(12:40 p.m. EDT) -- Add Vantage to the list of river cruise companies that are becoming family friendly.
In 2017, the company will start offering Vantage Family Journeys river cruises, open to children ages 8 and up. The trips will be planned during summer and holidays and feature a family welcome reception; arts and crafts workshops and singing sessions for kids ages 8 to 12; activities for tweens, teens and 20-somethings; a dedicated host to oversee family activities in the evenings; special ship tours; kid friendly menus; complimentary travel journals and language lessons; and visits to schools if the cruise takes place when class is in session.
The current Family Journey offering for 2017 centers on Paris, Normandy and the Seine river. The itinerary, available July 2017, will take place on River Venture and visit Giverny, Honfleur, Rouen and the D-Day beaches. Activities on the ship will be adjusted to the age of the children who go.
For some categories, children between ages 8 and 21 can cruise for free; however, they must be in the same cabin as a parent and are valid only for double occupancy rooms.
River cruising has traditionally attracted an older demographic. But demand from parents who want to expose their children to European culture has led companies such as Tauck, Uniworld and now Vantage to offer specific itineraries geared to families and multi-generational travel. AmaWaterways has even designed its newest river cruise ships with families in mind and will start a partnership with Adventures by Disney this year, offering family-only sailings.
--By Chris Gray Faust, Senior Editor