What cruise does not allow kids?

Cruising is a popular vacation option for families with children. Many major cruise lines like Royal Caribbean, Carnival, and Disney cater specially to kids with dedicated youth programs, family-friendly activities, and more. However, some cruises take the opposite approach and are exclusively for adults only. Cruises without kids provide a quieter, more relaxed atmosphere suited for couples, singles, or groups of friends. Here is an overview of the top adult-only cruises and cruise lines that do not allow children under a certain age.

Virgin Voyages

Virgin Voyages is one of the newest cruise lines, having launched its first ship in 2020. It markets itself as a boutique adult-only cruise line. Virgin prohibits children under 18 years old from sailing. The only exceptions are special holiday sailings during winter and spring breaks where the minimum age is increased to 5 years old. Virgin’s fleet includes:

  • Scarlet Lady – Caribbean itineraries from Miami
  • Valiant Lady – Mediterranean itineraries from Barcelona
  • Resilient Lady (under construction) – Caribbean itineraries from New York City starting in 2022

Virgin Voyages caters exclusively to adult travelers with features like:

  • VIP Area – Exclusive lounge area, pool, and restaurant restricted to suite guests and RockStar suite guests
  • Tattoo parlor
  • Luxury spa
  • Adults-only events and nightlife options like drag bingo and late night comedy shows
  • Full-service gym

With its boutique ships carrying only around 2800 passengers, Virgin Voyages offers a sleek, hip, adult atmosphere free from kids.

P&O Cruises

P&O Cruises is a British cruise line that offers adult-only ships in addition to family-friendly ships. The following P&O ships prohibit kids under 18:

  • Arcadia
  • Aurora
  • Azura

On these adult-only P&O ships, guests must be over 18 years old. The cruises attract mature travelers looking for sophisticated dining, enrichment activities, and entertainment without the presence of children.

Fred Olsen Cruise Lines

Fred Olsen is another British cruise line with four intimate, adult-focused ships:

  • Balmoral – Carries up to 1,350 guests
  • Boudicca – Carries up to 900 guests
  • Black Watch – Carries up to 804 guests
  • Braemar – Carries up to 929 guests

While there are no strict bans on children, Fred Olsen caters their experience almost exclusively to adults. Children are a rarity on board, with various surveys suggesting only 1-3% of passengers on a typical Fred Olsen cruise are under 18 years old. The line appeals primarily to mature British travelers looking for destination-focused itineraries like small port visits and scenic cruising.

Holland America Line

While Holland America Line has marketed itself as a premium cruise line for all ages, they have a few options for adult-only cruises:

  • Grand Voyages – Holland America’s extended Grand Voyage itineraries that last 50+ days are exclusively for guests over 21.
  • partial Panama Canal transits – Holland America has select Panama Canal sailings that require guests to be over 21.

These restricted sailings let guests enjoy Holland America’s refined onboard experience without children present.


Cunard is known for offering a traditional luxury ocean liner experience. While they allow children on main cruises, several areas of their ships are restricted as adults-only, including:

  • Queens Grill and Princess Grill suites – These luxurious suites provide butler service and exclusive access to a private restaurant and lounge that is adults-only every evening.
  • Canyon Ranch SpaClub – The spa and hydrotherapy pools do not permit kids during any time of day.

With strict dress codes, upscale dining, enriching lecturers, and nosmoking policies, Cunard caters to refined mature travelers. The adults-only sanctuaries help maintain the sophisticated ambiance.

Saga Cruises

Saga Cruises out of the UK is specifically designed for the over 50’s traveler. The minimum age to sail is 50 years old for the entire ship. Saga provides two intimate, adults-only boutique ships:

  • Saga Sapphire – Carries up to 720 guests
  • Spirit of Discovery – Carries up to 999 guests

With single seating dining, enrichment activities, guest lecturers, and slower paced shore excursions, Saga Cruises are tailored exclusively for the mature adult traveler.

Phoenix Reisen

Phoenix Reisen is a German cruise line that has several adult-only options. Their Artania ship offers cruises where the minimum age is 21 years old. Phoenix also has a “Holiday for Adults” collection which prohibits children under 16 on cruises to destinations like the Canary Islands, northern Europe, and the Mediterranean.

Celestyal Cruises

The Greece-based Celestyal Cruises occasionally offers adult-only cruises aboard their ship Celestyal Olympia. These cruises restrict guests to a minimum age of 18. Their two night “Eclectic Aegean” sampler cruises departing from Athens are sometimes marketed as adult-only.

Partial Adult-Only Sailings on Mainstream Cruise Lines

In addition to adult-only cruise lines, some mainstream cruise companies like Royal Caribbean, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Princess offer certain sailings that are adult-only:

  • Norwegian Cruise Line – A subset of Norwegian’s cabins are designated as studio cabins just for solo travelers. The studio lounge and common area is exclusively for studio guests only.
  • Princess Cruises – On some longer voyages of 30+ days, Princess prohibits guests under 18.
  • Royal Caribbean – Their Oasis Class ships offer adult-only Solarium areas off limit to kids.
  • MSC Cruises – Offers adult-only sailings on ships departing from the UK and South Africa markets.

While mainstream cruise lines focus on families, they offer these limited adult-only options to provide alternatives for travelers without children.

Small Ship Luxury Cruise Lines

Many upscale, small ship cruise lines that focus on luxury, romance, and seclusion have a minimum age requirement that excludes younger children. These include:

  • Windstar Cruises – No guests under 8 years old permitted
  • Seabourn Cruise Line – No guests under 1 year old permitted
  • SeaDream Yacht Club – No guests under 8 years old permitted
  • Crystal Cruises – No guests under 2 years old permitted
  • Regent Seven Seas Cruises – No guests under 6 months old permitted
  • Silversea Cruises – No guests under 6 months old permitted

With high fares and suites-only small ships, these luxury cruise lines naturally attract older, affluent travelers. The age restrictions subtly enforce the adult atmosphere by preventing babies, toddlers, and young children from coming on board.

River Cruise Lines

While some ocean cruise lines exclude children, river cruising is also predominantly geared toward mature adult travelers. Most major river cruise companies impose age restrictions or don’t cater specifically to kids. For example:

  • Viking River Cruises – No guests under 18 permitted
  • AmaWaterways – No guests under 4 years old permitted
  • Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection – No guests under 4 years old permitted
  • Avalon Waterways – No kids programs or dedicated services

The intimate nature of river ships, destination focused itineraries, and high fares draw in primarily older travelers. Kids are rare, so river cruises have an inherently adult atmosphere.

Themed Cruises

In addition to specific cruise lines, certain themed cruises that focus on interests like music, fitness, hobbies, LGBTQ+ culture, and more have minimum age requirements. Examples include:

  • Kid Rock’s Chillin’ the Most Cruise – Guests must be 16 or older
  • 80’s Cruise – Guests must be 21 or older
  • Atlantis gay ocean and river cruises – Guests must be 18 or older
  • Craft cruises focused on scrapbooking, quilting, or knitting – 18 is the most common minimum age

Targeting enthusiasts of a particular hobby or music genre, these theme cruises aim for an adults-only environment.

Tips for Booking an Adult-Only Cruise

Here are some tips to help you have the best adults-only cruise experience:

  • Book far in advance – Adult-only sailings are popular and cabins book up quickly.
  • Check age policies – Make sure you meet the minimum age requirements for the cruise line and ship.
  • Understand time restrictions – Some ships with kids allowed have designated adults-only times in certain areas.
  • Consider repositioning cruises – Long ocean crossings tend to attract fewer children and families.
  • Try a theme cruise – Music, hobby, and special interest cruises often ban kids.
  • Avoid school holidays – Cruises during summer and holidays attract more families.

Cruise Lines that Allow Children

While the above cruise lines cater to adults, these mainstream cruise companies have family-friendly reputations and encourage kids to cruise:

Royal Caribbean Disney Cruise Line Carnival Cruise Line
Norwegian Cruise Line Celebrity Cruises Princess Cruises
MSC Cruises Costa Cruises Holland America (most ships)

These lines offer kids clubs, youth activities, character meet-and-greets, pool areas, family shore excursions, kid-friendly menus, and more. While they have some adult spaces, families are their target market.


While most major cruise lines allow children and cater extensively to families, there are ways for travelers to enjoy an adult-only cruising experience. Certain niche cruise lines prohibit kids fleetwide or on select sailings. Mainstream lines also offer adult-only spaces, activities, and occasionally child-free sailings. By choosing the right cruise line and ship, reading age policies carefully, traveling in shoulder seasons, and booking far in advance, you can find a fantastic cruise free of kids.

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