SURGE IN GO­ING SOLO

River trips with re­wards for lone cruis­ers

Sunday Herald Sun - Escape - - LINER NOTES - AN­DREA BLACK

Plan­ning a river cruise and look­ing to do it by your­self ? There’s never been a bet­ter time to travel solo. Se­lect cruise lines are re­al­is­ing the surge in its pop­u­lar­ity and so are drop­ping prices to lure us in. And it’s about time the dreaded sin­gle sup­ple­ment was waived. Why should solo trav­ellers pay for two?

In Lonely Planet’s re­cent re­search to co­in­cide with The Solo Travel Hand­book (lone­ly­planet.com), it found more than one in three Aus­tralian re­spon­dents to its sur­vey claimed to have felt dis­ad­van­taged when choos­ing to travel alone, de­spite 85 per cent of those asked hav­ing done, or plan­ning to do, a solo trip in the fu­ture. And in the past, one in two Aussie trav­ellers said they’ve had to pay a sin­gle per­son sup­ple­ment when trav­el­ling alone, and 90 per cent of those sur­veyed said they would look pos­i­tively on a com­pany that did not charge this.

In this Choose Cruise (#ChooseCruise) month, we re­veal river cruises that re­ward solo sailors.

AQUA EX­PE­DI­TIONS’ AMA­ZON AND MEKONG SAIL­INGS

Choose to cruise the Mekong or the Ama­zon with bou­tique river cruise line Aqua Ex­pe­di­tions’ solo trav­eller of­fer where the sin­gle sup­ple­ment is waived on se­lect de­par­tures.

Both the Aqua Mekong and the Aria Ama­zon have a ca­pac­ity of 32-40 pas­sen­gers which means you will be ex­plor­ing and en­joy­ing the ex­pe­ri­ence with like-minded cruis­ers. Ex­cur­sions in­clude bik­ing, hik­ing, fish­ing and swim­ming.

Af­ter­wards, sit back and en­joy the renowned cui­sine and com­pany of fel­low guests. On board there are spa treat­ments, cook­ing classes and en­ter­tain­ment pro­grams.

Aqua Ex­pe­di­tions says solo guests in­cor­po­rate cruises into longer travel itin­er­ar­ies in which they may choose to visit Angkor Wat in Cam­bo­dia, stay in Phnom Penh or Ho Chi Minh City be­fore or af­ter a Mekong itin­er­ary or take a trip to Machu Pic­chu or Lima, be­fore or af­ter the Ama­zon cruise. AQUAEXPEDITIONS.COM.AU

SEE EURO­PEAN WA­TER­WAYS WITH RIVIERA

Un­prece­dented de­mand from the solo-travel mar­ket has prompted fives­tar river cruise line Riviera Travel to in­crease the num­ber of cruises for solo trav­ellers in 2019, with all cab­ins free of sin­gle sup­ple­ments.

Four Euro­pean river cruise itin­er­ar­ies have newly added de­par­tures re­served ex­clu­sively for solo trav­ellers in­clud­ing a seven­night, roundtrip cruise from Porto along the Douro River in Por­tu­gal, two seven-night, roundtrip cruises from Bu­dapest on the Danube River and a seven-night cruise on the Rhone and Saone rivers from Lyon to Avi­gnon in France.

The cruises have been planned for spring and au­tumn 2019, when the des­ti­na­tions will be more re­laxed so cus­tomers don’t have to jos­tle with sum­mer crowds. The big­gest river cruise op­er­a­tor in the UK mar­ket, Riviera Travel made its first foray into the grow­ing Aus­tralian mar­ket in 2016. RIVIERATRAVEL.COM.AU

AVALON WA­TER­WAYS’ AC­TIVE DIS­COV­ERY TOURS

Avalon Wa­ter­ways’ has an­nounced it has waived the sin­gle sup­ple­ment across se­lect Euro­pean and Asian river cruises.

Ac­cord­ing to Avalon, its Ac­tive Dis­cov­ery tours are pop­u­lar with solo cruis­ers as they en­cour­age pas­sen­gers to ex­plore. With itin­er­ar­ies such as the Ac­tive Dis­cov­ery on the Rhone, solo trav­ellers can ad­mire the scenery of the French coun­try­side, join a culi­nary walk to dis­cover ar­chi­tec­ture and lo­cal spe­cial­ties, or take a cook­ing class in Lyon. You can cy­cle, ca­noe and choose to take a choco­late fac­tory tour, per­haps visit a French mu­seum of per­fumes or re­turn home an ac­com­plished artist by tak­ing a paint­ing workshop in Ar­les, in the style of van Gogh. AVALONWATERWAYS.COM.AU

ARIA AMA­ZON

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