Cruises aren't just for your parents anymore. A new crop of millennial-based cruises are taking over the market and breathing new life into the industry. These cruises are using out-of-the-box ideas like floating EDM festivals, celebrity entertainment, and small-ship flexibility.
If you're like many millennials, you're looking for adventure and meaningful social connections on your travels. Combine these elements with the convenience of a cruise, and you'll get one of these options. Check out our top six below. Warning: you might just become one of those "cruise people."
Please note: Unless otherwise noted, the prices below are based on double occupancy and do not include extra taxes and fees. As with any cruise, be sure to check for added taxes and fees, gratuities, and port fees.
6 Cruises That Won't Give You That Retirement Home Vibe
1. For The Adventurous Traveler: Yacht Week
Yacht Week is an excellent choice for those who are looking for a flexible, smaller-ship experience, yet still want tons of entertainment. Your ship includes a skipper, seven nights of accommodation, and tons of exclusive events (like their famous floating parties).
You can pick between sailing routes along the scenic coasts of Croatia, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, or the British Virgin Islands—so there's something for every type of traveler. Plus, smaller ships mean you'll have access to more remote, local spots. One of the most famous trips is the Ultra Festival Route, which takes you along the Croatian coast, where you'll attend Ultra Music Festival.
For those craving flexibility, Yacht Week offers tons of it. You can choose the destination, pace, and size of your trip—plus whether you'd like to rent the entire sailboat with your friends or rent a cabin in a shared boat.
Dates: European trips are held from June through September, Caribbean trips are held December through March
2. For The Festival-Loving Free Spirit: Kesha's "Weird and Wonderful Rainbow Ride"
If you're a music festival fan, listen up. Kesha has taken over the Norwegian Pearl ship with plenty of live performances, celebrity guests, dance parties, and more glitter than you can imagine. Millennials will especially love the community spirit on the ship, which aims to provide an accepting space to be "unapologetically yourself."
The 2019 lineup featured names like Girl Talk and Jonathan Van Ness (of Queer Eye fame), plus two live shows by Kesha herself. The 2019 cruise sailed from Tampa to Nassau, Bahamas, in February but keep your eye out for possible 2020 sailings.
Cost: 2019 trips started at $945 per person
Dates: February 17 – 21, 2019 — stay tuned for 2020 trips
3. For The Chic European Explorer: U by Uniworld
If you thought river cruises were only for the retiree crowd, we've got news for you. U by Uniworld is a new cruise brand appealing to millennials with their fresh take on river cruising. Expect stylish, compact boats and hot European destinations like Amsterdam, Paris, and Budapest. For those seeking authenticity, these cruises offer some great perks: you can dock directly in the city center, and sign up for local events ranging from pub crawls to foodie tours to live music.
The ships themselves provide a strong sense of social community, with touches like rooftop lounges, bars, and locally-inspired restaurants onboard. These ships are designed to combine the feel of a boutique hotel with the convenience of a cruise.
Cost: Trips start at $1,099 per person
Dates: Upcoming dates are available through October 2019
4. For The Die-Hard Rupaul Fan: Queens Overboard
Queens Overboard has already made a name for itself as a legendary LGBTQ-friendly vacation. This luxe, drag-themed cruise features tons of exciting group activities—from drag bingo to themed movie nights to some truly epic parties.
The 2019 cruise featured seven nights of nonstop entertainment, hosted by the charismatic Heklina and Peaches Christ and Jinkx Monsoon from season 5 of Rupaul's Drag Race. It sailed from Miami and stopped at San Juan, Saint Thomas, the Dominican Republic, and the Bahamas on the swanky Celebrity Cruises Equinox ship.
Cost: 2019 trips start at $794 per person
Dates: February 2 – 9, 2019 — stay tuned for 2020 trips
5. For The EDM Enthusiast: Holy Ship!
Attention, EDM fans. If you haven't heard of Holy Ship yet, we've got news for you. This cruise doubles as an epic EDM festival with a massive, celebrity-filled lineup and an entertainment-packed schedule. This cruise has gained a cult following for a number of reasons, including its community spirit and high-energy parties. Theme nights, karaoke contests, and meet and greets will help you make lifetime memories and friends from all over the world.
The 2019 cruise set sail in January from Miami. It lasted three nights on the Norwegian Epic and cruises around the Bahamas, and featured epic daytime sets on a private beach at Great Stirrup Cay.
Cost: 2019 trips started at $849 per person
Dates: January 9 – 12, 2019 — stay tuned for 2020 trips
6. For The Glamorous Island Hopper: Anchored
Feeling indecisive? We saved this cruise for last because it offers an excellent combination of live entertainment, a social atmosphere, and flexibility for exploring. You'll depart from Barcelona and visit legendary Mediterranean destinations like Corsica, Palma de Mallorca, and Ibiza, which you'll be free to explore at your leisure.
The glam Anchored cruise spans over five nights and includes a musical lineup of well-know house and electronic acts. But that's not where the entertainment stops—the ship features millennial-friendly touches like sunrise yoga, specialty cocktail bars, and Instagram-worthy dining.
Cost: Trips start at $647 per person for triple occupancy, or $776 per person for double occupancy
Dates: June 2 – 7, 2019