4 Best Adult-Only Cruises for 2024

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Older couple standing in front of Royal Caribbean Ship

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Adult-only cruises are rapidly gaining popularity for those seeking a peaceful getaway. While traditional cruises cater extensively to families, resulting in bustling, child-filled environments, an emerging trend offers a serene, kid-free alternative.

As major cruise lines like Disney, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian focus on family-friendly attractions, a select few, such as the renowned Virgin Voyages, are pioneering adult-only experiences. These cruises promise a tranquil vacation away from the high-energy atmosphere typical of family-oriented ships.

Best Adult-Only Cruises

Here’s our list of five adult-only cruises for kid-free vacations:

  1. Virgin Voyages
  2. Viking Ocean Cruises
  3. P&O Cruises
  4. Saga Cruises
  5. U by Uniworld

Virgin Voyages

Scarlet Lady aft while docked at PortMiami Terminal VPin
Rendering Credit (Virgin Voyages)

Virgin Voyages is perfect for adults seeking an exhilarating and refined cruise experience. It’s an ideal choice for those who appreciate a modern, sophisticated approach to cruising, focusing on wellness, entertainment, and sustainable practices.

Virgin Voyages is a newer cruise line that’s redefining the adult cruising experience.

Virgin Voyages stands out with its “Adult-by-Design” concept. This means every voyage is an 18+ affair, ensuring a mature and sophisticated ambiance. Virgins’ adult-only policy caters to those seeking a tranquil getaway or a lively adventure without the presence of children.

The cruise line appeals to the adventurous spirit with its boundary-pushing offerings. From risque shows to wild nightlife, Virgin Voyages is not your typical cruise. It’s a haven for those seeking to party until dawn, with onboard activities and entertainment that push the envelope and ensure a memorable experience.

When I sailed on Virgin Voyages Scarlet Lady cruise ship, I found their all-inclusive cruise fare greatly improved compared to traditional cruise lines. The Virgin Voyages cruise fare includes:

  • WiFi
  • Essential drinks
  • Dining at all onboard restaurants
  • Gratuities
  • Group fitness classes
  • Onboard activities and entertainment

Virgin Voyages really shines when it comes to their dining offering. I found that Virgin offers the greatest dining experience of any cruise line. The food, service, and ambiance are far above other cruise lines.

The adult-only cruise line boasts over 20 unique eateries, ranging from upscale dining to casual, laid-back options, all without the extra charge. Each restaurant has a unique ambiance, with menus created by Micheline star chefs.

Wellness and fitness are at the heart of the Virgin Voyages experience.

The cruise line offers various fitness and wellness classes, catering to different interests and fitness levels. From yoga sessions at sunrise to high-energy group classes, there’s something to keep everyone energized and balanced.

Viking Ocean Cruises

Viking Octanis docked in Port Colborne Ontario CanadaPin
Photo Credit: Viking Cruises

Viking Ocean Cruises stands out as one of the premier cruise lines for adults, particularly appealing to a more mature demographic of 55 and older. Viking’s focus on older cruisers is evident in its offerings and cruise atmosphere. Viking Cruises offers a more refined experience, unlike Virgin’s party at sea.

Since its debut in 2015, the cruise line has enforced an 18+ age restriction, creating an environment tailored to adults without the presence of children. The adult-only cruise line policy extends across their 12-ship ocean cruise division and their 80-ship river cruise division.

Viking’s emphasis on enrichment is a significant draw for many adult travelers.

The cruise line offers an array of onboard lectures and learning opportunities designed to educate and engage passengers about various subjects, particularly those related to the destinations they visit. This educational aspect caters well to an older demographic that appreciates deeper insights into the cultures and histories of their travel destinations.

Viking Ocean Cruises offers itineraries focusing on destination-oriented tours highlighting the history and culture of each port. They offer at least one complimentary shore excursion in each port, allowing passengers to immerse themselves in local experiences without extra costs. Viking Cruises’ approach to shore excursions aligns with the interests of many adult travelers who seek more than just leisure and relaxation from their vacations.

The onboard entertainment on Viking cruises also differs significantly from what you might find on a typical cruise line. Instead of loud parties or youthful activities, Viking offers more sophisticated entertainment options, such as string quartets, which are more in line with the tastes of their target demographic.

P&O Cruises

P&O Cruises Arvia sailing in open water renderingPin
Rendering Courtesy: P&O Cruises

With over 180 years of experience, P&O Cruises is the world’s oldest cruise line. The British cruise line offers a unique cruising experience that caters exceptionally well to adults, especially through its adult-only ships, the Aurora and Arcadia. The adult-only cruise ships are designed for travelers seeking a more serene and mature atmosphere, free from the hustle and bustle often associated with family cruising.

Passengers can enjoy various activities and amenities tailored to adult preferences. From sophisticated dining experiences featuring traditional British cuisine to incredible onboard entertainment options, these ships ensure a comfortable and enjoyable journey.

P&O cruises adult-only ships also provide opportunities for enrichment through various lectures, workshops, and classes, appealing to the intellectual curiosity of adult passengers.

Additionally, the adult-only cruises offer thoughtfully crafted itineraries to appeal to adult interests. Whether it’s exploring historic cities, soaking in the beauty of natural landscapes, or indulging in cultural experiences, these itineraries are designed to provide enriching and memorable experiences at each destination.

It’s important to note that while P&O Cruises caters to a wide range of travelers with its family-friendly and adult-only ships, the adult-only cruises have received particular acclaim for providing a more refined and relaxed atmosphere. P&O Cruises adult-only ships are an excellent choice for adults seeking a cruise experience that prioritizes their preferences and comfort.

Saga Cruises

MS Saga Sapphire docked at port in alaskaPin

Saga Cruises has established itself as a premier choice for adult travelers. The minimum age to sail with Saga isn’t 18 or 21. It’s 50. The 50-year age limit ensures a more refined experience for mature adults.

One of the most notable features of Saga Cruises is its all-inclusive itineraries, ensuring guests enjoy a hassle-free vacation. The cruise line’s smaller vessels offer itineraries to exotic destinations like the Canary Islands, Greenland, Iceland, the Mediterranean, and the Adriatic. This variety caters to different interests, whether one is looking to explore historical sites or enjoy the natural beauty of remote destinations.

Saga’s attention to the needs of older travelers is also seen in their thoughtful services, such as the extended return chauffeur service, now available for up to 300 miles from the departure port. This service provides an added level of convenience, especially for those who may find extensive travel challenging.

Reviews from passengers highlight Saga’s commitment to quality and care, with many praising the attentive staff and the overall pleasant atmosphere on board. The cruise line excels in providing a comfortable and engaging environment, emphasizing excellent service and a range of activities suitable for their target demographic.

Saga Cruises’ focus on providing a refined and enjoyable experience for mature travelers, along with their range of destinations and quality service, makes them a top choice for adults seeking a cruise that caters specifically to their preferences and needs​

Other Adult-Focused Cruises

If the cruise lines on this list don’t pique your interest, you can find other brands that, while not specifically adult-only, have designed their ships and experiences for the adult demographic.

Luxury cruise lines like Regent Seven Seas, Silver Sea, Seabourn, and Windstar Cruises allow children on their ships. However, these luxury cruise lines actively target the adult cruising market so that you won’t find nearly as many kids as with leading cruise lines.

And if you find yourself on a mainstream, family-focused cruise lines and need an adult-only space, most cruise lines have age-restricted sections on the ship.

Article by

Marcello De Lio

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