Q –  Subject: Cruising Solo on the Danube


Can you please provide advice on which cruise line, or lines, would be most suitable for a woman who wishes to cruise solo? For example, are there lines that offer single cabins?  Arrange dinner tables to include solo travelers? I am an active, sixty year old, English speaking Canadian who enjoys meeting people from around the world. I like beautiful scenery, learning about new places and cultures, reading a good book, listening to music, walking and partaking in excellent food and drink. Is this too much to ask for? This will be my 6th trip to Europe but 1st time on a river cruise and 1st time travelling solo.

A –  There are really several questions here so we are going to have to give you a few recommendations. First, no river boat cruise line of quality builds single cabins – the economics are just not there on these small ships. There are no formal policies involving sitting singles together and creating the kind of environment, and stimulation, you are seeking.

Most travel agents will try to steer you toward Viking River or, perhaps, Avalon, as they have some favorable rates for singles. Our advice, however, would be for you to seek out, instead, the very best quality experience because it is there that you will likely find more sophisticated travelers. It strikes us that for meeting other people and overall quality, you might want to look at Scenic first. After that, we would recommend Tauck and Crystal. Each of these three lines will carry an upscale traveler with many having the kinds of travel and life experiences that might make for some interesting travel companions.

We would not book any line that is charging you a 100% supplement to travel single – that is just a rip-off. But if you find something on one of the better lines for a 50% supplement on one of the lines we have recommended we would advise you to strongly consider it.

Finally, if we have not sufficiently confused you, we would point out that river boats are highly scheduled affairs with little time for relaxing and book reading. From the description of what you really are seeking, it strikes us that a small ship, luxury cruising experience might be much more in keeping with your goals.

It might be best to discuss this with a local agent at home. If that is not possible or encouraging, it would be a privilege to further assist you. We trust that whichever waterway you choose, the trip exceeds your expectations.