During the six years I've been writing about singles cruises, I've encountered many singles looking for something more than what existing singles travel agencies currently offer. So I was pleased to learn about a new company called SoloCruiser (www.solocruiser.com), which will offer four categories of cruises for single and solo travelers, including departures just for those who are 55+. While the majority of singles cruise agencies focus on meeting a mate on a Caribbean mass-market ship, SoloCruiser's offerings range from mid-priced cruise lines such as Holland America to riverboats and the most luxurious ships afloat.
One of SoloCruiser's most unique features is an interactive Roommate Finder, which allows singles to pick their own roommate instead of leaving it in the hands of a travel agency. You simply fill out a profile and click enter. Then you can search other singles seeking a roommate and communicate directly with them. If you can't find a roommate this way, SoloCruiser will match by gender and smoking preferences.
For cruisers who want to travel on their own and don't want a group travel experience, SoloCruiser is the first company to offer "lower single occupancy" rates on ships ranging from mid-priced vessels like Holland America to the high-end luxury ships. In the "Lower Single Occupancy" category, the rate varies by departure date. For example, on several Silversea and Regent Seven Seas departures, there are no single supplements. You may not get that steep a discount on other departures in this category, but it will be a much better price than you could get on your own. Remember, cruise companies routinely charge single supplements of up to 200%. SoloCruiser even offers lower single occupancy rates on Queen Mary 2's 2007 World Cruise.
In addition, SoloCruiser offers a choice of three kinds of escorted group cruises: All-Inclusive, with things like drinks, tips and shore excursions covered in the price; 55+, with group members limited to that age category; and Themed, which feature events and activities catering to a special interest, such as culinary cruises. At dinner, group members sit with new people each evening. In addition to the standard cocktail party, groups will have an exclusive shore excursion on each cruise, evening pajama parties with hot cocoa, and special gifts delivered to the cabin. While cruises in these categories are generally priced per person, double occupancy, a number of them also offer "Lower Single Occupancy" prices.
SoloCruiser is an affiliate of White Travel of West Hartford, CT, a large, family owned business for 33 years. Rick White, a co-founder of SoloCruiser, says, "SoloCruiser is not a typical singles cruise agency where the focus is on meeting a mate. Of course, many of our clients are single -- and if you find a mate or new best friend on one of our cruises, that's terrific! But we're also perfect for a married person who is vacationing without his or her spouse. We'll take great care of you if you prefer to occupy a cabin alone or share it with a friend or family member."
Reservations and additional information may be obtained by contacting SoloCruiser www.solocruiser.com or calling 888-765-6278.
55+ SOLO CRUISES:
- 06/10/07 - 10-night Alaska Glacier Discovery Cruise/Tour on Holland America's Ryndam from Vancouver. Rates start at $1999 per person, double occupancy.
- 08/19/07 - 10-night Alaska Glacier Discovery Cruise/Tour on Holland America's Ryndam from Vancouver. Rates start at $1999 per person, double occupancy.
- 11/05/07 - 15-night Circle Hawaii Cruise on Holland America's Zaandam from San Diego. Rates start at $1999 per person, double occupancy.
- 12/16/07 - 10-night Christmas Caribbean Cruise on the Emerald Princess from Fort Lauderdale. Prices start at $1399 per person, double occupancy.
- 12/29/07 - 7-night New Year's Celebration Cruise on NCL's Norwegian Gem from New York. Rates start at $1299 per person, double occupancy.
LOWER SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
- 02/02/07 - 10-day Bangkok-Singapore on Silversea's Silver Whisper from Bangkok. Rates start at $7254 single occupancy.
- 02/23/07 - 10-day Singapore-Bombay on Silversea's Silver Whisper from Singapore. Rates start at $7364 single occupancy.
- 03/07/07 - 8-day Bombay to Dubai on Silversea's Silver Whisper from Mumbai (Bombay). Rates start at $4999 single occupancy.
- 05/13/07 - 7-night Alaska Cruise on Holland America's Noordam from Seattle. Rates start at $1499 single occupancy.
THEME SOLO CRUISES
- 06/30/07 - 7-day Bora Bora Wellness Cruise on Regent Paul Gauguin from Papeete, Tahiti. Call for pricing.
- 07/30/07 - 10-night Mediterranean Culinary Cruise on Holland America's Westerdam from Rome. Rates start at $2899 per person, double occupancy.
- 08/05/07 - 7-day Alaska Photography Cruise on Holland America's Ryndam from Vancouver. Call for pricing.
- 08/21/07 - 6-night Wellness Transatlantic Crossing on the Queen Mary 2 from Southampton, UK to New York. Call for pricing.
- 09/02/07 - 7-day Alaska Photography on Holland America's Ryndam from Vancouver. Call for pricing.
- 09/22/07 - 7-day European Wine and Food cruise on Regent Seven Seas Voyager from Monte Carlo. Rates start at $5299, including tips, wine, and alcohol.
- 10/22/07 - 6-night Wellness Transatlantic Crossing on the Queen Mary 2 from Southampton, UK to New York. Rates start at $2399 per person, double occupancy.