GAY TIMES and Celebrity Cruises today announce the launch of Trailblazers, an online series exploring genuine LGBTQ travel experiences through the eyes of eight leading LGBTQ creatives and all set against the backdrop of the stunning Celebrity Edge.

We have teamed up with the award-winning cruise line to create an industry-leading content series, a documentation of authentic experiences onboard the ship as it docks in Europe’s most famous ports.

Launching daily on GAY TIMES and Celebrity Cruises social media channels from 30 September until 4 October 2019, each mini episode of Trailblazers paves the way for a perfect LGBTQ travel experience. 

Setting sail to key LGBTQ European destinations including Barcelona, Valencia, Ibiza, Nice and Rome, the series culminates in the third annual Pride at Sea onboard Celebrity Edge, featuring a guest interview from Adam Rippon.

Four pairs of influencers who have never stepped foot on a cruise ship before were selected to participate in the series, with each of the duos’ passion points and experiences chosen to reflect a different facet of the LGBTQ community.

The cast includes: YouTuber and broadcaster Riyadh Khalaf and his partner Josh Harrison; presenter Helen Scott and life coach Char Bailey; Jimmy Essex and Charlie Simmons, a couple from the music and entertainment industry; and last but certainly not least, vogue dancer, Jay Jay Revlon and his best friend, podcast presenter Lee Gray.

The cast tested out the best that Celebrity Edge has to offer: state-of-the-art spas, swimming pools and sports facilities. The influencers were able to enjoy sunset cocktails in the Rooftop Garden, followed by dinner in one of the ship’s incredible restaurants. Evenings were wrapped up with electric entertainment, before cast members returned to their luxury staterooms, only to wake up in a different iconic destination the next morning. 

Throughout the series, each pair discusses personal experiences, both in the UK and overseas, exploring the importance of feeling safe and appreciated while travelling as members of the LGBTQ community. We learn about their individual projects and skillsets and how often they use these to drive forward social change, from activism to performance; each pair has fearless ambition and they use their downtime to unwind and reflect.

Reflecting upon their time onboard Celebrity Edge, LGBTQ club night host, Josh Harrison commented: “We’ve come to together on this gorgeous ship, experienced amazing new cultures and developed relationships that you would only really ever get from seeing the world with other people.” 

Whilst presenter, Helen Scott said: “I don’t think anything makes you richer than being able to travel and experience different cultures and different cities and places around the world, especially with such amazing people around you.”

Jo Rzymowska, Managing Director, UK and Ireland Celebrity Cruises commented: “We were thrilled to welcome the cast of Trailblazers onboard Celebrity Edge, which we hope has positively shaped their perception of travelling as members of the LGBTQ+ community. We want everyone onboard our ships to feel appreciated and welcome, whoever they are, and am therefore delighted to launch this industry-leading content in partnership with GAY TIMES.”

Tag Warner, CEO of GAY TIMES commented: “Through our ‘trailblazing’ partnership with Celebrity Cruises we’re thrilled to share our exploration of queer travel experience onboard Celebrity Edge. This industry-leading      collaboration has set the scene for a unique LGBTQ travel experience – an onboard community of like-minded people, thriving in a young, free and dynamic environment, a safe space for self-expression set against the perfect Mediterranean backdrop.”

As an industry leader in LGBTQ friendly travel, Celebrity Cruises is an award-winning company for championing diversity and inclusion, as proud headline sponsors of TTG’s LGBT initiative and named Best for LGBT Cruisers at Cruise International’s 2018 awards. The company is proud to spearhead a number of initiatives including: sponsoring the annual Miami Gay Pride; arranging welcome drinks for LGBT guests at the start of every cruise; and is the first U.S company to host same-sex weddings at sea.

Additionally, Celebrity Cruises annually celebrates Pride at Sea – an owned initiative set up to celebrate Pride month across its entire fleet around the globe. June 2020 will see Celebrity Cruises fourth annual Pride Party at Sea, with each ship in the fleet hosting a range of exciting events and activities throughout the “30 days of Pride”. Celebrity Apex, the breath-taking new ship launching in Southampton April 2020, will host the Flagship Pride at Sea Party when docked in Ibiza on 24 June 2020.

Aiming to shine a light on queer travel, the collaboration sets the scene for an ideal LGBTQ travel experience – an onboard community of like-minded people, thriving in a young, free and dynamic environment, a safe space for self-expression set against the perfect Mediterranean backdrop. The chosen influencers together explore the world in modern luxury, sharing their stories and building meaningful connections as Gay Times and Celebrity Cruises set out on an adventure to bring genuine pride to the sea.

Check out our Facebook page for the daily episodes, which will launch at 7pm each evening.