The Single Traveller’s Guide to River Cruises

When it comes to holidaying on your own, a river cruise is the perfect match for the discerning solo traveller. Your travel arrangements are taken care of before you depart, a warm welcome awaits you on board, and you’re free to cherry-pick from a collection of rewarding shore excursions. Not only that, but your luxury river ship is a secure and intimate environment for socialising, so you’re guaranteed to meet like-minded companions who share your passion for travelling the enriching rivers of Europe.

That’s if you want to, of course. The beauty of travelling solo is that you’re free to spend time as you wish, answering to no one as you journey the continent’s timeless passageways. At Scenic, we encourage our guests to do as much or as little as they like — whether that’s exploring the continent’s numerous cultural melting pots or lounging on the tranquil Sun Deck with a good book — all the while enjoying the luxurious comfort of our attentive 5-star service.

If you’ve considered the idea of venturing off on a solo adventure but are yet to take the plunge, our single traveller’s guide to river cruising could prove the jumping off point for an unforgettable journey of self-discovery. We’ve even included advice and recommendations from travel writer and frequent solo traveller, Jane Archer, in the hope that you’ll consider a solo trip of your own.

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The Benefits of River Cruising for Single Travellers

Space, choice and infinite free time — these are but a handful of the benefits solo travellers can enjoy on a European river cruise.

Room to Savour — Sharing a room with family and friends is all well and good, but it’s difficult to say no to the idea of more space and greater freedom.

Choose to go it alone on a Scenic river cruise, and you’re free to spread your luggage, stretch out in the centre of your own king-size bed, and be the first to jump in the shower each morning. Forget about the annoying wait for breakfast as others getting ready — travelling solo lets you take every moment at your own pace. Couple that with the indulgent amenities of our luxury suites, and you’re guaranteed a truly relaxing getaway.

No Compromises — Your holiday, your way. That’s the joy of travelling solo. Feel like sleeping in until late? Go ahead. Prefer to explore cities alone, rather than part of a group? Feel free. Taking a river cruise on your own means you can tailor your trip to your exact tastes and requirements — with no compromises.

The Opportunity to Meet New People — Whether it’s your fellow shipmates or a group of friendly locals, there’s no greater joy than meeting new and interesting people on your travels.

Many solo travellers enjoy spending time with new-found friends, and a Scenic river cruise is the perfect place to meet like-minded individuals. With unrestricted, flexible seating in all dining areas, and plenty of opportunity to buddy up during shore excursions and trips, you could make a friend for life during a cruise on Europe’s beautiful waterways.

Relax and Unwind — Travelling solo is often seen as something pursued by young backpackers with few responsibilities, but no matter what stage of life you find yourself at, there’s nothing to stop you packing a suitcase and escaping off on your own personal getaway.

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Indeed, taking time away from everyday stresses to be by yourself may hold the key to absolute relaxation and personal fulfilment. With everything taken care of, a Scenic river cruise is the perfect way to find a moment’s solitude, giving you the freedom to unwind on your private balcony with a glass of fine wine, or else delve into the enigmatic byways of a charming city and lose yourself in culture, history and architectural beauty.

Travelling Solo with Scenic

At Scenic, we make it easy to enjoy a luxury European river cruise whether you’re travelling alone or as part of a group. From our generous approach to all-inclusive to our tailored travel options, everyone and anyone can enjoy our 5-star luxury river cruises. Here are some of the helpful ways Scenic accommodate single travellers.

Travel Tailored to You — We understand that travelling can be the most stressful part of a holiday, and particularly so for solo travellers. That’s why we aim to remove all the strain of reaching your cruise destination, so you can arrive at your Scenic Space-Ship relaxed and ready for the trip of a lifetime.

Flights, transfers and stopover hotel stays, we organise everything to make sure you enjoy a hassle-free journey. When you arrive at your destination, we’ll pick you up from the airport and transport you to the ship, so you aren’t left worrying about how to get there. If you like, we’ll even pick you from your home in the UK and take you to the airport, though this will cost a little extra.

Dining — Whether you choose to eat alone or with new-found companions, you’ll certainly be well catered for with Scenic. Our luxury Space-Ships offer a handful of all-inclusive dining venues, each offering flexible dining options so you can sit where you like and eat when you want.

With delicious food and few formalities, dining on-board your Scenic Space-Ship promises to be a memorable experience, ever complemented by a menu of delicious dishes inspired by the local region.

Enriching Excursions ­— On every day of your journey, you’ll be given the option to take part in a range of stimulating shore excursions, each designed to unlock the culture, heritage and beauty of your surroundings. From our invigorating Freechoice programme to our unforgettable Enrich experiences, you’ll see some of Europe’s true wonders during a cruise on its majestic waterways, and all at no extra cost to you.

Private Butler — Every suite across the Scenic Space-Ship fleet benefits from its own private butler, an attentive helper pledged to serve you throughout your journey. Whether you want a garment pressed for an evening socialising with new friends, or want to order a glass of something delicious to enjoy alone on your balcony, our private butlers are here to ensure you’re able to take full advantage of our attentive and luxurious service.

Experienced Crew — From our dedicated cruise directors to our professional catering team, every crew member across the Scenic fleet has years of experience in their field — making them the perfect companions for a luxury cruise on the waters of Europe.

Whether you’re struggling to choose the perfect wine to go with your evening meal, or want to bend the ear of the cruise director for a little insider knowledge; the world-class Scenic team will do everything they can to make your time on-board truly special.

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Tips and Advice for Solo River Cruise Travellers

If you’re convinced a river cruise is the perfect holiday for your solo trip, here are a few tips to ensure your break goes off without a hitch.

Get to Know the Crew — Given their vast knowledge and expertise in cruising the waters of Europe, the crew on-board your Scenic ship are a font of knowledge and experience when it comes to the continent. From must-visit cultural attractions off the beaten track to not-to-be-missed eateries that offer an authentic taste of the region; getting to know the on-board crew could pay dividends in terms of enjoyment, discovery and exploration.

Embrace New Experiences — One of the great joys of travelling is experiencing new things, even if that means going beyond your comfort zone. Immerse yourself in new, unique and different experiences every day, and you’ll make extraordinary memories that last a lifetime.

Choose Guided Tours and Trips — If you don’t feel comfortable exploring new cities on your own, choose from our range of guided tours and trips, and enjoy the benefits that come from being escorted around Europe’s leading cultural attractions by our expert guides. With an expert knowledge of every city, town and attraction on the rivers of Europe, our experienced guides can help you get more from each and every port visit.

Don’t Feel Forced to Make Friends — If you booked a solo holiday to enjoy a little private downtime, don’t be afraid to politely decline the offer to join another party during mealtimes and trips. Scenic river ships are full of friendly people who want to spend time with like-minded companions, but if you’d prefer to spend time on your own, that’s more than OK. Remember, travelling alone is about experiencing things at your own pace, so you shouldn’t let others dictate how you spend your time.

Jane Archer’s Tips for Solo River Cruising

Experienced travel writer, Jane Archer, is one of the best people to talk to for those considering a solo river cruise. Jane has been on her fair share of solo trips across the European continent, making her an expert when it comes to travelling on your own.

Here’s what she had to say about river cruising for solo travellers:

I have cruised most rivers around the world and mostly I have been travelling on my own. Makes me sound like Billy No Mates doesn’t it? Actually it’s by choice and I have always had a wonderful time.

The thought of going on holiday alone can be scary but rest assured, a river cruise is a great choice for singletons. River cruise vessels are small, usually with around 160 guests, so it’s not only easy to make friends, but you’ll be seeing them all the time on board or guided trips ashore.

I advise choosing a river cruise line with drinks-inclusive prices as people tend to be much more sociable when they don’t have to worry whose turn it is to buy a round. Open-seating dining is also preferable as it is a great way to meet different people. It is never long before you are invited to join new friends for dinner.

To find out more about our no single supplement offer, click here or call our friendly team today on 0808 265 4434.

Laura Barlow-Edwards
Laura Barlow-Edwards
Laura is Scenic's Digital Marketing Exec. She loves travel; her first river cruise was on the Danube, and she fell in love with Budapest at first sight. In her free time, Laura is usually reading, travel blogging, or planning her next adventure.