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: Silversea & Regent Seven Seas 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.
Silversea's fleet includes both classic cruises and expedition itineraries. Spacious small ships, with a hint of Italian style to the hospitality on board, offer a cosmopolitan and sophisticated passenger mix which makes meeting fellow travellers easy. There is a welcome Champagne reception for those travelling independently aboard every voyage, and on selected voyages Silversea hosts are available as dance partners or dinner companions for guests travelling alone. Silversea also have a compelling solo fare structure, with some promotional voyages offering a 0% single supplement, and typical solo fares with a supplement of between 10% and 30%.
Regent Seven Seas Cruises' standard solo supplement of 75% may not be very enticing for solo guests but of late they've introduced more and more reduced supplement sailings, 122 at time of writing, with fares from only 10% above the standard double occupancy rate. Once on board you'll enjoy superb food, friendly and welcoming service and a superbly comfortable ship. A choice of complimentary shore excursions in every port makes it easy to enjoy busy days ashore and meet your fellow travellers. Some itineraries offer pre- and post-cruise tour options, and all include flights and transfers, helping to take the stress out of your travel arrangements before and after the cruise.
Best for river cruising: Uniworld & AmaWaterways
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.
Uniworld River Cruises is one of the most highly regarded river cruise operators. With totally inclusive cruises across Europe and beyond, they have a rolling offer that waives the single supplement on select departures on the Rhine, Danube, Rhône & Saône and, perhaps most unusually, the incredibly popular Douro.
AmaWaterways offer a wide range of river cruises across Europe and beyond. Fares are slightly less inclusive than Uniworld, with alcoholic drinks only included at meal times and during the 'Sip and Sail' cocktail hour, but you can expect excellent quality and incredibly good value. On board there is a welcome party for solo guests and the Maitre D's are on hand in the evening to enable solo guests to join other tables if they wish to.
AmaWaterways reserve two cabins for solo occupancy on each ship: lead-in window grades on AmaBella and AmaVerde, and French balcony grades on AmaLyra, AmaDolce and AmaDante, which sail the Danube, Rhine, Rhone, Moselle, Seine and the Dutch waterways. These cabins have no single supplement, while the supplement for other grades, across the entire European fleet, start at 25% for window rooms, increasing to 50% for balcony grades and 100% for suites.
Best new option: Oceania
Oceania Cruises have recently begun to attract the attention of solo travellers with their new ship, the 1200-guest Vista, including a new category of stateroom designed exclusively for solo occupancy. The Concierge Level Solo Veranda Stateroom includes additional amenities, such as unlimited use of the expanded Aquamar Spa Terrace.
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 unusual itineraries: Ponant
The joy of cruising as a single traveller is the ease with which you can meet fellow guests, so travelling with the French flag cruise line Ponant may at first seem like an unusual recommendation. However, with over 100 cruises available with 0% single supplement (at the time of writing) it's easy to be tempted by a stylish fleet of superb small vessels, committed to operating bilingually for their growing English speaking market, on itineraries that we believe are some the best available.