Nude cruising is a curious corner of the cruising world. Cruise companies like Bare Necessities run cruises that see thousands of people stripping down at sea.

Many people who may never have thought it was for them often end up allured by the lifestyle.

Kat Whitmire was invited to do a photo shoot on a nude cruise in 1997 and loved the experience so much, she’s made a career out of it. Ms Whitmire now works as a cruise organiser for Bare Necessities Tour and Travel, a nudist cruise company.

Whitmire spends all year putting together the details for the company’s two annual cruises, one of them hosted on Big Nude Boat with a massive 3,000-passenger capacity.

Whitmire told Business Insider: “We worked as models on our first cruise, and decided to return over the next decade to work as general staff. We’d answer questions and help with small things, like making sure guests keep a towel between themselves and their seats.

Here is what you need to know about nude cruising

Who is cruising nude?

Generally the demographic skews towards older cruisers, with the majority being from 35 to 65. However, those who have cruised nude generally say there is an extremely friendly atmosphere, and if you are outside of the usual demographic, this is no need for concern.

I’m worried about someone taking a photo of me, will this happen?

An anonymous nude cruiser from Reddit has all the required wisdom to settle your mind of this worry.

“It’s a crowd with lots of nudist experience. Everyone knows you can’t take pictures of other people. I was much less worried here than I have been at nude beaches. Almost no one had phones with them outside their cabin. There were many signs posted.

“There were a lot of staff from the charter company whose job it was to enforce good naturist etiquette. I’ve spent time online researching nudism and I’ve never seen a single online photograph from the cruise except for the group shots that people voluntarily pose for. For those reasons, I wasn’t concerned.”

What if a man becomes ‘excited?

As you can imagine, there are some particular rules for nude cruising to help everything run smoothly.

Ms Whitmire addresses one touchy issue: “Men can’t be overly excited. We say that if they start to feel things around moving down there, jump in cold water, or think about baseball.”

How is hygiene maintained?

Another important rule is the need to wear some form of clothing at dinner, to prevent regrettable spills and maintain hygiene.

“Dinner in the formal dining room has a dress code, largely because the waitstaff carries trays of hot food. “No nips, no bits, and no butts” is what I always say to remind people of our dinner-dress code.

“Dinner is the only time guests must wear real clothes — no mesh, nothing see-through, and nothing made of string.”

Do the crew get nude?

The captain and crew don’t get nude for the sailing, they will remain clothed. Furthermore, there will generally be some specialist crew members provided by the cruising company to ensure proper naturalist etiquette is followed.

What about at port?

Guests will have to cover up before heading out at Port. While nudism is of course encouraged onboard, when disembarking guests will need to be normally dressed if they wish to explore the port town.

Are kids allowed on a nude cruise?

No. Kids are not allowed on a nude cruise, it is an adults-only experience.

Do you have to be nude?

Absolutely not. Guests are of course free to dress however they feel. There are no areas on the ship that require or oblige nudity, it is the personal choice of each cruiser.

Where do nude cruises sail?

Nude cruises travel all over, with Ms Whitmire recalling memories from her nearly 50 nude sailings across Fiji, Tahiti, the Mediterranean, Alaska, and plenty more.
There is even a luxurious nude cruise coming to Australia in 2025.

Do Australians like nude cruising?

Given that Bare Necessities is coming to Australia, is this even something people want? According to Whitmire, lots of Aussies take to the seas without clothing in sight.

“Nudism is popular in Australia and we have lots of passengers joining us from Down Under. Our cruises are a great way to enjoy all the food, fun and entertainment the cruise line provides and also avoid wet bathing suits and tan lines.”

What happens on a nude cruise?

Whitmire divulges on some of the activities you might expect to find on one of these cruises.

“We’ve repeated some wildly popular theme nights. Nudists, surprisingly, love costumes.

“On our Big Nude Boat, we have several theme nights and one massive costume party. My favorite costume ever was a man who dressed as a tequila bottle. He had a cork on his head. His body was the bottle. You just have to imagine what the worm was. I never laughed so hard in my life.

“We’ve done mash-ups of themes, like ‘Wizard of Oz’ meets ‘Alice in Wonderland.'” We just finished a cruise where each night at dinner represented a different historical decade — it was a huge hit, so I suspect we may do that again.”

How do cruisers feel afterward?

According to the data, cruising nude isn’t just a bucket list tick off, but rather becomes a preference for many guests.

Whitmire says the lifestyle is one many get hooked on, with about 70% of the 2100 guests on the last big cruise being repeat guests.

She also shares her philosophy on nudity. “To us, being nude is not sexual or anything to be ashamed of.”

For more information, click here