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Avalon Expression
Avalon Expression

Best Solo River Cruises

Avalon Expression
Avalon Expression
Senior Editor, News and Features
Aaron Saunders

Last updated
Apr 19, 2023

Read time
6 min read

Solo cruising has taken off in a big way -- and not just on ocean-going mega-ships. River cruises are one of the best options for solo travelers, thanks to their casual, convivial atmosphere and relatively small number of passengers. Rather than thousands of people, you’ll be mingling with a few hundred (and sometimes far fewer), and seeing the same faces every day increases your odds of making new friends.

A growing number of river cruise companies are offering solo traveler discounts on sailings, reducing or even waiving the dreaded “single supplement” that a normal booking would entail. Some lines are even adding staterooms designed specifically for single travelers, though be aware they are limited in number and tend to sell out quickly. Other tailor shore excursions and events just for those opting to travel solo

Need help deciding the best solo river cruise option for you? We’ve rounded up 12 lines offering the best river cruise deals and discounts for solo travelers.

Here are a few river cruise lines that stand out among the crowd as being the best river cruises for single or solo travelers:

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The Solo Perk: Solo Savings, Single Occupancy Staterooms

What You Should Know: At different times of the year, AmaWaterways offers solo traveler promotions that either reduce or eliminate the single supplement for those who book in certain stateroom categories (usually fixed-window Category D and E staterooms). The line is one of the biggest proponents of solo travel, so expect to see these offers frequently.

In addition, AmaWaterways offers single-occupancy staterooms on four of its European river boats: AmaLyra, AmaDolce, AmaDante and AmaCello. These rooms are on the smaller side (measuring 140 square feet), but they do have French balconies. Because there are only two single-occupancy rooms per ship, they tend to book up well in advance. Still, AmaWaterways is among the most generous with its solo traveler policies.

American Cruise Lines

The Solo Perk: Large Single Occupancy Staterooms

What You Should Know: Every ship in the American Cruise Lines' fleet offers single occupancy staterooms, and they aren’t small either -- all measure 250 square feet and feature private balconies, giving solo travelers plenty of space to stretch out.

Solo travelers can also book double-occupancy staterooms at prevailing rates by paying a single supplement ranging between 150 and 175 percent.

American Queen Voyages

The Solo Perk: Single Occupancy Staterooms

What You Should Know: American Countess, American Empress and American Queen all offer single-occupancy staterooms. American Empress and American Countess offer one single outside stateroom with its own private veranda, while passengers aboard American Queen can choose from eight single inside staterooms (measuring a very cozy 80 square feet) as well as 11 roomier deluxe inside staterooms.

American Queen Voyages's American Duchess lacks any dedicated staterooms for singles, though they can book by paying the appropriate single supplement.

Avalon Waterways

The Solo Perk: Single Occupancy Deals

What You Should Know: Avalon Waterways waives single supplements on most European river cruises and select sailings on the Mekong. In fact, a full 10 percent of Avalon Waterways’ cruisers are solo travelers. There are a few things to be aware of: The promotion often only applies to certain cabin categories, and bookings often have a deadline or limit. Still, if you’re a fan of the line, these deals can be hard to pass up.


The Solo Perks: Single Occupancy Deals, Single Occupancy Cabins

What You Should Know: Strasbourg-based CroisiEurope frequently trots out the solo traveler savings programs, with special promotions offered throughout the year on select destinations and river cruises. Several ships in the company’s fleet offer cabins dedicated to solo cruiserslike the ’MS Camargue, which has four single cabins, including two with French balconies.

Emerald Waterways

The Solo Perks: Single Occupancy Deals, Single Occupancy Cabins

What You Should Know: Emerald Waterways routinely offers solo cruiser specials that waive the single supplement on select sailings and cabin categories. Typically, this doesn’t apply to the higher-level suite categories and is valid only for bookings made during a certain timeframe.

The European-based Emerald Dawn, Destiny, Liberte, Luna, Star, Sky and Sun each feature two dedicated single occupancy staterooms with fixed windows that can be booked supplement-free.

Riviera Travel

The Solo Perk: Single Occupancy Deals

What You Should Know: Normally, solo river cruise promotions can be restrictive: They are only available on select sailings and then only on a handful of cabins across each departure date. For river cruisers who have their heart set on one itinerary and departure date, it can be tricky to find the right voyage that will unlock solo savings.

Riviera ups the game with its Solo Traveler deals, which are available on select itineraries in all cabin categories across the entire ship. That means single travelers can book that top-of-the-line suite, supplement-free’, and not be stuck in a tiny stateroom on the lowest deck. Do note that Riviera’s solo deals are mainly for river cruises in Europe.


The Solo Perks: Single Occupancy Deals, Single Occupancy Staterooms

What You Should Know: Like its more budget-conscious sister line Emerald Waterways, Scenic rolls out the deals and single-occupancy staterooms for solo travelers. Perks that offer no single supplement on a variety of sailings are available throughout the year, and many of its European fleet, including Scenic Amber, Crystal, Diamond, Jade, Jewel, Jasper, Opal, Pearl, Ruby and Sapphire, all have one dedicated single-occupancy stateroom that comes with its own private balcony.


The Solo Perk: Solo Traveler Savings

What You Should Know: Offering upscale European river cruises, Tauck either reduces or waives the solo supplement on many of its all-inclusive cruise itineraries.. Tauck eliminated the single supplement across the board for all passengers booking the lowest category staterooms (Category 1) on its river ships and reduced the supplement for Category 4 and 5 cabins by $1,000, with certain restrictions. The inclusive, fully guided nature of Tauck’’s river cruise tours make it a great choice for cruisers looking to go it alone.

Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection

The Solo Perks: Single Occupancy Deals, Solo Cabin on S.S. Catherine

What You Should Know: Uniworld waives the single supplement at various times throughout the year on select sailings, departures and cabin categories for its European river cruises.

Only one Uniworld river cruise ship features a dedicated single-occupancy stateroom: the S.S. Catherine. At 120 square feet, this Classic Single river-view stateroom is on the smaller end of things and is tucked away down on Saint Remy Deck. Numbered 214, it is available as a connecting stateroom to the adjacent Classic Stateroom, no. 212.

Uniworld waives the single supplement at various times throughout the year on select sailings, departures and cabin categories for its European river cruises.

Vantage Deluxe World Travel

The Solo Perks: Single Specials, Traveler Matching Service, Single Occupancy Staterooms

What You Should Know: Vantage prides itself on its solo traveler prowess, offering a wide range of incentives and options for the single traveler across its river and land tour packages. It’s particularly well-known for catering to single women travelers (who make up the bulk of solo travelers) with its “Traveler Matching Service,” which allows passengers traveling solo to request to be matched with a roommate of the same sex upon reservation of their trip. If Vantage finds a roommate, only the double-occupancy rate is charged. If a match is unable to be found, travelers pay only 50 percent of the single supplement.

Some of the Vantage river cruise fleet offer supplement-free solo cabins, including 15 aboard the River Splendor (six with French balconies), three on the MS Renoir and four dedicated solo cabins aboard the Egypt-based MS Nebu.

And on some itineraries, a third same-sex guest can travel for free in suites that can accommodate three people.

Viking River Cruises

The Solo Perks: Single Specials

What You Should Know: What You Should Know: Although Viking does not have dedicated single staterooms for solo travelers, the cruise line will occasionally make special solo traveler fares available on select itineraries.

Related: Solo Cruise Tips
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