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World Cup rugby champion Ben Cohen takes anti-bullying message aboard gay Rome to Venice cruise

News release from Source Events of Miami:

An England Rugby World Cup winner recently retired from the Sale Sharks, Ben Cohen could have chosen to enjoy retirement on his Northamptonshire farm with his family. However, on May 20, 2011 he launched the Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation, believed to be the first organization dedicated to combating bullying worldwide.

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Due to recent high-profile attacks on the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, Cohen has chosen to focus much of the Foundation’s attention on homophobia. “As athletes, it is not enough just to have strong bodies. We must have strong characters and use our voices to support those who need and deserve it,” says Cohen. “I am passionate about standing up against homophobia. It is time we stand up for what is right and support young people who are being harmed.”

As stated on his website, Cohen’s role as an advocate for equality and the rights of the individual has been developing over the past few years through his work with the gay community both in the UK and the USA. He is the first straight sports star to dedicate his philanthropic efforts for the benefit of the gay community.

In September, Cohen will take his StandUp Foundation’s anti-bullying campaign and Acceptance Tour on Source Event’s Gay Rome to Venice Cruise aboard the msy Wind Surf, the world’s largest sailing yacht. Joining Ben as a featured guest speaker on the cruise is world-renowned novelist Armistead Maupin. “Ben is heroic in every in every sense of the word,” says Maupin, “And I plan to tell him personally when we cruise from Rome to Venice.”

Source Events, the Miami-based travel company producing the cruise, specializes in creating luxury adventure travel for the gay community and friends. The Rome to Venice Cruise is Source Events’ 10th Anniversary Cruise and is a private charter, with ports of call that include Capri, Taormina (Sicily), Kotor (Montenegro), Dubrovnik and Hvar (Croatia).

“We are so thrilled that Ben has chosen to take his message of acceptance on the Rome to Venice cruise,” says Craig Smith, founder of Source Events. “We are especially proud to support the mission of the StandUp Foundation, to take a stand against bullying in the gay community.”

The Rome to Venice cruise is part of a growing trend of gay travelers looking for luxury all-gay travel on more intimate ships, making the luxurious 5-Star msy Wind Surf Source Events’ most popular ship to date.

The inclusion of Ben Cohen and Armistead Maupin on the cruise goes hand in hand with Source Events’ philosophy, that travel should be an experience; an adventure that appeals to Mind, Body and Spirit. In addition to offering exotic ports of call, Source Events offers yoga, meditation, fitness classes, life coaching workshops sports excursions and more.

“Our travel adventures are about experiencing the world in a new light; opening our hearts and following our dreams – wherever they may lead us,” says Smith “Ben Cohen reflects that dream – opening hearts and minds to celebrate Friendship, Adventure, Spirit and Acceptance.”

About the Rome to Venice Cruise, September 3-10, 2011

Windstar has repeatedly been recognized as one of the leading small ship cruise lines by readers of Travel & Leisure and Conde Nast Traveler. Each ocean-view stateroom and suite on its 312-passenger Wind Surf is appointed with fine bed linens and plush robes, as well as the most advanced high-tech electronics, including iPods™ and flat-screen LCD TVs.

The Wind Surf features three restaurants, two swimming pools, hot tubs, fitness center, full-service spa, and a sports deck that offers complimentary water activities such as kayaking, snorkeling, wind surfing and water-skiing. Complimentary room service is available round-the-clock, and each ocean-view stateroom and suite receives daily turndown service. With an onboard pool and hot tub, and an enhanced Fitness Center and salon, passengers will be at no loss to find the luxuries of home.

The focal point of the Source Events’ Rome to Venice cruise is the itinerary itself. The journey begins in Rome, sailing down Italy’s spectacular Amalfi Coast to Capri to visit the Blue Grotto and then onto Taormina to enjoy the legendary beauty of Sicily.

The voyage continues around the boot of Italy for a relaxing day at sea and across the Adriatic for the legendary Dalmatian Coast, where ports of call include Kotor (Montenegro) and Dubrovnik and Hvar (Croatia). The voyage culminates with a sailing up the Adriatic to wander the labyrinth byways of magical Venice.

In catering to the needs and desires of its guests, Source Events provides a plethora of activities, events and excursions to appeal to their spirit of adventure and enjoyment. Customized excursions, entertainment, theme parties, yoga, fitness classes and complimentary kayaking, waterskiing or sailboat skiffs are just a few of the amenities guests may enjoy.

For more information or to make a reservation for Source Events 10th Anniversary Cruise - Rome to Venice, go to www.SourceEvents.com, or call Source Events at 1-888-SOURCE8 (888-768-7238) or 305-672-9779 to speak with one of their travel professionals.

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