Gay Cruisers Either Are Or Are Not Welcome In Casablanca

NA1(1)Passengers onboard the MS Nieuw Amsterdam for an all-gay Mediterranean cruise will not be making their scheduled stop today in Casablanca. Why's that? Because, according to trip organizers RSVP Vacations and cruise company Holland America, "local authorities" in Casablanca have revoked the ship's permission to dock, presumably because she's full of gays.

The Moroccan tourist ministry denies everything. From Reuters:

Morocco's Tourism Minister Lahcen Haddad said no official decision had been made to prevent the ship from stopping in Morocco.

"We don't ban cruise ships here and we never ask our visitors about their sexual preferences," he told Reuters. Asked if the MS Nieuw Amsterdam could still visit Morocco, he said: "They can if the organisers want to".

While the tourism ministry may be unruffled by the private sexual lives of day-tripping cruisers, Reuters notes that the same cannot be said of the Moroccan media. Apparently, several news outlets last week reported nervously on the imminent arrival of the MS Nieuw Amsterdam and her fabulous human cargo, and it seems conceivable that cruise organizers may have become worried about their passengers' safety. (In Morocco, homosexuality is punishable by up to three years in prison.) 

The MS Nieuw Amsterdam set out on Friday from Barcelona. On her week-long gay cruise, Casablanca was to be her only non-European port of call.  


  1. ratbastard says

    Considering the RAMPANT homosexuality and even same sex rape that occurs in Arab societies, this is amusing.

  2. Karl Marxx says

    My roommate and 2 other friends are on that ship…hmmm, should be interesting.

  3. Dagoril says

    Because the economy is so great in Morocco, they can afford to just light their money on fire. Who needs tourists anyway!

  4. lessthan says

    Why would a gay cruise organizer schedule a stop in a country where potentially all the passengers would be arrested? Did the initial business plan say:
    1. Set up gay cruise
    2. Send ship to Morocco
    3. Have all the passengers arrested by Moroccan police
    3. ?????
    4. Profit!!
    Seriously WTF? Is the company going to do gay tours of Uganda next?

    (Yes, 3 years jail time is not equivalent to execution. Also, us homosexuals are people too, anti-gay laws are wrong, and we should stand up for what is right. Plus, I know that cruise ships tend to be outside the laws of the port they are currently at, so only the passengers who got off could be arrested. I get these arguments, but I still think it is a dumb idea to go to a country with anti-gay laws.)

  5. says

    As long as there are laws to persecute gay people cruise ships and the cruise/travel industry should never offer or book passage to such places. Doesn’t matter how beautiful the place is, what matters is that these places never benefit financially or otherwise from the gay community. The gay world yields a lot of big money and that money should never be used to support or help anyone or any place that would put us in harm’s way.

  6. Decidocisum says

    Why does a company like RSVP even support tourism to such an oppressive country? It’s like Log Cabin Republicans… we don’t care if the party hates us here is our money anyway.

  7. lukebrux says

    I really don’t understand how someone would ever consider to forecast a gay cruise in Morocco. It’s one of the most oppressive regime in North Africa and seems to have a particular hate towards gay men, because women straight or lesbian do not have the right to have a sexual life outside an arranged and/or forced marriage.

  8. kodiak says

    We’ll always have Paris.

    I’d like to start an international organization of “Butt Pirates”, who, under the seemingly tame cover of a gay cruise ship, pull out all stops in ports like Morocco, blow them out of the water, and establish a gay kingdom. Straights will be denied marriage, have sex only for procreation, and the children would be removed and raised to be butt pirates to conquer the rest of Afrique, especially Uganda, where “Gayrocacies” will flourish. Heterosex for pleasure will be punishable by 5 years in prison, or stoning to death, or castration. Straight people will pay double in taxes, etc. Aarrgghhh! Matey-ahoy!!!

  9. Charley says

    I’m SHOCKED to find there is buggery going on here. Round up the usual suspects.

  10. Karl Marxx says

    I think you can only get arrested for being caught having gay sex, not for just being gay.

  11. lukebrux says

    @KARL MARXX In Morocco you can get arrested also for simply “behaving” like a gay. There is no something you would call privacy of your communications, it’s enough an SMS a letter or a comment on a web site to get you arrested. Do I have to add that the gay arrested are often committing “suicide”.

  12. wow says

    People need to read the article. They weren’t banned by the government, they just thought it was smart to avoid the country after the media made a big deal about their arrival.

    The Moroccan government is happy to take your gay dollars. I am pretty sure that law is seldom enforced.

  13. andrew says

    Why would any self respecting gay people spend money in a “mohammedan” nation?

  14. alex says

    With Caribbean itineraries, I believe companies like RSVP and Atlantis simply buy out a scheduled cruise. Most cruise ships do the same route every week. With the exception of skipping a port, customizing an itinerary by substituting a more gay-friendly location would likely cost a lot of money. That said, I’m not sure if European vessels have the same sort of repeating itineraries.

    As others wrote, I place the blame for these problems squarely on the gay charter companies. Organizing a trip for gay people to a place where being gay is illegal is asinine.

  15. Rehab says

    Ha–coincidentally, my stop at casablanca was on a Silversea cruise, who has taken an advert here on Towle! I will say, Silversea was great.

  16. AC says

    Didn’t Yves St. Laurent have his vacation home in Morocco for many years?

    I suspect more pro-zionist, muslim bashing is behind this non-story than anything else. After all, what exactly has happened? A big nothing since they haven’t even gotten their yet.

    No sale.

  17. THE QUEEN says


  18. Hephaestion says

    The King of Morocco is gay and everyone there knows it, but he has to have a wife and kids to be King. That’s the way it is there.

    Morocco has been chock full of European gay tourists since time began.

  19. Paul says

    We were denied port entry and went. To Malaga Spain instead. Moroccan press was positive but denied anyhow.