Cruising is a great way to see the world and meet new people. It combines many of the features of a luxury hotel with comfortable, leisurely transport. However, for older singles, cruising can seem a little daunting. Most cruises do not cater to solo travellers. Fortunately, there are companies that specialise in meeting the needs of over-fifties singles. They offer single cabins without a single's supplement, plus ample opportunities to mingle with fellow solo cruisers. The UK is a good starting point for seeing the rest of Europe with other English-speaking travellers.
When it comes to over-50s travel from the UK, SAGA is the clear leader. They specialise in a wide range of holidays for older people, including singles. SAGA understands the unique needs and demands of over-50s.
The Ruby is one of Saga's most popular cruise ships, voted top for cruises by Which? magazine survey, 2009. Choose from a range of destinations including Africa, the Baltics and Scandinavia, the British Isles, the Canaries, Greenland, the Mediterranean, and the Caribbean. The ship has a large number of single cabins, available without an additional single supplement. The sociable atmosphere makes it easy to meet new people. The dining rooms and restaurants have seating for groups of up to 10 people. There's a cinema, a library, a ballroom, a spa, and even a computer centre on board. The gym offers yoga and Pilates classes. Fancy a dance but can't find a partner? Saga provides dance hosts who will be happy to accompany you to the dance floor.
Saga saga.co.uk +44 (0)800 096 0083
Saga Pearl II
With a capacity of 446, the Pearl is smaller than the Ruby, though equally popular with singles travellers. It offers many of the same services, though has fewer amenities. Relax and make new friends at Shackleton's bar. For those who have extra energy, there's a well-equipped gym. Afterwards, treat yourself to a massage at the spa. Afternoon tea is served daily in the Discovery Lounge. Want to learn something new? Saga offers art and cooking classes, in addition to a wide range of live entertainment. After a long day of activities, don't be tempted to pass up an invitation to the Captain's Cocktail Party. It's the perfect opportunity to meet other single travellers.
Adventure on the Nile
Established in 1982, Solo's caters to single travellers of all ages. They offer cruises for people over the age of 45, as well as for those ages 30-59.
The MS Soleil is a cross between a cruise ship and a floating hotel. With just 34 cabins, there's a good chance you'll know every other guest by the end of the eight-day trip. On board facilities are limited but include a swimming pool and sun deck. The cruise begins in Luxor, followed by Edfu. You will have a chance to see the Necropolis of Thebes and the Valley of the Kings. You will spend the next two days in Aswan, visiting the High Dam and Philae Temple complex on Agilika Island. Day six includes a visit to the magnificent Temple of Kôm Ombo before leisurely cruising back to Luxor. The cruise package includes a return flight from London.
Solo's Holidays +44-844-815-0005 solosholidays.co.uk