Viking Cruise Lines changes minimum age for all cruises to 18

Viking River Cruises by Viking Cruise LinesViking Longship in Budapest. Credit: Viking Cruise Lines

Viking Cruise Lines has become the latest brand to ban children on their cruises. When Viking Ocean Cruises launched in 2015, they only allowed passengers who were 18 and over. But now, according to their new Terms & Conditions, Viking River Cruises will also only be allowing those passengers who are 18 and over.

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“Due to the nature of our cruise and travel itineraries, the Carrier does not maintain facilities or services on our Ships for individuals under the age of 18 years,” Viking says in their Terms & Conditions. “For all cruise/ cruise tours booked after August 1, 2018 (regardless of departure year), you must be 18 years old on or before the day you are scheduled to embark on the cruise tour. Cruises through the 2019 may still have passengers under 18 as the cruises were booked prior to August 1, 2018.”

Viking senior vice president of marketing Richard Marnell recently told Travel Weekly that the cruises are generally marketed to those 50 years of age or older, and many of them appreciate voyages without children.

“Viking has always offered experiences that are designed for travelers who are 50 and older, with interests in history, art, culture and exploration,” he explained. “It’s what we’re known for. Previously, we had allowed a degree of flexibility in the minimum age for travel, but increasingly our guests have told us how much they appreciate an environment where they can travel without children.”

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Viking River Cruises had a minimum age of 12 before they changed their policy, even though Viking Ocean Cruises have always had an 18-year-old minimum.

“In addition to marketing what Viking is, we believe our guests also appreciate knowing what Viking is not,” he added.