While the thought of being stuck at sea with your children might not be your idea of a relaxing vacation, cruising with kids can take a lot of the stress out of traveling with your little ones. Larger cruise lines make a point of providing entertainment and activities not only for adults but for the kids too, meaning that you’ll be able to slip away for a spa treatment while your kids are kept entertained elsewhere.
With no buses to catch, no hotel check-out times to meet and a boat full of potential new friends and activities, a cruise is the perfect way to minimize the stress of your vacation and maximise the fun and relaxation. Once you’ve decided a cruise is the way to go for your vacation, where should you visit? Here are five incredible options that provide more than enough fun, adventure and relaxation to satisfy the whole family.
With its stylish skyline and gorgeously sleek architecture, Hong Kong is definitely worth considering for family vacations. As a small island off the coast of mainland China, you can sail straight in and start enjoying everything it has to offer without adding extra travel time.
Hong Kong’s Disneyland isn’t to be missed for a family-friendly mix of sights, sounds, and wonder. If your kids are a little older, or if you and your partner are also thrill-seekers, then head to Ocean Park for some more stomach-churning rides.
Hong Kong also offers up amazing views that will take even the most inscrutable of children’s breath away. Make sure you take the tram up to Victoria Peak to see the view across the city, and Lamma Island, with its giant Buddha, is also a must-visit location. Accessed by cable cars, your kids will enjoy the ride in the skies and it will give you a chance to enjoy the beautiful views.
If your child is obsessed with fairytales, castles, princes and princesses, then look no further than Copenhagen as a holiday destination — the long-time home of writer Hans Christian Anderson, creator of the flame-haired Little Mermaid. Smaller, luxury cruises will dock in the Nyhavn harbour to allow you to fully enjoy the beauty of this medieval European city. If you’re on a cruise from the UK, it’s the perfect place to head to if you want to avoid flying without missing out on an amazing destination.
If you have long enough, make sure you take your children on a day trip out to Kronborg Castle — the real-life inspiration for Shakespeare’s Hamlet. You can satisfy your own need for culture and literature while your children get to experience the historical grandeur of the setting. If you visit in summer, live performances of Hamlet take place during the day in various locations around the castle. The options for including Copenhagen in a cruise itinerary are pretty impressive, too; from the opportunity to explore the Baltics, to getting as far across as St Petersburg where the whimsical feel continues.
No travel list involving kids would be complete without Orlando, the place of every Disney-loving child’s dreams. Surrounded by water and drenched in sunshine for most of the year, the state of Florida is the perfect cruise destination. Located not far away, most cruises to Orlando also stop off at the Bahamas, which will give you some time to soak up the sun before heading back to the office.
Keep the kids happy with a hotel stay at Disneyland, and exhaust them on the rides before getting back on the boat and arriving at a beach paradise. It’s not just Disneyland that Orlando offers, either; you can also visit the Space Center and Universal’s Islands of Adventure, for bigger kids who want rides with a rush.
If you like vacations where the activities appeal to the whole family, then Costa Rica is the perfect place to get everyone participating equally. Whether you like ancient jungles and swinging with the monkeys, or whether you’re a family of water babies, Costa Rica is the cruise destination for you.
Not only will you get to visit multiple locations on the stunning coastline and swim in some of the world’s most beautiful waters, but there are plenty of activities to keep you and your family occupied. Explore the underwater world with your snorkel and flippers, or if you want to go a bit deeper, it’s the ideal location to learn to dive. Your kids will be fascinated by seeing endangered animals in the wild, such as giant sea turtles and dolphins, or sloths and monkeys in the nature parks.
The wildcard on our list of destinations, the Arctic might not be somewhere you immediately think of when planning a holiday with your children. However, if it’s your dream to see this largely uninhabitable destination, then a cruise is the way to go.
A luxury cruise liner such as Silversea or NCL Cruises will keep you warm and toasty as you wake up to the stunning views of icebergs. Not so much of a destination cruise as one to take for the journey, there will be enough sights to keep your whole family amazed. From penguins and polar bears to the Northern Lights, this could just be the trip of your family’s lifetime.