Setting sail as a single traveller can be an intimidating idea, especially if you’ve never done it before. But more and more solos are taking the plunge – and cruise lines are going all out to make them feel welcome. Taking a quiet moment out on deck of Fred. Olsen Cruises’ Boudicca in the Indian Ocean sunshine, my peace was gently interrupted by half a dozen fellow guests who took up residence on the loungers beside me.
As they were chatting and laughing, I presumed they had come on this cruise as a group. I struck up a conversation and, noting the different regional accents among them, enquired as to how they had all met. “About two weeks ago, over dinner at the start of this cruise!” said one. “We all came by ourselves and now we’re all friends.”
Later, I was talking to Jim, a single man in his late 60s whom I had got to know. As a solo traveller, what had made him choose this type of holiday? “How else could I see exotic places like Africa and Mauritius?” he said. “There’s no travelling involved apart from day trips, the food is great and I even get my favourite beer on board. It’s all so easy.”