02 October 2017
Thinking about travelling solo in 2017? Not sure about going on holiday on your own? Try a cruise.
There’s company if you feel like socialising. You don’t have to worry about getting yourself from A to B. And, the activity programmes mean you can explore with like-minded people, without the hassle of organising the tour!
As Travel Counsellor Su says, "Cruises offer such great value for money, as everything is included – all meals and entertainment – including daytime activities from sports to arts and crafts, and usually lots of fun and games out on the deck. You can take part in competitions, or if you want to just sit on a sun bed and watch the world go by, you can!"
Read on to find out why we think cruise holidays are perfect for solo travellers. And to discover some of the exciting worldwide destinations you could explore in 2017…
A friendly space to socialise
You’re never likely to be the only one going solo on a cruise, especially as many ships now offer single cabins. Staff are always on hand to offer advice and keep you up to date with what’s happening on your ship, so life on-board is a safe and friendly space in which to meet like-minded fellow passengers.
Travel Counsellor Louise set sail with Uniworld on a Danube river cruise in December 2016 and loved the experience, especially the staff: "The staff are exceptional, making you instantly welcome and at ease. They are good company too, ready to share with you their knowledge of the region or suggest a great wine to go with your dinner. There are always choices of excursions, and the guides we experienced were very good - turning a regular walking tour into a fun and informative experience."
You’re well looked after on-board
Many cruise lines offer special singles lounges or singles activities to help you meet with other passengers. P&O Cruises and Cunard arrange coffee mornings for solo travellers while Cruise and Maritime Voyages offer a welcome cocktail party. Fred.Olson Cruises even employs dance hosts on its staff to ensure you won’t feel lonesome on the dancefloor!
Tailored activity programmes
In addition to special singles events and coffee mornings, there’s a whole programme of activities and events to choose from. On some smaller cruise ships, you’ll find it easy to get chatting with other guests over dinner, during themed activities or at evenings with guest speakers.
Travel Counsellor Jan travelled on Saga Sapphire in December 2016 and commented there was "so much to do!" Speaking of her adventure on Saga Sapphire, Jan said, "From line dancing classes to bridge to lectures to quizzes to craft classes to bridge and gallery visits, Saga Sapphire certainly has it all covered. If all that was not enough, there was always a spot of pampering in the Spa or the Hair & Beauty Salon to be had!"
Dining companions – if you want them
Some ships organise dinner seating plans so that you are seated with other single travellers of a similar age. On many Fred.Olsen Cruises, solo cruisers sit together for dinner to help them get to know each other.
With other cruises, when dining on-board is a more casual affair, you are free to take your pick of the multiple dining options available, depending how sociable you’re feeling.
You’ll also find that some cruise lines, such as Uniworld boutique river cruises, encourage their guests to get to know one another, with open seating.
Safety in numbers
A cruise gives you a lot of flexibility in terms of what excursions you take part in. If you’re feeling confident, you can head off on your own. In less familiar surroundings – or when you fancy a bit of company – join the ship’s shore excursions for a relaxing sightseeing experience, knowing you are in safe hands and making new friends.
A selection of cruise lines, such as Fred.Olsen, arrange meeting points for solo guests who’d like to go ashore with fellow single travellers, so you don’t need to worry about being alone on the excursion.
Single cabins (and staterooms) without single supplements
It is increasingly easy to find single berth cabins and some cruise lines even often single berth staterooms. Many cruise lines also offer fares without the hefty single supplements, while a few offer staterooms without a single supplement.
Guests sailing with Norwegian Cruise Line can meet fellow solo cruisers at the Studios Lounge, a private area for single travellers with a bar, TV and comfy chairs.
P&O Cruises’ single cabins feature a vanity/writing desk and tea and coffee making facilities, and on ships Britannia and Arcadia you’ll find single cabins with balconies. Cunard’s beautiful Queen Mary 2 features new, luxurious single cabins complete with desks and a cosy seating area.
Whether you have a room request or want to visit a particular destination, your Travel Counsellor can plan your perfect cruise holiday!