Solo river cruising in Europe

River cruising is the perfect place for guests to adventure alone, with plenty of social places to meet like-minded people and a friendly on-board atmosphere to make you feel at home.

However, you may have some reservations. It’s too expensive. It’s too lonely.

But we are here to set it right and offer you insight into how solo river cruising could very well be your next favourite thing! Here’s some of the most commonly asked questions about going solo along Europe’s waterways.

More: Riviera Travel’s ‘For Solo Traveller Collection’

I don’t want to pay more just because I’m alone. How can I get a good deal?

More cruise lines than ever are offering solo cabins, no single supplements and plenty of exclusive benefits purely for those travelling on their own. Riviera Travel’s solo collection showcases some of the best rivers and itineraries, purely for those looking to set sail alone with plenty of dedicated solo cabins to pick from.

Another cruise line who has long been a host of solo travellers is Tauck, which waives all single supplements on category 1 cabins, and reduced single surcharges on higher grade staterooms.

Douro Valley, Portugal - River cruises

I’ve sailed along the popular rivers, what’s new for me?

Uniworld’s brand new S.S. Bon Voyage has just launched this year and she offers sailings along lesser-known rivers such as Dordogne and Garonne, exploring the wine regions of Bordeaux. For these initial seven-night sailings, single supplements will be waived – the perfect opportunity to enjoy a glass or two with new-found friends!

Riviera Travel is also offering sailings along the Douro River, as part of its brand new ‘For Solo Travellers’ collection – made just for those travelling alone. These sailings include dedicated solo cabins where there are no single supplements on many sailings.

I don’t want to be surrounded by couples on-board. Will I be travelling with other singles?

River cruising is a great place for socialising, as it’s much more intimate when compared to ocean cruising and there’s a smaller capacity so you’re more likely to get to know familiar faces and names sooner or later.

Saga river cruises are offering plenty of solo dates through 2019, and is a great river cruise line for those going it alone. Not only does the cruise line focus on an older demographic – for over 50s – but the cruise fare often includes home-to-airport transfers making it much easier to get to and from your ship alone.

Bike tour in Durnstein, Vienna

I’m a little younger than the typical river cruising demographic. Is there something for me?

The new sister-brand to Uniworld is U by Uniworld, which offers plenty fresh new on-board activities to make you feel young-at-heart. The cruise line has flexible meal times and excursion options, silent discos and trendy accommodations to pick from. Solo cruisers can book a twin cabin and pay the supplement or be paired with a roommate and pay a lower fare.

Avalon Waterways also offers plenty for younger cruisers to enjoy with its Active Discovery sailings. These sailings provide a much deeper experience along the banks of European rivers, with a choice of excursions to really let you delve into each port. Take a canal cruise in Amsterdam; climb the steps of Marksburg Castle to view the Rhine Gorge; or enjoy a kayak to see the river from a whole new perspective.

What if I have no one to talk to at dinner?

Tables are shared and there are no fixed meal times on-board most river cruises, so you’ll never be short of a friendly face to share stories with at dinner. If you’re particularly nervous, Crystal River Cruises’ crew members introduce fellow solo travellers with one another, and even offer to dine with those if required.

The Tour Manager’s on-board Riviera Travel arrange a sociable welcome dinner to help solo passengers get to know one another. Saga also does the same with the Cruise Director hosting tables for single travellers on dedicated solo cruises and mainstream ones.

Guests at the dinner table - Scenic River Cruises

I’d like to enjoy a drink in the bar but I don’t want to feel lonely. What can I do to socialise?

Amadeus organises a cocktail get-together for all solo travellers on-board, offering fellow guests the opportunity to meet and greet other lone adventurers and make some new friends. Other events on-board include treasure hunts, quizzes in the bar and a pirate night!

AmaWaterways also hosts events on-board their river cruises to make everyone come together. These include an exclusive welcome cocktail party for single travellers. During the cruise, solo guests are also invited to join the Captain’s table if they wish.

If you’re not keen for taking part in big social events, most river cruise lines provide late-night entertainment in the lounges and bars. These set a relaxed and comfortable atmosphere, which encourages mingling and meeting new faces.

Book a solo river cruise with

Solo traveller on-board Crystal River cruise

If you’re keen to experience some of the world’s waterways alone, browse our latest solo river cruise deals by clicking the button below and finding your perfect sailing.

If you would like to make a booking, call our Cruise Concierge team on 0800 197 0854 for expert advice and award-winning service with your booking and any questions you may have.

Post originally written 25th October 2018 and updated 17th September 2019.

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About Emma Smith

Emma has more than seven years' experience as a writer and has been in the travel industry for nearly five years. She loves learning about new places and cruise ships coming to market, as well as discovering fun and exciting activities to do while you sail. She has cruised with Princess Cruises, Cunard, Celebrity Cruises, Virgin Voyages, Avalon Waterways and Royal Caribbean and is looking to get something in her diary for 2024! Her favourite things to see on a ship include excellent entertainment, a delicious cocktail menu and extraordinary dining venues.

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