Although cruising is one of the easiest forms of travel to undertake on your own, it can often be more expensive than cruising with a companion.
When a single cruiser books a twin-share stateroom for one person, they are asked to pay a single supplement fee to cover part of the cost of the second person.
In recent years, cruise ships have started working towards introducing cheaper rates and even single-room cabins for solo-travellers. But for the moment, an online travel agency specialising in making cruising more affordable for solo travellers, Cruise Companion says the way a solo-cruiser can save on a cruise is to find a companion.
Solo-cruisers are often paying 200 percent more than the twin-share rate for a single supplement room, according to Cruise Companion. They can save up to $2,700 if they share a cabin compared to the sole occupancy rate.
The agency’s managing director Ms King said the online agency receives 60 to 100 ‘find a companion’ requests coming through every month, indicating a need and desire amongst Australians for their services.
How it works?
Solo cruisers register their details with Companion Cruising and refine their companion search by desired gender, age, top three destinations they prefer to visit on their next holiday and time of the year they wish to travel.
From there, Companion Cruising will contact people for more information and then match them with other cruisers based on their requests.
The company’s managing director, Erin King said the company strictly organizes same sex cabin matches. Other factors looked at are age, interests and cruising experience.
She said: “In a lot of cases clients wish to meet their companion in person or speak over the phone before paying a deposit on the cruise.
“This is encouraged and Companion Cruising charges no fees to put clients in touch.”
Is it safe?
Ms King said in the year-and-a-half that the online agency has been operating there has been no need to investigate registrars.
She explained: “We have not had the need to complete background checks on clients.
“Any serious matter would be dealt with by the staff on board the ship.”
Recently the group announced it is pairing solo-travellers on a 2014 performing arts cruise.
Departing Sydney on 22 November next year, the BRAVO tour includes performances from top musical theatre, opera and classical music acts; Elaide Paige, Marina Prior, David Hobson, David Alan Grier, Teddy Tahu Rhodes, Guy Noble and more.