A published author who joined almost 2000 nudists (1866 to be precise) on a dedicated nude cruise aboard Holland America Line’s Nieuw Amsterdam has written a book about his experiences.
Mark Haskell Smith had never been on a cruise ship before and says he had never even been interested in cruising.
“But this wasn’t just any cruise,” he wrote in Britain’s Independent newspaper.
“This was the Big Nude Boat, a special charter offered by Bare Necessities, the premier ‘nakation’ (a portmanteau of ‘naked’ and ‘vacation’, but you probably figured that out) travel agency.
“Not only that, the cruise was on board the Nieuw Amsterdam, one of the Holland America Line’s more luxurious ships, which meant this was the deluxe version of non-sexual social nude recreation. Meaning nudism. Or naturism.”
Smith says he is fascinated by subcultures and seafaring nudists comprise one.
He has previously written five novels and a nonfiction book about cannabis connoisseurs.
Having finished the cannabis book, Smith claims that when he revealed he was going on the nude cruise, his wife reacted this way: “First you’re stoned all the time and now you’re going to be naked? Why can’t you write a book about cheese? You like cheese.”
The average age of naked cruisers was mid 60s, Smith adds. He is a little younger than that – in his late 50s. He lives in Los Angeles.
‘Naked at Lunch: The Adventures of a Reluctant Nudist’ by Mark Haskell Smith is published by Atlantic Books)
Written by Peter Needham