As everyone is different, there is no 'one size fits all' answer to the question "Which cruise line is the best for solo travellers?". We do have a few recommendations though!
Best of the Best: Crystal Cruises
The all-inclusive 'Best of the Best' cruise lines are a good choice if you are travelling alone. You avoid the hassle of constantly signing for things, and also the embarrassment of organising who is going to buy the wine at dinner, or host a round of cocktails in the bar. You can flit from group to group without feeling the obligation to return the kindness of a drink bought.
Crystal is our top choice for solos for a number of reasons: the ships are large enough to have a lot going on, with an excellent selection of onboard activities, classes and entertainment, and some great shore excursions. Dining is fixed or by reservation, so you can have the security of a social dining table, and the alternative restaurants have special solo nights to enable you to join others and enjoy the fantastic menus in Prego and Silk Road. Most importantly, solo fares on Crystal are very attractive, with rates starting from just 15% single supplement on certain cruises.
Best for river cruising: Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
River cruising is an excellent choice if you are quite a traveller, and are seeking out ways to explore the world on your own: from the safe environment of your river vessel, carrying you from place to place as the perfect convenient base, you can sally forth alone or with others to get to know the beautiful towns and cities en route.
There are many options, but our choice is the luxurious all-inclusive Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection. You can expect meticulously planned itineraries, open seating at every meal, small group excursions, and kindred spirits who share your cultural curiosity and passion for fresh destinations. Freedom and flexibility are just two of the many advantages of traveling solo, and more and more Uniworld guests are opting to come aboard as a party of one. In view of this, they've waived the single supplement fee on a generous number of itineraries and departures.
Best for small ship cruising: Hebridean Island Cruises
Some people travelling alone prefer to avoid the very small ships, for fear of feeling like a Billy no mates amongst wall to wall couples. On Hebridean Princess this will definitely not be the case: this tiny Scottish country house hotel at sea embraces all its guests like old friends, and you will be welcomed as a valued guest at a very special house party. Those travelling alone dine at a hosted table in the centre of the intimate dining room, having chosen one of the perfectly designed single cabins as their comfy home from home. By the end of the first day, you will be on first name terms with everyone.
Best for no-fly cruises from the UK: Saga
One concern flagged by many solo travellers is the worry about getting to your ship, so choosing a ship leaving from the UK is a great option. We love the little Saga ships Saga Pearl II and Saga Sapphire, which have a sociable atmosphere that will instantly put you at ease. A return chauffeur service from your home is included on every cruise from Dover or Southampton, as well as all meals and entertainment, wine with lunch and dinner, onboard gratuities and free WiFi, so budgeting is easy.
There's a great range of cabins (20%!) for those cruising solo, so you can enjoy your own space and won't have to pay an extra supplement on a double cabin. And there are many exclusive events and activities just for the single guests such as the 'Singles Mingle' drinks party, and a special Singles Luncheon. If it's a port day then there is a singles meet-up, enabling you to go ashore in company.
Best for interesting itineraries: Voyages to Antiquity
If your idea of a great trip is to understand more about the history, culture and natural wonders of the ancient world, then Voyages to Antiquity's little Aegean Odyssey could be for you. Carefully crafted destination-rich itineraries and a stimulating lecture programme on board ensure that your time on shore is as rewarding as your time on the ship. On many of the Mediterranean cruises, you'll likely spend as much time on land as at sea. Lecturers include historians, professors, archaeologists and more, whilst sightseeing tours, land stays and gratuities are also included.
Voyages to Antiquity is a great choice if you are travelling on your own, with low supplements, dedicated single cabins and a friendly atmosphere on board, with like-minded companions for stimulating company. As you'll go ashore on the included shore excursions with the same group of people each time, it's really easy to get to know your fellow passengers, whilst the open-seating dining policy furthers the camaraderie.
Find out more:
· Join our Independent Travellers Club