Cruise Report: Shun Valentine's Day and run away to sea
Saturday 08 February 2014
Valentine's Day is looming. However, if you feel like opting out, you might celebrate your independence by booking a holiday on board a cruise ship. Shared dinner tables, cocktail parties, deck games, group shore excursions and even professional dance partners can make a cruise the ideal holiday for a solo traveller.
Unfortunately, it can also come with a cruelly high price tag. With a dearth of single cabins on most ships – P&O's new ship Britannia, will have just 27 single cabins out of 1,837 – the alternative is to pay for a double cabin at a supplement, sometimes as much as 100 per cent, but usually about 70 per cent, which is bad enough. Solo passengers aren't encouraged by most cruise lines, even though a recent survey by the online cruise agency bonvoyage.com found that on average lone cruisers spend more than twice as much on extras (on average £495 per cruise) as people sailing in a couple or group.
One company, Holland America Line (0843 374 1300; hollandamerica.co.uk), has a Single Partners Program. Here you pay your fare based on the per-person-price for two sharing and if they can't find you a room mate of the same sex, you get the twin cabin to yourself with no extra charge. Pot luck, but could be interesting. Single fares start at £743 for a one-week cruise to Norway from Dover on 3 May.
Most lines have periodic "no single supplement" offers but they are snapped up fast. So keep a watch on the cruise lines' websites or get a travel agent to keep an eye out for you. Currently Swan Hellenic (0844 417 1939; swanhellenic.com) has no single supplements aboard Minerva, sailing for 17 days from Barbados on 29 March to Tenerife, from £1,999 including flights. Book by 28 February.
Ramblers Worldwide (01707 386767; www.cruiseandwalk.co.uk) has five cruise-and-walk holidays this year carrying no supplements for single occupancy of twin cabins with sea views, if booked before 28 February. For example, sail for 12 nights, on a round trip from Harwich down to Porto aboard Fred Olsen's mid-size, traditional ship Black Watch on 20 May for £1,250.
Norwegian Cruise Line (0845 201 8900; ncl.co.uk) has come up with "The Studios" on its three newest ships. Norwegian Epic has 128 cleverly designed, one-passenger cabins with wide beds. Norwegian Breakaway and Norwegian Gateway have 59 similar studio cabins on board. The studios are grouped around their own private lounge with a bar where the occupants can meet and mingle over coffee or a drink. A one-week Caribbean cruise aboard Getaway on 22 August from Miami costs from £1,601 in a Studio cabin, including flights.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 4 Homer Simpson takes the ALS ice bucket challenge because of course he does
- 5 Hello Kitty is not a cat after all
Exclusive: We share blame for creating 'jihad generation', says Muslim strategist
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
- < Previous
- Next >
£30 - 35k + Uncapped Comission (£70k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Business Develop...
£18k + Uncapped Commission (£60k Y1 OTE): Guru Careers: A Graduate Sales Exe...
£25 - 60k (DOE): Guru Careers: A Web Developer / Software Developer is needed ...
£6000 - £50000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: Oracle 11...