HOW TO SELL: Family cruise

HOW TO SELL: Family cruise

Jane Archer is the authority on all things cruise. This issue, she looks the wealth of options available for families – from tots to teens and multi-generational trips

Thousands of children are getting hooked on holidays at sea as cruise lines invest millions in facilities that rival anything available in family-friendly resorts on land. Exciting water slides, laser tag games, rock-climbing walls, dodgem cars. You name it, you can do it on modern resort-style ships. And all that’s in addition to the non-stop activities on offer in clubs for all ages, from tots to teens. But there are many more reasons why families should put a cruise at the top of their holiday list. It’s a safe environment so children can be allowed considerable, which they love and which in turn allows mum and dad to relax, there are plenty of grown-up venues for parents and if grandparents want to come, that works as well. We look at options for family cruises with babies, children and teens, as well as multi-generational holidays. Prices are per adult. Contact the relevant cruise lines for child prices.

Tots to tweens

It’s never too early to get kids cruising – especially as so many cruise lines these days cater for all ages, from tots to tweens (usually those aged 12 to 14, who have outgrown supervised care but are too young to hang out with teenagers). Focus on resort-style ships that have pools, water slides, kids’ clubs, spas and many more facilities to cater for the different age groups as well as family cabins that give mum, dad and the kids their own space.

Go Mickey

Who? Disney Cruise Line
Where? Norwegian Fjords
When? August 30 2020
How long? Seven nights
How much? From £1,547pp

With Mickey and Minnie as the stars of the show, it’s no wonder that Disney Cruise line is a favourite with families everywhere. There are nurseries for babies and tots, kids’ clubs, character breakfasts and pirate parties. This cruise, round-trip from Dover on Disney Magic, offers glaciers, waterfalls and hikes during days ashore in the Norwegian fjords. Fares exclude port taxes.

Go Freestyle

Who? Norwegian Cruise Line
Where? Western Mediterranean
When? August 16 2020
How long? Seven nights
How much? From £801pp

This cruise is on NCL’s Norwegian Epic, a ship made for families, with no dress codes or set dining, but plenty of activities and entertainment for all ages. The cruise is round-trip from Barcelona and takes in classic ports in Italy, France and Spain. Passengers can pick two upgrade packages from a choice of unlimited drinks, Wi-Fi, speciality dining or shorex credit for £99 per person. 

Go European

Who? MSC Cruises
Where? Western Mediterranean
When? August 1 2020
How long? Seven nights
How much? From £1,199pp

Whether travelling with babies, toddlers or tweens, families will have a ball on this cruise. It’s on MSC Seaview, a huge ship with has clubs for all ages, water slides, zipwires, racing car simulators and more. The cruise, round-trip from Barcelona, calls into lively ports in France, Italy and Spain including Ajaccio and Palma. The price includes all tips on board.


Teenagers are notoriously hard to please when it comes to holidays, which is what makes cruising a winner for this age group. They can chill with friends while cruising Mediterranean or Caribbean hotspots on resort-style ships with teen clubs and fun activities or discover different cultures and landscapes on cruises to more remote spots. The Galapagos and Antarctica are worth suggesting, or maybe a river cruise in Europe that brings history to life. 

Fun in the sun

Who? Carnival Cruise Line
Where? Western Caribbean
When? August 22 2020
How long? Seven nights
How much? From £479pp

When it comes to Fun with a capital F, Carnival is hard to beat. This cruise is on Carnival Vista, which is full of fun activities and parties that go on into the wee small hours. The cruise is round-trip from Galveston in Texas, a cheaper option for flights from the UK than Miami, with calls into party ports of Montego Bay, Grand Cayman and Cozumel.

Uncovering Europe

Who? A-Rosa Cruises
Where? Rhine River
When? July 17 2021
How long? 10 nights
How much? From £4,559pp including flights

A-Rosa has its eyes on families with E-Motion, a hybrid ship launching on the Rhine in 2021 with family cabins and free cruises for under 15s. This holiday, on sale with Travel 2, pairs a seven-night cruise round-trip from Cologne to Holland and Belgium with three nights room-only in Cologne. The price is for a family of four and includes unlimited drinks on the cruise.

Polar expedition

Who? Hurtigruten
Where? Antarctica
When? December 16 2020
How long? 12 nights
How much? From £6,105pp including flights (book by March 31)

Cruising to the South Pole is an educational experience teens will never forget, This cruise, round-trip from Ushuaia, is on Fridjof Nansen, a hybrid ship launching in March that comes with a science centre, expert lecturers and the promise of trips ashore (weather permitting). Prices include a pre-cruise night in Buenos Aires, wine, beer and soft drinks with meals, Wi-Fi and tips.


Whether looking for a holiday for mum, dad, the children and grandparents, or a skip-gen break, where the grandparents take their grandchildren on vacation, cruises are hard to beat. They are safe and easy, especially if sailing from the UK. Resort-style ships have activities and entertainment for all ages, from water slides to kids’ clubs, spas, live bands and production shows, so each generation can have their own holiday and share their day over dinner.

Explore the fjords

Who? Princess Cruises
Where? Norwegian fjords
When? August 15 2020
How long? Seven days
How much? From £749pp

Cruising the fjords on a Princess ship is always a pleasure, but add in a no-fly departure from Southampton, as this is, and you have an easy holiday for young and old alike. The voyage is on Crown Princess, which has kids’ clubs, pool-side movies, a spa, production shows and more. Scenic drives and RIB boat rides headline tour options on calls into Stavanger, Skolden and Bergen.

Head to the Med

Who? Royal Caribbean International
Where? Western Mediterranean
When? August 9 2020
How long? Seven nights
How much? From £858pp 

Whether clients are seven or seventy, they’ll have a ball on this cruise, which pairs a week on Royal Caribbean’s Allure of the Seas, a huge cruise ship packed with activities and entertainment for all ages, with the magic of the Med. The voyage, round-trip from Barcelona, visits the Italian hotspots of Rome, Naples and Florence.

Cruise the Baltic

Who? P&O Cruises
Where? Baltic
When? August 9 2020
How long? 14 nights
How much? From £1,299pp

This cruise is on Azura, one of P&O’s largest ships with facilities including kids’ clubs, bars, restaurants and entertainment that appeal to all ages. The sailing is round-trip from Southampton, which makes travelling easy, and takes in theme parks, Segway tours and palaces galore on calls into Baltic favourite including Stockholm, Copenhagen and St Petersburg. Prices include tips. 

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