South Florida residents Francisco Vargas and Benjamin Gray have become the first same-sex couple to be legally married at sea on a major cruise line.
They tied the knot aboard Celebrity Cruises’ 2850-passenger liner Celebrity Equinox in a ceremony officiated by the vessel’s captain, Dimitrios Manetas.
“There are only so many firsts in life, and we are thrilled to be the first-ever LGBTQ+ couple to marry at sea,” Gray said.
“We are humbled to follow the trailblazers in the LGBTQ+ community who paved the way for us.”
Vargas, who works for one of Celebrity’s top Travel Partners, Cruise Planners, said: “Travelling is in my blood – and when we heard Celebrity Cruises was celebrating equality and embracing our community, we wanted to be a part of it.
“We are grateful for the outpouring of support from our Cruise Planners family and hope our story brings strength for others in the LGBTQ+ community to confidently love whoever they choose.”
As first announced in October last year, the motion follows a transformative vote in Malta, where a majority of the Celebrity fleet is registered, which passed the country’s parliament 66-1.
“Words cannot express how proud I am to congratulate Francisco and Benjamin at this truly historic moment, both for them and for Celebrity,” Celebrity president and CEO Lisa Lutoff-Perlo said.
“Together we are paving the way for couples around the world to know that their love and commitment is to be celebrated equally, and that everyone is welcome on board a Celebrity cruise.”
Celebrity is one of a number of cruise lines to offer wedding services that include on-board ceremonies and destination weddings.
P & O claimed last year that they would be the first to officiate a same-sex wedding at sea.