Not all solo travellers are 18-year-old backpackers looking for a good time and many cruise lines are now catering for more mature passengers looking to make friends – or perhaps find romance.
Lines have become sensitive to those travelling alone and often waive single supplement fees as well as provide solo cabins and often organise single mixers. So here are some ideas if you’re thinking of taking a holiday by yourself.
Luxury solo travel
Seabourn, known for its American hospitality and sleek and sophisticated décor, have small intimate ships which are perfect for other solo passengers to meet. Officers host table dinners and singles never dine alone. The lines’ single supplement starts at 75 per cent of the standard double occupancy rate. Crystal Cruises has as many as a quarter of its passengers travelling alone and single supplement starts as low as 10 per cent. The line also offers singles perks like parties, dancing and dining hosts and the Table for 8 program seats singles together at their delicious specialty restaurants.
Best for meeting other solos
If you love river cruising, British-based company Riviera Travel have a selection of itineraries this year which are just dedicated to singles. This also means that there are no single supplements on these itineraries – bonus! The line is running two itineraries in November which includes a Blue Danube river cruise to destinations in Hungary, Slovakia and Austria as well as a Lyon to Avignon trip on the Soane River.
Sharing is caring
If you don’t mind sharing a cabin, Holland America Line has set up a Single Partners Program which matches solo travellers with another same-sex single passenger. The lines ship, Koningsdam has 12 solo cabins and its yet-to-be-launched Nieuw Statendam will have even more options for single travellers. Singles also have a dedicated singles get together at the start of each cruise so solos get to meet one another. There are also over 40 different activities including cooking demonstrations, dance classes, wine tasting and more. The line also offers dinner seating with other singles, available upon advanced request.
Adventure and small ship expedition cruise lines accommodate for the active solo traveller. If you’re looking to explore Australia, Coral Expeditions has cruises which sail the South Pacific as well as the stunning Kimberley region. The line also has three, four and seven-night Great Barrier Reef itineraries which are free of single supplement. There are only at the very most, 72 passengers onboard so ideal if you’re looking for an intimate setting.
Singles save thousands on the river
One of Australia’s favourite touring companies has created the Solo Traveller Club which sends out a monthly newsletter with a huge number of deals. One of the line’s favourite trips among solo travellers is their Botanica botanical and cultural cruises. Single travellers can save more than $10,000 if they book early enough. Avalon Waterways has also waived its single supplements on its 15-day Vietnam, Cambodia and Mekong cruise where you can learn how to cook traditional food as well as visit local villages.
Big ship solo sailing
Norwegian Cruise Line are famed for being one of the first to introduce single cabins onboard big ships. The Norwegian Epic has 128 solo cabins while the Norwegian Escape offers 82 studio units. There is also a shared space called the Studio Lounge which has its own TVs, coffee-making facilities as well as bartender at certain times, exclusively for single travellers. There are also pre-hosted dinner gatherings for guests to meet and mingle for a cocktail. On Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of Seas and Quantum of the Seas each have 28 studio for solo travellers. There is a mix of virtual balconies as well as staterooms with smaller balconies. The line also offers single-friendly activities including scuba diving lessons, wine tastings, cooking demonstrations. And if you don’t want to eat alone, there is the My Time Dining policy for passengers who don’t want to dine alone.