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The 10 Best Cruise Lines for Adults, According to a Kid-Free Cruiser

A kids-free zone

best cruise lines for adults a photo of a couple on a ship
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Even though I’ve noticed a trend in the cruise industry leaning towards more family-friendly fleets (I’m looking at you, Royal Caribbean), a lot of us still see the perks of a kid-free vacation. And while many (if not all) cruises have dedicated spaces for adults on board, sometimes you don’t want to be pigeon-holed into one area for the entirety of your trip in order to get some peace and quiet. So, I went on the hunt to find the best cruise lines for adults, so you can relax and have fun with the 21-and-over crowd. 

The Best Cruises for Adults at a Glance

1

Newcomer

Virgin Voyages

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2

Best for Older Travelers

Viking

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3

Most Luxurious Cruise

Seabourn

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4

Best Amenities

Celebrity

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5

Best Destination Options

Oceania Cruises

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How I Chose the Best Cruise Lines for Adults

I’ve been on seven cruises since 2018, including Princess, Norwegian and Royal Caribbean. I have firsthand experience on each cruise line’s amenities, food, entertainment and more. I also spent time researching all the cruise lines on this list (especially the ones I’ve never been on) and did a deep dive to find out key destinations, ship information and star perks aboard their vessels. I even took it a step further and checked out reviews straight from the people—i.e., on places like Reddit, TikTok and travel blogs. 

Newcomer

1. Virgin Voyages

Virgin Voyages

Virgin Voyages came on the scene in 2021 and promised to create a cruise line for adults. In four years, it launched three ships: Scarlet Lady, Valiant Lady and Resilient Lady and gave guests full access to all its amenities. Per their website, the cruise line strives to let passengers try out over 20 eateries, participate in unlimited group fitness classes, enjoy free Wi-Fi and check live entertainment at an affordable price. 

Speaking of entertainment, the cruise line takes it up a notch with their theme nights like PJ Party (aka a cool pajama party) and We Fancy (dress code: elegant), along with epic dance parties like Heartbeat inspired by Brooklyn’s own House of Yes, performances like Duel Reality which tells a modern interpretation of Romeo & Juliet and immersive experiences to get you involved in the show. Let’s not forget other fun activities to surely make a vacation a memorable one: ala private karaoke booths, casinos and a multi-story nightclub. 

FAST FACTS

  • Best for: night owls
  • Minimum Age: 18+
  • Popular Destinations: Puerto Plata, Santorini, Ibiza, Costa Maya, Amsterdam
  • Amenities: restaurants, fitness center, shops, bars, spa, pools, casino
  • Price Range: $1,032 to $5,364 per person

Best for Older Travelers

2. Viking

Viking Cruises

If you’re searching for a cruise line for adults, Viking should be on the top of your list. The cruise line is best known for their ocean, river and expedition cruises for adults 18 and over. According to their website, “All guests must be 18 years old on or before the day they are scheduled to embark on their cruise; we do not maintain facilities or services on board for younger individuals.” Since 2000, Viking has always made it their mission to target older travelers, more specifically those over 55 to join their ships, so don’t expect to see any kiddos running around.

Viking currently has over 60 ships in their fleet that travel all around the world. You can take an iconic Western Mediterranean trip (Barcelona to Rome), a Grand European tour (Budapest to Amsterdam) or a Great Lakes voyage (Toronto to Minnesota). While many of the ships feature pools, restaurants, a library room and theater, most travelers go for the thrilling excursions and even participate in lectures specifically found on the expedition ships (Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris) that are great for the curious scientist or animal lover. 

FAST FACTS

  • Best for: adventure seekers
  • Minimum Age: 18+
  • Popular Destinations: Rome, Athens, Sydney, Vancouver, Shanghai
  • Amenities: restaurants, fitness center, hair salon, shops, bars, spa, pools
  • Price Range: $1,999 to $79,995 per person

Most Luxurious Cruise

3. Seabourn

Seabourn

This luxurious cruise line provides an intimate and personalized experience that will make you feel like you’re vacationing on a yacht. Per their website, their ships can carry between 264 and 600 guests at time (compared to Royal Caribbean’s Icon of the Seas can hold over 5,000 passengers). As a result, the bookings are extremely popular and limited. (In fact, it appears that most of their summer dates are already sold out.) While the minimum age is 6 years old, the target audience is around 35 and older, according to Travel Weekly. So, whether you’re looking for a traditional cruise or an expedition, Seabourn offers trips all around the world for seven to 30 days at sea—which gives you ample time to enjoy a relaxing massage at their spa, try to win big at the casino or have a dip in the pool. All of their ships also include live entertainment, fine dining and an all-inclusive package. 

Fast Facts

  • Best for: smaller crowds
  • Minimum Age: 6+
  • Popular Destinations: Edinburgh, Amsterdam, Lisbon, Monte Carlo, Alaska
  • Amenities: restaurants, fitness center, hair salon, shops, bars, spa, pools, casino
  • Price Range: $7,436 to $10,299 per person

Best Amenities

4. Celebrity

Celebrity

While Celebrity allows travelers of all ages to board their ships, travel site Sophisticated Travel found that most passengers are between their 40s and 50s. As one redditor commented, “[I] have cruised Celebrity a few times. They have a few amenities for kids, so there are [a] few kids. [However] if [there] were any kids they were not really noticeable. In our experience no waterslides/waterparks equal very few kids on board.” The cruise line has been around since the ‘90s and currently has 16 ships in its fleet, traveling to port stops  like Key West, Florida to Athens, Greece. The best part is you can schedule a weekend getaway or a long holiday for the entire season. 

The cruise line prides itself on its extensive food and beverage options, using world-renowned chef dishes in their specialty restaurants and a wide selection of cocktails at your disposal. Plus, fun entertainment and nightlife events exclusively for adults like the Undercover, which is an exhibition inspired by the 1920s, and the Jazz Joint that turns the ship’s signature club into a speakeasy. Plus, most ships feature the Solarium, a space only for adults to lounge around and explore the inside pool minus kids. 

FAST FACTS

  • Best for: entertainment 
  • Minimum Age: 6 months
  • Popular Destinations: Bahamas, Barcelona, Vancouver, Florence, St. Kitts & Nevis
  • Amenities: globally inspired cuisines, fitness center, shops, bars, spa, pools, casino
  • Price Range: $237 to $17,535 per person

Best Destination Options

5. Oceania Cruises

Oceania Cruises

Oceania Cruises only has six ships, but it’s been around since the early aughts. They sail around the world with destinations to New Zealand, Asia, Africa and 130 other locations. In fact, Oceania offers some of the longest stays on this list. Sure, you can cruise for a weekend or seven days, but the cruise line also offers long durations like a 200 days vacation—departing from Miami, Florida and visiting Caribbean islands (St. Maarten, Barbados) and parts of Brazil before arriving to New York. The cruise line is also known for its culinary experiences and enrichment programs. They have a dedicated library room so you can read comfortably as you sail, as well as guest lectures to learn more about the destinations you’re visiting and classes to learn how the meals are prepared. 

And if you’re wondering if the cruise line is ‘adult-enough,’ one Tripadvisor commenter believes it a huge hit for the 50+ crowd: “I would not recommend it unless it’s a port intensive trip. There are no activities for kids. The average age on board is 60s and above. They have trivia, bingo [and] needlepoint (cooking classes and art classes are hard to get). The entertainment is usually a string quartet and maybe a magician if you’re lucky. I wouldn’t take my adult children in their 30s for fear of their boredom. I would try Disney or Celebrity.” 

Fast Facts

  • Best for: world travelers
  • Minimum Age: 6 months
  • Popular Destinations: Lisbon, Iceland, Tokyo, Montreal, New York
  • Amenities: globally inspired cuisines, fitness center, bars, spa, pools
  • Price Range: $799 to $62,999 per person

Best Spa

6. Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line

I’ve personally been on three Norwegian cruises (twice on Prima) and found very few children on board. While there are many thrill-seeking amenities fit for the whole family, there are plenty of ways to stray away from the younger folks. I found Norwegian Prima’s guests skew a bit older based on their upscale aesthetic around the ship that looks straight out of the MOMA museum. I appreciate Norwegian for its freestyle experience, with specialty and complimentary dining options that provide items outside of your usual pizza and hot dog joint. 

The Norwegian Prima is also home to one of largest spas I’ve ever seen at sea. There are two gigantic pools, a few sauna rooms and a large lounge area overlooking the ocean. I spent hours in there just taking in the quiet and calming ambience. Plus, the live productions of Summer: The Donna Summer Musical and tribute shows that honor the like of Michael Jackson or Adele are just some of the ways they cater towards millennials, Gen Xers and boomers. Most ships even have dedicated pubs and intimate bars that play classic music from the 60s to early ‘00s, too.

FAST FACTS

  • Best for: freestyle dining
  • Minimum Age: 6 months
  • Popular Destinations: Alaska, Hawaii, Mykonos, Florence, Iceland
  • Amenities: restaurants, fitness center, bars, spa, pools, activities
  • Price Range: $79 to $10,799 per person

Best Entertainment

7. Holland America Line

Holland America Line

A cruise line owned by Carnival (a popular family-friend cruise company), Holland America Line is possibly the oldest cruise line of the bunch. It dates back to 1873 and was used as cargo and transportation service. Today, the ships are used for leisure as they travel all around the world, docking in the likes of Hawaii and Japan. You can spend a day—or 53 days—sailing with each ship. According to Reddit, cruisers have seen families and smaller children, but found the majority of guests were over 40. 

A standout feature of their newer ships is the entertainment on board. If you’re a music lover, ships like the Rotterdam and Koningsdam have the B.B King’s Blues Club and Rolling Stone Lounge that cater to playing the classic hits. Holland America Line also partnered with the Professional Pickleball Association to provide state of the art pickleball courts with impeccable views, as well as a casino and a spa, so every guest can find an activity they can enjoy on vacation.  

FAST FACTS

  • Best for: music lovers
  • Minimum Age: 6 months
  • Popular Destinations: Montreal, Rome, Alaska, The Netherlands, Seattle
  • Amenities: restaurants, fitness center, bars, spa, pools, activities, casino
  • Price Range: $94 to $27,399 per person

Best Suites

8. Regent Seven Seas Cruise

Regent Seven Seas Cruise

Regent Seven Seas Cruise currently has six ships put the luxury in luxurious vacation. Owned by Norwegian Cruise Line, Regent has been around for 30 years and continues to be a popular pick for older adults. As one travel critic shared, the cruise line has an average of passengers that are over 40 on their ships due to its all-inclusive regent experience. The 2-in-1 deal features round-trip flight, unlimited shore excursions, unlimited Wi-Fi and more. They also stand apart from their competitors with their suite-only accommodations. Per their website, Regent promises incredible ocean views and a private balcony just for you. Plus, 24-hour room service and all the traditional amenities (i.e., spa, fitness center and casino) that makes a cruise worthwhile. 

FAST FACTS

  • Best for: luxurious accommodations
  • Minimum Age: 6 months
  • Popular Destinations: London, Lisbon, Barcelona, San Juan, Instanbul
  • Amenities: restaurants, fitness center, spa, pools, activities, casino
  • Price Range: $4,199 to $101,499 per person

Best Inclusive Package

9. Silversea Cruises

Silversea

Silversea is a luxury cruise line that’s great for romantic getaways. Once you step on board, you’re treated to personalized service (like 24-hour butler service), part of the inclusive package for each guest. Similar to Regent, there’s unlimited shore excursions, so you can explore every port on your trip. The fleet reaches about 900 destinations, including Galápagos Island, French Polynesia and Antarctica. The cruise line also offers complimentary beverages and fine dining. The most popular is the S.A.L.T Kitchen, which provides dishes based on your destinations. There’s even a more exclusive chef option only on their Nova-class ships for a more intimate setting. It offers the same experience with more food and wine options ready to try out. 

FAST FACTS

  • Best for: destinations
  • Minimum Age: 6 months
  • Popular Destinations: Galapagos, Venice, Norway, Copenhagen, Alaska
  • Amenities: restaurants, fitness center, lounges, spa, pools, activities, casino
  • Price Range: $2,800 to $131,700 per person

Editor's Pick

10. Princess Cruises

Princess Cruises

I recently traveled with Princess Cruises, and I highly recommend it for adults who aren’t traveling with kids in mind. As mentioned, I’ve been on seven cruises, and this by far has been the least family-friendly cruise line—in a good way! Although there were some kids and teens, the ship was made of mostly older travelers. I was actually surprised by how much it catered to adults over kids. It didn’t have many thrilling amenities like waterslides or an expansive basketball court that usually draw the younger crowds, but there were plenty of things that made the ship thrilling and exciting for mature folks.

For instance, Spellbound, an interactive cocktail experience hat features magicians, an exclusive bar and experimental dishes. There’s also Love by Britto, a dining experience which is heart-themed (down to the utensils) and sets a romantic vibe for couples. Additionally, all Princess ships have many ways to unwind and have fun that cater toward adults, like including their spa, theaters and pool decks.In fact, their latest ship, the Sun Princess, also has the Sanctuary, a pool area set apart from the rest of the ship that’s strictly for adults, so you can lounge under the sun all day without interruption. 

FAST FACTS

  • Best for: immersive dining
  • Minimum Age: 6 months
  • Popular Destinations: Sydney, Vancouver, San Juan, London, Barcelona
  • Amenities: restaurants, fitness center, lounges, spa, pools, activities, casino
  • Price Range: $127 to $23,398 per person

about face matte fluid eye paint review chelsea candelario

Beauty & Cultures Editor, Ultimate Fangirl, NY Native

Chelsea Candelario is a Beauty & Cultures Editor at PureWow. She has been covering beauty, culture, fashion and entertainment for over a decade. You'll find her searching the...