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Best cruises for young adults looking for adventure in 2024

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

Top cruise deals


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

Couple near the port

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.

two people snorkelling

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.
Go to G Adventures' sailing trips website

A person with backpack sitting down and looking at a view

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.
Go to Topdeck's sailing trips website

Piggy back ride

MSC Cruises

Cash in on your youth with MSC Cruises. It offers discounts for 18-29 year olds. No joke.

If you thought that your youth discounts stopped when you turned 18, think again. MSC Cruises encourages young passengers by offering them discounts per cabin for couples and groups. Better get the gang together.

  • Young adult activities: Bars, spa, fitness centre, shopping, live music and theatre shows.
  • Adults-only sundeck? Called the Top 18, this is located on the 18th deck of the Fantasia-class ships and features spa services, bar and relaxation pods.
Go to MSC Cruises' website

Sunset with a ship

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.
Go to Travel Talk's website

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 from these lines

Deal

Up to 84% off Carnival Cruises from Brisbane

Discount applies on brochure price of select Carnival Cruise vacations. Valid on select 3- to 7-night Carnival Cruises departing Brisbane on select dates for 2024. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to 45% off Australia and New Zealand cruises

Available on select dates in 2023 with Royal Caribbean, Princess Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line and more. Sample rate is for a 3-night cruise with Carnival Cruises.
Deal

Up to 40% off cruises

Get up to 40% off cruises + drinks & Wi-Fi included + up to $400 onboard credit + kids sail free at MSC Cruises. Destinations include the Caribbean, The Bahamas, Bermuda, and Europe. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Royal Caribbean Cruises: Up to 60% off your 2nd guest plus kids sail FREE

Available for travel on select dates until 31 December 2025. Destinations include the Bahamas, Alaska, the South Pacific, and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to 50% off Norwegian cruise line + FREE open bar, dining, and Wi-Fi

Get up to to 50% off sailings aboard the Norwegian Cruise Line and enjoy unlimited drinks, FREE specialty dining, and FREE Wi-Fi at sea. Limited time offer. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Royal Caribbean Cruises: Up to 30% off plus kids sail FREE

Available for travel on select dates until 31 December 2023. Destination includes the Bahamas, Alaska, South Pacific, and more. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Get 3 free amenities with Celebrity Cruises

Available on Alaska cruise in 2023. T&Cs apply.
Deal

Up to 71% off international holiday cruises

Available on select cruise dates. Destinations include Alaska, Canada, Europe, the Caribbean, Australia and more aboard popular cruise liners such as Carnival, Norwegian Cruise Line, Celebrity Cruises and more.
Deal

3+ nights last-minute cruises from US$89

Available on select travel dates with Royal Caribbean, MSC Cruises, Princess Cruises, Celebrity Cruises and more. Sample rate is for a 3-night Bahamas cruise with Carnival Cruises. Destinations include Australia, Japan, Vietnam, Italy and Alaska. T&Cs apply.

Feature image: P&O Cruises

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Written by

Stephanie Yip

Stephanie Yip was the travel editor at Finder and has been writing about travel and lifestyle for over a decade. She has written for a range of travel publications including Thomas Cook Magazine and Showpo. Stephanie has a Bachelor of Communications from the University of Technology Sydney, Australia, and has visited over 50 countries (and counting). She has a passion for sharing her experiences and knowledge of travel and helping consumers stretch their travel cash while on holiday. See full profile

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