On an early September evening in the Aegean, some- where between the Greek island of Lemnos and the mainland, seven gay men and everyone’s new bestie, singer Abigail Zsiga, are literally hanging out over the bow of a gorgeous clipper ship. We are tanned from the day and tipsy on mai tais, laughing and taking pictures as we zip over the deep blue toward the horizon under fiery slashes of an orange and pink sunset. We’re hanging on tightly to our smartphones, as there’s no going back for anything that falls through the thick rope net that holds us up over the flashing sea 30 feet below. This moment is exactly the kind I’d hoped the trip would offer. I didn’t think twice when offered the chance to board that dramatic SPV Royal Clipper again—it had provided immea- surable relief to my polar-vortex doldrums in the Caribbean in 2014—and this time it was for a Brand G cruise from Istanbul to Athens, with Turkish and Greek ports, on the mainland and islands, for an entire week. The trip featured a ton of upsides: an all-LGBT cruise (nearly all gay men, one lesbian couple), a truly romantic tall ship (based on the Preussen, a famous German five-mast wind- jammer, circa 1902), ports of call including some significant sites of antiquity, a relatively small passenger manifest ( just 227 at maximum), and ports that the big cruise ships don’t have access to, making the experience more about sailing and the destinations, and less about cruising.