Each member of your family—teens included—will find something to love about cruising. Enviable ports of call and thrilling shore excursions satisfy world-traveling teens. The delicious food and luxurious accommodations please those who have a taste for the finer things and life. Sharing unforgettable experiences with the family in each place you visit and each night you spend on board inspire memories that will last a lifetime.
From awe-inspiring vistas in Alaska to sun-soaked destinations in the Caribbean, here are some of the best cruises for teens—and for you—to consider for your next family vacation.
Southern Caribbean Cruises
If your teen loves mountain views, underwater exploration, and posting enviable beach pics on Instagram, a Southern Caribbean cruise is the way to go. In these idyllic islands, they can snorkel along coral reefs, adventure through verdant rainforests, and pick out souvenirs for friends back home.
On the best Southern Caribbean islands, your teens can experience wildlife like never before. Seeing the pink flamingos of Bonaire and embarking on a whale- and dolphin-watching safari in Dominica are unforgettable experiences that all members of your family will cherish forever.
Take them on a horseback riding adventure around St. Lucia. Throughout your journey, witness scenic landscapes, gallop through a forest trail, and finish off your trip by trotting on one of St. Lucia’s beautiful beaches, where you can even take an unforgettable dip in the ocean with your horse.
Go on a scuba diving expedition in St. Croix, where you and your teen can explore shipwrecks like the 144-foot Suffolk Maid ship that sank 60 feet underwater; the Virgin Islander, a barge covered in coral reef formations; and the North Wind, a 75-foot tugboat that is home to numerous species of tropical fish.
Go river tubing in Grenada or snorkel with the kids in an underwater sculpture garden in the Caribbean Sea. If you want to take a break from all the activity, lounge for an entire day at Aruba’s famous Eagle Beach, where the white sand and turquoise water provide the perfect backdrop for a family photo.
South America Cruises
On our South America cruises, you and your family will have the chance to experience cultures, food, and terrains unlike anywhere else in the world.
There are all kinds of natural wonders in South America waiting to be discovered. Interact with penguins in Patagonia, marvel at the majestic Iguazu Falls in Argentina, and sail close to Cape Horn in Tierra del Fuego.
If your teen is an aspiring chef or foodie, they’ll love to try the unique flavors and ingredients of Latin cuisine. Sample fresh ceviche and lomo saltado in Lima, Peru. Enjoy mouthwatering barbecue, steaks, and empanadas in Buenos Aires, Argentina. While in Brazil, they can try tropical fruit, pao de queijo (cheesy bread), and brigadeiro (chocolate truffles made with condensed milk).
For more adventurous teens, they can take a river rafting class down Rio Petrohue, a glacial river in Puerto Montt, Chile. In Argentina, board a Zodiac boat and search for the rare dolphins that live in the waters of Puerto Madryn. Feel like you’re at the end of the world during a visit to Tierra del Fuego National Park in Ushuaia, where you can canoe down crystal-clear waters and marvel at the beautiful scenery all around you.
One of the most memorable South American vacations for teens is visiting the extraordinary site of Machu Picchu. Days spent exploring ancient Incan culture and landmarks that are thousands of years old will keep you and your family so busy, your teens might even forget to ask for the WiFi password.
With Instagrammable pink sands, historic forts, funky art galleries, and a laid-back island culture, a cruise to Bermuda is certain to entertain all members of the family.
Some teens will enjoy lounging under a sun umbrella with a good book by the beach, while others will want to dive into the gorgeous reefs and explore the vast marine life that inhabits the island. If they ever went through a pirate phase, a cruise to Bermuda is sure to bring it back out in full force, as there are plenty of snorkeling and scuba diving excursions that visit ancient shipwrecks.
After a day under the sun, learn more about the island’s history with a visit to the old Gibbs Hill Lighthouse, which was built in 1846. For a fun afternoon activity, take the family out and stroll around Hamilton for some shopping, or spend a day at the Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo, where you can see one of the world’s largest living coral displays.
One of the best cruises for teenagers is an adventure through the Last Frontier, where they’ll spot wildlife in their natural habitat, embark on exciting outdoor excursions, and experience the thrill of seeing a towering glacier from up close.
Alaska has so much to do and see, so you can rest easy knowing that an Alaska cruise with kids is never boring. In Icy Strait Point, they can go on an adrenaline-pumping ride on the world’s largest ZipRider. Take them fishing in Ketchikan, or hitch a ride on a seaplane and get an aerial view of Alaska’s rugged beauty.
In Skagway, meet Iditarod sled dogs or take the whole family on the White Pass and Yukon Route Railway that crosses over the Canadian border. Go on a sightseeing expedition in Sitka, where you’ll spot wildlife like bears, wolves, and moose.
From the ship, watch in awe as massive whales feed in Alaskan waters, and admire the stunning glaciers you’ll sail next to (depending on your chosen Alaska cruise route), such as Hubbard Glacier, which at 76 miles long is North America’s largest tidewater glacier.
With its mix of sea and land-based adventures, Alaska is one of the best cruises for teenagers. By the end of a cruise to Alaska, everyone in your family will leave with long-lasting memories of their unforgettable experiences.
A cruise to Europe has enough art, culture, history, and delicious cuisine to satisfy every family member’s varied tastes. During one of our Mediterranean cruises, you’ll discover treasures awaiting in Italy, France, Spain, and other stunning destinations, and expose your teenagers to the wonders of the Old Continent.
In Italy, marvel at the Sistine Chapel and walk the ancient grounds of the Colosseum in Rome. Take a family gondola ride in Venice and an Instagram photo in front of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Read: Italy Shore Excursions
In Spain, visit the colorful Parc Guell and climb up the baroque Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona. Soak up the sun in Mallorca and enjoy Spanish tapas in Bilbao.
Even teenagers won’t be able to resist the beauty of Greece, where they’ll be able to walk around picturesque, white-washed buildings in Mykonos and dive into the deep blue waters of Santorini.
Our Mediterranean cruises also travel to gorgeous destinations in the French Riviera, Portugal, Turkey, and Croatia, where golden sand beaches and crystal clear seas are always on the agenda.
Read: Best Greek Islands for Families
Are cruises fun for teenagers?
Cruises are filled with fun experiences for teenagers. Whether their ideal vacation includes tanning by the pool and on the beach, sampling world-class cuisine on board and in port, or making new friends from around the world, there is something for every kind of teen to enjoy.
Aside from all of the entertaining activities and venues that teenagers can explore on our ships, there are shore excursions that cater to all kinds of interests. From snorkeling in the Caribbean to kayaking in Alaska and discovering penguins in Patagonia, there’s no shortage of fun things to do in each and every stop.
Read: How to Make Your Cruise Even More Fun
What can teenagers do on a cruise ship?
On board, there are endless entertainment options for teens to enjoy, like swimming in the outdoor pool, hanging out at the Lawn Club (on select ships) where they can play bocce, and catching a show at the state-of-the-art theater featuring Broadway-level music and dance performances and comedy acts.
Pamper your teen at The Spa, where they can choose from tailor-made services like mother-and-daughter massages, makeup lessons, and facials.
At the XClub, teens can socialize with other cruisers their age and participate in activities like scavenger hunts and silent disco dance parties.
On our Edge-series ships, teens will love heading to Eden, a lush green space and restaurant, where they can order smoothies and inventive dishes. They’ll be impressed by the atmospheric Magic Carpet, a cantilevered platform suspended up to 13 stories above the sea with gorgeous views of the ocean.
For a truly unique dining experience, take them to Le Petit Chef, an immersive dining experience where a 3D animated chef prepares the night’s meal right on your table.
Teens appreciate the innovative technology used on board our ships, like our custom app which allows them to check-in, plan their day, and even chat with other guests. On Edge-series ships, they can even turn on the TV, open the blinds, and control the lighting in their stateroom from their phone.
Explore family-friendly cruises on our website and choose the perfect itinerary for you and your teen. From the idyllic beaches of the Caribbean to the dynamic cities of the Mediterranean and the rich culture of South America, make memories you and your family will cherish forever on one of our luxury cruise vacations.