What is a Cougar Cruise?

Anna T.

A cougar cruise is a type of singles cruise. The term cougar is often used to describe an older woman who seeks out younger men for romantic flings. People who might go on a cougar cruise are typically men in their twenties and women who are roughly 45 and older. The purpose of the cruise is for younger men and older women to have a chance to meet and become romantically involved while relaxing on a fun vacation. Older women who are in search of younger men on the cruise line are generally considered the cougars, while the younger men in search of older women are jokingly referred to by many people as cubs.

Cougar cruises are for singles of certain ages.
Cougar cruises are for singles of certain ages.

Even though quite a number of people are in favor of the cruise concept, there are some who are offended by the idea. Most of the negativity stems from the term cougar, which some women consider a derogatory term. The first official cougar cruise took place on board a popular cruise ship in 2009 and was very successful. It lasted for three nights and was what most people would consider reasonably priced. The men and women who were single wore color-coded wristbands indicating their available status, which might have made it easy to distinguish people on board for the cougar cruise from people who were simply on board for vacation.

Buffet-style meals are typically served on cruise ships.
Buffet-style meals are typically served on cruise ships.

The success of the first cruise led other major cruise lines to follow suit and set up similar cruises. Some cruise lines arranged for their journeys to last seven days rather than three, which may have resulted in lower ticket sales. Prices for these cruises also went up on some ships after the first cougar cruise, which might also account for a slight dip in popularity. Additionally, there are younger men who have stirred up controversy by stating that they would not be willing to participate in a cougar cruise unless the older women paid their way.

Most cruises have a full bar for passengers to enjoy.
Most cruises have a full bar for passengers to enjoy.

Cougar cruises have since been abandoned by the first cruise line to have one in spite of the fact that the maiden voyage was so successful. The reasons behind the idea to no longer have cougar cruises has not been disclosed, but some people speculate that the cruise line may have decided it does not want its name associated with such a controversial idea. Despite the controversy, these cruises may be a trend that will continue to be popular amongst singles. Many people see these cruises as a harmless, fun way to for older women to meet young men and young men to meet older women while on vacation.

Women who go on a cougar cruise are roughly 45 and older.
Women who go on a cougar cruise are roughly 45 and older.

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Discussion Comments


I'm glad the cruise company decided to cancel the cougar cruises. I wonder how that idea ever get enacted in the first place. People can do whatever they want once they are on the cruise, but we don't need the cruise companies promoting relationships between old women and young men.


I don't understand what the big controversy is. Older women and younger men meet in the clubs and bars on the cruise ships, so how is that different from having a special cruise called a cougar cruise? And does this mean that the singles cruises are fine, but the single older women and single younger men cruises are for some reason unacceptable?

Really, this makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Why are we trying to control what single adults do with other single adults? I get angry just thinking about it. By the way, I am not a cougar. I am married, and my husband is two years older than I am.


The last paragraph says that most people see no harm in cougar cruises and see them as a good way for older women to meet younger men. I wonder what all of those people would think if the roles were reversed. I say there should be cruises for older men who want to meet 25 year-old women and have a fun time.

If you're going to have it one way then you need to make things equal. I doubt the cruise ships would have any problems finding enough middle aged men to fill their cabins.

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