Family cruises: 4 alternatives to the big ships

Cruise Advice
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One of the best ways to enjoy your leisure time is time out with the family, taking the opportunity to enjoy each other's company away from the stresses and strains of everyday life.

A holiday with loved ones offers quality time away, but it's challenging to find a trip that is going to appeal to everyone. Often, when considering a cruise for a family trip it's the larger lines and ships, offering a myriad of facilities, that are touted. But if ice skating rinks, rock climbing walls and throngs of people aren't your thing then here are a few options that will be suitable for a variety of ages, without compromising on the luxury experience.

Crystal Cruises

A family group may well have different interests, passions and lifestyles, so the facilities that Crystal Cruises offer make them a great choice. Crystal is the only top luxury line committed to a great children's programme, large enough for children to be largely unnoticed by other guests, yet without the crowds you get on the mainstream lines. Crystal's range of facilities, from the Computer University at Sea to the well-equipped gym, and from the paddle tennis court to piano lessons, ensures that everyone is catered for, and the outstanding level of service means you'll be very well looked after.

Varied shore excursions, many of them very active, a packed daily programme, and a wide choice of dining options mean that Crystal is the perfect choice for a family group. This summer Crystal are offering a number of Northern Europe and Mediterranean itineraries, ideal for those who want to avoid lengthy flights.

Crystal Cruises - Family group

European Waterways

If you're looking for a slower pace of life on a family holiday you can't beat a luxury barge. European Waterways cater for groups between six and twelve, with the option of booking out an entire barge for your exclusive use. Gently traverse some of Europe's most idyllic waterways with a chef and crew on hand to make sure you're always well looked after. The barge moves at walking pace, so it's easy to step ashore at the locks. Whether you opt to head out into the countryside on a bicycle, explore the local vineyards and châteaux or simply relax on board, this marvellous option is perfect for those who want dedicated family time.

European Waterways - Anjodi

Family-themed river cruising

A river cruise allows you to travel through the heart of Europe, discovering some of the continent's most iconic sights. Themed family departures from Tauck and Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection include special programmes, events and excursions designed specifically for children (we recommend 7 years plus). Children can discover medieval castles or the maze of a renaissance château. Learn to cook local delicacies with the ship's chef or take a family bike ride.

Traveling further afield, Pandaw offer a free cabin for children on selected Myanmar and Mekong itineraries, which all have daily excursions to fascinating sites plus mountain bikes for independent exploration. These amazing itineraries offer the convenience of a touring holiday where your hotel moves with you, ideal for a stress-free family escape.

Pandaw 2 in Myanmar

Expedition Cruises

Creating magical memories has to be the very best gift you can give your family. So why not travel to somewhere so different, and do something so exciting, that you'll never forget it. An expedition cruise can offer once-in-a-lifetime experiences: track polar bears in the Arctic, spot penguins in Antarctica, or snorkel with sea lions in the Galapagos. You'll travel way off the beaten track and come face to face with wonderful wildlife, against a backdrop of some of the most stunning scenery on the planet. Visit our sister company Mundy Adventures for some expedition inspiration...

Silver Explorer in the Arctic
Alex Loizou
Meet the author

Director of Sales & Marketing at Mundy Cruising

More about Alex

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