Best cruises for young adults looking for adventure in 2020

These cruise lines were made for 20-30-year-old millennials.

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Cruising has come a long way since the days when empty nesters and retirees filled the decks on long journeys across the ocean. These days you can find everything from themed cruises to off-the-beaten-track expeditions.

Cruises for 20-somethings are no exception. On top of featuring your standard cruise deck chairs, these also include activities such as clubbing, concerts and risque performances onboard, as well as hiking, kayaking and pub crawling onshore.

Want to cruise a party boat without the families and oldies? These are some of the best cruise lines for 20-30-year-olds that are geared more toward the younger crowd.

(Just looking for a bargain with one of the best cruises for young people? Skip right down to the deals)

Our favourite cruise lines for young adults

1. Contiki's sailing trips

Specialising in unforgettable journeys in Europe, Asia, Latin America, the USA and more for 18-35 year olds, Contiki’s small-boat trips are not to be overlooked.

  • Young adult activities: Snorkelling, sailing, hiking and kayaking.
  • Adults-only sundeck? No. However, independent travellers must be at least 18 years.

2. P&O Cruises

P&O breaks up its cruises into six categories – Sea Australia, Sea Asia, Main Events, Islands, Sea Breaks and Explorer – to help you find that perfect sailing.

The secret to picking the young adult-skewed cruise is in the itinerary. You’ll generally find young adult workers on shorter and more adventurous trips, so hit up the Main Events, Sea Breaks or Explorer cruises for sailors of similar ages.

  • Young adult activities: Adults-only comedy club, bars and nightclubs, casino and adults-only ocean bar.
  • Adults-only sundeck? Called The Oasis, this 18+ sundeck is a child-free area with a pool, hanging chairs and cushioned cabanas. It’s available on the Pacific Aria and Pacific Eden.

3. G Adventures’ sailing trips

With tours for the budget conscious, G Adventures calls to like-minded and aged travellers from around the world with its marine adventures. Naturally, the destinations this company cruises to are just as adventurous as the folk who embark on its ships. G Adventures’ marine tours include sailings in the Galapagos Islands, Greek Isles, Cuban Coast, Antarctica and the Arctic.

  • Young adult activities: Snorkelling, sailing, hiking and kayaking.
  • Adults-only sundeck? No. However, independent travellers must be at least 18 years old. On non-family tours, children over 12 are permitted with an accompanying adult.

4. Topdeck’s sailing trips

Catering to the 18-30s crowd, Topdeck knows how difficult it can be to budget for a life-changing adventure.

  • Young adult activities: Snorkelling, sailing, hiking and kayaking.
  • Adults-only sundeck? No. However, independent travellers must be at least 18 years.

5. U by Uniworld

A reimagined river cruise that is part boutique hotel, part private yacht and part local hotspot.

From international DJs to silent discos, mixology classes to farm-to-table cuisine and rooftop yoga on the sun deck, this is the one cruise line that is specifically tailored for millennial cruisers.

  • Young adult activities: Biking, canal cruises, hiking, rock climbing, wine tasting, street art walks, kayaking, bars and clubbing.
  • Adults-only sundeck? The Rooftop Lounge is an open-air hangout perfect to relax and take in the views during the day and the Ice Bar is where you’ll head when it gets dark for all the night time action.

6. Travel Talk

Tailored for the 18-39 crew, small groups tours give you the experience of a lifetime without breaking the bank.

Experience the high seas on a modern pirate ship in Croatia or traditional Turkish gulet as you explore everything the region has to offer.

  • Young adult activities: Rafting, ziplining, hot-air ballooning, bars and onboard parties.
  • Adults-only sundeck? Most ships have at least two decks and a sundeck with sunbeds and chairs.

7. Intrepid’s Sailing Trips

Set sail in Europe, the Caribbean or Asia where you can help navigate or sit back and relax.

Intrepid’s unique small group tours means that you can make new friends as you explore the world by sea.

  • Young adult activities: Hiking, rowing, swimming and snorkelling.
  • Adults-only sundeck? No. However, independent travellers must be at least 18 and the minimum age is 15.

What to look for in a cruise for young adults

  • Unique bars and clubs on board that will keep you entertained throughout the cruise.
  • Activities to keep you moving during the day like rock climbing walls and surfing simulators.
  • Night-time fun like comedy shows, theatre performances, live music and themed events.
  • Adults-only spaces like casinos, sun-decks and relaxations areas.
  • Well-planned shore excursions to make the most of your days off the ship
  • Solo-friendly cabins so you can avoid the dreaded single supplement fee if you’re travelling on your own.

Top cruise deals:

Uniworld Uniworld

Up to 50% off single supplements on 2020 cruises

Available for cruises on select dates from May - December 2020. Destinations include Basel, Amsterdam, Budapest, Passau and more. T&Cs apply.

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Expedia Expedia

Up to 59% off Norwegian cruises + 50% off deposit with freebies

Available for travel on select dates after 11 April 2020 from Quebec. Destinations New York, Boston and more. Includes freebies like dinner package, drinks package, Wi-Fi and even 30% off all guests at a limited time. T&Cs apply.

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Uniworld Uniworld

Up to 50% off 2020 Europe solo voyages

Available for cruises on select departures from May - December 2020. Destinations include Amsterdam, Basel, Vienna, Nuremberg, Budapest, Passau and more. Discount applies to single supplement for 2020 dates. T&Cs apply.

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City Cruises City Cruises

Up to 20% off dining in London river cruises

Available for travel on select dates from May 2020 and onwards. Includes 2-course meal, champagne package and more. T&Cs apply.

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Cruise Nation Cruise Nation

Low deposit of just 5% with P&O cruises

Available for travel on select dates from May 2020 - December 2020. Destinations include Europe, Aurora, Mexico, United Kingdom and more. T&Cs apply.

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Cruise Nation Cruise Nation

Free drinks package + additional 5% off with MSC cruises

Available for travel from May 2020. Other destinations include Bahamas, Dubai, Europe, Mexico, South America, United Kingdom and more. Includes free premium drinks package and more. T&Cs apply.

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Uniworld Uniworld

Up to 10% off advance bookings on 2021 cruises

Available for cruises on select departures. Destinations include Asia, Europe, France, India, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Russia. T&Cs apply.

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Intrepid Travel Intrepid Travel

Up to 25% off Antarctica voyages

Available for travel on select dates from 4 November 2020 - 31 March 2022. Discount applies to new bookings. T&Cs apply.

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Direct Ferries Direct Ferries

Up to 30% off ferries worldwide

Subscribe to DirectFerries email and receive the latest ferry offers from early booking to last-minute sailings. T&Cs apply.

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Popular Cruises coupon codes

Last checked Code description Code
17 Mar 2020 Up to 50% off single supplements on 2020 cruises ********
16 Mar 2020 Up to 59% off Norwegian cruises + 50% off deposit with freebies ********
17 Mar 2020 Up to 50% off 2020 Europe solo voyages ********
17 Mar 2020 Up to 20% off dining in London river cruises ********
17 Mar 2020 Low deposit of just 5% with P&O cruises ********

Feature image: P&O Cruises

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