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Once upon a time, single supplements for lone travellers were the norm, whether you were staying in a hotel or cruising the world. You were essentially penalised for travelling on your lonesome.
Nowadays, lone travellers are more positively referred to as solo travellers. And just as they are choosing to travel on their tod, they’re now provided with a proper choice of fares that reflect their solo traveller status.
In cruising terms, solo traveller numbers are on the rise. As is the sinking of single supplements on cruises. ROL Cruise works closely with the industry’s biggest cruise providers to try and secure the largest selection of solo traveller cruise offers.
In response to the rise in the number of solo cruise bookings, cruise providers are proactively packaging holidays that target travellers booking just for themselves. The number of independent cruise bookings is still growing and they’re an adventurous lot too.
Let’s not assume all solo travellers are singletons or widows, they’re not. On board a cruise liner you never have to be alone unless you really desire to be. Hence this heyday of independent cruise guests includes individual people who are travelling with friends and those whose partner cannot join them.
It is small to mid-sized cruise ships that have the greatest calling card for independent travellers. Even the most experienced of solo travellers rarely wants to the smallest fish in the biggest pond. Smaller ships and river cruise vessels present a comfort and intimacy that’s typically more homely for those on their own. As such, it’s these providers who offer the greatest choice of solo traveller offers.
Most major cruise liners proudly boast their single cabin capacity having overcome the economic challenge that a single cabin takes up almost as much space as a twin cabin yet returns half the income. So not only are you taking less of a dent in the pocket, you’re also getting more choice of sleeping arrangements.
After overcoming the price sensitivity of customers, let’s look at the experience on offer for solo travellers – it all contributes to value for money after all. In combination with low or zero booking supplements, cruise ships have bucked up their tactics on the experience front too.
From providing dance escorts and on-board activities that encourage interaction, to restaurant seating that facilitates mingling amongst solo guests, having a solo traveller mindset is becoming the norm in cruise.
Are you one of the reasons for the 336 per cent increase in solo guest bookings with exploration cruise liner, Hurtigruten last year? Proof that you don’t have to stick to traditional cruising to save your pennies – they’re one of the cruise lines offering more ‘experiential’ cruises.
And so we introduce you to five solo cruise deals with no or low supplements and a welcome aboard with other individuals who share a penchant for travel, cruise and not being ripped off!
Fly from London to Athens from where you’ll embark on a cruise aboard Silver Spirit through some of the Greek islands, on to Montenegro and Croatia before arriving in Venice. In seven days, you’ll see more of the eastern Mediterranean than you thought possible.
Cruising aboard Magellan from London via Amsterdam up into the Norwegian Fjords on a 15 day jaunt. Meet like-minded passengers through the on-board Club Class where bridge, backgammon and cards are common pastimes.
If the great ocean wave and its slightly headier prices seem to much for a first step into cruise, investigate river cruising instead. Departing from UK shores and wending through some of Europe’s most stunning architectural and historic cities, a trip aboard Balmoral with Fred Olsen Cruise Lines could be just the ticket.
An epic 32-night cruise from sunny Southampton to the bright white sands of Barbados. Take in Bridgetown before heading to St Lucia, Grenada, St Vincent, Dominica, Antigua, Tortola, St Kitts and the Azores, then home again. A single outside cabin costs from £6,959 and you’ll more than earn that back in new friends.
Skirting the coast of the British Isles, so you never feel too far from home, this Cruise & Maritime Voyages tour goes further than you think. You’ll stop in on Amsterdam, Honfleur, Guernsey, Dublin, Belfast, Green and a handful of Scottish isles too
Solo travel is now the holiday of a lifetime that it should be, rather than an adventure with your finances.