Gay-nudist cruise ship prevented from entering St. Kitts

BY admin

March 24 2005 1:00 AM ET

A cruise ship carrying gay and nudist passengers was temporarily stopped and prevented from entering the Caribbean country of St. Kitts and Nevis on Wednesday, a company official said.

A Windjammer Barefoot Cruises ship carrying 110 passengers was stopped by local authorities off the smaller island of Nevis early Wednesday morning, said Shannon Manno, vice president of sales for the Miami Beach, Fla.-based company.

"Local authorities told cruise ship employees that they had concerns about letting the ship in because it was a gay and nudist cruise," Manno said. "We're working on resolving the issue with higher authorities in the St. Kitts and Nevis government because this type of cruise has been there before."

An official at the St. Kitts Tourism Authority could not confirm or deny the report but said gay cruises have come to the former British colony in the past. "We have had gay passengers and cruise ships, and there has never been any problem in the past," said Randolph Hamilton, a senior manager at the tourism authority.

The ship had previously stopped in St. Maarten and Anguilla, and there were no problems, said Sharon Kersten, a publicist for Miami-based event production company Source Events, which organized the cruise. "The passengers can be nude while the ship is at sea, but once they come to shore they obviously have to be clothed," Kersten said.

The ship is the S.V. Polynesia, a 248-foot schooner, and most of the passengers aboard are Americans, she said. St. Kitts and Nevis has a population of about 40,000. (AP)

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