Going solo: The best cruise lines for solo travellers
Vicky Mayer offers some useful advice for those travelling solo on cruise ships.
The idea of solo travel can feel intimidating, from the extra cost of the single supplement to the fear of not knowing anyone, but it does not have to be.
Now more than ever, river and ocean cruise lines are offering a great range of solo-friendly options including waiving the single supplement, reserving cabins for single use only, and running solo travel forums to help you make connections.
Here are some of the best cruise lines for an enjoyable solo experience.
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One of the most single-friendly river lines, Emerald reserves five cabins per sailing for solo travellers, with no single supplement to pay.
Sailing on a small river ship, it’s easy to meet like-minded fellow travellers, and Emerald includes a host of guided excursions so you’ll never need to go ashore alone, unless you want to.
With more than 40 years of river cruise experience, Riviera offers a selection of journeys with no single supplement throughout the year, as well as a series of exclusive single passenger trips.
Daily tours and visits are free of charge and great for those travelling on their own, and the company also offers the chance to chat to other guests online before you sail, via their popular solo travellers' forum.
Luxury river line, AmaWaterways, offers single-occupancy cabins on many of its ships, including AmaVerde, AmaBella, AmaLyra, AmaDolce and AmaDante. At a generous 140sq ft, these are some of the largest single cabins on the market.
- READ MORE: Making the most of your cruise alone -
And as well as great accommodation, the line also offers special solo deals throughout the year, including sailings on the Mekong, Douro and Chobe, with a reduced or zero solo supplement.
AmaWaterways is known for its range of healthy onboard and onshore activities, including cycling, tai chi and yoga – all perfect for solos who'd like to join in with some activities.
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Ten per cent of Avalon’s guests are solo travellers, so you know you’ll be in good company when you take one of this popular line’s cruises.
- READ MORE: The ultimate guide to solo river cruising -
As well as offering single customers the chance to join like-minded travellers on- board, the line generously waives the single supplement on every European departure and select sailings on the Mekong in Southeast Asia.
And unlike some other lines, they let you book whichever cabin you want.
Amadeus River Cruises
Five-star cruise line Amadeus offers solo travellers a luxurious European cruise experience at great prices, with low or no single supplements for solo staterooms.
The line is also known for its deeply immersive shore excursions and fantastic cuisine featuring local wines and dishes.
- READ MORE: Cruises for singles over 60 -
Uniworld is one of the best-loved luxury river lines in the world – and the good news for solo travellers is that the line noted for its excellent service, decor, accommodation and cuisine offers zero single supplements on selected journeys.
So if you’re less fussed about where you’re cruising but you'd like to experience the unique ambience of a Uniworld ship, look out for their special offers for singletons
Titan offers single travellers the chance to enjoy a special solos-only river cruise or join a regular cruise where solos are looked after by the friendly onboard staff.
On both, a special drinks reception is hosted by the tour manager on the first night, so you’ll get to meet your fellow travellers straight away. All Titan guests also enjoy the benefit of a complimentary airport chauffeur service, to and from their home address.
- READ MORE: Which cruise ships have solo cabins?-
Saga River Cruises
You’ll find plenty of single cabins onboard all of Saga’s stylish river ships.
Even better, the popular over-50s line offers a wide range of exciting solo-only river cruises throughout the year, so it couldn’t be easier to make friends with your fellow singles.
Known in the industry for warmly welcoming solo cruisers, Fred offers plenty of comfortable single cabins as well as regular solo-friendly sailings on which supplements are either waived or heavily reduced.
Onboard, those travelling alone are offered the chance to join special solo travellers' get-togethers, making it easy to meet new friends.
- READ MORE: The ultimate guide to solo ocean cruises -
Norwegian Cruise Line
NCL is known as one of the most solo-friendly ocean lines, and aboard its ships Epic, Escape, Breakaway, Getaway, Bliss, Encore and Pride of America you’ll find plenty of stylish, specially designed single studios.
Solos also get access to the exclusive Studio Complex, a lounge and social hub where single travellers can meet for complimentary coffee and snacks.
If you prefer to stay in a regular stateroom, NCL offers reduced single supplements on selected sailings.
With a seemingly endless variety of things to do, solo cruising can be a lot of fun aboard Royal Caribbean’s ocean-going mega ships.
The line’s Quantum-class vessels – Brilliance, Anthem, Quantum, Ovation, Harmony and Spectrum of the Seas – each offer 28 studio cabins for singles, ranging in size from 101 to a generous 119 sq ft.
- READ MORE: The best single cabins -
Ambassador Cruise Line
Spiritual successor to the late lamented CMV, Britain’s latest cruise line begins sailing from London Tilbury this spring.
And with no fewer than 89 roomy single-occupancy cabins aboard its first ship, Ambience, the line clearly has solo travellers in mind.
For cruises of six nights or more, Ambassador also offers a special programme for singles that includes a welcome cocktail party.
A longtime favourite with British over-50s, Saga sets aside one-fifth of its ocean cabins for solo travellers. Sail aboard Spirit of Adventure or Spirit of Discovery and you’ll find the singles-only accommodation is 85 per cent as large as a regular cabin with a double bed.
As well as offering luxurious accommodation, Saga also hosts informal onboard gatherings before shore excursions, so it’s easy to mix if you’re socially minded.
- READ MORE: Top tips for cruising alone -
This major upmarket ocean cruise line offers solo travellers the chance to join a Single Partners Programme on all its ships, including the popular Koningsdam, Rotterdam and Nieuw Statendam.
As well as enjoying dedicated singles-only cabins, ranging in size from 127 to 172 sqft, you can meet your fellow single travellers at special cooking workshops, cocktail evenings and games meet-ups onboard with Holland America Line.
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