This article was recently published in Travel Agent Central. I thought you might like to read it.
Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) is taking the spotlight off of couples this Valentine’s Day and focusing on those who fly (or sail) solo. In honor of the romantic holiday, CLIA is highlighting the tips and benefits for travelers interested in going solo to discover their love of cruising. Among CLIA’s highlights include cruise matchmakers, single incentives, studio staterooms, making connections and singles exclusive events.
In terms of “cruise matchmakers,” CLIA is specifically talking about travel agents. For travelers who are considering traveling alone but are afraid to bite the bullet, travel agents are often the deciding, game-changing factor that seals the deal for that person. CLIA considers travel agents the cruise matchmakers, as you (the agent) are best equipped to help solo cruises find the best cruise line and experiences for them. Today, there are more than 25,000 CLIA certified travel professionals globally. Travel agents specializing in cruise travel for singles can be found on the CLIA website using the Cruise Agent Finder.
For travelers who don’t want to pay the same price as those traveling in pairs, present them with the single supplement options. A number of cruise lines are offering singles incentives in an effort to welcome solo travelers, so many a cruise line are waiving the typical single supplement fee or are offering single studio staterooms. For every departure on every European itinerary in 2017, Avalon Waterways is offering a select number of rooms without a single supplement in place. Tauck has waived the single supplement on all “category one” cabins aboard its European riverboats for every departure of river cruises this year. In all, the supplement is waived on over 230 Tauck river cruise departures this year. AmaWaterways is offering nine river cruise itineraries where the single supplement is waived when booked by March 31, 2017; destinations include the Rhine, Vietnam, Cambodia and the Mekong. Also in on the action is Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection, who in 2017 reduced or waived the single supplement fee on 30 of its most popular itineraries.
In addition to waiving single supplement fees, cruise lines are also providing solo travelers with studio staterooms – cabins designed specifically with solo travelers or those looking for a private stateroom in mind. Norwegian Cruise Line was the first cruise line to build staterooms and common areas specifically designed for the single cruiser, and the presently offer studio rooms on select cruise ships, ideally sized for single cruisers. Royal Caribbean has also incorporated studio staterooms into its fleet, some of which have balconies or virtual balconies, where solo guests only have a single cruise fare, foregoing any additional single supplement costs. Cunard has reported a high demand for single staterooms on its current fleet of Queens. Over the last few years, Cunard has responded to the demand and completed the addition of singles staterooms to each of its ships.
If your solo traveler is afraid of not being included on their cruise, introduce them to the singles exclusive events and experiences that myriad cruise lines are offering these days. American Cruise Lines offers singles itineraries to complement needs with onshore excursions and on board programs conducted in intimate groups to cultivate a bonding experience among guests. The line also offers cocktail hours each night, well-suited for singles to mingle with fellow passengers.
From pricing discounts to specially tailored cruises, to events and activities designed specifically for singles, CLIA is pointing out that a variety of cruise lines offer benefits, rewards, and exclusive programs for solo cruisers.