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Cruise Ships Woo Long-Snubbed Solo Travelers

January 29, 2010 at 9:05 AM | by | ()

Cruise ships are making it easier and cheaper for members of the lonely-hearts club to hit the seas.

The cruise industry is notorious for discriminating against single travelers, piling on surcharges for those cruising alone and giving better deals to duos. Margie Jordan of the American Society of Travel Agents told Reuters that solo globetrotters have to pay 150 to 200 percent more than those traveling in pairs.

But cruise ships are seeing an untapped market in solo cruisers and are jumping on it. In July, Norwegian Cruise Line will launch the Epic, a ship with studios designed for one occupant and there's no single supplement included. Stays in the specially designed staterooms are now for available for purchase.

Holland America caters to solo cruisers with its Single Partners Program. The program pairs single guests with another nonsmoking guest of the same sex in a stateroom and each pays only the per-person, double-occupancy rate. And if the program can't match you with a partner, you cruise solo at the agreed-upon double-occupancy fare. Plus, you can request to sit with singles at dinner or hang with other solo cruisers in cooking and dance classes.

To be clear, many of the family-oriented cruise ship lines differentiate between a solo cruiser who is traveling alone and a single who comes aboard ready to mingle and get lucky. If you fall into the latter category, that's a whole different type of cruise entirely.

Related Stories:
· Ship comes in for solo travelers, industry says [Reuters]
· World's First Cougar Cruise Will Swab Your Decks And Shiver Your Timbers Alright [Jaunted]
· Cruise Travel Coverage [Jaunted]

[Photo: Shayan (USA)]

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