There was once a time if you cruised solo you'd be hit by an array of penalties: the dreaded single supplement, no dedicated activity programs and no single berth cabins.
Things have come a long way since then. Today, solo cruisers can expect tailored activity programmes, dedicated cocktail parties for mingling, and dining companions hand-picked for compatibility. There are lots of opportunities to be sociable, with classes, seminars and shore excursions, while Gentlemen Hosts ensure ladies travelling alone aren't left with an empty dance card.
That said, it remains a fact that single cabins take up almost as much room as twin cabins, yet generate half the revenue. As a result, ship building with solo travellers in mind has never been high on the agenda. While several Brit-popular ships previously offered a choice of single cabins on older vessels, all too often solo cruisers opting to sail on ships less than 20 years old have had to accept the iniquitous supplements for occupying a double cabin -- from 10 percent to twice the fare, depending on time of year and availability.
Fortunately, the tide has turned since then. Norwegian Cruise Line arguaably led the charge with the introduction of its studio cabins, which single-handledly removed the lingering stigma about travelling alone. Studios are contemporary in design, with cool lines and colours; you'll find them all in one place (so all the people you bump into are travelling solo); and they include a lounge area for socialising. The studios -- which debuted on Norwegian Epic -- were a huge hit and you'll find them on every Norwegian ship since.
Other lines quickly followed suit. That same year P&O Cruises' Azura launched that same year with 18 dedicated single cabins. And the 2015 flagship -- the 3,647-passenger Britannia -- debuted the first dedicated single cabins with balconies (15 in total), as well as 12 single inside cabins.
There's now a ship for every traveller who prefers to sail alone. The following selections include a range of the most popular.