Cruise ship near beach (Photo: Shutterstock)
Photo: Shutterstock

Kids Sail Free: 4 Cruise Lines That Are Letting Kids Cruise Free in 2020 and 2021

Considering a cruise vacation when it’s safe to travel again? Many cruise lines are trying to entice travelers—specifically families—with incentives to head for the high seas post COVID-19, including promotions that let kids sail free. Though many cruise lines will not start cruising again until at least later this year, planning ahead now can help you save big on sailings that likely won’t stay this affordable once travel begins its inevitable rebound. And as more cruise lines start to outline enhanced safety protocols and onboard screening processes for future passengers, it’s easier to imagine a world in which a family cruise is possible again.

Kids Sail Free in 2020 and 2021

With an assist from the experts at CruiseCritic, we’ve compiled a complete list of major cruise lines that let kids cruise free or at a significantly reduced price in 2020 and 2021. Additional savings onboard these kid-friendly cruise lines put vacation within reach for more families looking to balance tighter vacation budgets with the strong urge to return to normalcy and have an adventure together again.

Royal Caribbean

Royal Caribbean has a loyal family following that appreciates its extensive kid-centric offerings including kids clubs, family-oriented entertainment options, endless pools and waterplay areas, menus built with kids’ palates in mind, and even kid-centered spa options. Currently, the cruise line is offering another kid-friendly benefit: The chance for kids to sail for free.

Royal Caribbean is allowing kids aged 12 and under to sail free on select four-night (or longer) sailings between September 1 and December 17, 2020, and between January 8 and May 17, 2021. Royal Caribbean is also offering deep discounts on rates for adult passengers. You can find the latest offers here.

Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian Cruise Line is offering some seriously good deals on 2021 itineraries, including a deal where kids sail free. Cruisers can earn up to $500 in onboard credit for three- or four-day cruises, or $1,000 for sailings lasting more than five days.

On top of that, travelers will enjoy five free offers: free open bar, free specialty dining, free excursions, free Wi-Fi, and best of all, kids-sail-free rates for the third and fourth guests in your group (select sailings). Visit to learn more about this offer.

MSC Cruises

Kids aged 18 and under cruise free on select sailings 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 fare, the first child under age 18 pays 60 percent of the adult fare, and the remaining children are charged reduced fares. For more information and offers, check out MSC Cruises.

Crystal Cruises

Crystal Cruises regularly allows children aged 17 and under to cruise free when staying with two paying guests aged 21 or older in the same stateroom. The line’s kids-cruise-free offer is available on select sailings. For more information, visit Crystal Cruises.

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Amanda Norcross
Amanda Norcross is the former Lead Editor at Family Vacation Critic (a Tripadvisor Media Group Company), where she also served as a media spokesperson. Her travel expertise has been featured in major outlets including Bloomberg, NBC News, The New York Times, and The Weather Channel. When she's not traveling, you'll find Amanda performing on a community theater stage, practicing yoga, sampling craft beer, or obsessing over her mini-dachshund, Rudy.