Remember in Raider’s of the Lost Ark – The Last Crusade, we learn that Indiana Jones had been involved in great adventures since he was a boy. I always dreamed of having those adventures and seeing the world. My father had the same spirit but we rarely left California, in fact, our adventures started and ended in the backyard mowing and weeding.
However, families today are taking a new approach. The education system in our country is broke and parents are starting to take teaching into their own hands. If you are learning about world history and the building of the pyramids, why not go to Egypt and see them in there full glory instead of a worn out picture in a textbook. Or what if you are learning about great white sharks or mating rituals of sea lions. Why not take your children or young adults to the Galápagos Islands and really see nature unspoiled and in its raw element like Darwin had discovered in the early 20thcentury.
More and more families are booking high-end cruises on small adventure ships and river ships. The rise of multigenerational travel – grandparents bringing their kids and grandkids – has caused these smaller ships to accommodate and create activities on the trip that will be tailored for both kids and adults. Plus, I need to emphasize how easy cruising is for families, especially when traveling with younger children. You only have to unpack once, they can get comfortable with their surroundings and you don’t have to deal with a bunch of internal flights.
Here are some great examples of trips with some luxury cruise ships with family oriented activities.
In 2012, for instance, Tauck is marketing new French river cruise itineraries for families. Following the success of its family-friendly Blue Danube Riverboat Adventure departures, which include white-water rafting
Uniworld has PlayStation 2 or Wii-equipped game rooms on France river cruises designated as multigenerational.
The new line InnerSea Discoveries, which debuted in Alaska this year, has a Family Discoveries program on select departures. Activities include a chance for family passengers to meet and interact with local Alaska families.
Lindblad’s staff training program is in conjunction with National Geographic’s education department and National Geographic Kids magazine, and that’s a key selling point. All Lindblad departures now have family activities when kids are onboard, including scavenger hunts, stargazing, photography lessons, bridge visits with the captain and pizza and movie nights. On Galapagos itineraries there’s a Crossing of the Equator ceremony where kids jump into the pool as a rite of passage.
This new trend seems to be growing and it looks like it will be around for a long time to come. Family is important and why not use the family cruise vacation as an opportunity to educate and impart a sense of adventure into the next generation.