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Single Travellers

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In the past few months we’ve seen signs of an interesting trend emerge.  It appears that the cruise industry has taken notice of the sizable population of single people.  In the most dramatic example of this, Norwegian Epic will have 128 Studio staterooms designed specifically for solo travellers, when she debuts in July.  The Studios will be arrayed on two decks, accessible by key card, and featuring a Studio Lounge for the exclusive use of the Studio occupants.  I think the lounge is a particularly good idea, affording the guests the opportunity, if they so choose, to meet a dinner or drink companion, or even a sightseeing buddy.  The cabins will be 100 square feet in size.  With many of the Studios connecting, they will offer the opportunity for friends to travel together while still having privacy.

Two other lines have also announced overtures to the single community.  Paul Gauguin Cruises has eliminated the single supplement on 7 Spring sailings.  Cabins are, as you might expect, limited and must be booked by April 30, 2010.

Regent Seven Seas Cruises, meanwhile, has reduced their single supplement from 100% to 50% on the following sailings and categories on the Mariner:

Mariner Jun 11 – Cat G               Istanbul to Athens

Mariner Jun 28 – Cat G               Istanbul to Rome

Mariner Jul 10  – Cat G                Rome to Venice

Mariner Aug  7 – Cat G                Rome to Venice

Mariner Aug 19 – Cat G              Venice to Athens

Mariner Aug 26 – Cat F/G          Athens to Istanbul

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, singles in the United States spent  $2.2 trillion in 2008, accounting for 35% of all consumer spending.  This is certainly a huge market, one essentially untapped by the cruise industry.  Whether the price reductions are the beginning of a trend, or simply a response to weak demand, remains to be seen.

I’ve cruised alone.  As with most things in life, it has its pluses and minuses.   It would certainly be more attractive to cruise solo if it were half the price.  How about you?  Have you gone on a cruise as a single?  Would you be tempted if the price were better?

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