When Oceania Cruises' new ship Vista debuts in April 2023, six solo staterooms will feature among the cabin choices. The announcement marks a sea change for single cruisers, who often face solo supplements or a lack of luxury options when booking cruises.
The solo cabins, a first for Oceania, are a response to the growing interest in solo cruising and indeed solo travel generally, which now accounts for 18 per cent of global bookings, according to Booking.com
"Oceania Cruises recognises the growing increase in demand for this category of stateroom and is excited to offer this new accommodation option," says Jason Worth, Vice President of Oceania Cruises, Australia and New Zealand.
The new 25-square-metre cabins have separate seating and sleeping areas and a private verandah, and come with amenities such as complimentary laundry and key-card access to the ship's exclusive Concierge Lounge.
Solo cabins are already sold out for Vista's inaugural season, which is no surprise considering solo travellers have long seen cruising as an easy, secure, sociable and dependable way to travel.
"It is clear there is significant demand for options tailored to suit the growing solo travel market, and we are already in discussions to see how we can accommodate more solo staterooms on board new ships in the future," adds Worth.
Good news for solo travellers looking for a cruise without having to compromise.
The solo cabins are sold out for their inaugural 2023 season. A Concierge level solo veranda suite on a 24-day Rome to London cruise departing July 23, 2023 cost $24,170 and a 10-day Athens to Istanbul cruise departing July 1, 2023 is $10,320. Phone 1300 355 200. See oceaniacruises.com
HOLIDAY ON ICE
Antarctica is surely the ultimate frontier for avid cruisers, and those wanting an armchair taster of what captivates travellers about the white continent can watch a 45-minute documentary on the experience.
The beautifully shot visuals and dramatic editing of Beyond the Polar Circle are compelling, as is the narration by Andrew Daddo, brand ambassador for luxury French expedition company Ponant.
Daddo sailed to Antarctica on a 16-day voyage from Ushuaia aboard Le Boreal, which visited the Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula.
"Relentlessly beautiful and rugged, it's an expedition into one of the world's last true wilderness areas, and yet it's done with French style and panache," says Daddo. "On board is how life can be, on the ice feels like how life has always been."
Daddo's enthusiasm for the entire experience shines through: the seals that swim under his cabin balcony, South Georgia's astonishing penguin colonies, seal pups at Fortuna Bay, and the abandoned British Survey Base on Detaille Island.
Antarctica is beyond the imagination of those who haven't seen it, concludes Daddo, who is no stranger to great travel experiences. If you're considering an Antarctic cruise, Beyond the Polar Circle will surely convince you this is the ultimate adventure.
Ponant has 69 cruises to Antarctica, all at different prices. An example would be a 10-day "Emblematic Antarctica" cruise departing December 10, 2022 and priced from $14,660 a person. Phone 1300 737 178. See discover.ponant.com/beyond-the-polar-circle