Researching flights, finding places to stay, and looking up things to do in the area you’re visiting are the most stressful parts of planning a vacation. Plus, most of the time, you only get to experience one destination at a time.
With a cruise, not only do you get to hand off all the hard work to someone else, but you also get to experience multiple destinations in one trip. While these two factors might be appealing to just about anyone, they are especially appealing to seniors looking for the perfect vacation without any of the hassles. To help you find your own perfect seniors getaway, below are five cruise lines offering the best senior cruises for 2020.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises
For those looking for a more luxurious cruise experience, Regent Seven Sea Cruises offers four all-suite ships traveling to more than 450 destinations around the world. These destinations include the Panama Canal, transatlantic, South Pacific, Alaska, and the Mediterranean. Your payment includes airfare, accommodations, meals, alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, gratuities, and most shore excursions. For a little more, Regent offers more extensive shore excursions, such as behind-the-scenes tours of world-famous attractions, immersive cultural experiences, and culinary tours. You can end each day with dinner served to you by the onboard pool.
A high 1:1.5 staff-to-passenger ratio, ship-wide accessibility for passengers with disabilities, and entertainment tailored to your interests and abilities make Regent the perfect senior cruise experience.
Holland America Line
With hundreds of cruises to countries across the world, seniors are bound to find something up their alley aboard Holland America Line. Besides plenty of onboard activities, such as music and performances at the variety of onboard venues, Holland also offers hands-on and demonstrative culinary classes where you can brush up on your cooking skills.
You may even be lucky enough to board one of Holland’s two ships that offer BLEND. BLEND is the world’s only purpose-built wine-blending venue at sea. You can even create an individual blend of wine from up to five barrels of single-vineyard red wine grown and produced at the Chateau St. Michelle winery in Washington State. Before indulging in wine, you can fill your stomach at any of the five specialty onboard restaurants. These restaurants offer cuisine ranging from Italian to Asian to French. Holland also prides itself on being among the most disability-friendly cruise lines in the industry with plenty of support and available arrangements for wheelchairs, scooters, and other disability issues.
Hop on any one of Oceania Cruises‘ six luxury ships and enjoy itineraries ranging from 22 days to 180 days all around the world. If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, you can choose one of Oceania’s smaller ships. These ships stop in less-visited ports, such as the Seychelles islands in the Indian Ocean and Komodo Island in Indonesia. Oceania partners with tour operators in these less-popular areas to give unique onshore excursions highlighting the local culture, history, and cuisine. Similarly, Oceania also offers plenty of on-land bucket list tours like snorkeling with the dolphins in French Polynesia, hiking in the Amazon, exploring the markets in Nice, and even visiting Mount Everest.
If staying on board is more your thing, you can enjoy dinner venues offering everything from Asian to French delicacies. You can also brush up on your own culinary skills by taking some cooking classes. Finally, you can start/end your days relaxing at one of the onboard spas and fitness centers or experiment with Chinese medicine and Buddhist meditation.
If you’re not interested in things like onboard casinos and want a more authentic, cultural seniors cruise, then Viking Cruises might be more up your alley. They offer classes, events, excursions, and activities catering to virtually any interest you can think of. This includes history, art, science, local culture, and cuisine.
Without even leaving the ship, you can go enjoy an authentic Scandinavian thermal experience at the snow grotto, take in a lecture or TED Talk, take cooking classes at The Kitchen Table, and watch a 3D film in the Explorers’ Dome. Off the ship, you can go hunting for truffles in Provence, attend a ballet or opera from the world-renowned Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia, or visit a small family farm outside the Norwegian town of Bergen for an additional fee. These examples represent just a few of the possible itineraries available across Europe, Asia, and other destinations. Pricing includes meals, beer, and wine during lunch and dinner, port charges, Internet access, lectures, activities, and one shore excursion in every port.
Similar to Viking, Avalon Waterways offers the perfect seniors cruise for those wanting cultural immersion over standard entertainment and amenities. For example, common cruises for seniors include Paris to Normandy’s Landing Beaches along the River Seine, Tulip Time Cruise for Nature and Garden Lovers through Holland and Belgium, and a two-week Magnificent Europe itinerary from Amsterdam to Budapest along the Danube and Rhine. Thanks to Avalon Choice, a feature introduced in 2019, passengers on European itineraries can select between three types of excursions every day, depending on interests and ability level. These include:
- Classic, which covers the traditional history and heritage of a destination with a local guide;
- Discovery, which is more hands-on and interactive with the local culture, and;
- Active, which offers tours for the more eager and physically active.
Avalon’s pricing covers all meals, sparkling wines at breakfast, regional wines and beer with lunch and dinner, enrichment activities, entertainment, and shore excursions with local guides. To top it all off, Avalon equips its ships with elevators for easier accessibility.