Are River Cruises Kid Friendly?

Today’s honeymoons and romantic getaways look different for everyone. Many couples with children choose to include them in their vacation plans. 

A popular vacation type is a river cruise, a common choice for many types of couples. Whether you’re looking for a tour across Europe, to explore the rivers of Southeast Asia, or to remain close to home in the U.S., you can have a fabulous holiday on a river cruise.

So if you’re looking to take your children with you, you might be wondering, are river cruises kid friendly? In short, it depends on the cruise line, the itinerary, and sometimes even the ship.

On the flip side, perhaps you’re hoping for a romantic getaway with no children in sight. Worry not, some river cruise lines offer strictly adults-only itineraries.

In this article, we will look at some of the most popular river cruise operators to see if their river cruises are kid friendly.

Are AmaWaterways River Cruises Kid Friendly?

AmaWaterways isn’t the clearest when it comes to being kid friendly. While they allow children onboard, they don’t cater to them. So if you’re traveling with little ones looking for exciting things to do, AmaWaterways may not be the best choice.

If your children are happy to keep themselves entertained, however, AmaWaterways could be a good option for you. AmaWaterways also does not provide onboard childcare services, so bear this in mind.

Their river cruise age limits vary depending on the destination and itinerary:

  • Europe and Southeast Asia: Children aged 4 and under are not permitted. Children aged 4 – 7 are not recommended.
  • Africa Safaris Program: Minimum age limit of 12 years old, unless otherwise agreed upon by AmaWaterways due to safety precautions. All guests under the age of 18 must remain supervised at all times and must be in a stateroom with an adult, who is responsible for their safety at all times.

When it comes to how kid-friendly their staterooms are, AmaWaterways is actually pretty good! Children between the ages of 4 and 10 are permitted to share a standard double stateroom with two adults, so long as the child can share the bed, as no additional bed will be provided. 

Some ships offer staterooms with a fold-out sofa for a third occupant, so if you’re wanting an extra space to sleep your little one, be sure to ask about this when booking.

AmaWaterways is an excellent option for traveling with older children, as they provide a range of interesting activities and excursions in their destinations. 

Are Avalon River Cruises Kid Friendly?

Like AmaWaterways, Avalon isn’t the most kid friendly. While children over the age of 8 are permitted onboard, they don’t cater to them. So if you’re looking for a child-friendly option, Avalon may not be the choice for you.

If traveling with older children who can appreciate the different destinations and are happy to sit and relax with the adults or take a dip in the pool, Avalon is a good choice.

That said, they don’t offer any children’s services, hangout areas, or childcare services.

Avalon’s age limit is fleet-wide:

  • Children under 8 years of age are not permitted onboard.

Avalon cruise ship staterooms are not child or family-friendly, with only double beds on offer. So unless you’re happy to get multiple rooms, Avalon is probably not the most kid friendly river cruise line.

Is Tauck Kid Friendly?

Tauck is another river cruise line that permits children onboard. However, similar to the others we’ve discussed so far, they don’t cater to children so younger ones might get bored.

Tauck’s age limit differs depending on the cruise:

  • The minimum age for Tauck Bridges River Cruises is 4 years old.
  • For each itinerary, Tauck provides a recommended minimum age to ensure comfort and enjoyment for all guests.

All children must be accompanied to activities by a parent or guardian to ensure safety, and at least one guest in the party must be aged 21 or older to make a reservation. 

Some onshore activities offered do have a different minimum age requirement than Tauck’s age limit, so please read the fine print before booking or consult with your travel agent to avoid disappointment.

It’s also important to note that Tauck will remove guests of all ages if they cause disruption, so if your child is prone to the occasional tantrum, you may want to avoid this line just to be on the safe side.

They also do not provide family-friendly staterooms onboard. 

All that said, if you’re not set on a river cruise, Tauck has created an excursion package called “Tauck Bridges” which is a tour on land. This tour type comes with a focus on families and creating beautiful and unique memories together with the people you love. Each itinerary has a different minimum age recommendation to ensure everyone can have an enjoyable and safe experience.

Is Uniworld Kid Friendly?

Uniworld, like the others on this list, also accepts children on their river cruises, but does not cater to them specifically. They’re a great choice if you’re traveling with older children who are able to keep themselves entertained, or simply enjoy relaxing by the pool.

Some Uniworld cruises are adults-only. These itineraries are typically better suited to those looking for a romantic getaway or honeymoon.

However, Uniworld offers a selection of family-friendly cruises across Europe and Egypt that provide a fun and unique experience for all the family. It also offers the Generations program, which has services designed for families traveling with children, on certain cruises.

Uniworld’s river cruise destinations have different minimum age requirements:

  • For itineraries in Europe, Asia, India, and Egypt, children must be at least 4 years of age. Under-18s must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and booked into a cabin with someone who is aged at least 21 years old.
  • For itineraries in Peru, children must be at least 7 years of age. Guests under the age of 21 must be booked into a cabin with someone who is at least 25 years or older, or traveling with a parent or guardian booked into a connecting suite.

Some excursions are not suitable for younger guests, so you’ll need to bear this in mind when booking. 

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

Are Viking River Cruises Kid Friendly?

This last entry on our list has a very short answer: No.

Viking River Cruises are all adults only, allowing passengers that are 18 and over. If you’re looking for a romantic getaway or honeymoon, and don’t want to be surrounded by families and children, then this company might just be the perfect one for you!

Are River Cruises Kid Friendly? Conclusion

Overall, most river cruises aren’t great for traveling with young children. They have far fewer amenities than ocean cruises due to their ship size, so can’t typically provide enough features to keep small kids entertained.

If you’re traveling with older children though, a river cruise can be a wonderfully enriching experience for the whole family to experience amazing travel and culture together.

If you’re still not sure which river cruise line and itinerary might be best for you and your family, you may want to talk to a river cruise specialist.

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