A straight Italian couple are suing a cruise line after they were placed on a gay cruise holiday.

The unnamed middle-aged couple, who are married, said they were not told that the holiday was aimed at same-sex couples.

They used Grimaldi Lines to book their three-day holiday from Civitavecchia to the Spanish city of Barcelona but were surprised to see hordes of media as they arrived to board.

They assumed someone famous was board but soon realised they were the only straight couple on the ship, which was hosting the world’s first gay cruise for 1,500 couples.

The couple’s lawyer Antonio Francesconi said they were embarrassed to spot people they knew but did not know were gay.

They are seeking £2,800 in compensation but have not yet had a response from the company.

According to the Daily Mail, Francesconi said: “It is not a question of discrimination but one of lost satisfaction because no-one had told them their holiday was at the same time as the gay cruise.

“They arrived at the port and saw the ship surrounded by the media.

“They thought it was because someone famous was on board but it was in fact due to the event – the 1,500 passengers were all gay and there were numerous gay events during the three days.

“My clients were also left embarrassed because among the passengers were people they knew and had no idea that were gay, which was uncomfortable for all parties.”

The couple are denying claims of homophobia from gay groups.