Solo cruising is increasing in popularity and more cruise lines are recognising the single traveller by creating specialty cabins and offering reduced fares.

Azamara Club Cruises has released heavily reduced solo fares, with passengers only paying 125% of the double occupancy on more than 42 voyages in 2016 and 2017. Click here for more information.

While luxury lines like Ponant announced 34 itineraries with no single supplement – for example, you’ll be able sail for nine-nights onboard Le Soleal from Montevideo in Uruguay visiting a number of ports in Brazil from just $2,710 for single occupancy. Click here for more information.

But for those who are hesitant on solo cruising, may be nervous introducing themselves to strangers onboard or can’t find single supplement options to strangers onboard, Justine Waddington, the director of Encounter Travel has come up with a solution.

Launched this year, Encounter Travel has created a group – the Cruise Circle for Solos – aimed at people who  travel independently, but also want to make new friends, and not pay for double occupancy.

“What Encounter Travel does is set up ‘cabin mates’ for people who want to cruise by themselves but don’t want to pay for the double occupancy. It’s for people who want to travel independently, but at the same time, know that there are people to sit with at dinner or maybe go on a shore excursion with,” she said.

“We pair up people of the same genders. Most of our clients and people have expressed interest in the group are cruisers 40 and above. It’s great because it’s a guaranteed group and our guests have the opportunity to meet with their fellow solo cruisers before the trip.

Ms Waddington said Encounter Travel have partnered with Royal Caribbean and the most popular cruise is Ovation of the Seas.

“Naturally, the greatest interest we’ve had is in Ovation of the Seas. Our group spans across Australia but most of the cruises we organise for our solo travellers depart from the east coast with Sydney being the most predominant departure port.

“But there are also cruises that depart from Brisbane as well. Right now, we’ve only partnered with Royal Caribbean which we thought would be the best fit for our travellers. But we are now looking at expanding to other cruise lines and other destinations. It’s a great time for solos to be travelling.”

To find out more about Encounter Travel, click here.

Or if you want to join the Cruise Circle for Solos conversation on Facebook, click here.