While the pitter patter of children and babies usually brings joy, often, it’s not so pleasant on the deck of your cruise ship while you’re sunning yourself with a cocktail.
Viking River Cruises has announced a ban on guests below the age of 18 sailing on their vessels on bookings made from August 1, 2018.
The update on the policy says, “As of 1 August 2018, for all NEW bookings, all Viking guests will need to be 18 years old to travel on either the river or ocean product.
Guests booked on a Viking River Cruise prior to 1 August 2018 who are 12 years old or above will be allowed to sail on their currently booked voyage. We will continue to support this program until 2020 when all the previously booked guests will have sailed. For all cruise tours booked after 1 August, 2018 (regardless of departure year), you must be 18 years old on or before the day you are scheduled to embark on the cruise tour.”
But it’s not the first cruise line to create adult-only cruise environments. Here are some of the other cruise lines and ships which are dedicated only to those of the legal drinking age.
Viking Ocean Cruises’ Viking Sea
When the stunning Scandinavian cruise line launched its second ship, the Viking Sea in 2016, the line announced it would be designated as an adults-only ship. The line announced it would be aimed at Baby Boomers and has features which appeal to the age group. The Nordic Spa has features like the Snow Grotto, a steam room as well as a vitality pool. Viking also offers a free excursion in each port to guests, as well as free WiFi, drinks with meals and a mini bar replenished daily. All staterooms have verandas, as well as heated ensuites. There is also a blissful infinity pool off the back of the ship – a pretty amazing holiday if you’re looking for an adults-only cruise.
Sir Richard Branson’s new cruise line, Virgin Voyages will be an adults-only cruise line. The company will launch two ships by 2021 and will have a focus on wellness. The first, the Scarlet Lady, will start sailing by 2020 and has wellbeing programs like hosted fitness classes, a running track, an area called The Athletic Club which includes a boxing ring and gym equipment. There will be a number of bars and restaurants including the Mexican Pink Agave, perfect for couples as well as a cabaret-style nightclub.
P&O Cruises UK
The cruise line announced at the beginning of this year it would be adding a third adults-only ship to its fleet. The Aurora will join the Arcadia and Oriana as a child-free ship after a refurbishment scheduled for the beginning of 2019. For example, on the Arcadia, the ship has a boutique, three-tiered theatre, an extensive spa with a hydrotherapy pool and thermal suite as well as gourmet restaurants from chefs like Marco Pierre White as well as Atul Kochhar.
But all is not lost for families who want to cruise together.
Avalon Waterways has a minimum age of eight, AmaWaterways and Uniworld both are at four,
Tauk is three aqnd luxury line Crystal allows children on board at six months.
River Cruise columnist Michelle Baran of the American site Travel Weekly says: “When I’m not traveling with my two-year-old tot, I don’t always love being woken up or startled by children making a ruckus.
“It’s easy to be more tolerant when it’s your own (heck, you don’t really have a choice), but I can definitely see the allure for travellers not traveling with children (and who maybe aren’t used to even being around little ones very regularly) to be assured of a certain tranquility while on vacation.”
But she adds: “Having experienced Adventures by Disney, which has partnered with AmaWaterways on a growing portfolio of river cruises, I still think there is a way to do kid-friendly river cruising well. It helps if the kids are a little older, five and up from my point of view, and many river cruise lines say eight and older is the best age to enjoy a river cruise.”