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Calling All Teens! These River Cruise Lines Offer Special Sailings Just for You

by Barbara Rogers

May 29, 2023

© Miguel Figueroa | Dreamstime.com


While big ocean-going cruise ships have actively courted teens by creating special spaces, river cruising has long remained a challenge for traveling families. But more river cruise lines are tapping into the market with special sailings, activities and even reduced or free fares.


This summer, Emerald Cruises features designated special family departures on the Danube and Rhine rivers, with special pricing on the second cabin and itineraries including experiences appealing to young travelers. Family activities on board and during shore excursions might include a geocaching treasure hunt, rides on Vienna’s giant Ferris wheel, bike excursions or canoeing on the river.


With family itineraries on the Rhine, Danube, Rhone and Seine rivers, A-ROSA family cruises include more than a dozen itineraries designed for families with children and teens, with an onboard Kids Club and special programs that might include a professional photographer accompanying an excursion to give tips on better pictures, art workshops or the opportunity to take swimming lessons for beginner and intermediate certification. The best perk for parents? In 2023, children up to and including 15 years of age travel free when accompanied by at least one adult on Deck 1, and at a 30 percent discount on Deck 2.


Children up to 16 travel free on the Family Club program with CroisiEurope. Extended this year to include spring sailings, these include adjacent cabins for family members, a limited number of tripe-occupancy cabins and a selection of excursions especially adapted to interest younger travelers. Shore excursions designed to appeal to teens include a treetop walk in Germany’s Black Forest during a Rhine cruise.


In addition to the Rhine, itineraries include rivers not usually sailed in family cruises, including the Po River from Venice and the Douro in Portugal, with an excursion to Salamanca, Spain.


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