Traveling on solo cruises brings you a singular sense of independence and freedom. It is the ultimate “me time” to do exactly what you want, on your terms and according to your very own agenda. Plus, you won’t be the only one embarking on an independent journey, with a growing percent of U.S. leisure travelers vacationing on their own. We’ve come up with a few creative ways to enhance your experiences as well as share your vacation with others.
As a solo explorer, you can stretch your personal limits and sense of adventure while heading off-the-beaten-path alone or with the comfort of a group. Join other solo travelers white-water rafting in Costa Rica or pedal through Puglia on a biking tour with Butterfield & Robinson, which offers low single supplements and trips for every fitness level. You can also be socially active and combine your globetrotting with doing good on a volunteer vacation with Tauck World of Giving. Aid rangers with a variety of preservation and rehabilitation projects, while meeting others who want to improve the world.
Train journeys allow solo travelers to escape for hours watching some of the world’s most stunning landscapes roll past, or simply relax and catch up on a great book, while still being social in the dining car and observation lounge. Traverse rice paddy fields and rain forests of South East Asia aboard the Eastern & Oriental Express which features luxurious en suite Pullman cabins perfect for independent guests. On an adventure across the continent with Rail Europe, you can explore smaller, charming towns and villages where you’ll meet friendly local shop owners or fellow diners in a small café.
Tours with an educational slant gather individuals with the same objective in mind and foster an instantaneous sense of classroom camaraderie. Take a Catalan cooking course in Barcelona, or a French immersion program in the Loire Valley. Embark on an exotic journey to Peruvian ruins with Ker & Downey as you explore the history of Machu Picchu by day and luxuriate in eco-friendly lodges by night. Improve your photography skills snapping penguins in Antarctica or the rugged pampas of Patagonia; Lindblad Expeditions brings a National Geographic photographer aboard every departure on its flagship, National Geographic Explorer. You’ll acquire new skills, confidence and a cadre of friends.
For the perfect melding of peaceful relaxation and social engagement, minus the plus one, there are many cruises ideally suited for individual travelers. Cunard Line® seats solo vacationers together and has hosts available for dancing. Crystal Cruises pays close attention to those sailing by themselves, offering assigned dining room seating as well as a “Table for 8” program, which allows independent travelers to dine at specialty restaurants together. Crystal Cruises also hosts parties exclusive to those traveling alone, as well as offers language lessons and astronomy classes that always prove to be a great way to meet and form instantaneous bonds with like-minded people. AmaWaterways on select river cruises. And with Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, you can wave goodbye to solo surplus charges no matter which accommodations you opt for during select itineraries, such as the quintessential seven-night oenophile adventure, “Bordeaux, Vineyards & Châteaux” or nine-night “Tulips & Windmills” tour from the Netherlands’ Amsterdam to Belgium’s Antwerp.
A solo journey is a wonderful way to follow your whims and feed your soul. Voyage within and recommit to your health and well-being on a spa vacation at Canyon Ranch; choose the lush Sonoran desert near Tucson, Arizona or the Berkshires of Massachusetts. Both resorts feature a comprehensive spa menu and more than 90 complimentary activities and classes ranging from breath work and chakra meditation to fitness classes and guided hikes. Embark on a yoga retreat at El Silencio Lodge & Spa, an eco-luxury hotel in the Costa Rican cloud forest, or pamper yourself with a series of signature treatments at Bushmans Kloof, Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat located in South Africa. Focusing solely on yourself, free of distractions, makes a journey within all the more powerful.
Look for vacations specifically created to give solo travelers access to exotic locales in a safe, informative way. Tour companies such as Cox & Kings design special journeys for women traveling alone to such far-flung destinations as Turkey, Southeast Asia and India. Abercrombie & Kent’s Arctic journeys are some of the most popular guided tours among independent travelers. Embark on board Le Boreal to the islands of Svalbard Archipelago on “Arctic Cruise Norway: Polar Bears & the Midnight Sun,” and explore the coastal city of Tromsø, with stops at the Tromsø Museum and the scenic Arctic Cathedral.
It’s inevitable that you’ll walk away from these solo experiences with not only wonderful memories, but also greater self-awareness and fulfillment. So whatever you dream of doing, wherever you want to go and whomever you choose to meet up with along the way, we will help you customize a journey solely for you along with finding you the best solo travel deals.