Two years ago, my 87-year-old grandparents took a river boat cruise through Germany. When they were younger, they had traveled the world – and weren't about to give up that adventurous part of their lives just because they’d gotten older. They came back raving about how wonderful it was to go abroad again, particularly on a trip where everything was taken care of, and where the pace was designed for their age group.
Below are several good-value tour options for mature travelers to book for themselves, or that would make a great gift for a parent or grandparent.
Eldertreks exceeds at travel for spry, mobile seniors. Their Alaska trip, which offers views of icebergs at Dawes Glacier, the option of sea-kayaking, and lots of time for whale and sea lion-watching, is particularly enticing. Eldertreks rates the "activity level" of their Alaska trip as a 'two out of three', meaning travelers should be able to climb three to four flights of stairs and walk at least two miles (other tour options are available for less mobile travelers). Each tour group is limited to 12 people (all over the age of 50), which makes for an intimate trip – and one that's great for meeting like-minded adventurers. The price includes meals and accommodation aboard a classic motor yacht. 6 nights, from $3850 per person.
This Senior Tours trip is perfect for slow-paced sightseeing while enjoying good food, drink, and company. Travelers spend their days exploring Portugal and Spain with guided tours of Benedictine monasteries, wine-tastings at vineyards, and even a Flamenco luncheon in Salamanca. During travel time, seniors can enjoy the ship itself by lounging on the sundeck, taking a dip in the pool, or making the most of the dance floor. Twenty-three meals featuring local fare are included in the cost. Most nights are spent in the ship’s staterooms with river views and private bathrooms, with two nights spent at a hotel in the heart of Lisbon. 10 nights, from $3199 per person.
RoadScholar’s Irish Isle tour is built for grandparent-grandchild bonding, with one grandparent traveling with one of their grandchildren (ages 9–13). Keep in mind, though, that grandparents should be strong walkers for the excursions that last up to two hours. Day trips will delight both young and old travelers; expect traditional Irish dancing, a Medieval Banquet at a castle, plenty of folk tales about faeries, and lessons on tracing family roots back to the Emerald Isle. Even with 14 field trips and four lectures in four different cities around Ireland, there will be plenty of time built in for relaxing and fun with family. 11 nights, from $3386 per person.