Viking makes it official: Kids no longer welcome on cruises

Viking's river cruises sail on the Danube River, among other European itineraries. (Viking River Cruises)

Luxury line Viking Cruises has updated its age policy and limited river and ocean sailings to passengers who are 18 or older. It’s a departure for the company that once allowed younger children onboard river cruises.

Now passengers must be at least 18 years old to sail on cruises booked after Aug. 1, the company’s website says.

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Viking’s ocean cruises have been adult-only since the line launched in 2015. It previously accepted kids 12 and older on river cruises, media reports say.

A Viking statement sent by email said the age limit reflects what passengers wanted.

“Viking has always offered experiences that are designed for travelers who are 50 and older, with interests in history, art, culture and exploration. 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.”

The statement said its “policy clarification” began last January as part of a marketing campaign called “What Viking Is Not.”

“No casinos, no children under 18, no photographers, no umbrella drinks ...” and so on, the web page says. It’s a way of differentiating the luxury line from those that market family-friendly features on mega-ships.

Other river cruise lines set their own age limits for passengers that can be found in their Terms and Conditions.

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Emerald Waterways and Riviera accept children 12 and older. Avalon will take 8-year-olds; AmaWaterways, 7-year-olds; Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, 4-year-olds; Tauck, 3-year-olds; and Crystal Cruises, babies at least 6 months old.

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