Solo travel is a blossoming trend, and sailing off into the sunset on a personal cruise of discovery is a wonderful way to tiptoe outside your comfort zone to a place where life-changing moments occur. However, the abundance of group activities and intimate environment of a cruise also present great opportunities to connect with loved ones. Two Travel Associates Consultants give us their expert advice on these enticing cruising styles.
What’s your best insider tip for cruising solo?
I like to choose cruises with smaller numbers, such as small ship cruising, river cruising etc so it’s easier to find and mingle with fellow solo travellers.
What’s your best tip for cruising with friends?
Book early so everyone has plenty of time to request leave, and then you can all look forward to it together!
What are the advantages of solo cruising?
It’s an amazing opportunity to meet people, and spend quality time with new, like-minded acquaintances.
Are there good arrangements for large groups?
If you are celebrating a special occasion, most ships have a venue for private events. For shore excursions, a private group tour may also be an option.
Is solo cruising common?
Travelling solo is a growing trend, which suits a variety of circumstances, and savvy suppliers recognise this. Solo travellers are not just singles; there are also empty nesters, or people who have lost a loved one and want to continue travelling.
Would you recommend cruising with friends?
The best thing about cruising is it offers something for everyone, so in port you could do different things and still all meet up for dinner and a night of exploring the shows and lounges on board. A cruise also requires less organising, so no one has to be the coordinator!
Is it easy to connect with other passengers?
Some cruise companies, like Silversea, include quite a number of solo traveller activities and events. Once on board, every evening this group meet for cocktails prior to dinner; and those who would like to eat with the other solos can then do so, or if they’ve met other passengers they can dine with them. There are also activities like cards, high tea, dancing etc.
Are there cruises for certain age groups?
With so many cruise lines it is important to choose the right one for certain age groups. Some ships offer entertainment like rock-climbing, zip-lining, and surfing stimulators, which would be suitable for families and the young at heart. Other cruise lines have activities like cooking or knitting classes which would generally appeal to an older demographic.
What's your best tip for a first-time solo cruiser?
Be open to meeting new travellers who are like-minded and are happy to get involved. One of the best ways is to do something like sign up for the trivia nights. You get to join a team and right away you have a casual atmosphere that breaks the ice.
What cruises balance active & cultural experiences?
Caribbean cruises offer activities such as the world's longest zip line over water and waterfall hikes, but also historical walking tours to learn about the island's culture or local food and produce. It's a great chance to get active while learning about your destination.
What cruises suit lone travellers?
There are so many options; large or small ships, river or ocean - all have options that work well. Christmas is great for solo cruisers because there are many activities for varying group sizes, and solo cruisers can join in or stay anonymous within a larger crowd.
Where should my friends and I cruise?
Groups that want to relax and spend quality time together should try the Caribbean or South Pacific. The Caribbean offers great activities in port and the beaches are paradise! For more adventure or culture, check out the Mediterranean or Asia.
Any other tips or insider information?
Many of the operators often have special offers for solo travellers, with reduced or no solo supplement payable. Be sure to ask your agent to keep an eye out for any special promotions that are in the market place so they can contact you as soon as they are released.
Any other tips or insider information?
Some cruise lines offer discounts for pre-purchased beverage packages, speciality dining or shore excursions, so book those in advance, and make sure they know if you're celebrating an occasion! You can also organise surprises or gifts to be delivered on board - just ask your travel agent!
Contact your local Travel Associates Consultant for more expert advice on cruising the world!