To be honest, a $5,000 per person Viking River Cruise down the Rhine was hardly the choice of most families for a summer vacation. Until now, though, it was at least an option. No longer. As of this month, Viking River Cruises raised the minimum age for passengers from 12-years-old to 18-years-old, effectively banning kids from all future voyages. The new zero-children policy, which the company said was in response to customer demand, will mirror that of Viking Ocean Cruises, which debuted in 2015 with the same anti-kid animus.
Even though the new rule went into effect on August 1, 2018, the company will honor all tickets for kids under 18-years-old through the end of 2019. “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,” Viking’s Senior Vice President of Marketing, Richard Marnell, told Travel Weekly. “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. In addition to marketing what Viking is, we believe our guests also appreciate knowing what Viking is not.”
Viking isn’t the only cruise line to go adults-only. Children are prohibited on both Richard Branson’s Virgin Voyage and U by Uniworld cruises as well.