Ibiza Journal: A gay cruise ship sails, just in time

[Ses Salines, before tonight’s arrival of the ship Constellation]

Part of an occasional series about Ibiza.

August, traditionally the busiest month, didn’t bring the hoped-for financial jolt to this Mediterranean island’s tourism-focused economy. Young British visitors stayed away in droves, we’ve been told, because of the weak pound Sterling vs. the euro. That especially hurt Sant Antoni — home to the legendary Cafe del Mar, where visitors watch amazing sunsets.

But the slowdown also spilled over to Ibiza Town, center of the nightclub scene that ordinarily draws rich and not-so-rich visitors from across Europe and beyond. We’re still waiting for the arrival of celebutante Paris Hilton (left).

Now, the closest thing to 11th-hour financial relief is the cruise ship Constellation, which arrived about an hour ago. It’s carrying up to 2,000 gay men — mostly Americans — sailing to Barcelona from London over the past week in an event organized by gay travel company Atlantis. The ship anchors here nearly 24 hours.

For Ibiza, the Constellation means lucrative docking income from cruise line Celebrity. And, as our friend Paulo said, these men will spend big, patronizing clubs, cafes, shops — and the beaches full of gym-fit sun worshipers (left). Sure enough, today at 7 p.m., Ibiza Time, waiters at Ses Salines beach’s Chiringay rushed across the restaurant’s terrace, pointing to the huge boat as it glided into view on the horizon. “Barco, barco,” they said.

Ibiza isn’t exclusively gay, of course. But gay men and lesbians have helped make the island a must-visit global playground over the past 30 years. And now, with the economy on the ropes, gay tourism has become even more important.

[Constellation: carrying up to 2,000 gay Americans]

A little travelin‘ music
Tourists watch the sun set while listening to trippy music at Cafe del Mar — like this track, from SuperTrance Vol. 2:

[Constellation file photo]

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15 Responses to “Ibiza Journal: A gay cruise ship sails, just in time”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    Gross!!! Let’s just say that if you don’t want to catch a disease, you should avoid going on the Constellation ship!

    Can you imagine the bitchiness found on the Lido deck!

    Quite honestly, I am not sure what gay tourism, gay boats and Ibiza has to go with Gannett.

    I just threw up my Cheerios!

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Amen 9:30am…May the Lord forgive Jim and Sparky for their wrongs.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    Well, well, well, aren’t we just the picture of tolerance this morning, boys!

  4. Anonymous Says:

    I rather enjoy Jim’s occasional week-end series on Ibiza sites and sounds.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    It’s Jim’s life (and blog) to do with as he pleases. The headline of his blog entry should have been enough to warn you off if you’re offended. Lighten up, brother, Jim’s not hurting you or anyone else.

  6. mr. whig Says:

    Nonsense! It’s great to read something different here. Jim: A couple of weeks ago, the Times ran a story about how the British were pretty much becoming persona non grata at many spots in Europe because, basically, they were really obnoxious. True?

    http://tinyurl.com/6a2v8l

  7. Anonymous Says:

    Me, I just see it as a nice photo of a lovely cruise ship on the high seas. Don’t matter to me who’s on it or how much fun they’re having. That’s they’re business.

  8. Anonymous Says:

    Yeah, don’t listen to the first two commenters. Jim, your personal posts give this blog a great amount of character and the ones about the island are equally enlightening. I’m learning a lot about a place I didn’t know much about. Keep it up.

  9. Jim Hopkins Says:

    I don’t go off-topic very often, because I know you all come here to read about Gannett. But one of the ways I keep this blog fresh daily is by now and then sharing some of my photography — especially here, on Ibiza, a place many Americans don’t know well, and where there’s lots of cool stuff to shoot.

    I will likely spend some of this winter in Brazil again, with Sparky, and will do much the same there in terms of writing a bit about my personal life. And when I have a better handle on short video production, I’ll post them here, for all of you to critique.

  10. Anonymous Says:

    I wonder if the first two posters would have been as upset if it was the Disney boat docking with lots of straight couples and kids. I don’t hear anyone complaining that Jim’s personal life impinges on his reporting ability on Gannett blog or any of his previous jobs. So why should it matter in any other area of his – or, more to the point – your life, if he writes about a boat with cash-paying customers who simply want to have fun – and get away from people like you? I mean, really. Give it up.

  11. Anonymous Says:

    Thanks for sharing

  12. Anonymous Says:

    Can’t wait to see the videos, Jim. I’m sure they’ll be excellent—and I’m sure you won’t get all defensive when we critique them!

  13. Anonymous Says:

    Thank you for this, Jim. I read blogs for 2 reasons:

    1) to learn about subject matters that interest me (Gannett)

    2) to learn about people, places and lifestyles that are foreign to me (I’ve never been to Ibiza, and as a straight female, reading about the life that an openly gay male is living is different to me too!)

    Keep up the great work!

  14. Jim Hopkins Says:

    Thanks, 7:33 pm!

  15. Jim Hopkins Says:

    Mr. Whig: I’ve heard of Brits behaving badly in years past, but I’ve never seen it first hand.

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