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.