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Best Overall: See P&O Cruise Rates "Ideal for cruisers who enjoy ocean cruising on a mid-sized ship, with an array of dining options and several cabin choices."
Best Music Festival Cruise: See Norwegian Pearl Rates "Offers music festivals at sea — a great way to meet like-minded adults."
Best for Over 50: See Saga Rates "Entertainment onboard the vessel is more traditional and a hybrid between the river ship model and ocean cruises."
Best Cruise Experience: See Holland America Rates "Offers a musically-themed cruise voyage that appeals to an older demographic."
Best Traditional Cruise: See Tauck Rates "Tauck's more traditional themed cruises have excursions that are aimed at adults."
Best Holiday Cruise: See Azamara Club Cruises Rates "Spends New Year’s Eve at Copacabana Beach in Brazil."
Best Modern Cruise: See U River Cruises Rates "Takes hip approach to river cruising, with modern, stylish ships featuring chic rooftop lounges.'"
Best Historical Cruise: See Viking Ocean Cruises Rates "Has excursions geared toward older travelers interested in art, history, and culture."
Our Top Picks
Best Overall: P&O Cruise
- Sails from: Southampton
- Duration: 12 nights
- Ship Name: Aurora
- Itinerary: Andalsnes, Norway; Romsdalsfjord, Norway; Tromso, Norway; Alta, Norway; Stavanger, Norway; Southampton, UK
After undergoing a refurbishment in early 2019, the 1,874-passenger Aurora is now one of three adults-only vessels that sail under P&O cruises (Arcadia and Oriana are the other two). Aurora is ideal for cruisers who enjoy ocean cruising on a mid-sized ship, with an array of dining options and several cabin choices ranging from interior to spacious suites. Dance classes, a full-service spa, a theater, movie cinema, casino, and a number of bars and lounges – including the bustling, four-story central atrium — are all available onboard the vessel. For a chance to see the northern lights, Aurora sails round-trip on a breathtaking voyage through Norwegian fjords and dramatic scenery.
Best Music Festival Cruise: Norwegian Pearl
- Sails from: Miami
- Duration: 5 nights
- Ship Name: Norwegian Pearl
- Itinerary: Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas, Falmouth, Jamaica
Cruisers looking to let their hair down and soak in some musical vibes at sea should consider a music cruise with Sixthman. The company charters major cruise ships like the Norwegian Pearl to offer music festivals at sea — a great way to meet like-minded adults. The Kiss Cruise from Miami features two shows from Kiss (one outdoors and one indoors), and other fun activities with the band. Norwegian Pearl also hosts cruises like "Runaway to Paradise" with Jon Bon Jovi, "Keeping the Blues Alive at Sea," the "Outlaw Country Cruise," the "311 Cruise," and many more. After the show, passengers can dance the night away at Spinnaker Lounge and Bliss Ultra Lounge and Night Club.
Best for Over 50: Saga
- Sails from: Dover, U.K
- Duration: 14 nights
- Ship Name: Spirit of Discover
- Itinerary: Gothenburg, Sweden; Stockholm, Sweden; Helsinki, Finland; St. Petersburg, Russia; Tallinn, Estonia; Kalundborg, Denmark; Aalborg, Denmark
Based in the U.K., Saga offers cruises for the over 50 crowd, and the company’s new ocean ship, the 999-passenger Spirit of Discovery, debuts in July with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, serving as Godmother. Entertainment onboard the vessel is more traditional and a hybrid between the river ship model, with plenty of lounges for relaxing, and ocean cruises for its added features including a full-service spa, a two-story main dining room with four additional restaurants, a golf simulator, and live performances in the theater. Luxurious cabins all feature a private balcony, and more than 100 cabins will be dedicated to solo travelers. Try out the new ship on the "Myths and Legends of the Baltic" cruise that sails round-trip from Dover to five exciting countries.
Best Cruise Experience: Holland America
- Sails from: San Diego
- Duration: 7 nights
- Ship Name: MS Koningsdam
- Itinerary: Cabo San Lucas, Mazatlan, Puerto Vallarta
Holland America’s mid-sized fleet offers a more sophisticated cruise experience than most mainstream vessels, and although not adults-only, the MS Koningsdam offers a musically-themed cruise voyage that appeals to an older demographic. In the evening, there are instrumental concerts at Lincoln Center Stage, the BB King Blues Club, the two-story World Stage to Music Walk, Rolling Stone Rock Room, and Billboard Onboard — an interactive setting for rock music. The ship also focuses on food and drink with live cooking demonstrations in America’s Test Kitchen and at Blend, a hands-on cocktail class. The 2,650-passenger Koningsdam sails to several destinations from the U.S., including sun-filled itineraries to the Mexican Riviera.
Best Traditional Cruise: Tauck
- Sails from: Budapest
- Duration: 11 nights
- Ship Name: MS Savor
- Itinerary: Bratislava, Slovakia; Vienna, Austria; Melk, Austria; Passau, Germany; Prague, Czech Republic
Adventure tour provider Tauck has been in the travel industry since 1882, and in addition to a number of land tours, the company operates its own fleet of river vessels. Tauck has dedicated family voyages called Tauck Bridges, but the more traditional themed cruises have excursions that are aimed at adults. Built in 2014, the 130-passenger MS Savor has a gorgeous main atrium with a dripping chandelier, a putting green, and some innovative features like loft-style cabins with windows that open with the touch of a button. On the “Musical Magic on the Blue Danube” river cruise, interactive musical workshops, onboard performances, and themed excursions – like a trip to the Opera House in Bratislava or a private performance at a palace in Vienna – are included.
Take a look at other river cruising options with some of the best European River cruises.
Best Holiday Cruise: Azamara Club Cruises
- Sails from: Buenos Aires
- Duration: 15 nights
- Ship Name: Azamara Pursuit
- Itinerary: Montevideo, Uruguay; Sao Paulo, Brazil; Ilhabela, Brazil; Paraty, Brazil; Buzios, Brazil; Rio De Janeiro, Brazil; Copacabana Beach; Brazil, Punta Del Este, Uruguay; Buenos Aires, Argentina
Azamara Club Cruises operates smaller, upscale vessels that travel one-off itineraries around the globe – calling in smaller, less-visited ports that others don't stop at. The company puts an emphasis on “destination immersion,” and appeal to adults who want to go deeper into the local culture with shore excursions. Azamara is one of the few companies that stays in port overnight, and in doing so they bundle evening excursions in the price (select wine and spirits as well as gratuities are also included in the fares). The newest ship, Azamara Pursuit, debuts this year and is offering a winter holiday cruise that spends New Year’s Eve at Copacabana Beach in Brazil.
Best Modern Cruise: U River Cruises
- Sails from: Amsterdam
- Duration: 7 nights
- Ship Name: The A
- Itinerary: Haarlem, Netherlands; Düsseldorf, Germany; Cologne, Germany; Koblenz, Germany; Rüdesheim; Germany; Frankfurt; Germany
Geared towards millennials, U River Cruises takes a hip approach to river cruising, with modern, stylish ships featuring chic rooftop lounges with ice bars and fabulous, trend-setting dining venues. There’s also yoga, paint and wine classes, and themed cruises that bring special guests onboard, ranging from celebrity drag queens to famous tattoo artists. On the 120-pasenger A ship, cabins include adjustable mood lighting, USB ports, built-in Bluetooth speakers, and luxurious baths with heated mirrors and plush bathrobes. Plus, there’s dedicated rooms for solo travelers or groups of three. On the “Rolling on the Rhine” cruise, the ship stays late in port, with night excursions in Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and others included in the fare.
Best Historical Cruise: Viking Ocean Cruises
- Sails from: Rome
- Duration: 7 nights
- Ship Name: Viking Sky
- Itinerary: Naples, Italy; Sicily, Italy; Crotone, Italy; Bari, Italy; Sibinik, Croatia; Venice, Italy
Viking Ocean Cruises has a minimum age requirement of 18 years, and prides itself on offering a quiet atmosphere on board with excursions geared toward older travelers interested in art, history, and culture. Guided tours, with one in each port of call, alcoholic beverages with meals, and transfers are all included in the fare. Onboard the 930-passenger Viking Sky, guests can unwind in one of the best Nordic-style spas at sea (complete with a snow grotto), soak in the views in the two-story observation room, and dine in one of several fabulous restaurants. On the “Italian Sojourn” cruise, passengers will explore a new port of call every day during the voyage.
Need some more help finding what you're looking for? Read through our best cruise lines article.