TAKING a cruise with family or friends, or as a couple is the usual way, but going it alone on a sea-going holiday is another option that australiancruisingnews.com has enjoyed.
The upside for a solo cruise passenger is that they only have themselves to please about bedtime, up time, what shore excursions to take, even how much time to spend reading, working out in the cruise ship’s gym, or sun-baking by the pool.
Until now a downside is that many cruise lines charge extra for those cruising alone with a single’s supplement that is often not far off the cost of two people sharing a cabin. But now many more solo cabins have been set aside, particularly on recently launched ships.
Norwegian Cruise Line’s 5400-passenger Norwegian Epic has 128 studio cabins with no single supplement. True, the cabins are smaller than those for people sharing and are inside cabins, but have all the essential facilities. The success of studios on Epic has resulted in similar cabins on the line’s new sister ship Norwegian Breakaway, norwegiancruiseline.com.au
P&O UK’s 3100-passenger ship Azura has 18 single cabins with all essentials and no single supplement, and some of these even have a window with a sea view, pocruises.com
Fred Olsen Cruises is another with cabins for solo cruisers, including a few with balconies. Balmoral has 64 solo cabins, Braemar has 27, and Black Watch and Boudicca have 42 each, fredolsencruises.com
Invariably, single cabins sell out quickly as they are limited in numbers yet in big demand.
Compagnie du Ponant recently announced it has introduced dedicated cabins for cruise travellers who need, or prefer, single accommodation and that some of these cabins incur no single supplement charge, ponant.com
Many cruise lines – including those that do not offer single cabins – will hold solo events such as cocktail parties where those travelling alone can get to know one another.
On the river front, Viking Cruises, (vikingrivercruises.com.au) and APT (aptouring.com.au) also have cruise ships with single cabins, while other river cruise lines regularly offer special deals for solo travellers.