Solo cruisers are taking to the sea and rivers for their holidays in a big way and lines are recognising this growing market.
To attract more single travellers, many are not just offering deals, but they are revamping their vessels with single cabins, hosting solo parties and more. Here are some of the lines, both on the river and on the ocean that are the best for solo travellers.
While luxury line Silversea does not have allocated single cabins for their solos, there are special deals so guests can sail alone without massive fares. The typical Silversea solo fare ranges from 25 to 75 per cent above the double occupancy rate. And about 10 per cent of solos and singles make up the passengers. There is a champagne reception on the first evening of the cruise and most voyages of 10 days or longer have gentleman hosts onboard for dancing and even shore excursions.
Cruise & Maritime Voyages
Cruise & Maritime Voyages has 40 single cabins on its newest ship, Vasco da Gama. Based in Australia, Vasco da Gama will be sailing around Australia for the 2019/20 wave season. Itineraries include an East Coast Discovery voyage from Sydney calling at Tasmania, Melbourne and Adelaide. Solo travellers also have special benefits, aside from exclusive deals, like dedicated welcome parties and solo get togethers.
Norwegian Cruise Line
NCL was the first line to build staterooms and common areas specifically for solo cruisers. Studio staterooms are available on Norwegian Bliss, Breakaway, Epic, Escape, Getaway and Pride of America. The studio cabins average about 100 sq feet in size and the studio lounge is a great way to meet other single cruisers. Generally, the single traveller pays less than double the cruise fare. And because of the of the number of solo cabins on NCL ships, solo guests can travel around regions like Europe, the Caribbean, Canada and Alaska and more.
The line famous for the world’s largest ships, are upping the ante on their offerings to solo cruisers. Royal Caribbean have dedicated a number of solo cabins on their Oasis and Quantum class ships. For example, on Australia’s Ovation of the Seas, guests will find 28 dedicated cabins for solo travellers. These are a mix of virtual balcony cabins, which have LED display screens that project views of the ocean and ports. There are also balcony staterooms with five-square-metre open-air balconies. The line’s largest ship, Harmony of the Seashas 15 cabins. The line also has singles-friendly activities like scuba diving training, wine tastings and cooking classes. Guests travelling by themselves can also request to either eat alone for some downtime, or request to be seated at a larger table.
The traditional cruise line, famous for high tea, it’s adorable bell boys and art deco décor, is a haven for solo cruisers. The convivial onboard atmosphere means that solos can easily make friends with their fellow cruisers. The line does try and accommodate solo travellers who wish to dine solo, depending on how full the cruise is. But otherwise, they will try and pair you with other singles. After dinner, there are always gentlemen escorts to whirl the solo ladies around the dancefloor. On the Queen Mary 2, there are 15 oceanview single-occupancy cabins, while on the Queen Elizabeth, there are nine in the midship, eight oceanview single cabins and the ninth is a standard inside cabin. On the Queen Victoria, there are nine solo cabins.
While Avalon Waterways has no specific solo cabins, the line will often waive single supplement fees, whether it be on European or Asian itineraries. Famous for its vista windows in its suites, solo travellers will get to experience wall-to-wall panoramic windows that transform their cabins into a unique open-air balcony.
Viking River Cruises
Like Avalon Waterways, Viking River Cruises don’t have dedicated solo sailings as well as cabins. But more often than not, the line has reduced its single supplement for solo travellers. Sometimes, by up to 50 per cent on select river itineraries. The itineraries include the popular 10-day Rivers of Gold sail on the Douro in Portugal, the eight-day cruise on the Rhine between Amsterdam and Basel and the eight-day Lyon and Provence sailing through the south of France.
British brand Riviera Travel is angling towards accommodating for more solo travellers. For example, the line has waived single supplements on a number of cruises this year. The line launched its solo traveller cruisers program last year on the Danube and Rhone rivers, and this year, increased the number of departures. On the MS William Wordsworth, there will be a departure of The Blue Danube River Cruise for Solo Travellers on November 1, 2019. On November 10, 2019, there is a departure of The Douro, Porto & Salamanca River Cruise for Solo Travellers aboard the MS Douro Splendour.