Cruises are ideal for the 50-and-over crowd, whether it's a singles cruise designed to meet other people or just a cruise that caters to a more mature audience. These cruises tend to be more specialized, higher-end, and feature a variety of activities more requested by the over-50 demographic. Typically, the more mature crowd will gladly forego the late night at the disco for an opportunity to partake in more activities, learn new things, and enjoy any other activity that will keep them both physically and mentally entertained.
Paul Gauguin Cruises
Paul Gauguin specializes in some of the world's most exotic destinations. The average age of guests tends to skew over 50, which is great for those looking for a cruise where you don't have to leave the boat at every port.
The m/s Paul Gauguin was built specifically to cruise the South Pacific with destinations like Tahiti and the Cook Islands.
Sample Itineraries and Prices
One of the most popular cruises on the m/s Paul Gauguin is the 10- or 11-night Society and Cook Islands itinerary.
The 11-night cruise starts at $6,145 US per person, double occupancy, which also includes airfare from Los Angeles. You'll visit stunning destinations like Aitutaki, Raratonga, Bora Bora, Huahine, Taha'a, and Moorea. You can even spend a day on Motu Mahana, which is Paul Gauguin's private island.
One of the best aspects of cruising with Paul Gauguin is the all-inclusive pricing. This means everything from meals and beverages to onboard gratuities are taken care of. Don't feel like dining in the main dining room? It's complimentary to have your meals delivered to the room. Select wines and spirits, beers, soft drinks, bottled water, and hot beverages are also free. Your in-room fridge is replenished daily as well.
Airfare from Los Angeles and round-trip airport transfers and pier transfers are also included in some sailings. Select voyages offer complimentary use of Paul Gauguin's secluded beach in Bora Bora and the private islet, Motu Mahana, near Taha'a.
Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines
The main clientele on Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines tends to be the 60s and older crowd. One of the reasons Fred. Olsen is so popular is because of its Vistas enrichment program, which is a series of free events and activities to keep guests busy on board. These may center on subjects like music, painting, wine, antiques, gardening, and dance. Oftentimes, there are added-cost themed excursions at various ports that are meant to complement the activities onboard.
Based in the United Kingdom, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is originally from Norway. They operate a fleet of four cruise ships that are smaller and are launching a new river cruise division in spring 2018.
Destinations and Ports of Call
During the summer months, they depart from a variety of ports within the UK. Most of their popular destinations are within Europe, especially the Mediterranean, Canary Islands, Scandinavia, and the Baltic Region. However, they also operate cruises to destinations within Asia, Africa, Australasia, North America, and South America.
Cruise Lengths and Price Range
Since the entire cruise line is geared primarily toward a more mature demographic, any of their itineraries would be ideal.
Consider unique options like a 14-night trip in search of Norway's Northern Lights that starts at £1,699pp for interior cabin, double occupancy, or an exotic round-the-world cruise that spans nearly four months. Visit exotic destinations on six continents like Havana, Easter Island, the South Pacific, and more. Cruise through iconic waterways like the Panama Canal and Suez Canal. This is an adults-only cruise and start at £12,899pp for interior room, double occupancy, or £22,199 for single room. Suites start at £19,299pp, double occupancy.
Note: Prices and all charges on board are in GBP as well.
Azamara Club Cruises
Guide for Seniors ranks Azamara Club Cruises as the number one pick for seniors. Ironically, they are a subsidiary of Royal Caribbean Cruises, which is known for its youthful, party vibe. High-quality cuisine, personal butlers, and the Thalassotherapy pool are some of the perks of Azamara Club Cruises.
They cruise to a number of destinations in North and South America, the Caribbean, Europe, and Asia, making them a top contender in most popular cruise destinations around the globe.
What Sets Azamara Apart
Some of Azamara's features are definitely ideal for those over 50 years old.
Wheelchair accessible staterooms
Medical facility with doctors onboard
Special singles rates
Service animals welcomed
Sample Cruise Itinerary
Check Azamara Club Cruises' website as they offer a variety of specials and discounts, including the 10-night Cuba Intensive Voyage. Rates start at $2,599 US per person based on double occupancy. Depart from Miami and head to destinations like Havana and Cienfuegos in Cuba, and Labadee in Haiti.
Holland America is another cruise line that tends to attract a more mature crowd. Guide for Seniors recommends Holland America as their second top pick for senior-oriented cruises. They cruise to a number of destinations all over the world, including popular "bucket list" destinations like Alaska and Antarctica.
Why It's Great for Seniors
Holland America offers new accessible cabins, a wheelchair-accessible tender transfer system, enhanced enrichment programs, and more. They have also partnered with Special Needs at Sea and CruiseShipAssist to provide wheelchairs and mobility devices, and University of Texas Medical Branch for live radiology consults and feeds.
Holland America offers a number of unique world cruise itineraries, great for people looking to spend a long time away from home.
Popular Trip Options
One of the most popular cruises on Holland America is the Alaska itinerary. They've been sailing to Alaska longer than it has been a US state!
These itineraries include scenic cruising in places like Tracy Arm Fjord, Hubbard Glacier, or Glacier Bay. Choose a cruise-only option like the 14-day Great Alaskan Explorer that starts from $1,449 US per person, double occupancy. You'll visit ports like Sitka, Kodiak, Juneau, and Anchorage.
If you want a mix of cruising with a few days on land, consider the 13-day Triple Denali Land and Sea Journey, which gives you three days in Denali National Park. Rates start at $2,999 per person for interior cabin.
What to Expect on a Seniors' Cruise
Seniors are very active and cruise lines recognize that. Want to learn the tango or make pottery? In most cases, you'll find so many onboard activity options that you might feel overwhelmed at first. Seniors make up such a large portion of people who enjoy cruises that companies cater to their needs and wants. In fact, you can also notify the cruise line in advance of special dietary restrictions you follow, so meals can be made to fit your particular lifestyle.
If you go on a cruise line geared towards senior citizens, there's a good chance you'll find yourself free from families with small children. You can expect a quieter trip than you might otherwise find on traditional cruises, with more activities tailored to a mature set.
What's more, since cruise lines don't have to put skating rinks and other kid-friendly activities on-board, cruises for people over 50 years of age will quite often be on smaller boats. You'll also have less deck space to travel across and less clutter from activities that aren't designed with seniors in mind.
Discounts on Cruises
Don't forget to check around for senior citizen discounts if you're eligible. If you're between 50 and 54, you may not be eligible for special discounts for seniors. If you are 55 and up, you can typically get better rates. In some cases, you may be able to combine an AARP discount with an early booking discount; it never hurts to ask. Keep in mind you may have to use an AARP travel agent in order to secure such a deal.
Check online for senior citizen cruise rates at sites like Cruise Cheap, which offer discounts for those 55 years and older.
Special Needs and Mobility
Concerned about mobility and special needs? Sites like Special Needs Group/Special Needs at Sea have done extensive research on which cruise lines are the best for disabled passengers with a wheelchair or mobility scooter. If you want to know if your preferred cruise line is handicap accessible, look at their list of entries.
An Excellent Vacation Choice
When you take a cruise designed for people over 50 years of age, you can expect healthy dining options, relaxing games, a huge selection of activities and lectures, gorgeous scenery, and so much more. Make new friends who share your interests and even save money by being paired up in a cabin with another single if you're cruising alone and want to have a roommate. There are also discounts available for people over 55, making a cruise an even more tempting idea if you've been waiting for years to take the perfect vacation.