MIAMI, Nov. 11 (UPI) — The Royal Caribbean International cruise line says it plans to lower the drinking age on cruise ships sailing outside of North America from 21 to 18 next year.
The company announced the new minimum age for passengers to be served alcohol on vessels sailing from ports in Europe, South America, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, USA Today reported Friday.
The change is designed “to better accommodate the cultural norms in the regions of the world where Royal Caribbean International sails,” the line said in a statement.
Many countries have lower minimum drinking ages than the United States.
The minimum drinking age for ships sailing from North American ports will remain 21, the cruise line said.
“As a global cruise company, Royal Caribbean International is committed to providing an enjoyable vacation environment that respects the cultures around the world from where we source our guests,” the company said in its statement. “Guests who choose to consume alcohol must do so responsibly.”
The change will go into effect in the spring of 2012, it said.