As you grow and change, the places you want to visit will change. Your lifestyle in your twenties is vastly different than in your sixties, and your travel preferences will be no different. Since wanderlust can afflict any age, here is the best cruise for each decade of your life.
Twenties: The Iberian Peninsula
When you’re young, carefree and filled with energy, there’s no better place to explore than the coast of Spain and Portugal, otherwise known as the Iberian Peninsula. Several cruises lines, such as the Royal Caribbean, offer trips that stop at some of Europe’s most popular ports, including Barcelona, Lisbon and the Balearic Islands. In Barcelona, you can witness Gaudi’s magnificent architecture and enjoy tapas. Lisbon has world-class surfing and even better wine. Plus, travelers in their twenties will be able to spend hours in the sun in Mallorca and stay up until dawn at the clubs in Ibiza, so you may as well do it while you still can.
Whether you’ve settled down with a life partner, or you’re climbing the career ladder, by the time you’re in your thirties, you have likely become more established in your life. Seychelles, a remote island nation located off the coast of Africa, is perfect for adventurers who are grown up but still young at heart. With cruise ships touring a number of the nation’s 115 islands, Seychelles offers crystal clear water, white sand beaches and spectacular seascapes around every corner. Smaller cruise lines, such as Variety Cruises, allow guests plenty of time off the boat to snorkel, dive, sail and hike, so it’s an ideal destination for an active traveler. Plus, it’s the perfect place for a romantic honeymoon — just ask the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
Regardless of your status in your 40s — be it married with two kids or happily single — a Hawaiian cruise is ideal. Cruising is the perfect way to explore all that Hawaii has to offer, from impeccable beaches to incredible mountaintops, and all the waterfalls and volcanoes in between. In fact, Norwegian Cruise Lines offers a 7-day package that stops at four of Hawaii’s islands. Traveling with kids? A cruise is an ideal way to travel as a family and the kids will delight in the action-packed days. Leaving the kids at home or flying solo? Hawaii’s more adventurous activities, such as surfing, snorkeling and diving will call your name.
Fifties: Galapagos Islands
The big 5-0 is a milestone, so why not celebrate it with a cruise to one of the most fascinating places in the world? The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador’s volcanic archipelago that inspired Darwin, is often considered the trip of a lifetime. By touring the islands from a cruise ship, travelers can easily access the land and water attractions that draw nature lovers to this remote corner of the world. From bird-watching hikes to swimming with sharks, there are active pursuits for all levels and intensities. Plus, smaller cruise lines like Adventure Life offer a more intimate exploration of the culture, with cooking classes, village visits and trips to local markets.
With jaw-dropping panoramic vistas of mountains, glaciers and fjords, exploring the rugged coast of Alaska from the convenience of a cruise ship is ideal for a person in their sixties. From visiting Denali National Park to witnessing the majestic beauty of Great Glacier Bay in person, Alaska is a bucket list location that every traveler should cross off. Although a large number of cruise ships pass through these northern waterways, travelers in their sixties may enjoy a smaller cruise line, such as UnCruise, which offers one-of-a-kind activities and top-notch accommodations on a ship with less than 100 passengers.
Seventies: The South of France
The golden years should be celebrated with a golden trip, filled with culture, art and history. Cruising the Rhône in the south of France is an easy and pleasurable experience that is perfect for the seventies set. The Rhône river winds through Lyon and Provence, an area known for lush river valleys and fields of lavender. At the ports along the way, visitors can discover charming French towns and Roman ruins, while trying the best of French cuisine and drinking the region’s famous wine, Côtes du Rhône. Viking Cruises offers an 8-day tour of the Rhône, which also includes an extension trip to Paris, if one week in France isn’t enough.
Eighties and Beyond: Transatlantic
If you’re still interested in traveling in your eighties, you may as well travel in style. And no boat is more stylish than the legendary Queen Mary. The original Queen Mary, a luxury cruise liner that once carried the world’s elite across the ocean, now resides in Long Beach, California. However, travelers can still cross the Atlantic on the Queen Mary 2, the seventh largest cruise ship in the world, according to Ship Technology. Traveling from New York to London, and back, the Queen Mary 2 has everything a traveler could want. Along with the five-star accommodations, amenities include high-end shopping, a luxury spa and evening galas. Even better, the Queen Mary 2 has kennels on board for your four-legged friends and boasts the world’s largest library at sea.