6 Best Cruise Destinations For Young Couples in 2024: Where To Go First

Getting out on the open sea has never been more popular with younger travellers. And, if you’ve never been before, we’ve rounded up the best cruise destinations for young couples. So, you know where to focus your gaze when the time is right to book your adventure. 

Did you know that cruising holidays are on the rise with younger couples? Research from CLIA (Crusie Lines International Association) suggests 73% of millennials and Gen X travellers are now considering a cruise vacation

Additionally, out of the 4,500 survey respondents, 88% of millennials and 86% of Gen X who had been on their first cruise stated that they would like to cruise again.

Cruising is booming right now. But what are the best cruise destinations for young couples? What makes them so attractive and which liners take you to these awesome luxurious locales?

Huge ship on it way to one of the best cruise destinations for younger couples
What are the best cruise destinations for younger couples? Photo by GEORGE DESIPRIS

Why Should Younger Travellers Choose a Cruise Holiday in 2024?

If you’re looking for a holiday that delivers on destination, entertainment and excitement, a cruise should definitely be on your list.

Once seen as a holiday for older travellers, cruises have had a resurgence in popularity in recent years thanks to their upgraded entertainment options and variety of destinations.

They’re a great way to see multiple places on one trip, without the hassle of having to organise everything yourself. The world is your oyster – you can go to sleep in one country and wake up for breakfast in another. But what are the best destinations for young couples? Pack your bags, and let’s find out.

Two cruise ships docked at sunset with their lights on
Take the chance to experience some epic adventures on a couples cruise. Photo by Samson Bush

What Are The Best Cruise Destinations for Young Couples in 2024?

These six awesome locations are tailor-made for unforgettable moments. From Europe to America, incredible adventures are awaiting you. 

  1. Barcelona 
  2. Canary Islands
  3. Eastern Caribbean
  4. Norway 
  5. Auckland
  6. New York

1. Barcelona

One of Europe’s most popular cities. Barcelona is fun, charismatic and full of plenty of places to simply just sit and drink sangria in the sun. 

There are plenty of spots for traditional sightseeing, like the famous La Sagrada Familia. But if you just want to wander around the local neighbourhoods, you can easily do that for hours too. The city is full of photo opportunities, with the Gaudi architecture providing a pop of colour to every image.

Foodies will be spoilt for choice, with tapas, paella, empanadas, tortillas, bombas and more all readily on offer. Wash it all down with a glass of crisp Cava and let it settle before you go out dancing in one of the city’s vibrant clubs or bars.

Plus, when you take in the beauty of Barcelona on a tour like P&O’s 14-Night Mediterranean Cruise, you’ll also have the option to explore other stunning European centres like Cadiz, Toulon, La Coruna and Malaga. 

2. Canary Islands

Lovers of the great outdoors should think about a Canary Islands cruise. Otherworldy volcanic landscapes culminate in gorgeous National Parks like Timanfaya in Lanzarote or the Teide in Tenerife. 

Additionally, if you prefer your adventures more marine in nature, then the snorkelling conditions in the Canaries are perfect. One thing you will notice when disembarking for each exploration is the warming winds. Breezes gust in from Africa and have been known to move sand from the Sahara onto the beaches of Fuerteventura.

But, with decent gusts comes healthy water sports. Take the chance to try your hand at a new experience like windsurfing. On the other hand, the Canaries are big surfing country too.

Aerial shot of the Tenerife coastline
The tantalising Tenerife coastline is available for exploration on a Canary Islands cruise. Photo by Oleksandr P

3. Eastern Caribbean

According to CLIA research, the Caribbean is super popular.  Between 2018 and 2020, 44% of passengers chose an island itinerary.

The most sought-after trips in this region feature the stunning eastern Caribbean islands. We’re talking sunny spots like St Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada and St Vincent & The Grenadines – among other locations. Alongside the unforgettable beaches, there are also a host of unique excursions in locations like Antigua

Destinations like the Bahamas can introduce you to some of the most incredible beaches in the world. But, those who prefer to get out and explore more or shop ’til you drop will love stopping at ports in Castries, St Lucia. Or head further south and you’ll have the opportunity to spend a port day in Barbados too – another shopping hotspot.

Two people relax on sun loungers on a Caribbean beach. Two Carnival Cruise ships are moored in the background
Stop off at a choice of dazzling beaches during your cruise. Image by DocLawson from Pixabay

4. Norway

If your idea of a dream holiday involves plenty of time in nature, then a cruise to Norway would be a great fit. Your ship will provide you with some of the best views of the breathtaking fjords and mountains, allowing you to truly appreciate the natural landscape in all its beauty.

If you’re lucky, you may even be able to see the renowned northern lights.

Norway is full of things to do, from sipping coffee in cosy towns full of brightly coloured buildings to watching the indigenous Sami people herd reindeer. Each stop will bring something different, whether that’s a day spent in the forest or a dinner at a seasonal restaurant. Enjoy a slower pace of life and focus on spending quality time together here – and when you’re ready to call it a night, a hot chocolate will be waiting to warm you on board.

Princess cruise ship docked on a fjord in Norway
Explore new enviroments like Norway and Northern Europe. Image by keyouest from Pixabay

5. Auckland

New Zealand is a favourite destination for plenty of young travellers. Many are drawn to the stunning landscapes and relaxed pace of life. It’s no surprise then that Auckland makes our list of best places to visit.

As well as exploring the city itself, you can test your nerve by taking on the Waiheke Island zipline, before easing into the afternoon with a wine tasting tour. 

Auckland is known for its Syrah, Chardonnay, Montepulciano, Petit Verdot, Viognier and Pinot Gris varieties, so there’s sure to be something that suits. Treat yourself to dinner on the waterfront, or take a walk along one of the magnificent sandy beaches before heading back to your cabin.

Aerial shot of the waterfront in Auckland, New Zealand
Could you imagine travelling to the other side of the world on a long-distance cruise? Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash

6. New York

The final port of call on our itinerary of the best cruise destinations for younger couples is… the Big Apple. Who wouldn’t want to escape to the mother of all city breaks for a while?!

Explore some of the most iconic sights in the city that never sleeps. Grab a selfie at the Statue of Liberty, experience the reverence of ground zero, go on a shopping spree in Macy’s or Bloomingdale’s or grab a romantic meal. You could even head up your own search for the best pizza in the city, after all, basically every pizza joint claims to own the best slice. 

If you want the best of both worlds, you could choose an incredible New York Stay & Caribbean & Antilles Cruise. On this once-in-a-lifetime adventure, you attach luxurious stays in Grand Central and Times Square onto the start and end of your cruise. The trip also takes in Orlando and the beautiful Bahamas.

Why Are These Destinations Such a Hit With Younger Couples?

Going on a cruise is popular with couples, but these 6 locations are in demand with younger cruisers. The sheer breadth of activity options available at each makes them particularly engaging.

Obviously, locations like New York speak for themselves, but stunning stopovers in Barcelona and the Caribbean come with their own Instagrammable moments. 

If it’s the dramatic scenery you want, then you can’t go far wrong with the majestic landscapes of Auckland and Norway. Thrilling adventures await in New Zealand where you can take to the skies via a humungous zipline or have the opportunity to witness nature at it very best when the aurora borealis comes out in Northern Europe. 

But if all this destination greatness forms a fine cruising main course, the onboard activities deliver delectable starter and dessert options. Each of the trips we’ve referenced also includes access to a smorgasbord of brilliant things to do on the cruise ship. Think multiple bars, restaurants, pool, boutiques and more. 

P&O Cruise ship sailing under a bridge in a European city
There’s more to cruising than the destinations you’ll visit. Photo by David Dibert

Top Cruise Liners for Younger Couples

Of course, having an amazing destination in your sights is one thing. But getting there is quite another. All the places we mentioned above are quite far from good ol’ Blighty, so how can you be sure you’ve picked the right cruise for you?

But modern cruise ships aren’t all about chess, reading and bingo. As we just mentioned, alongside the immaculate views over the side, you’ll also have access to a host of amenities including spa areas, pools, nightclubs, live entertainment and more. 

So, when it comes to selecting one of the best cruise liners for young couples, not all ships will fit the bill. It’s about understanding what you want from your ocean liner in terms of activities, amenities and vibes. 

  • MSC: MSC ships are a non-stop adventure. Their Meraviglia vessel (the liner on our Antilles & New York cruise above) comes with a huge domed ceiling, as well as Cirque du Soleil shows, amusement parks and more. However, MSC do still offer a wide range of more budget trips if you want to dip your toe before that epic American adventure. 
  • Royal Caribbean: There are soooo many things to do on a Royal Caribbean ship. Also a top choice ship with younger families, these ships are like floating cities everything from shopping centres to Waveriders and beyond exists on these liners. If you like a lot of options then this is the brand for you. 
  • Celebrity Cruises: Modern luxury without huge price tags, Celebrity Cruises feature itineraries in awesome locations like the US, Mediterranean and Caribbean. Their Edge series ships back even more punch with heaps of bars, restaurants and lounges to discover. 
  • Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL): Boasting a super laid-back approach to cruising, NCL’s freestyle approach means you have more freedom over what you do on board and when. If you’re not a fan of dining times and dress codes, you will love the more casual atmosphere on an NCL ship. 

See The World Together With Blue Bay 

Going on a cruise might not be your first port of call when it comes to going on a holiday with your partner, but the truth is that they offer up a lot in one neat package.

Start your day in a comfortable cabin, before heading out on an adventure – then come back to enjoy a show, a trip to the spa or simply a cocktail on deck as the sun sets.

Discover one of the best cruise destinations for young couples today by clicking the banner below and checking out our brand-new cruise offers

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