While solo cruisers are often self-sufficient and independent, sometimes it is nice to have companionship. One of the Cruise Passenger’s top tips for solos to make friends, is on their shore excursions.
Picking the right shore excursion if you want to make friends is crucial. Make sure the shore excursions are interactive, as you’ll most likely engage with your fellow travellers. Or pick activities like food and wine tours where you know you’ll have something in common with your fellow cruisers. Here are some shore excursions where you can make friends.
A brewery tour through the Cascade brewery in Hobart
One of Australia’s most popular cruise lines, Carnival Australia hosts a tour of the famous Cascade Brewery, one of the oldest in Australia. The brewery is located in the foothills of Mount Wellington, a five-minute drive from Hobart’s central business district. The Cascade Brewery was established in 1824 by ex-convict Peter Degraves. Today, Cascade’s brewers combine traditional brewing skills and pure mountain water with premium Tasmanian barley and hops to create the Cascade range, which includes the multi-award winning Cascade Premium Lager – voted ‘Best Premium Beer in Australia’ in the 2003 Australian Good Taste Beer Awards. You can take a two-hour brewery tour to see all aspects of the beer-making process – from malting and brewing to packaging. After wandering through, you’ll be treated to some tastings of their brews. Making friends is always a lot easier after a few drinks.
Cycle through the Bay of Islands
Royal Caribbean is one of the best cruise lines for cruisers travelling alone, especially with its range of solo oriented cabins. The cruise line makes solos and singles feel right at home. Onboard, RCI organises specific solo and single activities like scuba diving training, cooking classes and more. But on shore, doing an activity like a cycle, is a great way to make friends with other active cruisers. In New Zealand, where RCI sends ships like Ovation of the Seas, there are cycle shore excursion through the picturesque Bay of Islands. Guides will take you cycling along the Pou Herenga Tai Cycle Trail through the Far North heartland is easy exercise in a beautiful rural setting. Stop along the way to take photos like Hokianga, a harbor area known as the Maori nation’s birthplace; and Lake Omapere, formed by an ancient lava flow. You can chat and get to know your fellow cruisers as you cycle along this beautiful route.
An adventure to the magnificent Petra and Wadi Rum in Jordan
Pioneers of solo cruising, Norwegian Cruise Line, which created not just singles cabins, but also an area dedicated to independent travellers so they can meet and mingle. In Jordan, NCL has a full day excursion that explore Petra, the ancient Nabataean caravan-city ideally situated between the Red and Dead Seas, and Wadi Rum, a nature lover’s paradise. You’ll travel deep within the desert for approximately two hours, to Wadi Musa, the gateway to Petra. In your group, you’ll walk to the entrance to Petra, which is a narrow gorge formed from a deep split in the sandstone rocks. Your first view is of its most elaborate ruin and achievement, the Treasury. Used as a backdrop in the movie, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, explore the Treasury and the Outer Siq with some of your fellow cruisers. This leads to immense tombs, facades and doorways. You’ll meet history buffs and adventurous cruisers – this is a way to get talking to people about the history of Petra and Wadi Rum.
Lunch and wine with a local Slovenian family
If you’re not bonding with any cruisers onboard your voyage, you can get to know the locals in destinations like Slovenia. Azamara Cruises, the small intimate ship brand, offers immersive shore excursions like having a meal with local families. Azamara takes you to the region of Karst where you’ll have lunch in a country estate of a local family. You’ll be greeted in the shadows of 100-year-old walnut trees where a toast will be made with a locally produced aperitif. The family will show you their wine cellar and explain the art of producing local wine. After a tasting, the family will prepare a delicious lunch of homemade gnocchi where you can chat to them about their lives and enjoy more of their locally produced vino. Enjoy the food, sip local wines, and discuss the finer points of rural life in Slovenia with those who actually live it. After all, nothing brings people together quite like sharing a great meal.
Explore Sonoma wine country
For vino lovers, Princess Cruises offers a shore excursion in Sonoma, one of the world’s most loved wine regions. The tour takes you over the imposing Golden Gate Bridge. As you head towards Carneros, you’ll get to see sights of Alcatraz, Angel Island and Yerba Buena Island. Organised for the tour are two private wine tastings. The Vineyards private guide will be available during the tastings to answer your questions. You’ll visit two prominent producers, ranging from major labels to boutique vineyards. After the tour and tastings at each of the vineyards you will have some time to explore and purchase some wines which they can arrange to send to you.
A tour of Jerusalem and the Old City
For history loving solo cruisers, Silversea offers wonderful cruises around the Middle East and Europe. You’ll be taken a tour of Jerusalem, which was once considered the centre of the world. The tour also visits Mt. Zion and you’ll visit the Room of the Last Supper where Jesus had his last meal with his disciples. On this shore excursion, you’ll get to chat to your fellow cruisers at lunch before visiting the stunning old city. You’ll get to see the Western Wall as well as the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. While Silversea do not have dedicated solo cabins, the luxury line often have massive discounts for solo and single cruisers.