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The 8 Best Singles’ Cruises for Solo Travelers

Cruising is back! If you're craving a solo vacation at sea, the perfect stateroom, itinerary, and activities are waiting for you on one of these singles' cruises.

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Rear View Of Woman Looking At Sea Against SkyZhanen Mo/Getty Images

Benefits of a singles’ cruise

There are a variety of reasons why you might want to take a cruise as a single person or solo traveler. Maybe you’re coming out of a relationship and want to meet new and interesting people in an all-inclusive environment. Maybe you thrive on self-discovery and individual experiences. Or maybe you just want to go on lots of cruises, with or without the people you love. No matter your specific situation, there’s a cruise ship, sailing itinerary, slew of onboard activities, and variety of shore excursions tailored to the solo cruiser. Here are the best singles’ cruises to check out.

Not sure how to choose? Find your ideal cruise vacation, according to your zodiac sign.

Scenic View Of Sea Against SkyRossella Terranegra/Getty Images

How we chose the best singles’ cruises

We’ve scoured the web, talked to cruise experts, and cruised by ourselves to get the scoop on the best way to solo cruise. We looked at which cruise lines offer single staterooms priced for one, which ships have onboard activities appealing to single cruisers, and discovered the cruise itineraries with the best ports of call for solo travelers. The result is a list spanning many classes of cruise ship and price points, so if you want to get away from landlocked life and enjoy the single life at sea, one of these cruises will be perfect for you.

Norwegian Breakaway Poolvia tripadvisor.com

Best overall cruise for solo travelers

Norwegian Breakaway

Norwegian Cruise Line is consistently recognized as the leader in singles’ cruises, thanks to studio cabins sized and priced perfectly for one and a lounge area for single travelers to meet and mingle. For a memorable solo cruise, check out the port-heavy Caribbean itinerary on Norwegian Breakaway. You’ll get plenty of shore time in Cozumel, Roatán, Harvest Caye, and Costa Maya, with extra fun available before and after the cruise in the departure port of New Orleans. If you’re not comfortable taking a cruise with COVID-19 still in play, save this idea as an ideal solo cruise to take after the pandemic.

What to expect:

  • Single pricing for studio cabins
  • Singles activities like bar crawls, meetups, ropes courses, and climbing walls
  • Free open bar and Wi-Fi
  • First-class entertainment on board with the Broadway musical Six, a 21st-century girl-power remix of five hundred years of historical Henry VIII heartbreak
  • Weekly sailings from November through the winter months for a solo escape from the cold
  • Departure from New Orleans, the ultimate port city for singles

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Ovation Of The Seas cruisevia tripadvisor.com

Best cruise for active singles

Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas

Thanks to studio staterooms without the usual single supplement fee (which can double the cost of the vacation for a single cruiser), plus a wealth of onboard activities, the Royal Caribbean Ovation of the Seas is our pick for the best singles’ cruise for active vacationers. You’ll enjoy either an inside studio stateroom, virtual balcony stateroom, or a super studio ocean view stateroom with a balcony to rest up for your next onboard activity—and on the Ovation of the Seas, there’s no shortage of those! What’s even better is that the Ovation of the Seas takes active singles to see glaciers, whales, and more during the weekly Alaskan cruises from Seattle, which run through the fall. You’ll see spectacular wildlife there, though it probably won’t be as surprising as the craziest things cruise workers have seen aboard cruise ships.

What to expect:

  • Supplement-free studio rooms
  • Full-size basketball court
  • iFly experience
  • Bumper cars
  • Sushi-making classes
  • Disco parties
  • Flowrider surf-simulator
  • Alaska itinerary not offered in the winter

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Regal Princess Ta Listings 1via tripadvisor.com

Best cruise for seniors

Regal Princess

For elegance and world-class amenities, seniors traveling solo will fall in love with the Princess cruise experience. Aboard ships like the Regal Princess, you will enjoy daily cocktail parties and the chance to get dressed up and strut your stuff with like-minded older adults. After all, you already have something in common: Cruising! In the fall, the Regal Princess leaves Southampton, England, for a Belgium and Netherlands sampler cruise, giving you a taste of life in Brussels and Rotterdam over the course of a scintillating five-day sailing. From there, you can indulge your artistic side with Vincent van Gogh in Amsterdam and Piet Mondrian and M.C. Escher in The Hague. Or tour the windmills of Holland during any number of fine excursions.

What to expect:

  • World-class itineraries taking single seniors to the best European cities
  • Singles-only nights aboard the ship
  • Excursions like hikes and walks around small villages, which offer unique chances to meet new people
  • Wine tasting sessions
  • Cooking classes
  • No single staterooms available; receive a 50 percent single supplement when a cruise is booked early

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Best cruise for foodies

Celebrity Apex

The second in Celebrity’s Edge series of ocean liners is the cruise line’s ship with most single staterooms (24), increasing your odds of meeting other single cruisers. The ship itself is stunning and the cabins spacious for single foodies looking for a solo vacation at sea, but the culinary scene on the Celebrity Apex is the star of this show. Through 29 distinctive restaurants, bars, and lounges, you’ll discover more of the destinations you are visiting during your itinerary because the Michelin-starred chefs and mixologists onboard work to bring the flavors, ingredients, and cultures of each port onto the ship. It’s a dining experience unparalleled in the world of cruising, which makes it perfect for a solo foodie wanting to taste adventure. To ensure that you enjoy every single bite, you have to avoid getting sick on a cruise.

What to expect:

  • Spacious single staterooms
  • Solo cabins with an Infinite Veranda
  • Floating Magic Carpet platform
  • The best cruise ship food at sea
  • Winter 2021 cruises in Europe visiting Athens, Santorini, and Dubrovnik
  • If you’re looking for waterslides and youthful kinds of fun on board, the Celebrity Apex is not your ship.

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Norwegian Blissvia tripadvisor.com

Best cruise for singles on a budget

Norwegian Bliss

On most cruise ships, the cabins are priced for two guests. This means that even if you are looking to enjoy a vacation at sea as a solo cruiser, you end up paying extra to have a stateroom all to yourself. Not so on Norwegian! The handsome, custom-designed single-studio staterooms—an industry first—provide solo cruisers with an affordable and stylish way to set sail. As an added benefit, singles in the Norwegian Studios get exclusive key card access to the Studio Complex and Lounge. This is a shared private area to mingle, have a drink, watch TV, and maybe meet someone with whom you could enjoy the rest of the cruise. In the morning, you and your new friend(s) can relax in the Lounge with a cup of complimentary coffee or espresso. Just be sure to avoid these things polite people never do on a cruise.

What to expect:

  • Free At Sea program offering a free open bar, Wi-Fi, excursions, and specialty dining
  • Single pricing for studio staterooms
  • Free Broadway-caliber theater productions, hilarious comedy shows, and epic dance parties
  • Enjoy the beaches on a budget with a Mexican Riviera itinerary, stopping in Puerto Vallarta, Cabo, and Mazatlán.

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Best cruise for beach lovers

Carnival Mardi Gras

The newest ship on America’s most trusted cruise line makes weekly trips to the Caribbean from Port Canaveral, Florida, so a solo cruiser can easily pop into a Disney park or The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios before or after the cruise. There’s a brilliant and affordable Western Caribbean seven-day cruise itinerary available, which makes three straight port calls in sandy slices of heaven: Cozumel, Costa Maya, and Mahogany Bay. It will delight solo beach lovers looking for long days with their toes buried in the warm sand and a fruity beverage in their hands.

What to expect:

  • Brand-new ship
  • Great beaches at a great price for solo cruisers
  • First roller coaster at sea
  • RedFrog Tiki Bar
  • Brewery on board where you can meet other beer lovers
  • No single supplement reduction on Carnival cruises
  • Demand for the new ship means prices are high for 2021 sailings.

Book Now

Best river cruise for solo travelers

AmaWaterways Christmas Markets on the Danube

Starting in Budapest, Hungary, and concluding in Vilshofen, Germany, this remarkable river cruise will open the doors to four countries—Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, and Germany—and three iconic capitals—Budapest, Bratislava, and Vienna—when they’re decked out in their holiday finest. Solo cruisers will meet others interested in experiencing Christmas trees glittering with thousands of lights, bells ringing from cathedral towers, and adorable European children regaling visitors with carols. The best secret in cruising right now is that AmaWaterways is waiving the single supplement cost on select ships in Europe with specially designed 140-square-foot, single-occupancy staterooms and French balconies. Every cruise ship has its own secrets waiting to be discovered, but here are some secrets that cruise lines won’t tell you.

What to expect:

  • Frequent solo traveler specials
  • Elegant cruise experience
  • Even with single supplement reductions, AmaWaterways river cruises may be cost-prohibitive for some travelers.
  • Traditionally, river cruises do not offer the bevy of entertainment and activities that a larger ocean liner provides.

Book Now

Scarlet Lady Virgin cruisevia tripadvisor.com

Best cruise for millennials

Virgin Voyages

The newest cruise line on the scene will disrupt the industry by doing away with buffets and Broadway-style musicals in favor of dozens of small-scale eateries, innovative modern performances, and 100 percent free Wi-Fi and exercise classes. (Most beverages are free too!) Richard Branson’s Virgin Voyages will win over millennials skeptical of cruising with its private beach bonfire parties, risqué after-hours entertainment, plant-based food choices, and striking interior design. Virgin has a private beach club that will surely rank as one of the best beaches in the world.

What to expect:

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Complimentary soda, coffee, juices, and tea
  • Swing chairs on all balcony stateroom decks
  • Free group exercise classes
  • 20 intimate dining spots
  • No kids under 18 on board
  • Limited itineraries
  • Only four- or five-night cruises

Book Now

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Jeff Bogle
Jeff Bogle is an Iris Award-winning photographer, avid traveler, and English football fanatic who regularly covers travel, culture, cars, health, business, the environment, and more for Reader's Digest. Jeff has also written for Parents Magazine, Esquire, PBS, and Good Housekeeping, among other publications. He is the proud dad of teen daughters. You can follow his adventures on Instagram and Twitter @OWTK.

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