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. Large tables hosted by officers and ambassadors are often available in Waterside and the alternative restaurants have special solo nights to enable you to join others and enjoy the fantastic menus in Prego and the superb Umi Uma. Most importantly, solo fares on Crystal are very attractive, with rates starting from just 15% single supplement on certain cruises.
Best for river cruising: Tauck
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 Tauck offer meticulously planned itineraries and have unique relationships to offer 'uncommon access' - experiences that you simply couldn't get with another company. They also waive single supplements on their lead-in room grade for all European river cruises.
Best for small ship cruising: Hebridean Island Cruises
Some people travelling alone prefer to avoid the very small ships, for fear of being surrounded by 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. Saga's fleet has undergone a significant upgrade with the introduction of the brand new 999-guest Spirit of Discovery in 2019, to be followed by sister ship Spirit of Adventure in 2020. On board you can expect a sociable atmosphere that will instantly put you at ease, and all cabins have a private balcony, including more than 100 dedicated solo cabins. There are many exclusive events and activities just for 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.
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, WiFi and even travel insurance, so budgeting is easy, and both ships will be fully all-inclusive from 2020.