Solo travel is more popular than ever before with lots of people packing up and deciding to explore the world independently. Cruising is the perfect way for solo explorers to travel, allowing easing transportation, a safe and secure environment, new people to meet and a new destination every day. What’s not to love? Here, we look at just why cruising is perfect for solo travellers, as well as talking to travel experts that have first-hand experience of sailing the seven seas solo.
Reasons to book a solo cruise:
You don’t need to worry about transport
One of the best things about cruising is that you don’t need to work out the logistics of getting from one location to another. Often, the combination of flying and travelling can be the biggest cause of anxiety for solo travellers. Especially if you want to visit multiple places on one trip. But cruising takes this stress away; once you’re on the ship you can unpack in your room and know that your transport is taken care of for the rest of the trip.
It’s a great way to meet new people
Thanks to the nature of cruising, you’re guaranteed to meet similar travellers while on board your ship. By taking part in on board activities, you’ll be able to mingle in no time and make some great travelling companions. If you’d rather stay independent, it’s easy to do that too. And, with so much to do, every hour of your day will be filled with excitement.
You can explore with shore excursions
If you’re worried about exploring a new city by yourself, you don’t need to be! Cruise lines offer a great range of shore excursions which means at every port, you’ll be able to follow a qualified and knowledgeable guide and explore with a group.
You can decide exactly how to spend your time
As with every holiday, there is so much to do - that certainly doesn’t change on a cruise. Being independent means you’re able to do whatever you want for every second of your holiday. Want to lie in and enjoy the view from your bed? Want to get up early and take a dip in the pool? Want to spend your day on the ship instead of exploring in port? The choice is yours! With no one to dictate your holiday, you can spend it exactly how you want.
Chatting to the solo travel experts:
Adam, Cruise Critic
We chatted to Adam Coulter, UK Managing Editor of Cruise Critic, he told us, “Cruising is a great way for solo travellers to meet new people and see a number of destinations all in one trip. With more Brits deciding to cruise alone, cruise lines have responded accordingly by increasing numbers of priced-for-one solo cruise cabins on both new and reconfigured ships, which means a wider choice for all holidaymakers travelling alone.
“Today, solo cruisers can expect tailored activity programmes, dedicated cocktail parties for mingling and dining companions handpicked for compatibility. There are also lots of opportunities to be sociable, with classes, seminars and shore excursions.”
Sage, Everyday Wanderer
After spending her childhood growing up all over the United States and Europe, Sage from Everyday Wanderer fell in love with travel and has passed that love on to her children. “There are hundreds of articles touting the reasons you should travel alone. At least once. Especially if you’re female,” Sage explained.
“Regardless of who you ask, the benefits of solo travel consistently include building confidence, feeling empowered and meeting new friends. As a midlife traveller and single mother, I already feel independent and I know I can manage whatever life throws my way. What I don’t have is deliciously selfish ‘me time’ and this is what makes travelling solo so rewarding.
“Although becoming a mother is a sisterhood of sorts, each woman has her own experience bringing her one-of-a-kind child into this world. Travelling solo is no different. While each of us can be enriched by travel, no two people will have the exact same adventure. They will observe and interpret each destination or activity in their own way. So, when you travel alone, embrace who you are and expect your experience to be as unique as you are.”
Gemma, Girls That Travel
Gemma started travelling solo at the age of 12 when she would journey to Newcastle by herself for the day. That passion for independent exploration has continued and she now runs Girls That Travel which aims to offer travel advice to girls looking to travel solo.
“Solo travel is rewarding in so many ways,” Gemma told us. “You find yourself having to rely 100% on you. You make all of the decisions and are in charge of all the planning. When we’re with others, we tend to lean on each other a lot. Being on your own forces you out of your comfort zone and you’re more likely to take part in activities or chat with people that you otherwise wouldn’t. You never know what you might end up going; surfing in Lisbon or practising your French in Paris.
“Another benefit is having time to yourself, so you can do exactly what you please. I think it’s important, if not essential, to spend time alone, to give yourself some quiet time, away from the daily noise of everyday life.”
If you’ve never travelled alone before, Gemma provided some pearls of wisdom, “Don’t overthink it but do think about what kind of trip you would like to take. What are you looking to get out of it? Do you need some downtime? Or are you yearning to try something new? Maybe even practise your language skills? Once you know what kind of trip it is that you’d like, book it. Once the trip has been booked it feels real. I still get anxious before every solo trip but now I recognise this as part of the journey and the nerves always disappear when I arrive.”
Suzanne, Phila Travel Girl
Suzanne from Phila Travel Girl became a solo traveller after being abandoned in Paris on Valentine’s Day. “My first solo cruise was to the Baltics (my friend cancelled and I needed a holiday),” Suzanne explained. “It wasn’t the ‘Love Boat’ I imagined but rather a ship full of interesting travellers all keen to explore the world. Everyone has a story to share and by the end of the cruise, you’ll likely have a plethora of new friends.
“All of the travel stress melts on a cruise. You don’t worry about finding food - it’s always available. You don’t need to take a train, plane or cab to the next destination. You unpack once. You choose to be social or not (chances are high that you will be adopted by other travellers especially if you’re good at trivia). You can lounge at the pool, attend an educational seminar or eat dessert all day. Your cruise is as individual as you are - it allows you to be who you are, experience what you want and be entertained along the way. Cruising lets me hit reset to recharge my mind, body and spirit with new destinations to explore.”