8 of the most exciting cruises for singles

The cruises with room for singles who want to mingle as well as solo independent travellers.

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Gone are the days when solo travel was contrary to the norm. These days, the solo traveller can be found in all corners of the world and cruise liners have caught onto this trend. Many offer services, experiences and accommodation perfect for a party of one without making you feel like you’re on an island of isolation.

If you’re looking for your next adventure, becoming a single traveller on one of these liners could be where it starts. So take the plunge and start cruising solo.

Bungee jumping in Norwegian

1. Norwegian Cruise Line

Norwegian is the forerunner for single accommodation on the seas and offers one-bed studios for singles, which don't require a single supplement.

Seasoned single travellers will be well-versed with the "single supplement" fee. It's a charge placed on singles who want their own room instead of purchasing twin share. Norwegian doesn't charge this on ships with single studio cabins.

  • Best cruise for: Young singles in their 20s and 30s.
  • Social single activities: Bar crawls, singles meetups and deck parties.
  • Best cabin for singles: Studio.
  • Single supplements? No.

People dancing

2. P&O Cruises

Many of P&O's cabins are configured with twin beds that can be converted into a queen bed, making them ideal for solo travellers and single parents.

Whether you want to relax in the adults-only Oasis retreat with a cocktail in hand or bump into strangers at one of its nine bars and nightclubs, P&O can make your ideal trip happen.

  • Best cruise for: Young singles and single parents.
  • Solo activities: Bars, nightclubs, comedy club, sailaway, bianco and nero parties.
  • Best cabin for singles: Interior, oceanview and suites have twin beds that convert to queens
  • Single supplements? Yes. Details of this are given upon booking.
Go to P&O Cruises website

Ziplining

3. Holland America Line

Holland America offers sophisticated cruising to destinations worldwide and a Single Partners Program for like-minded singles to meet.

Not long after the cruise departs, each Holland America ship facilitates a gathering for its solo passengers. It's an opportunity to meet, make friends and organise events to participate in together.

  • Best cruise for: Senior singles and over 40s.
  • Solo activities: Cooking classes, computer instruction classes and dance parties for single ladies on certain sailings.
  • Best cabin: Singles who agree to share a stateroom with another single of the same sex can avoid paying the double occupancy rate. Holland America can search for the partner for you.
  • Single supplements? No. However, Holland America will try and facilitate a shared room if you agree.

Woman walking in Cunard

4. Cunard

This luxury line boasts premium and personalised services whether you're a party of one or a group of 20.

Fuel your thirst for knowledge and adventure with Cunard's wide range of activities and enrichment programs. This line goes above and beyond to make your onboard experience a fruitful one by offering musical event cruises, literary and culinary speakers.

  • Best cruise for: Senior singles and over 50s.
  • Solo activities: Guest speakers, musical productions, Shakespearean plays and night dancing.
  • Best cabin: All three Cunard ships have at least nine single-occupancy cabins. The Queen Mary 2 has 15 ocean-view cabins for solo travellers.
  • Single supplements? Yes, single travellers who wish to stay in a double occupancy room can pay a sole occupancy supplement. Fares vary.

Man in a swimming pool

5. Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines

Solo seniors reap the benefits of no single supplements on select twin rooms with Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines.

Fred. Olsen draws a select crowd of more mature types seeking an intimate cruise journey. For singles, it provides a warm, social atmosphere and charges no single supplement fees on select sailings.

  • Best cruise for: Senior singles.
  • Solo activities: Shopping, live performances, spa, fitness centre, gaming tables, library and golf nets.
  • Best cabin: Twin room with no single supplement. Ask when you book.
  • Single supplements? No. Fred. Olsen doesn't charge for single supplements on select cruises and room grades.

People jumping out of a ship

6. Contiki

Live with no regrets, take that solo sailing trip with Contiki.

Although not a cruise line, Contiki does offer sailings to many destinations through the Mediterranean, Great Barrier Reef and more. Its tours are geared toward youths 18-35 years old and include many social activities for you to get to make new friends.

  • Best cruise for: Young singles in their 20s and 30s.
  • Solo activities: Diving, swimming and onshore exploration.
  • Best cabin: Cabins vary per ship and are comparable to one another.
  • Single supplements? Available on some trips at an added cost or you can be paired up with another solo traveller on select tours.
Go to Contiki website

Woman sitting on a boat

7. G Adventures

You only live once, so live that life with a G Adventures solo adventure.

You might be familiar with G Adventures as an outgoing tour company, but they also specialise in cruise expeditions, river cruises and sailings around the world. Most sailings are shared accommodation making them ideal for solo travellers.

  • Best cruise for: Young singles in their 20s and 30s.
  • Solo activities: Snorkelling, whale spotting and onshore exploration.
  • Best cabin: Cabin bunks vary per ship and are usually comparable with one another.
  • Single supplements? No. Most trips offer shared accommodation and you will be paired with another traveller of the same sex.
Go to G Adventures website

Europe

8. Topdeck

Specialising tours for 18 to 30 something and get that freedom to choose your own adventure as solo traveller.

Although Topdeck is not a cruise line but it also specialises in cruise expeditions, river cruises and sailings around the world with the value for money.

  • Best cruise for: Young singles in their 20s and 30s.
  • Solo activities: Snorkelling, whale spotting and onshore exploration.
  • Best cabin: Cabins vary per ship and are comparable to one another.
  • Single supplements? Available on some trips at an added cost or you can be paired up with another solo traveller on select tours.
Go to Topdeck website

Best cruise lines for singles over 50

  • Cunard. There are single-occupancy staterooms on offer, pub trivia, lively educational lectures and even a traditional afternoon tea if you want to meet other singles. If not, you also have ample opportunities to indulge in some alone time.
  • Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines. With exclusive gatherings for singles, dance partners on-call and thoughtful solo traveller tables as well as the relatively small size of the ships, you'll find it easy to meet and mingle when you want to.
  • Holland America Line. Along with their solo traveller parties, Holland America will also make a special effort to seat singles with other singles at dinner if requested.
  • Celebrity Cruises. Ships are designed to be accessible for guests with limited mobility and are wheelchair accessible. You'll also have the opportunity to mingle with other singles at dedicated meet and greet parties, meet-ups and a variety of activities onboard.

Best cruise lines for singles over 40

  • Holland America Line. Each sailing hosts a solo travellers party to start and a variety of other activities to help you mingle, including dance classes, wine tasting and trivia contests.
  • Norwegian Cruise Line. Singles meet-ups, solo cruiser discount, studio staterooms for one with special lounge access and even an onboard pub crawl for some after-hours fun are just some of the ways Norwegian takes care of single travellers.
  • Uniworld. If a river cruise is in your future, you can't look much further than Uniworld. There's often no or low single-supplements, small group excursions, open seating at every meal and like-minded travellers for you to meet.
  • Royal Caribbean. You'll find dedicated studio cabins for singles and a variety of onboard activities, such as wine-tasting demonstrations, cooking classes and group fitness activities, that allow you to socialise.

Best gay cruises for singles

  • Celebrity Cruises. With LGBT welcome parties, a variety of social hours onboard and a massive Pride Party at Sea each Pride Month, Celebrity might just be the top pick.
  • Princess Cruises. There are meet-ups each sea day and planned events aimed at the LGBT community along with dedicated male-specific gay cruises.
  • Royal Caribbean. Ships have often been chartered for LGBT events and groups and Royal Caribbean has been recognised through various awards as being gay travel-friendly.

Cruises for singles: Single supplements

Cruise Line Single Supplement? Option to be paired with another solo cruiser?
Norwegian No, single cabins available. No.
P&O Yes N/A
Holland America No Yes
Cunard Yes N/A
Fred Olsen No, it's free to stay in a room on your own N/A
Contiki Available on select trips Yes
G Adventures Not available. Yes
Topdeck Available on select trips Yes

Importance of cruise travel insurance

Cruises come with enough costs as is, with drinks and shore excursions quickly adding up - not to mention any single supplements you may be paying as a solo cruiser. You don't want any mishaps in your plan to add to all that.

And that's where a cruise travel insurance policy can help. On top of what regular travel insurance policies can offer, it can cover you if cruise-specific protection for things like lost or damaged formal wear, missed cruise ports and cabin confinement.


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