How to go it alone

MICHAEL FERRANTE says solo voyaging is on the rise

Demand is driving more deals for solo cruising and that means good news for single single and solos holidaymakers. Either through circumstance or a preference, many are choosing to go it alone when booking a cruise. And there are some attractive deals on offer, like Riviera Travel’s 10 solo-only sailings through Europe in 2020, ranging between five and eight days.

There is no single supplement for cabins on voyages departing between March 30, 2020, and November 13, 2020. Fares start from $1829 for a five-night cruise through Holland and include daily guided excursions, onboard meals and wi-fi. Riviera has a selection of solo-only cabins on every sailing, year round.

Riviera’s Australian sales manager, Thomas Morgan, says the company has responded to demand by offering its biggest ever choice of river cruises exclusive to solo travellers for next year.2020. “Interest in our Solo Travellers program has been going from strength to strength and we have been working hard to increase our offering yet further,” he says.

“The customers love our solo river cruises — it’sits designed with them in mind. Many are travelling for the first time on their own, so it gives them peace of mind.” Cruise and Maritime Voyages’ ship Vasco da Gama, which will be based in Fremantle from January, 2020, also caters for single guests with 40 spacious single cabins, which These solo cabins were fully booked during the ship’s maiden CMV voyage in April from Singapore to London Tilbury. Norwegian Cruise Line offers studio guests exclusive access to its studio lounge area where they can stretch out, mingle with neighbours, enjoy a drink or coffee or watch TV on a big screen. French flagged, small-ship cruise operator Ponant has just released a selection of itineraries that include no single supplement, like its new Antarctic Odyssey, with a polar expedition cruise from Montevideo, Uruguay, to Ushuaia, Argentina, departing November 19 this year (but early bookings are advised).

Cunard has single staterooms on all three of its ships, as well as organised events and activities for solo travellers, and most are Oceanview staterooms. and Holland America, also have limited solo-use cabins on some ships.

Bicton Travel sales and marketing manager Barry Downs says solo supplement charges were, until recently, expensive for most solo travellers if they didn’t want to share with a stranger, but that is changing.

“As more and more cruise lines offer deals with either no or low solo supplements, there is certainly more awareness and opportunity for solo travellers to find a great-value offer,” he says.