If you want to see the world, a sea voyage is a great way to really explore new places. While other forms of travel may limit you to one or two cities per trip, cruises allow you to visit several different locations—and enjoy yourself to the fullest as you move from place to place. But as you get older, the amenities you look for in a cruise liner might change. While you may have previously prioritized nightlife or children's activities, you may now prefer a quieter scene with a focus on more relaxing programming or one full of daytime activities and engaging evening entertainment. Read on to see what the best cruises are if you're over 60 no matter what you're looking for, according to travel experts. Bon voyage!
Consider Silversea the sexy and elegant older sibling to your traditional mega cruise. The company offers all-inclusive luxury accommodations, which encompass gourmet dining and alcoholic beverages. "The atmosphere is perfect for socializing, dining, and dancing," says David Adler, founder and CEO of The Travel Secret.
He notes that guests over 60 will particularly enjoy the stylish accommodations and personal butler service (there's a staff-to-guest ratio of nearly one-to-one.) The 10-ship fleet visits more than 900 destinations, including the Mediterranean, Alaska, the Galapagos Islands, and Australia. Each liner offers a spa, fitness classes, and an array of dining options. Programming is geared toward adults, so you don't have to worry about any little ones running around.
Royal Caribbean Cruises
One of the best-known cruise lines in the U.S. is also an incredible option for older folks. "People over 50 often want excitement," says Kyle Kroeger, founder of travel guide website ViaTravelers. "That's why I suggest one of the superships like Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas." Kroeger notes these mega-ships have some added benefits. For one, their size helps make movement less perceptible, which lessens seasickness. But older guests will likely be more allured by the array of activities offered.
Once aboard a Royal Caribbean cruise, you can do everything from rock climbing and mini-golf to ice skating and enjoying a day at the spa. The ship isn't adults only—and offers many activities for youngsters—but there are tons of adults-only programs both on the ship and on the shore.
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Based in Miami, Celebrity Cruises caters to the 60-and-up crowd with a quieter experience. "It delivers on the excitement of the typical mega-cruises but adds a hint of luxury and plenty of relaxation," says Marcello De Lio, co-founder of High Seas Cruising. "Unlike most mainstream mega-cruises, Celebrity's cruise ships don't have an active nightlife and party atmosphere."
Instead, these liners offer robust casinos, spas, and shopping centers. There are also shows, live music, and activities for little ones (if the grandkids come along). And, should you crave a nightcap or two, there are plenty of low-key evening parties and events to attend.
This British cruise line—one of the oldest in the world—is all about luxury. In fact, Princess Diana and Queen Elizabeth II have both been aboard. "Cunard is well regarded for its traditional approach to cruising and holds the honor of operating the last remaining ocean liner, the Queen Mary 2," says De Lio.
Daily programming includes lectures, films, afternoon tea, and croquet. De Lio notes that the cruise line also has one of the largest libraries at sea. During the evenings, you can expect classy affairs like black-tie formal events, ballroom dancing, and live music.
With stellar amenities and destinations, Viking Cruises tops our list as the best cruise for people over 60. "Viking has been a long-time favorite for its exceptional service, outstanding dining options, and luxury experience," says De Lio. The Switzerland-based company operates river, ocean, and expedition cruises—so if you decide it's a favorite, you can sail pretty much anywhere.
De Lio notes that Viking places a heavy emphasis on education with its shore excursions and onboard activities. Its destinations are top-notch, too. For example, you can travel to Budapest, Hungary, Vienna, Austria, and Regensburg, Germany on a romantic Danube River Cruise. Or, explore North America with an expedition cruise that tours the Great Lakes and Canada.
Viking has received numerous awards for its incredible offerings, including the No. 1 river cruise and ocean cruise lines in Condé Nast Traveler's 2021 Readers' Choice Awards. It was also recognized in Travel + Leisure's 2021 World's Best Awards.
In other words, it's time to stop reading and start booking.