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Smaller ships. Fresh destinations. Cuisine that departs from the standard floating buffet. And deeply immersive excursions.

These are some of the big draws for 55-plus cruisers. But that’s not to say that a floating city that pulls into Nassau, Bahamas with everyone wearing Mickey ears still isn’t a great trip.

We’ve curated a range of cruises designed to appeal to over 55 travelers. Perhaps it’s your first time taking to the high seas, or you’re a regular at the muster drill and Captain’s Reception. Either way, savvy travelers know that travel insurance is critical to pack on your voyage; wedge it right between that motion-sickness remedy and back-up sunglasses.

With Allianz Global Assistance, you can easily find a plan that fits your budget and itinerary.

(And if you’re set on simply signing up for a cruise line’s insurance plan, take a closer look at how they stack up against our options.)

Here are five cruises we’ve vetted for 55-plus travelers — and the reasons they’re an ideal match.

1. Victory Cruise Lines through the Great Lakes

You don’t need to leave North American to experience some old-world European style. You also don’t need to wait until the Lido Deck lifeguard yells “Adult Swim!” to get a little vacation from kids. With Victory Cruise Lines, you get everything you’d expect from an upscale, small ship experience: cocktail hours, top-shelf cuisine, enthralling itineraries, and carefully curated excursions. You also get several features you might not expect as a 55-plus traveler: afternoon tea, included alcoholic beverages (on non-premium brands), and a ship that’s relatively free and clear of wee ones. Yes, children are allowed if they’re staying in a room with a parent or guardian. But there are no kids clubs, activities, or whirly-twirly waterslides to block your view of Mother Nature’s awe and splendor. In fact, Victory reserves the right to limit the number of children on any particular cruise, meaning more adult cruisers to mix and mingle with. Yes, this is the anti-Disney cruise, but that means more fun for the adults, including menus and entertainment that caters to a more narrow traveler profile. You can cater your Great Lakes cruise to your desired departure point, days at sea, and budget. And depending on how you slice and dice your specific itinerary, inviting French Canadian Villages, quaint Victorian-era towns, and nature-watching as you meander down the St. Lawrence River all await. See North America as some of the earliest explorers did — then wind down with provided slippers, robes and Egyptian sheets aboard M/V Victory I and M/V Victory II.1

2. Un-Cruise Adventures to Alaska

Because of the sheer popularity of Alaskan cruises, each cruise line and ship needs to work a little harder and get a bit more creative to distinguish itself from the pack. UnCruise Adventures has put some distance between itself and other lines with its Alaska Glacier Cruise – Ultimate Expedition, a massively immersive 14-day cruise with sights set on wildlife, native culture, and of course, glaciers. Embark from Juneau en route to LeConte Glacier, where you can get up close and personal with the icy monolith. Then scan Baranof Island’s shores for black bears. Do it all: kayaking, birdwatching, hiking, biking, and more. This is a true adventure inside the Last Frontier, not simply a guided tour or two and a stroll through the gift shop. Your home for the trip is the Safari Endeavour, where you’ll join 83 other travelers on the sun deck, dining room, and lounge. Did we mention that UnCruise Adventures sources fresh Alaskan seafood?2

3. Silversea to Italy via the Mediterranean Sea

The term luxury is tossed around more than a guest in an economy cabin at the ship’s bow. Once you experience Silversea, you’ll understand that there’s luxury and there’s l-u-x-u-r-y. Some of it is obvious, from spacious suites staffed by butlers to elaborate stage shows starring acrobats. But luxury can also be felt in the service you experience — and with a staff-to-guest of nearly 1:1, you’ll never be left looking for a clean towel or fresh beverage on a Silversea ship. Now imagine all this luxury while cruising the Mediterranean Sea from Barcelona to Monte Carlo, Porto Fino, and Rome. This is the trip of a lifetime, a decadent sampler platter of the region’s top offerings.  Altogether, it’s eight ports and four countries in seven days. Your floating palace? The Silver Shadow, where you’ll join just shy of 300 passengers indulging at four restaurants, a spa and salon. Now that’s luxury.3

4. Princess Cruises to Southeast Asian and Japan

One of the world’s largest cruise liner brands, Princess Cruises, combines high-end restaurant food with top entertainment including casinos and “Movies Under the Stars,” a 300-square-foot outdoor movie theater that shows big-budget Hollywood films and live entertainment.

It’s a top-shelf experience that deserves a top-shelf itinerary. And we have one: a 14-day journey from Tokyo to Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City, and Ko Samui Thailand, to name a few stops. By day, take a “hop on, hop off” tour of Hong Kong’s markets and museums. And by night, soak in all the Pacific Princess has to offer, whether you hit the gaming floor or spend a quiet night in taking advantage of 24-hr. room service. The 680-passenger vessel is just the right size to provide generous amenities without ever making cruisers feel cramped.4

5. Royal Caribbean to the Western Caribbean

This is the bread-and-butter of North American cruises. But when you’re cruising with Royal Caribbean, it’s artisan bread still warm from the oven and freshly churned, garlic-infused butter. You’ll start in Miami and head south, swinging through Cozumel, Mexico, as well as Belize City and Key West, where you can visit Ernest Hemingway’s retreat and dine on some local conch fritters. Aboard the Empress of the Seas, you’ll never be cramped or stricken with amenity envy. Enjoy first-run movies on an outdoor movie screen, stir things up with a cooking class, then kick back for an elaborate ballroom dancing stage show. This is the quintessential cruise for 55-plus travelers — big, bold, and fully stocked with options.5

Maybe it’s the destination. Or the excursions. Or simply the vibe of the ship. There are many features that draw 55-plus travelers to one cruise or another. But you can be sure to find comfort, convenience, and maybe even the time of your life when departing on one of these five high-seas (and deep lake) adventures.

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