Providing Endless Opportunities for the Celiac and Gluten-Free Community

Maureen and Connie, co-founders of Celiac Cruise

The mission of Celiac Cruise is to provide a safe, worry-free vacation experience for those seeking a gluten-free environment, while providing an educational, cohesive community of togetherness for all. 

Celiac Cruise was established in 2018 after Founder Maureen Basye became “fed up” with how hard cruising and travel seemed to be after several family members were diagnosed with celiac disease.  When sailing on various cruise lines, she always felt uneasy, wondering if the “gluten-free food” would truly be gluten free. Maureen recalls how much time she spent discussing allergens; explaining to the server, speaking with the chef, reviewing menu items, and even pre-ordering meals for the next day’s meals. It got to the point that it no longer felt like a vacation. 

Maureen knew there had to be another way to create a safe space for the young (and young at heart) to vacation without the burden of packing a suitcase full of “just in case” food. She then approached Connie Saunders, Founder and CEO of Total Travel and Events. Maureen said “wouldn’t it be great if we could create a way for people to travel and not have to worry about finding safe food?” Connie and Maureen worked for two years to develop Celiac Cruise. Since then, they have successfully sailed the gluten-free seas together with many happy guests. 

Three ocean/river cruises to destinations in the Caribbean and Europe.

The cruises run in partnership with both Royal Caribbean and AmaWaterways. There are some scheduled in 2022, with more plans in the works for 2023. Cruises are operated as partial and full charters; Celiac Cruise takes over an entire galley (kitchen) and dining room and converts it to a dedicated gluten-free space. The Celiac Disease Foundation and Boston Children’s Hospital work closely with Celiac Cruise. Together, they ensure these sailings are not only safe, but educational as well. Celiac Cruise is excited to broaden their destinations, taking families with gluten-free diets around the world in a worry-free environment. 

Celiac Cruise launched an initiative with
Boston Children’s Hospital, Schär Foods, and Food Equality Initiative to get gluten-free foods in the hands of those who need them most.

Food is the only medicine for those with celiac disease; therefore, the goal is to make gluten-free food accessible for as many people as possible. “So Everyone May Eat” is a new tagline that Celiac Cruise is using to educate and remind the travel industry and beyond about the importance of allowing everyone to come to the table. With the help of Food Equality Initiative and others, Celiac Cruise will deliver gluten-free food to families with celiac disease. 

For additional information on this meaningful initiative or to donate to this worthy cause, please visit celiaccruise.com and navigate to the “Giving Back” tab. 

“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean. But the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.”

Mother Teresa

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