Considering a cruise vacation? Many cruise lines are trying to entice travelers—specifically families—with incentives to head for the high seas, including promotions that let kids sail free on new bookings.
Which Cruise Lines Have Resumed Sailing?
Many cruise lines have resumed sailings, albeit on a limited basis. For a complete list of all cruise lines and their upcoming (and recent) departure dates for new sailings, click here.
Though many cruise lines won’t fully operate again for at least the remainder of 2021, planning ahead now can help you save big on family cruises that likely won’t stay this affordable as travel continues its rebound. Plus, most cruise lines have relaxed their booking policies, meaning you won’t lose money if you need to cancel your trip.
And, as more cruise lines outline enhanced safety protocols and onboard screening processes for future passengers, it’s easier to imagine a time in which a family cruise is possible again. So, whether it’ll be your first cruise vacation or you’ve lost count of how many sailings you’ve been on, why not do it with free cruise fare for the kids?
Kids Sail Free in 2021 and 2022
With an assist from the experts at Cruise Critic, we’ve compiled a complete list of major cruise lines that will let kids cruise free or at a significantly reduced price in 2021 and 2022. Additional cruise fare savings onboard these kid-friendly cruise lines also put a vacation within reach for families looking to balance tighter budgets with the strong urge to return to normalcy and have an adventure together again.
Royal Caribbean International
New Sailings: Royal Caribbean has resumed service on select ships, with more departures scheduled for August and September 2021.
Royal Caribbean has a loyal family following that appreciates its extensive kid-centric offerings, including kids clubs, family-oriented entertainment options, endless pools and water play areas, menus built with kids’ palates in mind, and even kid-centered spa options.
Royal Caribbean offers kids sail free promotions throughout the year, allowing children aged 12 and under to cruise free. You can find the latest offers here.
Norwegian Cruise Line
New Sailings: Norwegian resumed service over the summer, and has scheduled sailings for the remainder of 2021 and early 2022.
Another of the cruise lines that caters to families, Norwegian Cruise Line is offering some seriously good deals on 2021 and 2022 itineraries, including the chance for kids to sail free.
The cruise line typically offers up to five freebies with its “Free at Sea” promotion: free open bar, free specialty dining, free excursions and port expenses, free Wi-Fi, and best of all, kids sail free rates for the third guests and fourth guests in your group (for select cruise departure dates; exclusions on Thanksgiving sailings, Easter sailings, and spring break may apply). Visit NCL.com to learn more about this offer.
New Sailings: MSC’s U.S.-based sailings have resumed, with one sailing scheduled for August (MSC Meraviglia from Miami) and another set for September (MSC Divina from Port Canaveral).
Kids aged 18 and under sail free on select cruise departures with MSC Cruises, while tots aged two and under always sail free.
MSC also offers an all-in-one pricing option for single parents or guardians traveling with up to three kids. With this offer, the adult is charged full cruise fare, the second guest under age 18 pays 60 percent of the adult fare, and the remaining children are charged reduced fares. For more information or to check the valid cruise departure date for these offers, check out MSC Cruises.
New Sailings: Crystal Cruises hosted two sailings in July, and currently has two sailings scheduled for August.
Crystal Cruises regularly allows children aged 17 and under to cruise free when staying with the first two qualifying guests aged 21 or older in the same stateroom. The line’s cruise free offer is available on select cruise departure dates. For more information, visit Crystal Cruises.
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This story was originally published in September 2020. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.