15 Child-Free Cruises Retirees Should Unashamedly Book In 2024

Not all travelers want or need playgrounds, water slides, or games on their cruises.

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Updated June 6, 2024
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One of the perks of retirement is more time to spend with kids and grandkids — but it’s understandable to want some child-free quiet sometimes, especially on vacation. Some major cruise lines have caught onto this need and created cruises that are adults-only.

If a kid-free cruise sounds intriguing to you, here are 15 options to consider (note: some of the cruises here don’t ban children, but they don’t offer any kid-oriented attractions so they’re much less likely to be on board).

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Virgin Voyages

Imaxepress/Adobe the cruise ship valiant lady

The top choice for travelers looking for an adults-only cruise experience is Virgin Voyages — as all its ships are 18+. And with destinations around the U.S., Caribbean, Mediterranean, and more, Virgin has options whether you’re looking for a quick weekend voyage or a trek across the Atlantic and beyond.

Viking Ocean Cruises

Art Johnson/Adobe white norwegian cruise liner

Viking takes great pains to ensure customers that they won’t find the loud and at times disturbing standard cruise attractions on its ships — that means no children under 18, no casinos, no surprise charges for different restaurants, no photo sales, etc.

What’s more, the company has cruises all over the world — whether you’re looking to cruise around Hawaii and Polynesia or sail the Adriatic Sea.

Saga Cruises

Kirk Fisher/Adobe coastal view of saga cruises

Saga Ocean Cruises are made specifically with retirees in mind — as the British cruise line’s ships are for passengers 50 and over.

The company offers ocean cruises and river cruises — and sails from fascinating ports around the world, from its cruise around Greece and Egypt to the Dutch and Belgian explorer, which highlights Holland and the best of Belgium.

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P&O Cruises Aurora

herraez/Adobe luxury cruise ventura

P&O; has two options that are completely child-free, including the Aurora.

This ship takes World Cruises and what the company refers to as “epic journey” holidays, but is also available for shorter stints — like its Scandinavian cruises, trips to the Canary Islands, and more.

P&O Cruises Arcadia

Alexander/Adobe p and o cruise liner

Arcadia is P&O;’s second adults-only ship. It took its first voyage a few years after the Aurora.

It has similar trip offerings to the Aurora (minus the world cruises) — and can take cruisers on an array of excursions, from “short breaks” in the English Channel to a 16-night discovery cruise around Norway and Iceland.

Azamara

Masyanya/Adobe azamara journey cruise liner

Azamara is one of those small cruise lines that focuses on luxury. While cruisers under 18 are not outright banned, onboard activities are heavily adult-focused, so you likely won’t be dealing with too many families.

It has an array of excellent options around the world as well — from a Western Africa Voyage to a trek around Bali and Western Australia.

Swan Hellenic

NAN/Adobe luxury cruise ship sailing

While Swan Hellenic allows children aged 8 and over aboard its ships, the remote excursions and onboard activities focused on health, wellness, and relaxation mean most families traveling with children will opt for a more kid-friendly option.

The adult focus and array of destinations, from Antarctica to the Caribbean, make this another great option for retirees.

Scenic

Nancy Pauwels/Adobe sunset on cruise vacation

Scenic is another cruise line that caters to adult travelers and considers its ships the “world’s first discovery yachts.” Retirees can enjoy these ultra-luxury experiences all over the world, from the beautiful islands in the Caribbean to the stunning shores of Antarctica.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises

EWY Media/Adobe seven seas navigator

Regent Seven Seas also offers a luxury experience catered to adult passengers — its all-inclusive travel experiences even include airfare to the destination you’ll be departing from.

The company offers shorter trips, like a seven-day trip from Seward to Vancouver, as well as extended vacations — like a months-long Grand Arctic Adventure, which travels up the East Coast from New York to Canada and Greenland before crossing the Atlantic to Europe.

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Silversea Cruises

Brad Nixon/Adobe cruise ship silver muse

Silversea Cruises is another luxury line that offers a more intimate cruising experience with smaller ships and more individual attention for cruisers.

Silversea takes cruisers to all seven continents and 900 destinations around the globe — and travelers can expect around 700 or fewer passengers per voyage, which can be a luxury in itself.

Seabourn Cruise Line

Wangkun Jia/Adobe seabourn quest liner

Guests aboard Seabourn’s ships can also expect a more intimate experience with a focus on luxury and adult-focused activities and entertainment.

With destinations all over the world, from Antarctica to the Amazon, this is another great option for retirees looking for the luxury experience — and as a bonus, each suite on board comes with a host and attendant.

Windstar Cruises

Studio Porto Sabbia/Adobe star breeze windstar cruises

Cruises aboard Windstar’s ships are more like luxurious yacht trips — and it’s unlikely that fellow travelers will see these voyages as fit for kids. Each ship fits only between 148 and 342 cruisers, and the ships go everywhere from Costa Rica and the Panama Canal to Tahiti.

Explora Journeys

Gestur/Adobe cruise ship explora 1

Explora is new to the scene and already making a name for itself with its luxurious, adult-focused voyages. The ships offer many different Mediterranean experiences, are carefully curated based on traveler needs, and can stretch from 7 days to 21 days.

Guests can also enjoy a variety of dining/drink options in 18 restaurants, lounges, and bars onboard.

Ponant

Björn Wylezich/Adobe french cruise ship le soleal

French-owned Ponant offers a smaller, intimate cruising experience with a limited number of staterooms and suites and voyages that travel to stunning, remote destinations.

It offers some truly unique routes as well, like the Tropical Odyssey between North East Australia and Indonesia and a Norwegian Fjords cruise.

Crystal

lenic/Adobe crystal symphony cruise ship

Crystal is another favorite among adult luxury travelers — and its two ships, Serenity and Symphony, now sail to 281 destinations across 112 countries.

They offer standard (shorter) cruises, as well as months-long world cruises that hit dozens of countries and “Grand Journeys” that range from 38 nights to 45 nights.

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Laura Gesualdi-Gilmore

Laura Gesualdi-Gilmore is a seasoned freelance writer who also teaches writing courses at Rutgers University. She's based in Jersey City and enjoys travel, live music and, of course, spending quality time with her pup.