Correction: Viking isn't the first river cruise line to have an adults-only policy.

Viking River Cruises is no longer allowing new bookings for passengers under the age of 18.

Viking senior vice president of marketing Richard Marnell said, "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."

Viking quietly updated its policy on the terms-and-conditions page on its website, which states that for all Viking river cruises booked after Aug. 1, 2018, embarking passengers must be 18 years old. Passengers under the age of 18 may still board a Viking river cruise through the end of 2019 if the cruise was booked prior to Aug. 1, 2018.

"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 said in in the children/minors section of its terms-and-conditions page.

U by Uniworld also has an adults-only policy. Viking's minimum age was 12 before it changed to adults only. Scenic, Emerald Waterways and Riviera have a minimum age of 12. Avalon Waterways is 8; AmaWaterways and Uniworld, 4; Tauck, 3; Crystal, 6 months; and CroisiEurope has no minimum.

Viking's ocean cruises have had an adults-only policy since launching operations in 2015.

Marnell said that Viking's policy change was meant to establish consistency across all of its itineraries that the minimum age for travel is 18. 

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


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