Ev­ery sin­gle thing you ev­er­want­ed­to­know

The Jewish Chronicle - - TRAVEL & CRUSING - BYCATHYWINSTON uk) cruise118.com. pocruises.com) ncl.com/ com) uni­world.com) cruise­critic.co.uk) iglu­cruise. co.uk) travel.saga.co.uk) fredolsen­cruises.com) the­ma­jes­ti­cline. pe­ter­som­mer.com) gad­ven­tures.co.uk)

Cin­set) RUISING HAS al­ways been great for solo trav­ellers — with ev­ery­thing from small, in­ti­mate ships where you quickly get to know your fel­low pas­sen­gers to larger lux­ury lin­ers of­fer­ing group ex­cur­sions and com­mu­nal din­ing.

And cruise lines are wak­ing up to the fact that solo travel is one of the fastest-grow­ing trends in the in­dus­try, both on land and at sea. They are of­fer­ing more sin­gle cab­ins or state­rooms with no sin­gle sup­ple­ments, as well as spe­cial ar­eas for solo trav­ellers on some ships.

It is no sur­prise that the num­ber of peo­ple book­ing a cruise sin­gles hol­i­day dou­bled for 2016 com­pared to 2015, ac­cord­ing to One in three of those was un­der 50 too; un­der­lin­ing the fact that cruis­ing is no longer solely for older trav­ellers.

Ships are be­com­ing more hi-tech, of­fer­ing more fa­cil­i­ties and ac­tiv­i­ties on board and pro­vid­ing a much wider range of itin­er­ar­ies than ever be­fore, so there is no short­age of amuse­ments for so­los.

Nor­we­gian Epic was one of the first to trans­form the world of solo cruis­ing with “stu­dio” cab­ins when it launched in 2010. These are all in the same area of the ship and oc­cu­pants have their own ex­clu­sive lounge where they can min­gle, as well as spe­cial solo-trav­eller events to help break the ice. Nor­we­gian Cruise Lines (

was also the first to in­tro­duce the Freestyle din­ing con­cept, trans­form­ing cruis­ing from the fixed for­mal early or late din­ing-room seat­ing to the more re­laxed mix on of­fer today. So it is easy to head for dinner with new friends, join a com­mu­nal table or en­joy your own com­pany over a mix of cuisines.

These days, they are far from alone. P&O Cruises ( has sin­gle cab­ins on most of the ships in its fleet with­out a scar­ily in­flated cost, in­clud­ing out­side cab­ins on Ven­tura and Azura, bal­cony cab­ins on Bri­tan­nia and op­tions on adults-only Ori­ana and Ar­ca­dia.

Cu­nard’s three ships have all had sin­gle state­rooms added in their 2015/16 re­fur­bish­ments, while Thom­son’s TUI Dis­cov­ery 2, launch­ing this sum­mer, has both sin­gle in­side and out­side cab­ins.

If you are new to cruis­ing solo, find the per­fect sin­gles hol­i­day with these tips: 1 CHECK THE SUP­PLE­MENT

Cruise lines are re­al­is­ing that charg­ing in­di­vid­u­als a hefty sup­ple­ment is not a pop­u­lar move but prices for sin­gle state­rooms or solo dis­counts will still vary. Sites such as iglu cruise (

have great dis­counts on cruises but will also list the sin­gle price sep­a­rately, so it is clear what the trip costs.

Keep an eye out for dis­counts, too. Af­ter waiv­ing the stan­dard sin­gle sup­ple­ment on all cat­e­gory-one cab­ins for its Euro­pean River Cruises in 2016, Tauck has de­cided to re­peat the of­fer for 2017. Uni­world ( also has more than 200 “no solo sup­ple­ment” de­par­tures across its 2017 Europe and Rus­sia river cruise pro­gramme. 2 CHECK THE CABIN

Although more ships have ded­i­cated solo cab­ins these days, they are of­ten less-de­sir­able in­door state­rooms — although not al­ways. The Cruise Critic ( web­site has more than 300 deck plans for dif­fer­ent ships so it is easy to see where you will be on board. Con­sider if there is a sep­a­rate sin­gles lounge, how much time you are plan­ning to spend in there and how much you might miss a bal­cony or view too. 3 CHECK THE WEL­COME

Cruises have plenty of ca­sual ways to break the ice, from group ex­cur­sions to com­mu­nal din­ing to sim­ply get­ting chat­ting in the sun­shine. But sev­eral lines have spe­cial ac­tiv­i­ties laid on for solo trav­ellers.

Both of Saga’s ( ships, the Sap­phire and Pearl II, have a sin­gles meet-up on port days so you can ex­plore with oth­ers, as well as sin­gles drinks and lunch and sin­gle cab­ins — all ex­clu­sively for age 50-plus.

Fred Olsen ( is an­other great op­tion for this age group. With a wide range of sin­gle cab­ins on its ships and sail­ings with no sup­ple­ment on some room cat­e­gories, the ships also have op­tions to pair up solo trav­ellers for dinner, dance hosts to en­sure ev­ery­one has a dance part­ner and male com­pan­ions for ex­cur­sions. 4 CHECK THE STYLE

With ev­ery­thing from ves­sels with a dozen cab­ins up to mega-ships car­ry­ing thou­sands, you have the choice of a small friendly group or themed cruise or an ar­ray of fa­cil­i­ties from the big cruise com­pa­nies. The Majestic Line (

has space for just 10 guests on its voy­ages around Scot­land, while those in­ter­ested in ar­chae­ol­ogy and his­tory should try a gulet cruise from Peter Som­mer Trav­els ( on which you is­land-hop in Greece or cruise the Ital­ian coast, ac­com­pa­nied by ex­pert guides.

For some­thing more in­trepid, G Ad­ven­tures ( runs small group trips, to des­ti­na­tions from Croa­tia to the Caribbean, as well as river cruises in Asia and South Amer­ica, with around half those on the trips trav­el­ling solo.

Nor­we­gian Epic of­fers cosy stu­dio rooms (

Epic stu­dio lounge and ( right) P&O Azura out­side sin­gle state­room

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