We all love a family cruise, time away enjoying the sites and attractions with the whole gang – babies, toddlers, teens, grandkids and great grandkids. But there’s something to be said for adults-only cruising, in fact more and more cruisers are searching for that romantic getaway or exciting adventure that leaves the little ones at home.

If you’re planning a cruise with friends or that special someone, there’s no shame in saying that you don’t want kids onboard – some holidays are just more relaxing and enjoyable without the pitter-patter of little feet. So if you’re looking to set sail on an adults-only cruise, we’ve got a few helpful tips to make that child-free cruise itinerary become a reality.

Sail during school-term

Yes, there are a few adults-only ships around, but they definitely aren’t the norm as the family cruise market only continues to grow. If you want more options in your itineraries and your ships, the best way is to choose a voyage that has a reduced family appeal. Sailing during the school-term and staying clear of July and August will help in finding a cruise with fewer children onboard. Not a lot of parents these days would risk taking their kids out of school for a holiday, especially with the increased fines.

Go luxurious

One thing sure to dissuade parents from bringing their children onboard a cruise is luxury. Words like refinement, dignified and expense are usually not synonymous with toddlers. Most high end cruise liners like Silversea and Regent Seven Seas Cruises are geared towards adults, so it’s less likely you’ll find any little ones onboard. Luxury of course means more expense, another reason you’ll see less children, especially if there isn’t a kids price discount. If you’re willing to pay a little extra for butler service, sea view suits and high end dining, you’ll find that adults-only cruise you’ve been looking for.

Keep it small

With children comes the need for entertainment, which is why many families choose to cruise on the larger ships. Newer, larger vessels that can hold thousands of cruisers are equipped with all the latest entertainment facilities – from waterparks to skating rinks to West End quality shows. Kids want to stay busy and aren’t content with quiet days at sea. So if you’re looking for a little peace and quiet, a small ship is where it’s at.

Smaller ships also tend to be the older vessels and attract a slightly older passenger base. These vessels are for folks who are content to enjoy the ride, and are more interested in the excursions at your destination than the entertainment onboard. Riverboats also make for a great kids-free venue, as they focus more on walking tours and historic sites than mega-ship amenities.

Take a world cruise

Typically family friendly cruises tend to be 5-7 nights. It’s just the right amount of time for children to be on holiday without feeling homesick or getting bored. If you’re eager to avoid the families on your cruise then book a longer itinerary, especially ones that have several ports and over night stops along the way. World cruises are almost always child-free as they can go on for months at a time. Choose an epic voyage like Cunard’s New York to New York trip, which lasts 134 nights and stops in Portugal, Spain, Namibia, South Africa, Mauritius, Australia and many others.

Adults only ships

Of course a sure fire way to have no children onboard your vessel is to book an adults-only ship, and there are a few out there! P&O Cruises has a few top adult-only cruise deals and boasts three ships that are exclusively adults-only – Arcadia, Adonia and Oriana. These ships are known for their sophistication and have a range of activities suitable for the older population.

Arcadia boasts a glamorous Globe late night venue and beautifying onboard spa, as well as a romantic Intermezzo cocktail lounge and Marco Pierre White’s Ocean Grill Restaurant. If you’re feeling especially artsy you can also visit the gallery and view the ship’s 3000 piece art collection. Itinerary-wise there’s plenty of diversity, from a 24-night cruise from Southampton to San Francisco to a three nights sailing from Southampton to Bruges, Belgium.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines is another liner that has some of the best adult-only cruises around, with several smaller, less crowded ships that can only be boarded by over 18s. Even though the ships are in their smaller range, they are still setting sail on exceptional journeys.

If you’re up for a little adventure hop aboard Fred Olsen’s Black Watch and go on a 10-day journey from Harwich, England to wherever the Captain fancies. Yes you read that right – this cruise is called The Captain’s Mystery Cruise, and allows your holiday fate to be in the hands of the trusted captain, who will lead you on a unforgettable mystery journey of his choosing. Or if you’d rather plan your own itinerary Fred Olsen’s child free Braemar leaves from Southampton and takes you on a Spanish voyage through Cadiz, Malaga, Almeria and others.

Does cruising without the kids sound like a fairy tale to you? Then have a look at more of our adults-only cruise options and get planning your next voyage today.

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