Not all cruises are created equal. It seems like ocean liners for those over 55, once synonymous with glamour and class, have become a relic of a bygone era, replaced with family-oriented cruises that only cater to younger travelers. However, you can still find shiny pearls in the seven seas. Here are five cruises with adult-focused itineraries, spectacular scenery and world-class extravagance.
Discover the great Alaskan outdoors with this seven-ship exploration cruise line that fuses A-list indulgence with all the natural splendor the Last Frontier has to offer. Looking for the perfect vacation? Set sail on a cruise that takes in the Sea of Cortez, coastal Washington and the shores of British Columbia, passing snow-covered glaciers and soaring mountains. Un-Cruise Adventures liners only carry up to 88 passengers, but the brand never compromises on luxury, with onboard treats such as a pastry chef, hot tub and bar. The company's S.S. Legacy ship has an elevator, which connects three public decks, for guests with decreased mobility.
Spoil yourself in the ship's dining room, which sources fresh Alaskan seafood or grab a cocktail and take in the panorama from the deck. Cabins are outward-facing, offering goosebump-inducing views of shimmering waters and dramatic sunsets. The company operates 11 adventure cruises, departing from Seattle, Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan. The seven-night summertime Northern Passages & Glacier Bay route, which travels from Sitka to Juneau, visits a sea lion haulout and birding colony at South Marble Island and Chichagof Island's stunning waterfall coast.
Azamara Club Cruises, part of parent brand Royal Caribbean, operates two ships, including the Azamara Journey. The boutique cruise features contemporary cabins and breathtaking onboard views, a plethora of food options and live entertainment. The 11-night Adriatic & Greek Isles Voyage combines multiple city breaks during the route. Highlights include Kusadasi, a Turkish resort town with a seafront promenade and marina, and the Croatian mini-metropolis of Dubrovnik, home to must-see sights like St. Blaise Church, an 18th-century baroque landmark.
The Azamara Journey has a small casino with accessible blackjack tables, and complimentary Internet access and English butler service for guests staying in one of the ship's roomy suites. You also ride this vessel on the 12-night Aegean Sea to Rome Voyage with an early-summer itinerary that lets you discover the best of Italy, Malta and Greece in one fell swoop. Destinations include serene Sorrento, a coastal town in southwest Italy, and magnificent Mykonos, the glamorous Greek island known for its cosmopolitan atmosphere. Complimentary wheelchair access is provided for guests embarking and disembarking the ship.
Holland America Line has teamed up with "Dancing with the Stars," ABC's celebrity-packed ratings juggernaut, to replicate the classic cruise ship ballroom of yesteryear. Learn some new moves or compete in competitions on "Dancing with the Stars: At Sea," available on Holland America's 15 mid-size ships. Cruises leave from 38 departure points every year: Destinations include Australia and Alaska, Canada and the Caribbean, Panama and the Pacific Coast.
Try the Nieuw Amsterdam, which leaves Fort Lauderdale and travels south to Key West before heading to Grand Turk, Amber Cove and Half Moon Cay. With wheelchair-friendly cabins and flexible dining options — Holland America caters to guests with special dietary needs — the cruise provides all the home comforts you need when at sea, including self-service laundry rooms and a movie theater. Then there's the food: Voted "Best Dining Experience 2014" by Porthole Cruise Magazine, the ship's Master Chef's Table offers an assortment of seafood bites and sweet treats.
Silversea is a five-ship cruise line that travels to 450 ports on seven continents, offering guests first-class luxury with an all-inclusive price tag. The company's Mediterranean cruises are ideal for travelers who want to soak up culture by day and return to their ship for diverse evening entertainment, like live stage musicals and acrobat shows. The Silver Cloud showcases Europe's richest and ritziest destination. It departs from Barcelona before traveling to Porto Mahon, a historic city on the Spanish island of Menorca, as well as Sardinia, Cannes and Monte Carlo. Explore the French Riviera and its glimmering coastal waters before sailing across the Mediterranean and reaching Rome — Italy's bustling, vibrant capital. The Silver Cloud accommodates 296 guests, with spacious cabins, butler service, dining options for guests who have special dietary requirements, and a pool deck with panoramic sea views.
One of the world's largest cruise liner brands, Princess Cruises combines high-end restaurant food — included with the price of the cruise — with top entertainment like casinos and "Movies Under the Stars," a 300-square-foot outdoor movie theater that shows big-budget Hollywood films and live entertainment. The Pacific Princess is a 680-passenger vessel that offers a traditional cruise experience with a cabaret lounge, restaurant, spa and wheelchair-accessible cabins. Book a vacation on the World Cruise Segment where the ship departs Hong Kong before sailing to Dubai. It docks at destinations like Mangalore, India and Muscat, Oman, during the 18-day journey. Alternatively, make the 17-day trek from Dubai to Venice, which stops at historic ports like Rhodes and Soudha Bay in Greece. Expect fewer family-friendly arrangements than on other cruises; the Pacific Princess attracts travelers who want to experience longer itineraries without frequent drop-offs.
Wherever the journey takes you, don't forget to take Allianz Cruise Insurance with you. It's the best way to travel safe. Have a good cruise!