If you are an avid watcher of public television (especially Masterpiece Theater), you may have seen show sponsor Viking River Cruises’ lavish commercials documenting points of interest … and fashionable Baby Boomers drinking in winery bike tours, cooking lessons and jaunts through exotic markets. Indeed, what’s not to like for older travelers, especially with several “grown-ups only” offerings of a sophisticated nature.
There are parents and grandparents out there; however, who want to teach their children the right way to be well traveled and educated about what they’re about to see and do. Several river cruise lines are hearing the call with special offerings for families. While some of these trips won’t have an amusement park-like setting, they promise numerous teachable moments and historic exploration to amp kids’ interest in history, art and food.
All-inclusive Uniworld “Generations” cruises departing during the most common summer- and winter-break periods, offer young world travelers several on-board and off-shore classes, events and excursions that run the gamut from cooking classes and dessert-making with the ship’s chef and pastry chef to craft classes tailored to the traditional crafts of a certain port of call. There are also kid-friendly menus that complement the adult menus and a Young Travelers’ Table and kids-only movie nights where kids on board can share their experiences.
Although Uniworld makes it clear their cruises are a luxury product, they offer half-off, cruise-only fares for guests 4 to 17. Also, two dedicated Family Hosts oversee all activities for Junior Cruisers (ages 4 to 12) and Teen Cruisers (ages 13 to 17). Other perks include complimentary bicycles, helmets and Nordic walking sticks for use onshore, and special surprise pillow gifts for each night of the cruise.
Tauck “Bridges” River Cruises Families Only adventures bring several fairy-tale elements to the family-focused cruise experience that even seen-it-all adults can relate to. Consider its listing of immersive on-board and on-shore activities: Docking on the River Danube to learn medieval games at Devin Palace, and running a maze dating back to 1698; strudel-making in Vienna; an evening at Reichenstein Castle, complete with working drawbridge and bike rides by the river; and taking a cooking class in the heart of France. Kids more interested in modern history are offered tours such as a hands-on experience of the vehicles, radios and battle gear of World War II in Normandy.
While kids are having a blast and enhancing their future middle and high school studies in the process, parents and grandparents can enjoy their own together time with the assistance of the boat’s cruise and activities directors who can help refine itineraries shaped to the needs and interests of individual family members.
Global luxury river cruise line AMAWaterways, meanwhile, teams up with Disney to present Adventures by Disney. These journeys converge the AMA fleet’s sophisticated amenities (boutique hotel-styled stateroom, locally sourced cuisine and wine) with destinations and activities that bring the settings of some of Disney’s best-loved movies to life. Adventure guides lead tours through big cities and small villages of France, Austria, Hungary, Germany, Switzerland and The Netherlands while an engaging on-board crew keeps things lively aboard the boat.
With cooler weather and fall colors on its way, it’s time to plan your fall family travels. Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resort PA Wilds in Mansfield is the perfect destination, and with both scary and not-so-scary events, kids and parents alike can celebrate the festive season with trick-or-treating, fall crafts, fun with the Yogi Bear characters and more.
As the only major U.S. airline to own a flight school, United Airlines already hit a major milestone, and now the carrier celebrates another important — and historic — step as the inaugural class of United Aviate Academy pilots graduates, leading the next generation of aviators. The 51 students in the graduating class were majority, at 80 percent, women and people of color — another stride toward United’s goal of training 5,000 new pilots by 2030 with half women or POC.
Oktoberfest is not all about beer. Although beer does play a major role, many of these German-themed fall festivals include activities fun for the whole family. You don’t need to travel to Munich to enjoy the oom-pah bands, lively dances, colorful Bavarian dress and traditional German foods; you can find them in almost all regions of the United States this October. Here are some good choices for families:
Rome is a city full of musts for visitors. You must visit the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps. And the list goes on, all the way down to trying gelato. No trip to Rome would be complete without the obligatory sweet treat, and for good reason. Gelato is delicious, refreshing and it comes in every flavor you can imagine. But while you can find it just about everywhere you turn in the Eternal City, it’s important to know not all gelatos are created equal. The city is brimming with fakes, and once you know how to tell the difference, not only will you see the fake stuff everywhere, but you will also refuse to settle for less than authentic.
United Airlines is in the midst of a major initiative to modernize its fleet over the next several years. After first announcing the plan in 2021, planes fitted with United’s signature interior are finally beginning to appear across the airline’s narrowbody fleet of Boeing and Airbus planes. United flyers are sure to notice these enhancements from the moment they step on board: Each new or updated plane sports remodeled seats, seatback entertainment screens for everyone, Bluetooth connectivity and more, all adding up to a better experience on every journey.
Looking for a unique, fun and educational activity for the kids during your next family travels? Well, Kidzania has you covered. Located in Dallas, Texas, this city is not only built for kids but also run by kids. It’s unlike any other entertainment parks; in Kidzania, kids learn useful knowledge, skills and experiences, all while having the chance to be independent.