Adults-only cruises are gaining popularity, offering a unique escape for those who crave a serene, child-free environment at sea. Several cruise lines now cater to this niche, providing a range of amenities and experiences designed for an adult clientele. This article will explore the top adults-only cruise lines, the benefits of these cruises, and how to choose the perfect one for your next vacation.
Top Cruise Lines Offer Adults-Only
Spearheaded by Sir Richard Branson, Virgin Voyages is a game changer in adults-only cruising. It’s designed for the young, featuring sleek ships like the Scarlet and Valiant Lady. These vessels offer a fresh, modern approach to cruising, including over 20 dining venues, innovative fitness programs, and the first-ever tattoo studio at sea. Virgin Voyages covers a variety of itineraries, from Caribbean adventures to Mediterranean explorations.
2. P&O Cruises
A British favorite, P&O Cruises offers two adults-only ships: the Arcadia and Aurora. These vessels are tailored for a sophisticated audience, boasting a range of amenities, including a world-class spa, an impressive art collection, and stylish bars and lounges. P&O Cruises sails to various destinations, such as the Canary Islands, Norwegian fjords, and the Mediterranean, providing ample opportunities to explore the world in style.
Viking Ocean Cruises is renowned for its award-winning service and intimate ships, designed to accommodate fewer passengers than most mainstream cruise lines. Although not strictly adult-only, Viking has a minimum age requirement of 18 years, ensuring a mature and refined atmosphere onboard. Viking offers many itineraries, from European river cruises to exotic voyages in Asia and the South Pacific.
Known for its elegant, mid-sized ships and outstanding culinary experiences, Oceania Cruises is another option for adults seeking a sophisticated cruising experience. While Oceania doesn’t explicitly enforce an adults-only policy, its upscale ambiance and enrichment programs cater primarily to an adult audience. Oceania’s itineraries, from Alaska to Australia, focus on immersive destination experiences.
Celestyal Cruises, a Greek-based cruise line, offers an intimate and authentic experience focusing on Eastern Mediterranean destinations. While not explicitly adults-only, Celestyal Cruises caters primarily to an adult audience with a minimum age requirement of 12 years. Its smaller ships provide a cozy, personalized atmosphere and feature Greek-inspired cuisine, traditional entertainment, and a variety of themed cruises, including wellness and gastronomy.
6. Saga Cruises
Exclusively catering to passengers aged 50 and over, Saga Cruises is a British cruise line offering a refined and mature atmosphere on board. With two boutique-style ships, the Spirit of Discovery and the Spirit of Adventure, Saga Cruises provides a luxurious and intimate experience. The cruise line features unique itineraries, including sailings to the Norwegian fjords, the Mediterranean, and the British Isles, emphasizing enrichment programs and cultural experiences.
Azamara, a premium cruise line, focuses on destination immersion and unique cultural experiences. While not strictly adult-only, Azamara caters to a more mature audience with its sophisticated atmosphere, smaller ship sizes, and longer port stays. The cruise line’s itineraries cover various destinations, including Europe, Asia, and the Caribbean, with a particular emphasis on boutique ports and off-the-beaten-path locales.
Related: Cruise Lines Ranked by Luxury
Adults-Only Amenities and Activities
Serenity Areas and Relaxation Zones
One of the primary attractions of adults-only cruises is the tranquil atmosphere they provide. Most ships feature dedicated serenity areas or relaxation zones where you can unwind, read a book, or soak up the sun in peace.
Adults-Only Pools and Hot Tubs
Many adult-only cruise ships boast separate pools and hot tubs reserved exclusively for adult passengers. These areas provide a quieter environment for swimming, sunbathing, and relaxation, away from the hustle and bustle of family-oriented pools.
Exclusive Dining Options and Lounges
Adults-only cruises often feature exclusive dining venues and lounges, catering to the refined tastes of their adult clientele. From gourmet restaurants to chic cocktail bars, these spaces offer a sophisticated atmosphere and extensive culinary delights.
Enrichment Programs and Workshops
Cruise lines targeting an adult audience typically offer a variety of enrichment programs and workshops designed to stimulate the mind and enhance your cruising experience. Popular options include wine tastings, cooking classes, art workshops, and lectures on history or culture.
Adults-Only Entertainment and Nightlife
Adults-only cruise ships come alive with various entertainment options tailored for grown-ups when the sun goes down. From Broadway-style shows to live music performances and chic nightclubs, there’s no shortage of fun for night owls.
Choosing the Right Adults-Only Cruise
One of the first factors to consider when choosing an adult-only cruise is your desired destination. Each cruise line offers unique itineraries, so it’s essential to determine which locations appeal to you most. The options are almost endless, from tropical Caribbean getaways to European river cruises.
The length of your cruise is another essential aspect to keep in mind. Adults-only cruises vary in duration, ranging from short weekend escapes to multi-week adventures. Consider your available vacation time and the time you’d like to spend at sea before deciding.
Onboard Experience and Amenities
Each adults-only cruise line offers a different onboard experience, with varying luxury and amenities. When selecting a cruise, consider the atmosphere and onboard activities most important to you, such as gourmet dining, spa facilities, or enrichment programs.
Your budget will also play a role in choosing the right adults-only cruise. Prices can vary significantly between cruise lines and itineraries, so finding a balance between your desired experience and your budgetary constraints is essential. Some cruise fares include additional amenities like beverages and excursions, which may affect the overall value.
Tips for First-Time Adult Cruisers
Research and Reviews
Before booking an adults-only cruise, it’s crucial to do thorough research and read reviews from fellow travelers. This will give you a better understanding of the cruise line’s reputation, the onboard atmosphere, and what to expect during your voyage.
Cruise Line Reputation
Opt for a cruise line with a solid reputation in the adults-only niche. This ensures that your vacation will be tailored to your preferences and that you’ll be surrounded by like-minded travelers seeking a similar experience.
Consult a Travel Agent
If you need help determining which cruise line or itinerary is best for you, consider consulting with a travel agent specializing in cruises. They can provide expert advice and guidance, helping you find the perfect adults-only cruise for your needs and budget.
Impact on the Travel Industry
The Rise of Specialized Cruising Experiences
The growing popularity of adult-only cruises reflects a broader trend in the travel industry, with an increasing demand for specialized cruising experiences. This shift allows cruise lines to cater to specific niches, creating customized itineraries and onboard offerings that appeal to a targeted demographic.
Market Growth and Future Prospects
The adult-only cruise market has seen substantial growth in recent years, which is forecasted to continue. As more travelers seek tailored experiences, cruise lines will likely expand their adult-only offerings and develop new itineraries to meet this demand.
Cruise Lines Adapting to Changing Customer Demands
The emergence of adult-only cruises highlights the importance of adapting to changing customer preferences in the travel industry. Cruise lines that recognize and cater to these evolving demands are better positioned to succeed in a competitive market.
Adults-only cruise lines offer a unique and luxurious way to explore the world, providing tailored experiences for a sophisticated clientele. With various itineraries, amenities, and atmospheres, these cruises cater to those seeking serenity, enrichment, and indulgence at sea. As the popularity of adults-only cruises continues to rise, the travel industry is taking note, adapting to meet the demands of this discerning market segment. So, if you’re ready to embark on a voyage of relaxation, discovery, and world-class service, an adults-only cruise may be the perfect choice for your next vacation.
Christian Petzold is a successful touristic entrepreneur, experiential traveller and round-the-world backpacker. He holds an academic degree in tourism management.
His touristic expertise has been covered in radio, newspaper and television.