Olivia, the definitive leader of lesbian travel, is celebrating its 20th year of chartering cruises and resort vacations. Morphing from the groundbreaking record label in the 70’s to the largest company catering solely to lesbians today, Olivia has continued to meet the needs of the community it has served for almost 4 decades.
Olivia was created to serve a lesbian market. “I am extremely blessed to have been part of this amazing experience. When the company launched 35 years ago, I never dreamed Olivia would become the company that it is today,” says Judy Dlugacz, President and Founder of Olivia.
Olivia chartered its first cruise in 1990, a 600 passenger ship with Dolphin Cruise Lines. “When we first began, no one wanted our business,” said Jill Cruse, Olivia’s VP of Guest Experience. “They were afraid of a backlash. Now we are one of the biggest clients of Holland America and Club Med resorts. We have over 2000 passengers on our Caribbean ships and go everywhere from the Galapagos Islands to Africa. ”
Unlike other travel companies which have suffered in this past year’s recession, Olivia is experiencing higher demand. With 5 trips already sold out in 2010 and many others edging towards 100% occupancy, Olivia enters this celebratory year with great sales.
Cruse adds, “It’s amazing to see what happens when a happy, fun-loving, appreciative group gets together and experiences this level of freedom...its nirvana. Some take for granted being able to dance together or hold hands in public. But for our clientele it remains special.”
Olivia also helps the communities it visits. For example, founding the LGBT Haiti Relief Fund of the Red Cross, for which they raised over $200,000 in the first two weeks following the earthquake. “We visit the Caribbean all the time and our friends in Haiti are suffering in unimaginable ways,” added Dlugacz. “As a community, we believe showing our support through this effort will help strengthen the bonds we have created in the region as LGBT people.”
Olivia’s 20th Anniversary cruise will set sail to the Western Caribbean on February 28, 2010.
The line-up includes The Indigo Girls, Meg Christian, L Word sensation Leisha Hailey and New York Times’ bestselling author Nicole Schapiro.
For more about Olivia’s Anniversary vacation, visit Olivia.com.