OAKLAND, Calif. -- Olivia Cruises & Resorts marks its 10th
anniversary this year.
"Olivia has been paving the way for the growing lesbian and gay
travel industry," said the firm's president, Judy Dlugacz.
Dlugacz leased her first cruise ship in 1990, envisioning "a
women's concert on the water" as an extension of her 15-year-old
independent women's music company, Olivia Records.
She used the record company's mailing list to launch the travel
"We mailed a cruise brochure to 30,000 people and were
overwhelmed by the initial response," Dlugacz said. "We sold out
the 600-passenger ship so fast [that] we ordered a second and sold
out just as quickly."
Business quadrupled within the first two years. It doubled again
by 1994, she said.
Olivia now offers six vacations each year, including takeovers
of inclusive resorts.
The next trip, departing in May 2001, is an Alaska cruise,
priced from $1,299, aboard Holland America's Veendam.
The firm's more popular trips are cruises to the Mexican and
eastern Caribbean, Greece/Turkey and the western Mediterranean.
Among other destinations Olivia offers are Hawaii, Tahiti,
Montreal, Costa Rica and the Italian Riviera.
Olivia has at least twice made a bit of history, in 1993 with a
trip to the Greek island of Lesbos -- "probably the largest lesbian
pilgrimage in a few millenia," Dlugacz said -- and in 1997 when
Olivia aired a prime-time ad during the ABC sitcom "Ellen."
Olivia Cruises & Resorts
Phone: (800) 631-6277 or (510) 655-0365
Fax: (510) 655-4334