Single? Save on river cruises!

Cruise lines that ply the rivers of Europe, Asia and elsewhere are, in increasing numbers, offering solo travelers the opportunity to sail without paying a “single supplement.”

AmaWaterways is the latest river cruise line to offer solo travelers the opportunity to experience its accommodations and amenities without the single supplement fee that cruise lines have historically levied on guests traveling alone. The cruise line announced June 18 that it would be making a number of base category, double-occupancy staterooms available on every sailing in Europe, Asia and Africa for booking by solo travelers without the additional single supplement fees.

“We continue to see high demand in this fast-growing market and are delighted to introduce even more options for our solo travelers,” Kristin Karst, the line’s EVP and co-owner, said in a statement.

“Base category” refers to Category D and E staterooms which are on the lowest passenger deck of AmaWaterways’ ships, according to the deck plans on its web site. While the staterooms have fixed windows to the outside, they do not have balconies or other outside space.

AmaDaigo fixed-window stateroom
AmaWaterways joins a growing number of river cruise lines that are responding to the growing number of travelers who venture out solo, including competing cruise line Avalon Waterways.

“About 11 percent of travelers go solo and that trend is reflected on many of our ships and itineraries,” a spokesperson for Avalon told TheTravelPro in an email. Avalon also waives the single supplement on a variety of departures each year, allowing solo cruisers to enjoy the same size staterooms as couples on its ships. More details on Avalon Waterways deals for solo travelers are available here.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection has also waived the single supplement fee on a variety of its most popular 2015 all-inclusive river cruises, enabling solo travelers to cruise Europe’s legendary waterways while enjoying significant savings.

“Our intimate ships and welcoming atmosphere foster a close-knit on-board community,” Guy Young, president of Uniworld, said, noting that the on-board atmosphere makes it easy to make new friends and that its itineraries are ideally suited for solo travelers, “[O]ffering a friendly on-board atmosphere, open seating at every meal, small group excursions and plenty of opportunities to meet fellow world travelers.”

Tauck River Cruising is also among the companies that have eliminated single supplement fees completely in its Category 1 European riverboat cabins. As with AmaWaterways, Tauck's Category 1 cabins are on the lowest passenger deck according to the deck plans on its Tauck's site, and have fixed windows to the outside. They do not have balconies or other outside space and are analogous to what are called "outside cabins" on ocean cruises.

In addition, Tauck offers a $1,000 discount to solo travelers booking Category 4 and 5 cabins on 37 departures of 15 different river cruises. Category 4 and 5 cabins are situated on higher decks and offer French balconies. Category 5 cabins are also 33 square feet larger than Category 1 and 4 lodgings. In addition to discounts or fee waivers on its European sailings, Tauck also offers discounts of up to $300 on 48 departures of 19 itineraries in North America and, within its “Exotics” portfolio, has trimmed the single supplement by $300 to $600 on 28 departures of 10 trips in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East.

Viking River Cruises offers single staterooms on two of its ships, the Viking Prestige and the Viking Legend, which both sail the Danube Waltz itinerary. Those single staterooms are priced accordingly, a spokesperson for Viking told TheTravelPro, adding that at present, Viking does not have plans to further expand its single stateroom offerings.

Solo travelers are encouraged to book early, as waived single supplements are capacity controlled and sell out quickly. For example, AmaWaterways sets aside an average of four cabins per ship for single travelers, though the number varies depending on availability and class of ship.

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Photos courtesy AmaWaterways
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