Cruising is the perfect holiday for anyone who’s single or who simply wants to travel alone for a change. Safe and friendly, a cruise ship offers the solo traveller the ideal environment for a very memorable holiday – so it’s no wonder that cruise cabins for one are such a hot travel trend.

“With more Google searches for ‘solo travel’ than ever before, the popularity of travelling alone has undoubtedly risen over recent years,” says Andy Harmer, UK & Ireland director of the Cruise Lines International Association.

“The same can be said for cruise holidays, as the number of people choosing to set sail on their own continues to grow. Offering both space for solitude and opportunities for social interaction, cruise holidays are a fantastic option for solo cruises, as they take away the stress that can come with travelling alone on a land-based trip.”

Solo cruises
Enjoy blissful solitude on a solo cruise

 

Social media platforms are also making solo cruises a lot more sociable. Now singles can get in touch with other cruisers on Facebook before they travel, which means they’ve got new friends as soon as they arrive on board – and for a lot of solo cruisers, that’s what the holiday is all about.

“Many travellers decide to cruise alone to connect with other like- minded people,” says Harmer. “Cruises are a great opportunity to meet new friends while enjoying once-in-a-lifetime experiences too.”

Solo cruises: female traveller looking out over view of Rome
Solo cruise travel can lead you to one-off experiences

 

The rising importance of the solo market has not been lost on the cruise industry. All the big lines are competing to offer single travellers the best experience, with many – including NCL and Saga – offering purpose-made single cabins that are cosy without being cramped.

Of course, a singleton usually pays more than half the couples’ fare, simply because their cabin is more than half the size. But with the new focus on solo travel, many lines are reducing the dreaded single supplement, or even waiving it altogether. So which are the best lines for the solo traveller and how much will you pay? Here’s our handy comparison guide on the best solo cruises:

Titan

Ships with single cabins (no. of cabins): All cabins are doubles but some are designated for solo use.
Cabin size: 15 to 16 sq metres
Cost: From £1,499 for 7 nights
Average single supplement: From £200
You’ll like: Specialist in escorted tours with many years’ experience of catering for solo travellers; wide choice of cruise lines and rivers throughout the world; VIP door-to-door travel service; unlimited drinks with meals; 24-hour complimentary tea and coffee.
Special solo traveller extras: Dedicated members of staff who focus on solo-traveller liaison.

MS Serenade 1 perfect for solo cruises
Feel like a VIP from the moment you board Titan Travel’s MS Serenade 1

Fred Olsen

Ships with single cabins (no. of cabins): Balmoral (64), Braemar (40), Boudicca (43), Black Watch (43)
Cabin size: 12 to 18.6 sq metres
Cost: From £699 for 7 nights
Average single supplement: Usually none in single cabins
You’ll like: Traditional-style cruising, especially popular with older travellers
Special solo traveller extras: Solo-focused cruise offers; dance hosts and bridge partners for solo travellers; singles seated together at meals.

Boudicca Fred Olsen: Grand voyage cruise
Travelling is made easy on board the mighty Boudicca

Marella

Ships with single cabins (no. of cabins):  Discovery (30), Discovery 2 (30), Explorer (15), Dream, Spirit, Celebration & Majesty, some on each
Cabin size: From 12 sq m
Cost: From £1,118 for 7 nights
Average single supplement: Largely none, though a small supplement is payable on Marella Explorer
You’ll like: All-inclusive fares with a wide range of food options; ‘Movies by Moonlight’ (watch all the latest films on the pool deck under the stars).
Special solo traveller extras: Dedicated solos’ coffee catch-ups and dinners.

Marella Explorer cruise ship secrets
Watch a film under the stars on Marella Explorer

CMV

Ships with single cabins (no. of cabins): Columbus (150), Magellan (122), Marco Polo (15), Vasco da Gama (40), Astor (8), Astoria (1)
Cabin size: From 9.3 to 17.5 sq m
Cost: From £929 for 7 nights
Average single supplement: None for a single cabin
You’ll like: No-fly cruises from various UK ports; traditional service; most cruises are adults-only
Special solo traveller extras: Welcome cocktail party and get-togethers; solos seated together at meals; dedicated excursions.

Ms Marco Polo
The Marco Polo Waldorf Restaurant

Riviera

Ships with single cabins (no. of cabins): Some cabins on ships, including Oscar Wilde and Thomas Hardy, are set aside for solo travellers
Cabin size: Varies
Cost: From £1,399 for 7 nights
Average single supplement: No single supplement on solo traveller itineraries
You’ll like: Choice of European river, Nile and Adriatic cruises exclusively reserved for solo travellers; knowledgeable local guides; the services of an experienced Riviera Travel tour manager.
Special solo traveller extras: Airport representative; airport lounge; welcome dinner; solo traveller forum where guests can chat to like-minded people.

Oceania Riviera Pool
Float away all stress on Oceania Riviera

 

Saga

Ships with single cabins (no. of cabins): Spirit of Discovery (109), Spirit of Adventure (109)
Cabin size: Average 17.2 sq m
Cost: From £2,063 for 7 nights
Average single supplement: None – charged by the cabin, not by the passenger
You’ll like: Return chauffeur service to your front door; free bathrobes; fresh fruit and toiletries included in the fare; targeted at the over-50s.
Special solo traveller extras: ‘Singles Mingle’ drinks parties; exclusive singles lunch; pre-excursion get-togethers to link up for shore trips.

Solo cruise travel is made easy with single cabins available on Saga's Spirit of Discovery
Fall asleep in a comfy bed at the end of a packed day on Spirit of Discovery

NCL

Ships with single cabins (no. of cabins): Bliss, Encore & Escape (82), Breakaway & Getaway (59), Epic (182)
Cabin size: Average 9.3 sq metres
Cost: From £299 for 5 nights
Average single supplement: From £382 for a 4-day cruise
You’ll like: No set dining times or formal dress codes; ‘Free at Sea’ perks packages; award-winning entertainment.
Special solo traveller extras: Dedicated solos lounge with free refreshments; nightly solo happy hours and meet-ups.

NCL Bliss provides solo cruise travellers with 'Free at Sea' perks packages
NCL’s Bliss provides solo cruise travellers with ‘Free at Sea’ perks packages

 

P&O

Ships with single cabins (no. of cabins): Ventura & Azura (18), Britannia (27), Arcadia (6), Aurora (10), Iona (2)
Cabin size: From 9.4 sq m
Cost: From £686 for 7 nights
Average single supplement: None for single cabins, but a variable supplement is payable for single use of a double cabin
You’ll like: Arcadia is an adults- only ship; free tea and coffee in staterooms; complimentary mineral water/toiletries pack on arrival.
Special solo traveller extras: Solo coffee mornings; single travellers seated together at meals where possible.

 

Britannia's Bow
The pride of Britain – Britannia

 

Hebridean

Ships with single cabins (no. of cabins): Princess (10)
Cabin size: Average 12.3 sq m
Cost: From £3,230 for 7 nights
Average single supplement: None for single cabins; 85 per cent for single occupancy of a double cabin
You’ll like: Fares are all-inclusive; crew-to-guest ratio is 1:1; experienced guides and high-quality guest speakers; station/airport transfers are provided; no-tipping policy.
Special solo traveller extras: Officer-hosted tables for solo guests wanting to dine together.

Sky Princess Princess Cruises
Feel like royalty as you sail the high seas aboard Princess

 

Cunard

Ships with single cabins (no. of cabins):  Queen Mary 2 (15), Queen Elizabeth & Queen Victoria (9)
Cabin size: From 16.5 sq metres
Cost: From £799 for 7 nights
Average single supplement: None for single cabins; between 75 and 100 per cent for single occupancy of a double cabin
You’ll like: For keen dancers, QM2 has the largest ballroom at sea; huge library; 24hr room service
Special solo traveller extras: Solos coffee mornings and daytime activities.

Solo cruise travel on the Queen Mary 2
You could set off on a solo cruise aboard Cunard’s iconic Queen Mary 2