Authorities in Nevis barred a gay and nudist cruise aboard the S.V. Polynesia, a 248-foot schooner operated by Windjammer Barefoot Cruises. The ship was carrying 110 passengers, most of them from the U.S., on a six-day cruise. Authorities in Nevis stated that the passengers' sexual orientation and nudity were offensive to local customs and laws. According to Windjammer, the passengers had no intention of disembarking in the nude. The cruise will leave Nevis and head for St. Barthelemy, ending Saturday in St. Maarten.
Charter group from Gay Naturists International, was barred from disembarking passengers at Nevis. On Thursday, Malcolm Guishard, Minister of Tourism for the island of Nevis, issued a statement, noting that port authority, customs and immigration officials boarded the ship for routine clearance only to find that most passengers were naked. Guishard said the decision was made because the authorities were not given reasonable assurance that passengers would respect local laws and standards of public decency. He also said the decision was made solely on constitutional law which prohibits public nudity in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, and strongly denied that sexual orientation of the passengers had anything to do with this decision. Guishard said: "If this ship had been chartered by a heterosexual clothing-optional group, our decision would have been exactly the same."