7 Secret Reasons Why Cruising is Perfect for Solo Travellers (Number 3 May Be the Most Compelling)
I love travelling solo! I enjoy the freedom, solitude and peaceful time to myself. Like many women, I am an introvert at heart, but have a passion for all kinds of travel experiences. Because I also love being close to the sea, solo cruising has its own special attraction.
Solo cruising is the one form of travel that allows a unique kind of controlled serendipity. During a cruise, you can hide away in your cabin or find a quiet spot on board. You can be alone for as long as you desire! Or you may decide you want to be more social and venture out to explore the ship. It is your choice. You can meet new people, join a conversation or enjoy an abundance of food, drink and entertainment options anytime you like.
The great news is wherever you go on board, you are going to meet people who have at least one passion in common – cruising! So, can feel relaxed amongst like-minded travellers. Not only that, you will be surprised how many other solo travellers you will meet.
Recently I have been wonderfully surprised to see how many solo women are hitting the high seas! Women of all ages travelling solo are rediscovering their passion for travel and not letting the ‘stay at home’ script that has defined women in the past hold them back.
Solo travellers are making waves! We know what we want and are influencing cruise line policies. We are pushing for change. In fact, the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) says that 10 percent of their passengers are solo travellers. It is an exciting time to be cruising on your own!
Solo and Single are Not the Same Thing
Many people confuse solo cruising with themed “singles” cruises. Solo cruisers choose to travel alone. Perhaps their partner or friends are not ‘cruise people’. Maybe they just like the feeling of being at sea, seeing the world by themselves for a few weeks. Singles cruises on the other hand are themed cruises organised to connect singles for friendship or romance.
So, I cruise solo and it suits me perfectly. Here are 7 reasons why I think cruising is a perfect option for solo travellers.
You Will Never Be Lonely
If you start the cruise alone and then feel a little isolated or lonely, you just have to step outside your cabin door! There are of course daily shore excursions where you can meet others. While on board and during sea days, the ship’s daily guide lists activities you can join. There are usually yoga, dance, cooking or other educational and intriguing fun classes to join. Or you can join an expert presentation or attend a informational talk to learn about the next port of call.
Secret Places to Explore Are Everywhere
There are cafes, libraries and hidden meeting places everywhere onboard today’s cruise ships. The internet room is usually full of fascinating fellow travellers happy to share their experiences and cruise stories. The truth is that you are never completely alone on a cruise – unless that is your desire.
Unpack Once and Then Completely Relax!
One of the things I love most about cruising is that you unpack your suitcase just one time. You can then push it under the bed and forget about it for the duration of the cruise. I do love train travel but if you are visiting several cities in a week, you are constantly digging in your suitcase for that missing socks. Cruising is a totally different experience. It’s like a home away from home!
When deciding what to pack for a cruise, there are many wonderful web sites to consult. I wrote this article on cruise packing and things I always forget, based on my own experiences.
Discover New Places Every Day
The one thing I love most about cruising, is that most days you wake up to a completely new place on earth! River cruising is especially unique because your ship is often moored within minutes of the town centre.
Ocean cruising takes you far and wide – you become a world traveller. My favourite Mediterranean cruise was a totally unique experience. It was a Nomad Cruise on Pullmantur with hundreds of young entrepreneurs. The days were filled with workshops, gatherings and we explored Malaga, Madeira, Malta, Crete, and Athens. Every day was an unbelievable adventure! I started as a solo traveller and left with many new friends I am still in touch with today.
There Is Always Something to Do
Modern cruise ships offer an amazing choice of entertainment and activity. Whether you enjoy sport, swimming, dancing, eating or more intellectual pursuits, there is something for everyone.
In fact, some of the larger cruise ships are like amusement parks. Some of the most unique cruise ship experiences include the Carnival Sky Ride, Royal Caribbean FlowRider, and Norwegian’s Race Track. Extreme Pampering is also offered on many ships. You can indulge in body treatments, massage, hot and dry saunas and steam rooms. Viking includes a signature Nordic spa room with a snow room!
Pushes You Out of Your Comfort Zone
Travelling solo does not have to be a sedentary experience. In fact, I have discovered that while travelling alone, I’ve met up with other solo travellers. We have often encouraged each other to stretch ourselves and try new things we may have hesitated to do alone. On a recent Fred Olsen Cruise, I tried some tango dance classes and found myself pushing my comfort zone just a little more than I expected.
Single Supplements Have Come a Long Way Baby!
There was once a time if you cruised solo, you’d be hit by the dreaded single supplement. There were often very few activities for solo travellers and no single berth cabins. Things have changed.
For example, Norwegian Line offers single studio cabins and Fred. Olsen Cruise Line’s fleet offers a wide range of single cabins. They are also very upfront about their offers for solo travellers and I can personally recommend them as a great option for solo She Cruises readers!
While sharing a cabin might be the only option for financial reasons, some lines and travel agents help pair unrelated same-gender adults. Grand Circle Cruise Line has a free Roommate Matching Service.
Solo travellers can take to their own social media channels to find a roommate and reduce costs. Finally, there are so many Solo Travel Facebook groups! Solo cruising is a safe and enjoyable way to gain confidence, relax and enjoy making new friends and see new places in this beautiful world.
What attracts you most to solo cruising? Or do you prefer to cruise with a partner or friend? What cruise lines do you believe offer a great experience for solo travellers?