Metro Weekly

Concierge Travel announces its offers for 2012

Houston-based Concierge Travel shared the following information about its 2012 trips to the Caribbean, the Mediterranean, Peru and the Amazon:

Star ClipperConcierge Travel, the largest gay-owned and operated travel agency and tour operator in the state of Texas, today announced four new trips for 2012, which include: hosting LGBT travelers aboard the Allure of the Seas in January, an all-gay and lesbian cruise to the Greek Isles and Turkey in late August, an all-gay and lesbian Amazon River cruise in late October/early November, and a land tour in Peru in December.
Founded in Houston in 1997, Concierge Travel entered the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) market a few years later.  In 2009, Concierge Travel expanded beyond its travel agent roots and began offering its own small-ship cruise vacations, starting with a sold-out Galapagos Islands cruise on Celebrity Xpedition. In 2011, the company built on this success by offering a popular Costa Rica sailing cruise aboard the Star Clipper. Today, Concierge Travel has grown its customized vacation offerings to include cruises to the Caribbean, Mediterranean and Amazon, and land excursions to South Africa and Peru. 
“We’ve gotten to know our gay and lesbian guests very well over the last 10 years,” said Kim Gustavsson, vice president of sales and marketing at Concierge Travel. “More and more guests told us they wanted more intimate, small-ship cruise options and the chance to travel to breathtaking locales around the world they typically wouldn’t see. So we’re very pleased to be able to bring them three unforgettable and enchanting cruises including a fun family-friendly cruise to the Caribbean in January, and cruises to the Mediterranean and to the Amazon, as well as a very special land tour to Peru in December.”
Concierge Travel is hosting a gay group aboard the Allure of the Seas — the largest ship in the world — from January 3 to January 8, 2012.  The family-friendly adventure includes group dinners, shows, cocktail parties, and exclusive entertainment.  The ship will depart from Fort Lauderdale on a five night Caribbean itinerary, giving guests ample time to enjoy the mind-boggling array of activities found on this Royal Caribbean super-ship.  Staterooms on the Caribbean adventure start at $1,022 per person based on double occupancy. Taxes and port fees are included.
Concierge Travel is also hosting an exotic cruise to the Greek Isles and Turkey from August 25 to September 1, 2012. The ship departs from Athens and spends a day at sea before visiting Kusadasi, Turkey.  Travelers will get to visit Hellenic wonders in famous Greek destinations including Patmos, Mykonos, Santorini, Hydra and Piraeus. Staterooms start at $ 1,195 per person based on double occupancy.  Airfares, transfers, gratuities, and port fees are additional. 
Concierge Travel’s newest cruise is on the Amazon River, from October 27 to November 3, 2012. The cruise begins in Iquito on the Amazon River, and explores the Amazon’s three powerful tributaries: the Maranon, Ucayali and Puinaha.  Explore the diverse flora and fauna of the Amazon, take day trips to see exotic animals and enjoy nighttime excursions to view the caimans.  Price start at $6,250 per person based on double occupancy. Some transfers and gratuities are additional.
In response to customer demand for unique vacation experiences, Concierge Travel has also assembled a trip to Machu Picchu to mark the Mayan calendar’s “end of time” on December 21, 2012. This group will be escorted by local guides and will see some of the most significant sites of the Incan Empire including Cusco and Machu Picchu.  For interesting pre and post-trip options, group space is also available on the Galapagos Islands cruise the week prior onboard the Celebrity Xpedition along with post-cruise excursions to Arequipa and the Colca Valley to see the condors fly.
In addition to these 2012 programs, Concierge Travel also still has limited space available on its all-gay African Safari from November 19 to November 29, 2011. Guests will explore the wildlife in Sabi Sabi, a private game reserve adjacent to Kruger National Park, visit Johannesburg, and tour the wine country, Capetown and Victoria Falls. The tour costs $6,895 per person, and price is based on double occupancy. 

“More and more gay and lesbian travelers are looking for relaxing, intimate and fun vacation options outside of the United States in exotic locations such as Europe, the Caribbean, Africa and South America,” said Gustavsson. “Our new customized, charter vacations and excursions fill a needed niche in the market.”
Reservations for these Concierge Travel vacations as well as trips offered by Atlantis Events, RSVP Vacations and others, can be made by contacting Concierge Travel directly at 877.775.9616.  For more detailed information, please visit our newly redesigned website at

[Photo: Star Clipper]

Troy Petenbrink is Metro Weekly's contributing writer for food and travel. He can be reached at