“Why do I have to pay double for a single cabin?” We get asked this question all the time. The worst thing for a single river cruise traveler is the single supplement. But don’t just get angry. It’s easy to avoid paying double by understanding the river cruise single market and how it works.
Most cruise lines do not have actual single cabins on board. River cruise ships don’t have actual single cabins – ones that are smaller than double cabins. Yes, that’s right. Single cabins are few and far between. I can think of maybe 20 ships in the whole of Europe which have one small cabin onboard, always on the bottom deck with no french balcony. A small cabin, on the lower deck and you can have it with no supplement. I’m not sensing much excitement about that option.
So, as a single customer you are usually getting the same size cabin as two people. This is why it looks like the cruise company is charging more for you to be in a double cabin, but on your own.
Sometimes a cruise line can take the decision to not charge a single traveler double, and lower the supplement. This usually happens when a cruise first goes on sale for a season, hence these discounted double cabins for sole use always sell out really quickly,
From then on, once these have sold out they will usually charge extra. This can be anywhere from 10% to 100% extra,
My advise is to book early to get either the single cabins or take up their early booking offers of no supplement.
What sort of holiday do I want as a single river cruise traveler?
Are you a solo traveler off to explore with like minded people? Then often you want to make sure you have a good social group on your trip and that you will have some other solo travelers to socialise and dine with. You don’t want to feel you are going to stick out like a sore thumb, but want to use the trip to make new friends and talk to some interesting people. You may also want the tour operator to have thought about you beyond the space in the cabin. Some even offer to pick you up from home, and a really nice idea is a dedicated tour manager who can get the group to interact and make sure that seats are reserved at dinner?
Are you a single river cruise traveler who is travelling with friends?
This is probably the most frustrating issue as you have all found a cruise you like and a date that will suit you all. And guess what? You have to pay the same price as your friends do in total for two people. Unfortunately on a river ship, there isn’t a way to give you half the space so that you pay half the cabin price. River cruise operators should really just give a cabin price and be done with it, but there you are.
With this in mid here are a couple of recommendations for single passengers.
Uniworld – Itineraries ideally suited for single river cruise travelers. An open seating plan at every meal, small group excursions, and kindred spirits who share your passion for fresh destinations. No single supplement or reduced the single supplement on many of their most popular itineraries! Book early for 2018, while space and no supplements are available.
Riviera Travel – have a number of departures with low supplements for both 2017 and 2018 from the Rhine in Germany to the Portugal Douro River most are window cabins for a very reasonable price, but again try to book early as not many cabins available.
Saga River cruise – has very reasonable prices for a single river cruise traveler, limited availability for 2017, and a good selection left for 2018 dates with low or no single supplement.
You can book some amazing river cruises through Europe and beyond with Global River Cruising, offering a range of fantastic itineraries and budgets suitable to your needs and preferences.