It used to be slim pickings if you were going to cruise by yourself.
Once upon a time, there were no waiving of single supplements, solo cruise cabins and even dedicated singles voyages.
But now, there’s so much choice for cruisers sailing solo. Not only has it been expanded to offerings on the ocean, but there are now singles dedicated river voyages, which can be extremely costly if you’re travelling by yourself.
Here are some tips on making sure you choose the right solo cruise for you.
Find cruise lines ONLY for singles
This has just been a new development with river cruise lines like Riviera Travel dedicating cruises only for singles. The line announced this week it would be doubling its singles only cruises. Fares start from $2,769 which is a phenomenal price for a cruise like a seven-night round-trip cruise from Port along the Douro River in Portugal and also includes WiFi, guided shore excursions and all onboard meals.
Find cruise lines that cater for singles
Lots of cruise lines are catering just for singles – Norwegian Cruise Line was the first to feature studio cabins and priced just for solo cruisers. The studios first appeared on the Norwegian Epic and soon all of the line’s latest ships followed suit. There is also special dedicated lounge that can only be accessed by singles. Royal Caribbean’s Ovation of the Seas, Quantum of the Seas and Anthem of the Seas have 28 dedicated studio cabins with a mix of virtual balcony cabins and staterooms with five-square-metre open-air balconies. They also have a mix of single-friendly activities like wine tasting, scuba diving, cooking classes and more. The new Celebrity Cruises ships, the Celebrity Edge and Celebrity Apex will have the line’s first solo cabins. A new cruise line, Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line is also allowing solo travellers to stay in double-occupancy cabins at no extra charge. A two-night voyage starts at US$149.
One of the handiest tips for looking out for solo cruises is to plan ahead. Lines like APT/AmaWaterways send out emails to their database single specific cruise deals a year in advance. Lots of travel agents also do offer solo cruise deals – find a knowledgeable cruise agent who knows the best river and ocean cruise lines that waive single supplements.
Go high-end or adventure
If you can afford it, lots of ultra-luxe cruise lines either waive single supplements or offer solo travellers a reduced charge. For instance, Silversea charges just an extra 25 per cent for some categories of suites. Crystal Cruises’ supplements can sometimes be as little as 30 per cent but you’ll have to be on the look-out as it doesn’t happen often. Companies like Abercrombie & Kent saw a 60 per cent increase in the number of solo travellers between 2013 and 2017 while expedition cruises also saw a double digit growth. The line now often hosts many trips just for solo cruisers to destinations like South America, Antarctica and more.