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No more pre-teens making their way onto the Viking River Cruises ships, as the line has gone adults-only, raising the minimum age from 12 to 18 as of Aug. 1.

“I think it’s smart for them to make the age restrictions consistent with both the river and ocean products,” says Michael Consoli, Cruise Planners franchise owner and top global producer for Viking Cruises based in Roswell, GA. “Viking River Cruises has always been geared towards adults with a minimum age of 12 years old, and their ocean line is seeing huge success with the adults-only restriction, so it will likely be an easy transition for Viking River Cruises. Viking knows their client and demographic well and these clients aren’t looking to travel with children on board and their product doesn’t offer anything for the 17 and younger crowd.”

Amy Madson, independent vacation specialist with Cruises Inc. in Orlando, FL, agrees, saying, “I see no problem with this. It’s only a change to the river product, as their ocean product already has this policy. It’s about consistency. Viking Ocean guests who try the Viking River product are expecting a similar experience. This is another move in that direction.” If there are families and kids on the Viking River cruise, it could cause some confusion. Unless it is a family program such as Adventures by Disney with AmaWaterways, I’m not sure kids really get that much out of a river cruise experience.”

“Viking has found great success not trying to be all things to all people.”
— Amy Madson, Independent Vacation Specialist, Cruises Inc.

Adds Consoli, “River cruise lines such as Tauck, AmaWaterways and Uniworld have worked to expand their multi-generational and skip-gen offerings with special specific sailings geared towards younger travelers, so even with Viking River Cruises going adults-only, there are many other river cruise lines and still plenty of options for families with younger children.”

Madson also points to the fact that this actually increases the choices for travel advisors when it comes to the river cruise product. “As agents,” she says, “we like to have choices like this. Some adults prefer to vacation without kids around, and that’s okay. Others are families who want their kids to experience different cultures and find river cruising an intimate, safe way to do this.”

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