Cougar Cruise: Older Love on the High Seas

Young men, older women take to the ocean to find love.

ByABC News
September 16, 2009, 4:17 PM

Sept. 17, 2009 — -- You've probably heard of "Snakes on a Plane." But what about Cougars on a Cruise?

Setting sail in a few weeks is a singles event being marketed at the "World's First International Cougar Cruise." And no, there will be no zoo animals aboard.

The "cougars" hitting the open seas will be the type more likely to prowl cocktail lounges than the wild frontier -- older women who prey upon young, virile men.

"When people go on a cruise, all of their inhibitions go overboard. If you want to meet somebody of the opposite sex, this is the best way to do it," said Rich Gosse, chairman of the Society of Single Professionals, which came up with the trip idea along with the Singles Travel Co.

The term cougar has risen from relative obscurity at the turn of the century to become an accepted, though much parodied, lifestyle choice for many, described by as: "An older woman, typically early thirties to mid-forties, who has abandoned traditional rules of romantic engagement and taken as her mission the seduction of as many game young men as she can possibly handle."

Gosse hopes to stock the cruise with the enough younger men to keep up with their older counterparts.

"These cougar women tend to look younger and feel younger and have higher energy than most women their own age," he added. "They just can't date men their own age. The men can't keep up with them. The men they date that are their own age: all they want to do is sit on a sofa and watch TV."

Enter the Cougar Cruise: three nights at sea with a stop in Mexico and maybe that chance and a December-May romance.

The entire cougar experience happens over just a quick weekend. The cruise leaves San Diego Friday afternoon, goes to Ensenada, Mexico, and is back in California by 8 a.m. Monday morning. Trip prices start at $258 total for somebody who wants a roommate and an inside cabin up to $582 for somebody who wants to best cabin all to themselves.

For the first voyage, there aren't enough cougars and younger men -- called "cubs" -- to fill an entire cruise ship, so the cougar cruisers will set sail with other vacationers on a regular Carnival cruise out of the Los Angeles are on Dec. 4. But the similarities end there.

Each night during the weekend there will be coordinated cougar-cub singles events, dancing and plenty of drinks to go around. There's even a "singles social director" to ensure that this cruise does become a true "Love Boat," Mrs. Robinson-style.

"It's like they say in Las Vegas: What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Same thing on a cruise boat," Grosse said. "People don't have their bosses, their neighbors, their co-workers and their family looking over their shoulder. They can let the inner child out on a cruise."