Expedition Leaders, and our fearless Captain made this journey possible.”
On December 10, the travelers, also known as The Vacayans (those who travel with Vacaya ) stepped foot on “The Ice” in Neko Harbor, Antarctica.
“I thank Vacaya for such an open-minded and fun sailing. I’m proud to be a part of this history-making expedition,” said Le Boreal Captain Florian Richard.
Apart from being the first all-LGBTQIA+ expedition cruise to Antarctica, Vacaya also disembarked a group of drag queens onto the continent: Sister Helen Holy (Paul J. Williams), The Liquor Mini (Danny Cabrera), Pissi Myles (Joseph D’Angio), Mini More (Stephen Harms), and Dixie Longate (Kris Andersson) planted the pride flag onto the continent to mark the occasion.
“Words don’t do Antarctica justice. To be part of this historic expedition with Vacaya and my queer family is beyond my wildest dreams,” said Jacob Carson, a Vacaya explorer from Orlando, Florida.
Added: Vacaya’s Cruise Director Paul J. Williams of Dallas, Texas: “Traveling to Antarctica has been a life-long dream. Merely the opportunity to do this was overwhelming, and to do it with Vacaya and my LGBT+ siblings? Simply indescribable. Upon my first sighting of the 7th continent, I wept with awe as this dream became a reality. From a strictly personal perspective, I’ve had a fascination with penguins since early adulthood, and my home is full of penguin collectibles. To finally see them up close and personal in their natural habitat has brought me infinite penguin pleasure.”