It may seem bizarre to label a cruise as “popular with seniors”. Just because people more mature in age, it does not mean they don’t want to have fun and adventure on their vacation. There is even a website that suggests that seniors not travel in the winter because the cold weather may be too much for their frail constitution! All the same, there are particular cruises that may be appealing to more mature cruisers.
This is the third article in the series for firt-time cruisers. The first provides tips on how to select a cruise and the second tips on what to pack for a cruise. Here are top five suggestions from across the web on cruises that are popular with seniors, directed mainly at North American readers.
1. Great Lakes: Cruising the Great Lakes is a once in a lifetime experience. Cruises run the gamut from three-day trips through the Soo Locks (Sault Ste. Marie) or the Erie Canal to the ultimate, two-week Chicago to Newport, Rhode Island adventure. The trips give everyone a chance to experience the natural beauty of the Great Lakes coastline at a slower pace while meandering into quiet bays, down rivers and canals, and into quaint coastal ports. Whether during the warm summer months or for a fall foliage tour, the Great Lakes is a popular choice for seniors.
2. Alaska: The great state of Alaska is on many people’s list of dream vacations. Seniors seem to especially like the idea of visiting such an untouched piece of nature. The weather for summer travel to Alaska is cool but pleasant and the shore excursions are exciting, from whale watching and dog sledding to glaciers and helicopter rides. Amateur and professional photographers alike love the wildlife.
3. Mississippi Riverboat: When the relaxing journey itself is just as important as the destination, many seniors turn to traditional travel along the Mississippi River in a classic, paddle-wheeling riverboat. Small ships, historic ports of call and a friendly atmosphere are all part of the appeal.
4. Adventures Afloat: Elderhostel, now called Road Scholar, pioneered the concept of seniors traveling abroad for adven ture and life-long learning experiences. Many companies now offer this type of cruise in such exotic locales as the Yangtze River in China, the Black Sea, the Panama Canal or even the Galapagos Islands. Each cruise is a quest for knowledge, excitement and memories of a lifetime. I was recently on a cruise in the Danube run by the Viking Cruise and that was a wonderful experience and highly recommended.
5. Ocean Crossing: For the ultimate in luxury, seniors can try an ocean crossing. The biggest ships in the world offer transatlantic journeys with such on-board indulgences as spa services, movies, lectures by college professors, sushi bars and even a planetarium.
This list is not all-encompassing, but it does provide a starting point for researching great cruise ideas for seniors. I would just add in conclusion that the staff on the ships tend good care of mature passengers and will normally do their best to meet any special needs.