Are you wondering how to take your first steps as a solo traveller? A solo cruise may be the answer.
Cruising alone can hit that sweet spot between affordable luxury travel and adventure. Furthermore, there are ample opportunities to meet like-minded travellers.
To convince you to book your first cruise, here are my top ten reasons why you should set sail on a cruise by yourself.
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Why You Should Cruise Alone
1. Solo cruising is a safe way of seeing the world
Safety is a key concern of female solo travellers.
I am often asked if it is safe for a woman to go on a cruise alone. In my view, it’s one of the safest ways for a woman to travel alone.
That said, don’t be complacent.
Take the same precautions to keep safe when travelling alone as you would on dry land. By all means, be friendly, but don’t share your cabin number or invite strangers there.
If you feel at all uncomfortable, walk away from the situation. If need be, seek help from crew members.
READ THIS NEXT: 17 Essential Safety Tips for Travelling Alone
2. You will have a ready-made itinerary
More often than not, part of the fun of travel is in the planning. But when life gets busy, or if you are taking a last-minute break, this can be a burden.
Much like joining a small group tour, cruising takes the pain out of organising a trip.
For me, one of the keys to a successful cruise is to make the most of my time onshore. To this end, all I need to do before going on a cruise is to identify what I would like to do at each port of call.
Once in port, you can either see the sights independently or join a shore excursion.
Solo travel has never been easier.
3. You don’t need to worry about getting from A to B
I love the ease of solo cruising.
Exploring multiple destinations & unpacking just the one time is hard to beat. Better still, you don’t need to figure out the logistics of getting A to B.
Solo travel statistics suggest solo travellers of both genders worry about getting lost. Removing the need to travel between destinations eliminates this major source of stress.
4. It’s an easy way to meet other people
Loneliness can bite all solo travellers and it sucks.
Cruises are inherently very social experiences and are one of the best environments to meet other travellers. I’ve met some great people whilst propping up a bar on a cruise ship or taking part in one of the many organised activities on board.
5. There are ready-made groups of solo travellers
Many cruise lines host events for solo travellers. Norwegian Cruises have gone one step further and have a dedicated lounge for single travellers booked into one of their Studio Lounges.
6. Cruising as a single means that you don’t have to dine alone
One of the pet peeves of solo travellers is the dreaded table for one. Whilst the prospect of dining out alone no longer brings me out in a cold sweat, it is not something I relish.
A massive benefit of travelling alone on a cruise is that you don’t have to eat alone. Most cruise lines will gladly seat single travellers on a shared table in the main dining room, which is a fabulous way to talk to lots of different people.
Not all of these people may be your cup of tea. But it’s just for one evening and many more of your fellow diners will be fabulous company.
If you want to eat alone that’s perfectly fine. The choice is yours.
7. You can be as social as you wish
And that’s the thing. Although there are lots of opportunities to meet other people, you can spend much of the time on your own if that’s what you are craving.
There are no hard and fast rules. If you want to embrace the solitude of travelling alone and to recharge and rejuvenate, a solo cruise is a perfect opportunity to do this.
Be selfish in a good way. This is your holiday.
READ THIS NEXT: The Joy of Travelling Alone
8. Cruising solo can be very affordable
In terms of the best bang for your buck, cruises can be surprisingly cost-effective, considering what you get for that upfront cost.
For example; I paid just less than £1000 for sole occupation of a Club Balcony Cabin on my last solo cruise to the Western Mediterranean with NCL. As part of the package, a drinks package, 50 USD off each shore excursion and 280 USD onboard credit were included.
By any stretch of the imagination, this is astonishing value.
Historically, cruising has hit the pockets of solo travellers hard. The lack of single cruise cabins and single supplements approaching 100 per cent have penalised those travelling alone.
However, the tide is turning. Recognising the growing -and lucrative – solo traveller market, cruise lines are increasingly offering single cabins.
But it pays to do your homework as these single cabins are not always the bargain they might appear.
9. Cruises attract all ages of solo travellers
Put to bed the preconception that cruising is the preserve of octogenarians blowing their grandchildren’s inheritance.
Cruising is not just for more mature solo travellers.
The cruises on which I have travelled were filled with a much younger crowd. This is in line with research conducted for the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) Global Passenger Report, which puts the average age of a cruise passenger at 46.8 years old.
10. There’s a cruise itinerary for every type of solo traveller
Trust me; there’s a cruise out there for every type of solo traveller.
Whether you are a culture vulture wishing to explore the great European cities such as London, Barcelona or St. Petersburg, longing to sail in the aquamarine water of the Western Caribbean or wish to take scenic sailing to the extreme in Norway’s fjords, there’s a cruise itinerary for you.
Cruising Alone for the 1st Time: Cruises That I Loved!
Are you wondering which solo cruise you should pick? Here is the pick of the best cruises that I have taken as a single traveller.
Western Caribbean Cruise
This is the first cruise that I took and remains one of my favourites. It’s the most hassle-free of seeing parts of Central America that you could wish for.
Baltic Sea Cruise
Although off the cards at the time of writing, this is an easy way to visit St. Petersburg that doesn’t involve the hassle of a Russian visa.
Norway Fjords Cruise
Norway is ideal for first-time solo cruisers. These cruises are usually only a week in duration and feature outstanding scenery as you sail by.
Book a balcony cabin and enjoy!
The perfect way to visit some of Europe’s greatest cities without having to pack and unpack your bags. There can also be some good bargains to be had.
Is it Weird to Go on a Cruise by Yourself?
Taking a cruise by yourself may sound strange and even feel intimidating. However, it’s an extremely enjoyable and hassle-free experience.
Take it from someone who has been a solo cruiser five times.
Yes. People will ask you why you are cruising alone but for the most part, they are merely curious.
So just go for it! If you need a little kick-start, check out my comprehensive guide to planning your first cruise.
You won’t regret it.
READ THIS NEXT: Planning a Cruise Like a Pro! Top 10 Tips for First-Timers