Baby Boomers often want cruises that keep them moving through way more than the buffet line.
Whether it’s hiking, biking or paddling, a significant portion of the over-55 crowd these days wants a cruise with choices that fit their active lifestyle. While some mainstream cruises fit the bill, seriously active Boomers may need to dig a little deeper to find the best cruise options.
Panama and Costa Rica; Lindblad National Geographic Quest
Lindblad Expeditions offers cruises around the globe that include exploration and many are ideal for active travelers. We particularly like their sailing to Panama and Costa Rica on board Lindblad’s newest ship, the National Geographic Quest, launched earlier this year. Activities on this sailing include hiking, swimming, kayaking and snorkeling.
Eastern and Southern Caribbean; Windstar
Windstar’s sailing yachts, complete with water sports decks, are the ideal way to stay active on a Caribbean cruise. For those who crave more than beach sitting, these cruises offer access to islands where mega ships cannot dock.
That means more opportunities to hike, kayak, snorkel or scuba dive around some of the hardest-to-reach islands. Wind Surf and Wind Star take cruisers to Virgin Gorda, St. Barth’s and St. Vincent and the Grenadines—and you don’t even have to bring your own snorkel.
Galapagos Expedition; Silver Sea Silver Galapagos
Expeditions to the Galapagos Islands are all designed for active cruisers, but you don’t have to sacrifice the amenities of a luxury cruise in order to experience this famous island chain. Silver Sea operates Silver Galapagos year round, featuring opportunities to hike, swim, kayak and snorkel during the cruise.
Western Caribbean; Royal Caribbean Liberty of the Seas
The Western Caribbean has an abundance of active adventures, from snorkeling to zip lining. You can hike waterfalls in Jamaica, rent four-wheelers in Cozumel and snorkel with stingrays in Grand Cayman. Some of the best cruises in this part of the Caribbean sail out of Galveston, Texas. And on Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas, the action isn’t limited to the ports of call. It’s possible to learn to surf, rock climb or salsa dance—all onboard.
During the school year, baby boomers may even have the waterslides to themselves.
Great Barrier Reef; Coral Expeditions
Smaller is better when it comes to cruising the Great Barrier Reef. The mega ships can certainly get you to the right ports of call near the reef but the good stuff is far from port, making it difficult to get more than a glimpse of the marine life and wildlife that call the islands and reefs home.
Small expedition lines like Coral Expeditions have the ability to spend entire cruises out among the islands, far from any major cruise port. They can get you to the reef, supply the equipment needed to explore it while the experts to explain what you are there to experience.
Indonesia; True North
For pure wow factor, there is nothing quite like a True North adventure cruise. Start with the fact that this yacht has its own full-time onboard helicopter to fly guests to remote areas. Add scuba, snorkeling and hiking with a crew-to-passenger ratio of 22/36 and you get a combination of adventure and luxury that is perfect for active boomers.
Hawaii, Alaska; UnCruise
While any cruise in the Hawaiian Islands can be an active one if you plan accordingly, UnCruise does the planning for you and brings along most of the gear you need to make it happen. Trips include snorkeling, hiking and kayaking, plus ample opportunity to explore four islands with the help of expert guides.
Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand; Windstar Star Legend
Windstar’s 212-passenger Star Legend yacht is small enough to reach hidden treasure destinations among Asia’s island nations but large enough to have the feel of a traditional cruise ship. Activities include snorkeling and kayaking from the ship’s watersports platform, plus hiking and exploring with expert guides.
Polar Cruises to the Arctic and Antarctica; Quark Expeditions
The polar regions beckon active boomers and Quark Expeditions is a top-rated option for experiencing either the Arctic or Antarctica. Activities beyond wildlife watching may include kayaking, hiking, skiing and even opportunities to camp onshore.
Hiking and Biking Cruises; Backroads
While many cruises offer individual hiking and biking excursions in some ports, a cruise centered around either of these is a challenge to find, unless you book through Backroads. This specialty guide company partners with a variety of river and small ship cruise lines to offer small group hiking and biking trips in places like Ecuador, Iceland and throughout Europe. You choose the destinations and they do the rest.