10 of the Best Cruises for Solo Travelers at Any Age

Here are some of the best cruises for singles of all ages.

Traveling the world without having to pack and unpack multiple times is ideal. And on a cruise, that's a reality as you head from destination to destination on what is basically a moving luxury hotel (or a floating city, in some cases).

Being able to sleep in Bratislava and wake up in Budapest in five-star-worthy accommodations without having to drag all your stuff with you is as convenient as it is luxurious. But cruises aren't just for couples or families — they're great for singles as well.

Lady on cruise
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Colleen McDaniel, the editor-in-chief of Cruise Critic, tells Travel + Leisure that cruises are a great place to meet new people. Some ships have single cabins, host parties for single passengers, or even waive the single supplement fee (river cruises tend to do that most often).

For example, Norwegian Cruise Line offers studio cabins for single travelers that include access to an exclusive lounge with complimentary espresso and snacks. "One of the benefits of sailing as a single is cruises are generally social. That's how they're designed," McDaniel says. "If you're somebody who's comfortable traveling by themselves and looks to make friends on vacation, there's no shortage of people you're going to meet."

But while younger travelers might want to hop around Europe and party every night, someone in their 50s may be interested in a longer cruise with opportunities for cultural immersion. Whatever your travel style, here are the best cruises for singles of any age.

Cruises for Singles in Their 20s

Cruises that last three to five nights are great for singles in their 20s, in part because they're less expensive, McDaniel says. If you do end up having to pay for a single supplement, "it's a little bit less of a hit to your wallet."

New cruise line Virgin Voyages offers exciting journeys aboard their ultra-Instagrammable ship, Scarlet Lady. The four-night Fire and Sunset Soirees cruise from Miami is ideal for travelers in their 20s or 30s looking for a healthy mix of party and wellness. All cruisers must be fully vaccinated and test negative for COVID-19 upon boarding.

Another great option is a three-day cruise to the Bahamas from Miami on Norwegian Sky. The ship was refurbished in 2019 and offers 10 dining options, a full-service Starbucks, and a casino for late-night bonding around the blackjack table with your new shipmates. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required upon boarding for guests ages 12 and up.

Norwegian Sky Cruise
Courtesy of Norwegian Cruise Line

Cruises for Singles in Their 30s

According to McDaniel, cruisers in their 30s are likely looking for a good mix of "bustling nightlife and engaging in classes, but they also really want to explore and experience culture." She says river cruises that offer things like silent discos and paint-and-wine classes appeal to this age group.

The eight-day Vienna Vibe cruise from U by Uniworld is a great option (note the cruise line is on hiatus until 2023). This cruise line was originally built to cater to millennials, and this itinerary includes excursions like a walking tour of Vienna and biking around Passau. On board, morning yoga classes and a rooftop ice bar ensure guests will always have something to do. A negative COVID-19 test may be required for unvaccinated passengers when entering foreign countries.

Other travelers might want to opt for a South American adventure with National Geographic. The 10-day Upper Amazon river cruise aboard the Delfin II offers a chance to spot diverse wildlife within this impressive ecosystem.

Cruises for Singles in Their 40s

Upscale, bigger cruises on ships from Princess, Holland America, and Celebrity will likely appeal to cruisers in their 40s, McDaniel says. These cruises tend to be a bit more expensive, but "appeal because they have some really great excursions and might go off the beaten path. They're destination-immersive experiences."

The seven-night Galapagos Southern Loop on Celebrity Xpedition is one fantastic option. The Galapagos Islands are a great destination for solo travelers and this cruise is a solid way to see them. Search for sea turtles, sea lions, and blue-footed boobies during the day, and spend the evening in the ship's hot tub or take in one of the nightly lectures by certified naturalists from the Galapagos National Park. All guests must be fully vaccinated and test negative for COVID-19 upon entry.

A seven-day Norwegian Fjords cruise aboard Princess Cruises' Sky Princess is an additional option for travelers hoping to explore another part of the world best seen from a ship.

Cruises for Singles in Their 50s

McDaniel says that a river cruise is a great option for someone in their 50s, with some lines waiving the single supplement fee and putting age restrictions on passengers (since you may not want little kids running around). Some companies, she notes, do a great job of hosting single mixers, which adds to the social experience. A cruise along the Danube or Rhine rivers is always a great choice, and there are several lines to choose from.

Sail along the Rhine, Main, and Danube rivers on Viking's Grand European Tour, which starts in Amsterdam and ends in Budapest. Along the way, the ship stops in charming towns and major European capitals for a well-rounded trip through continental Europe.

The twelve-day Cities of Light cruise, also from Viking River Cruises, carries passengers between Paris and Prague with several stops in Germany along the way. On board, sip a glass of wine and enjoy the sight of the cities slipping by. For both Viking Cruises, guests must be fully vaccinated and test negative for COVID-19 upon boarding.

Viking River Cruise
Courtesy of Viking Cruises

Cruises for Single Seniors

A world cruise is a great option for seniors, McDaniel says, as they tend to have more free time. These cruises visit multiple countries over a longer period of time, and after a while, the boat feels like home.

"One of the great things about being a senior is you tend to have a far more flexible schedule," she says. "You also likely have a bit more disposable income."

The 71-day Grand Africa Voyage from Holland America Line offers a round-trip journey from Fort Lauderdale, stopping in Portugal, Spain, Morocco, Greece, Jordan, Tanzania, Madagascar, South Africa, and more on its cruise around the African continent. All guests must be fully vaccinated and test negative for COVID-19 upon arrival.

Cunard's Centenary World Voyages is even longer, at 117 nights aboard the Queen Mary 2. The cruise includes two transatlantic crossings and stops across Asia, South Africa, and Australia, departing and arriving in New York City. On a cruise this long, even the shiest solo traveler is bound to make a few friends. All guests ages 12 and up must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 14 days prior to travel.

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