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Are River Boat Cruises for Old People?

If you’ve been looking for a cruise vacation for a special trip or honeymoon, you may have noticed us recommending a number of river cruise operators. 

River cruises typically have a reputation for being aimed at the older generation, but we’re here to tell you that river cruises can be enjoyed by people of all ages.

In this article, we will take a look at why river cruises in particular attract an older clientele, as well as how suitable river cruises are for other generations. Are river boat cruises for old people? Are you too young to take a river cruise?  Are they suitable for young couples on a honeymoon? Are river cruises kid friendly? Read on to find out!

Are River Boat Cruises for Old People Only?

If you’ve been on a river cruise, or even looked into booking one, it may not come as much of a surprise to find that the majority of passengers are over the age of 50.

River cruises have a lot of features that make them a great choice for older people looking for a unique vacation, and traditionally that age group has been the main target audience for river cruise lines. Here are a few reasons why this cruise type in particular is so common with the older generation.

Time and Disposable Income

One of the main reasons that seniors have long been the target market for river cruise lines is that they have both the time and the disposable income to go on longer cruises, and they tend to spend extra for upgraded cabins and experiences.

Ease of Traveling

Another reason river boat cruises appeal to seniors is that they are an easy way to see multiple destinations in one trip. A river cruise takes you from place to place, allowing you to simply disembark and tour the area. This is much easier than having to make multiple reservations, navigate transportation, and pack and unpack several times. For anyone who has limited mobility or less energy than they used to, this makes a multi-destination trip more possible.

The Itineraries

River boat cruises are offered by a multitude of companies, each with a whole host of different destinations to choose from. Whether you’re looking to stay close to home on a U.S. riverboat cruise or go explore the beautiful cities of Europe, there’s something for everyone.

That said, no matter where you choose to visit, you’ll find that the majority of operators offer similar itineraries, in that they’re all quite culture heavy. Typically, stops at the different destinations will involve tours looking around the port cities, visits to museums, and relaxed activities such as wine tasting or food tours. These laid-back and slow-paced activities make these itineraries particularly attractive to the older generation. 

Close to Land

Age can bring with it a decline in health, and the older generation enjoying cruises is not unaffected by this.

Being close to land gives them the peace of mind that if anything were to happen to them while onboard, they would be able to make it to a medical facility quickly. This could be a huge worry on an ocean cruise, when ships are far out at sea for days at a time.

Onboard Activities

Much like the onshore itineraries, the onboard activities offered on river cruises are typically laid back and culture heavy.

Common activities are music, dance performances, and lectures and talks. Some cruises have musicians or artists in residence. These types of activities tend to be more appealing to seniors rather than a more nightlife/party atmosphere.

Who Else Can Go on a River Cruise?

Of course, just because river cruises are more popular with the older generation, this doesn’t mean that they’re restricted to people over 50 only! In this part of the article let’s take a look at some of the other groups who may wish to travel on a river cruise so you can decide if this type of trip is right for you.

Are River Cruises Family-Friendly?

Depending on the type of vacation you’re looking for, a river cruise can be great for families. If you’re traveling with older children such as young adults, or you’re in your 30s / 40s and looking to take your parents away on a relaxing trip, then a river cruise could be just the thing. It’s a great, relaxed way to see the world while spending quality time together.

If you’re traveling with young children, however, it’s worth looking at a different type of vacation. As river cruise ships are smaller, they typically don’t have a lot of amenities on offer that could keep younger children entertained. For this reason, we would recommend looking at a family-centric ocean cruise line such as Royal Caribbean or Disney.

Are You Too Young for a River Cruise?

When it comes to young adults looking for a cruise vacation, this typically comes down to personal preference.

If you’re looking for a fun-filled getaway with a group of friends, hoping to party every night on an unlimited alcohol package, nightclubs, and casinos, then a river cruise may not be for you. Instead, it’s best to speak to a cruise travel agent, who will be able to help you plan the perfect getaway for any occasion, suggesting the best ships with the best clubs and bars!

The Viking Longship Odin near the city of Budapest on the Danube River.

If, however, you’re looking for a relaxed and laid-back vacation where you can make amazing memories in a variety of wonderful locations, then a river cruise could very well be up your alley! Does wine tasting in a coastal village in the South of France sound more appealing than a night of partying onboard the ship? In that case, a river cruise for couples could be just what you’re looking for. 

If you want to be sure your cruise won’t have children on it, look for an adults-only river cruise. Most river cruise operators offer adult-only itineraries, and Viking river cruises are always adults only.

Consider speaking with one of our recommended river cruise travel agents, so they can help you book the perfect romantic getaway no matter the occasion!

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If you’d like more information on river cruises, the following articles may be helpful: Uniworld Cruises for Young Adults, Rhine vs. Danube River Cruises, Avalon vs. Viking, AmaWaterways or Avalon, Viking vs. AmaWaterways, Uniworld vs. Viking, Uniworld vs. Avalon, and Uniworld vs. Tauck.