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River Cruising and the solo traveler

Susan Wolfson

Are you a solo traveler?   Fantastic - you can make you're own agenda and do only the things you want to do.  But is a river cruise a good option?  This is a common question which we'll deal with in this post.

First, let's review some of the things that you need to consider when traveling alone.


Any type of lodging, be it hotel, ocean cruise or river cruise has a fixed amount of space.  If a bed or cabin is designed for two people, the supplier will price it on a per person basis, assuming double occupancy.  But to the supplier, the cost of the room or cabin is the same regardless of the number of people.  So most suppliers will add a single supplement.  Sometimes the supplement is double the per person rate which essentially keeps the cost of the room or cabin the same.  Sometimes the supplement is a multiplier like 1.5.  This recognizes the fact that the single will use less services (like included meals and drinks) but that the room or cabin still is a fixed cost which needs to be recovered.  And sometimes the single supplement is waived.

Some suppliers actually build-in cabins for singles.  These are priced accordingly and generally represent great deals.

Social atmosphere

Eating in a dining room full of couples can be no fun if you're traveling yourself.  So some companies design their dining rooms to have an odd number of seats at certain tables to accommodate a solo traveler.  This invites the single to sit at a table with others rather than alone.  Excursions are easy to join in no matter how many people are in the group.  We've seen lots of examples where a group of women will do one excursion while the men will  do another.  Since AmaWaterways offers several concurrent excursion options, this situation is pretty common.  Maybe on person takes a bike excursion while the other does the city tour.  This creates lots of opportunities to meet people one on one.

Fellow passengers

Another parameter to consider are your fellow travelers.  Certain cruises attract a friendlier crowd than others. Generally the smaller the ship and the more well traveled the passengers are, the friendlier they will be.  And of course it will be easier for the solo traveler to meet people if the fellow passengers are in the same general age bracket as well.

River cruises a great option for solo passengers

In our experience, river cruises are excellent for the single passenger.  Why?

A river cruise is a great option for the solo traveler AmaWaterways AmaCello outside Regensburg

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  • Many have single supplements waived.  We know that many cruises offered by  AmaWaterways has now waived their single supplements for many sailings.
  • Some tables in the dining room are designed with an odd number of chairs.
  • Fellow passengers are very friendly.  After a week aboard a vessel holding 150 people, you'll get to know pretty much everyone you'd like.  And river cruisers are generally very well traveled.  Also many river cruises are over 40 years old (average is 55 on AmaWaterways) and so either know many singles or were recently single themselves.
  • For younger solo passengers, a river cruise like U by Uniworld is perfect for singles since it's geared for the 21 - 45 year old market.

Want proof?  We have lots of single clients that travel frequently that met while on a river cruise.


Want to learn more?  Give us a call for a complete run down on traveling solo from the best itineries, teh best cabins and the best time of year. And don't forget to check out other posts on this blog.  You might enjoy this which describes 5 great reasons to river cruise.

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