Average age of guests by cruise ship – one of many factors in choosing a ship.

The facts few publish are the age of cruisers by ship – see where you fit in because choosing the wrong ship and finding yourself in ‘I’m a cruiser, get me out of here…’ might not be the best holiday.

Cruising – the industry

In the ocean cruise business, which Doris Visits focuses on, over 320 ships are operated by more than fifty cruise lines. We list most ships with global finders, links, and details, and on many, we have passenger area tours. There are over two thousand cruise ports around the world, we have filmed many port guides and keep visiting new ones. The ocean cruise industry is worth about eight billion dollars a year. How do you choose? Route or ship?

What Age Are Cruisers

In general, the age of cruisers can be misleading. Here is the actual industry breakdown of the age of cruisers in the world industry. In the UK it can be older, but whilst some ships have waterslides and fun parks for children, which you may wish to avoid, other ships have stayed very loyal to the audience they found fifty years ago. The difference is extreme. 

Below is an industry breakdown of the age group of cruisers which results in their age 62 average.

It is particularly important to get on the right cruise ship. It is like choosing the right hotel, resort, or restaurant.

A ship is a city with bars and entertainment, and options as varied as a library or a waterslide. Some data shows that the average age of cruisers is sixty-two, and with many children cruising on the biggest ships at sea, it means that some ships have cruisers much younger and some much older than sixty-two. Sixty-two is the average. Have a look at the ages of people who watch Cruise Doris on YouTube below. Whilst the number doing cruise research might not reflect the actual number/age of cruisers the similarity is uncanny. More people who identify as male research cruise ports on Doris Visits than those who identify as women. Those chatting on our chat groups reverse that proportion. 



Our data from the @DorisVisits YouTube channel is similar to the industry data. However, we can reveal some data they don’t, which is the age group of those interested in a particular ship.

The number of children at sea is highest during the school holidays. Half term week, the Iona and Arvia both had one thousand children on board, the Britannia 700. A ship not only has a child maximum capacity, it has a maximum capacity per age group as each age group has a maximum driven by the size of the area and the number of staff.

The average age of cruisers can be higher in the UK than in the USA. If the average age of cruisers is 62 and higher in the UK, and many ships have cruisers some sixty years younger than the average, then other ships must swing the other way to the extreme. Adult-only ships can be so different to family ships, and they in the group can be vastly different. The average adult age at Virgin is at the other end of the scale to SAGA. There are no tattoo bars on SAGA or gym equipment on deck, and Virgin does not have a Chaplain on every cruise.

Which has which? We can only show the figures of those who watch the passenger tour videos of the actual cruise ship, but those real numbers come from you, the cruisers, as we have seen are a good indicator. Our Cruise TV YouTube channel, www.YouTube.com/@DorisVisits has millions of views, it is not a small survey.

Cruise ships aim to give their core audience what they expect. Choosing the right ship matters because of children’s clubs and water slides, the kind of entertainment, and the way food is cooked and prepared.

Does a ship’s passenger age affect what food it offers?

Focus on this age-related data source…  Vegans are most likely to be females under the age of 35. 78% of vegans went vegan between the ages of 16 and 34, with 52% between the ages of 16 and 24. The average (mean) age for turning vegan is 24.1, although the most frequent ages are 19, 20 and 21. One might conclude that a ship with older clientele may not specialise in offering a wide variety of options for Vegans. We might suggest, but work this for yourself, that if they have an older age clientele, their cuisine may be safer, traditional, less spicey, and their vegetables well cooked and not raw or al dente.

It is important to work out which group of people you fit in with easily.

Adult Only Ships – so different

Adult ship means no children. The rest is a wide choice, because it can mean young adult, young-at-heart, or it can be an older ship. Each has much to offer, each will have places where each of us can find places to enjoy.

Any imposed age limit on a ship can be misleading. I would suggest that Virgin is appealing to young adults now, as some other adult ships did 50 years ago. Times have changed by 50 years. The Virgin adult ships have gyms everywhere, even on deck, and a tattoo bar. They have a ‘now’ approach to cuisine. Virgin is multicultural and you are unlikely to find a single denomination chaplain onboard as you might on an older ship that slips bacon into many dishes including salads and the occasional potatoes dish. We have been on a pontoon where the SAGA and Virgin adult ships were on either side of the pontoon. Their guests were different.

Doris Visits figures come from the data YouTube gives us. Ships are different and cruises are different. A world cruise has the highest average age of a passenger but that is because it is one hundred days or more away. A Fjords cruise tends to be more formal than a Caribbean cruise. Let us compare some adult-only ships and look at the age group watching those films. By that, I assume the viewers will be those who are looking to cruise on that ship or show their friends, but there will be other reasons.

PO Cruisers. Book direct at their website. www.POcruises.com






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SAGA Cruises website to book direct. SAGA OCEAN CRUISES PAGE. (SAGA tracks Doris Visits support))

SAGA has two ships, almost identical.








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FAMILY SHIPS that have almost no children out of holidays

The effect of establishing an age group on a ship means the ship can focus its facilities. By changing a ship to adult-only, as the Aurora did, the child areas and pool are taken away and more cabins are added. One might think that could happen to the ships that are the next size up. They, the Grand Class ships, have family areas and child clubs. These are hardly used for a lot of the year, but most of the time the ships feel like younger adult ships. The Marella Discovery 2 and Azura fall into that class. A cruise line may have two ships exactly the same, but one does longer cruises and the other shorter cruises. One might be a no-fly, the other might be a fly-cruise. The average age may reflect that difference.

MARELLA CRUISES webpage (Tui / Marella track Doris Visits support)


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But Marella and Azura are different. Marella is all-inclusive, P&O is not. SAGA is all-inclusive, but the Queen Mary 2 is not. The Queen Mary 2 is a fun and diverse ship. The figures show that SAGA has an older clientele than the QM2 but our QM2 figures are not accurate. Our Cunard chat group is smaller than the others, and Doris Visits does not have the LBGT following that many of our same-sex couples do who are also cruise vloggers. We love the Queen Mary 2, it may be our favourite ship and they do dance into the night. It has many younger cruisers, it is a family ship, our figures do not represent that.

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The huge ship IONA has 1000 children at the peak of school holidays, so you might expect it to have a younger age of guests, but that is not what we found. When on the ship we saw many familiar faces from the other P&O ships including the adult ships. The average age of people looking at the Doris Visits Iona ship tour 

IONA average age of ship tour viewers

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We have no data figures on Ambassador, but our Ambassador Chat Group has been our fastest-growing group for some time. It has grown quicker than the adult-only ships above, and the chat is enthusiastic. The posts are many and they have a very long world cruise planned.









Fred. Olsen webpage   Fred. Olsen track Doris Visits support in a similar way to the use of any search engine – and in ten years have never paid us one penny –  we add them without the need for payment.

So, what about Fred Olsen? you ask. We enjoyed the classic Black Watch and thought they gave a great cruise, but we sailed with them before we were making Doris Visits films. They are classic ships, but as a recent story tells, they are most certainly family ships.

Four generations of Betty Wright’s family sailed with her on the Bolette for a dream cruise to celebrate her 100th birthday. They do have clubs for the children on these classic ships.

Speaking from her cottage in Filey, Betty, who had only ever cruised twice before said: “I’m a great believer in families being together and doing things together.”

That is true, a family that plays together stays together. So, we would like to introduce a saying we take from the movie industry. Some ships are for the vertically integrated family; children, their parents, the grandparents, and the great-grandparents.

Betty who cannot fly, went on to say “It truly surpassed all expectations and none of us will ever forget it. It’s created the most precious of memories for the whole family.”

So, family ships allow each member to go off and do a different thing, then meet up for lunch, or not. Fred Olsen, the Cunard ships, do this in classic style. Marella does it all-inclusive, and P&O do it on newer ships.

Betty did well, Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines surprised the 13 members of the family, by offering Betty an upgrade from her single cabin to a Premier Suite, filling her room with balloons and scattering petals on the bed. She was treated to a private tour of the Bridge to meet the captain; she was presented with three cards with messages from all the 645-strong crew and had a champagne breakfast and dinner party on her big day.

To offer a contrast, there are couples who cruise and request a table for two each night on an adult cruise and prefer to remain very private. Whichever way you wish to cruise, there is a ship waiting to make a great holiday and take you to some amazing ports. Here is a quick example of the dream. 50 Amazing Ports in ten minutes https://youtu.be/gCVywIzIMro

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One way to meet the cruisers who use the ships regularly and see the chat on the ship and how it functions is to join a chat site.









EVERY CRUISE PORT -click here     EVERY CRUISE SHIP – click here

Why is age important? On many ships, it is not. Half of the enjoyment is sharing a table with new fascinating people, and everyone has a story to tell. However, each age is different.  Small ships have to focus on their core audience more than larger ships which have many entertainment venues and multiple restaurants and can be diverse.

I will repeat the figures above are our own data of the people who watch the tour of the ship. The data comes from YouTube and is for our films on the Doris Visits cruise channel. I will also add, that on some ships 99% of the views are not subscribers. Getting subscribers is very hard on YouTube. When a film has tens of thousands of views, and your total subscriber base is much lower the viewers are often coming from potential new cruisers.

If you love entertainment, what kind? If you are a foodie, what style of cooking? Check the websites, but remember, some cruise experts who have cruised many, many times have only ever been with one company. Check out all the vLoggers there are many and various charts which are all different. It is important to get the right ship, but they are all great and all have places that we enjoy.

Next, you have to choose the route. See the menu for port guides and look at the places you always wanted to visit.