The pros and cons of a naked sailing holiday

Taking my gay cruising adventures to the next level, I’ve just returned home from a sailing holiday around the Greek islands.

Operated by gay sailing specialists Saltyboys, this was a naked cruise for gay men. True story.

This was the first time that I’d attempted something like this, so I had a fair bit of uncertainty and low-level anxiety as to whether this was an experience that I’d enjoy.

The short answer is that I loved it. My all-over tan is looking great and I’m already pencilling in dates of when I could tackle my next Saltyboys adventure.

But to help you decide whether this is the kind of holiday that might work for you, here’s an overview of what to expect and some of the pros and cons of a gay naked sailing cruising experience.

The itinerary

Saltyboys offers a range of different trips in different destinations. The one that I experienced was a 7-day cruise from Athens to Mykonos.


  • This is a great way to immerse yourself in the Mediterranean and experience some of what the Greek islands have to offer.
  • The islands visited on this trip were Kythnos, Serifos, Paros, and Mykonos, so there was plenty of variety.
  • We got to do lots of naked swimming – jumping off the back of the boat into the clear and warm waters of the Mediterranean. We also got to visit the naked beach of Laggeri on the island of Paros.


  • Access to a marina on each island isn’t always possible, so that limits the flexibility of your time to explore on land.
  • This trip seems to be primarily about being on the boat and enjoying the experience of sailing. If you frequently get seasick, or just aren’t really into hanging out on a boat, then maybe this isn’t such a good fit.

The boat

Saltyboys picks up charter boats in whatever destination they’re departing from, so there’s going to be some variation in what boats are used depending on availability – it could be a catamaran or a cruising yacht.

For this trip, we had two cruising yachts.


  • The boat was modern and well-maintained. Bedding and towels and all kitchen equipment were provided.
  • By stocking up on groceries in advance, you can minimise costs by preparing meals on board.
  • If you like camping, you’ll enjoy this. It’s pretty much camping on the water.


  • These boats aren’t huge. You really are sharing a fairly cramped space with your group.
  • If you don’t enjoy cooking, you may find yourself longing to just eat at a restaurant and let someone else do the washing up.

The group

For this trip, we were a group of 16 – including two skippers. We were spread across two boats, eight on each boat.

The group was a combination of people who were joining a Saltyboys trip for the first time, and some who had already experienced Saltyboys on previous trips.

Our ages ranged from mid-20s to mid-50s, and our nationalities included English, Dutch, German, Russian, American, Australian, Lebanese, and South African.


  • This is a great way to meet new people and automatically having a group of buddies with which to explore the Greek islands.


  • It’s a bit of a raffle as to who you’re going to be sharing your holiday with. If you’re on a boat with people that you don’t really enjoy spending time with, that could be a bit tedious.
  • You could end up sharing a cabin with someone that you find difficult to share space with.

The nakedness

Why does it have to be naked? There is an incredible sense of liberation in being able to let go of the restriction of having to wear clothes.

It’s a unique opportunity to enjoy a homosocial space with other gay men. You seem to quickly forget that everyone is naked, it just feels very natural.


  • It’s a very body-positive environment.
  • It’s a good reminder that guys come in all shapes and sizes.
  • Swimming naked is awesome.
  • There’s no strict rules about being naked. If you feel like putting some clothes on, that’s totally fine.


  • You need to apply your sunscreen – you don’t want to sunburn your sensitive bits.

You can view the details of upcoming Salthyboys trips on their website

Written By
More from Gareth Johnson

Culture Diary: Spring festivals in Brussels

As well as bringing some much-needed sunshine, the arrival of Spring also...
Read More