Goway Travel recently anounced some single-friendly travel deals. The following two have a booking dealine attached, so hurry on these.
>> Elephant Hills Thailand: Try the 3-day Jungle Safari or, alternatively, the Beach and Nature Reserve Safari. Travel between May 1-October 31, 2016 and pay no single supplement – a savings of $450. Single-parent families should also check three special offers for children 15 and under when booked with any full paying adult.
>> Morocco: January 15, June 10, August 12, 2016 Departures. – No Single Supplement Visit all four of Morocco’s imperial cities – Fes, Marrakesh, Meknes, and Rabat and have a room to yourself on selected departures. This tour is described as perfect for first-timers interested in experiencing first-hand the unique Islamic architecture of different eras and dynasties. Engaging city walks provide an intimate view of Moroccan culture and limitless opportunities for colourful photography and culinary exploration.
Singles who like to flirt with the wild-side might want to attend a shark school while on vacation. The Occidental Allegro Playacar is hosting an 11-day "Sharkschool & Sailfish Encounter" in Cancun. The dates are February 15-25, 2016, and the all-inclusive cost is US$3,299 per diver plus US$37 per day single supplement for a private room.
Details: Pro Dive Mexico
According to Travel Daily Media, Fred Olsen Cruise Lines has introduced more single-friendly price discounts that "mean a solo guest, occupying a twin cabin, will pay either no single supplement, or receive up to 50% off on certain cruises throughout 2015/16."
Details: Travel Daily
The JW Marriott Desert Springs Resort & Spa just launched Fall for Yourself, a solo-traveler geared package that includes overnight accommodations, an autumn-inspired treatment at the Spa, a tasting menu at Blue Star Lounge paired with a seasonal ale from a local brewery, and a choice of a current New York Times bestseller to enjoy while lounging by the pool or relaxing post spa-treatment. The Fall For Yourself package starts at US$289 per night and is available until November 30, 2015.
Details: JW Marriott Desert Springs
"No single supplement" – right on! Those words from Trusted Adventures are alluring enough that CSTN is happy to help spread the word. Trusted Adventures is an alliance of eight independently operated, active vacation companies: Wildland Adventures, Western River Expeditions, Myths and Mountains, The Wayfarers, ROW Adventures, Great Alaska International Adventure Vacations, Un-Cruise Adventures, and Ciclismo Classico.
Together the alliance offers a selected number of single-friendly departures to stateside destinations as well as far and wide, including Alaska multi-sport and Grand Canyon river trips, Baja "un-cruises" and whale-watching tours, Galapagos cruises, England Cotswolds walks, and biking in Belgium and Sicily.
Details: Trusted Adventures
If you are a fan of Cosmos tours and thinking of a European vacation in 2016 check out this $200 savings off single-occupancy prices: Cosmos Solo Travel Deals. Bookings must be made, under deposit, and discount applied between now and November 24, 2015 for travel in 2016. Please note that the offer applies to new 2016 bookings only and will not be applied to pre-existing bookings.
Fundacion Arte del Mundo (FAM) is a non-profit arts, language, and literacy organization situated in Baños de Agua Santa, Ecuador. During the past seven years, FAM has been on facilitating children's literacy and educational development through art and theater programs offered in a unique cultural center known as The Biblioteca Interactiva de Baños (LA BIB). Volunteering at FAM is ideal for solo travelers interested in more than just seeing the sights of Ecuador. Says FAM Administrator Karl Persechinoan, "it's a perfect opportunity to experience the arts and enjoy literature, theatre, and cultural events while sharing their creativity with children."
The minimum commitment is for two weeks volunteering at an average of 4 hours per day. Volunteers live on site above the Biblioteca in accommodations that include kitchen, bath, and wifi internet. A single-occupancy room costs US$330 per month or weekly and share rates are also optional. Knowledge of Spanish, while not a prerequisite for participating, would naturally enhance the experience, so many volunteers choose to combine volunteering with Spanish instruction at one of the schools in Baños.
Details: Fundación Arte del Mundo
Cunard's flagship Queen Mary 2 is being redesigned to include 15 new Britannia Single Staterooms during her extensive 25-day refit at the Blohm+Voss Shipyard in Hamburg Germany. "Catering to the changing tastes of our guests is a priority at Cunard," said Richard Meadows, president, Cunard North America. "According to the U S Travel Association, solo travelers comprise about 23% of all leisure travelers, and we have carefully considered these needs in Queen Mary 2's refit."
Of the 15 Britannia Single staterooms that will be added, nine single cabins will be on Deck 2 and six larger single staterooms will be built on Deck 3L. New single cabins on port side Deck 2 will benefit from increased ceiling height and an illuminated coffered ceiling. New single cabins on port side Deck 3L will feature two unique circular windows with bench seat cushions and a central dressing console table.
International Expeditions has been specializing in small group natural history tours around the globe for 35 years and first began waiving single supplement fees on their Amazon and Galapagos small-ship cruise programs in 2012. Now, with a plan to increase its following of solo travelers, this Alabama-based company is offering cabins with no single supplement fees on all 2015 and 2016 Cuba Voyage and Raja Ampat cruise departures, as well as on all Zambia safaris.
"We have seen growing numbers of single travelers looking for safe, escorted travel to the world's wildlife-rich regions, and solo travelers make up 21 percent of all passengers on our Amazon and Galapagos cruises," said IE President Van Perry. "IE has made every effort to make our journeys open and inclusive for all travelers, and that includes keeping single supplements as low as possible and waiving the fees throughout the year – not just at the last minute."
Details: International Expeditions
SinglesCruise.com just announced that it has booked out an entire windjammer tall-ship – S/V Mandalay – for the July 3-9, 2016 sailing departing from the Caribbean island of Grenada. The itinerary includes calls at six other islands, each with its own distinctive charm: Bequia ("Island of Clouds"); Chatham Bay Union Island; Mayreau, the smallest island of the Grenadines; Tobago Cays – five uninhabited islands comprising a sea turtle marine park; Carriacou and its port town of Hillsborough, and the Sandy Island Marine Protected Area.
"We are so excited to bring the adventure and romance of an intimate sailing ship experience to our guests" said Jody Ryland, Vice President of SinglesCruise.com. "Because the guest to crew ratio is roughly 3 to 1, those onboard Mandalay will have the opportunity to interact with the crew, which is something you cannot get on a typical cruise or river cruise, and this relaxing vacation merely requires flip-flops, a swimsuit and a sense of adventure."
Recently, Lion World Travel announced more good news for solo travelers with the waiving of single supplement fees on its Capetown and Safari program. Additional discounted specials are currently available for selected trips to Botswana, South Africa, Tanzania, Kenya, and Victoria Falls.
Now in its 50th year of operation, Lion World Travel is not only an expert in African journeys, it is also a member of the renowned Travel Corporation, which includes such venerable tour operators as Trafalgar Tours, Contiki, Brendan Vacations, Insight Vacations, The Red Carnation Hotel Collection, and Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection.
Details: Lion World Travel.
Windstar Cruises is known for intimate, yacht-style voyages to small ports and hidden harbors across the globe. Now, for the first time, Windstar Cruises joins the growing list of cruise companies to lure solo travelers with waived or reduced single supplement fees. The special pricing is availalbe on some 130 selected voyages, including itineraries to Panama, Costa Rica, Tahiti, the Caribbean, and the Mediterranean. The Single Supplement is completely waived on 43 departures and a 10-25% discount applies on 94 more departures, provided reservations are made before September 18, 2015.
Details: Windstar Cruises.
For the past few years river cruise operators have been stepping up with offers to waive single supplement charges, mainly on the rivers of Europe, but the odd single-friendly deal crops up on Asian rivers as well. And it looks as if 2016 will be no exception, as singles have numerous options to enjoy the comfort of a private cabin while cruising the great rivers of the world. Solo savings apply to many different river routes, including the Danube, Douro, Main, Mekong, Po, Rhine, Rhône, Moselle, Saône, Seine, and the Yangtze. The offers are capacity controlled and change frequently. For the latest dates and itineraries, check out the following river cruise companies:
Following a successful launch to the North American market, Solos Vacations continues to grow its portfolio of tours for solo travelers with the addition of several new escorted trips to Norway, Italy, Japan, and Ecuador, as well as a selection of cruises that includes an epic 120-day voyage around the world. Solos Vacations was launched earlier this year by the leading UK-based tour operator, Solos Holidays, which has over 30 years of experience providing the widest choice of vacations for adult solo travelers, all featuring single occupancy prices.
Solo travel continues to be an upward trend in the USA – 24% of people traveled alone on their most recent overseas leisure vacation, up from 15% in 2013 – according to the 2015 Visa Global Travel Intentions Survey.
Details: Solos Vacations
If you are among the many who don't mind sailing solo but can't stand sharing a cabin with a stranger, things are definitely looking up for your next cruise vacation. A trend toward adding single occupancy staterooms to new ships began in 2010 with the arrival of Norwegian Epic and its 128 single "studios." That trend is now becoming standard practice with several cruise lines adding single cabins to new ship designs as well as to refurbishments of older vessels. Here's the growing list of ships you can check out, as recently reported at Express.co.uk and with CSTN additions:
SoloMate Travel just announced a Summer Time Promotion and savings of US$75 on two upcoming trips:
Details: SoloMate Travel
Pandaw River Expeditions has joined the growing list of river cruise operators enticing solo guests with no single supplement offers. Among the company's list of specials are a number of sailings from July 2015 to February 2016. These 14-day cruises along the Irrawaddy River take you 600 miles deep into Myanmar otherwise known as Burma. With tensions gradually easing between various political parties, it's a comfortable way to see this country that has been off-the-beaten track for tourists during decades of civil unrest.
Details: Pandaw River Expeditions
Exclusive Tours announced savings for singles aboard the tall ship Star Flyer. On selected sailings June through October 2015, solo passengers may have a private cabin without the added single occupancy surcharge. The savings apply to 7-night cruises departing from Cannes France and with a variety of itineraries covering the Côte d’Azur, the Ligurian and Tyrrhenian Seas, and the islands of Mallorca and Corsica.
Details: Exclusive Tours
The Watermill at Posara melds Tuscany’s rural lifestyle with creative arts classes and "Italian fusion" cuisine. Guests have a choice of taking painting, writing, knitting, or Italian language courses instructed by a roster of teachers from around the world. This type of active yet relaxing holiday in pleasant surroundings is perfect for single travelers. A variety of stylishly designed accommodations are situated around the courtyard, each featuring views of the River Rosaro, the gardens, or the mountains. Four rooms have an en suite shower; two self-contained apartments may appeal to two people sharing; and three other bedrooms have shared bathrooms. Singles may opt to share or pay a low single supplement. Rates start at approximately US$2,050, sharing, or US$2,170 for single occupancy, which covers tuition, lodging for 7 nights, all meals including wine at The Watermill and several local restaurants (a truly extraordinary provision) as well as pre-dinner aperitifs and after-dinner liqueurs, transfers to/from Pisa Airport, local transport and excursions to nearby restaurants and attractions.
Details: The Watermill at Posara
If Sri Lanka, Jordan, Egypt or Russia are on your bucket list, then now's the time to tick one or more of them off that list. On the Go Tours is offering savings of up to 50% on a selection of tours and 25% off all group tours to these four destinations. Deadline for booking is April 30, 2015. Check out the details here.
And here's more good news from On the Go Tours – a new competition offers a chance to win "one of eight "trips to the wonders of the world."
Boston, MA. Tom Harper River Journeys has exciting news for singles with the unveiling of MS Birdsong for the 2016 river cruising season. Built and based in Europe, the 88-cabin Birdsong includes 21st century features such as an oversized fitness/wellness center, all-inclusive pricing, and a smaller-is-better attitude to shore excursions. "We are especially excited about offering the exclusive small-group experiences and on-shore activities our travelers have requested," said Tom Harper CEO Bret Gordon. "Land explorations will include no more than 24 guests per group, versus the industry average of 45 guests." All of that is good news, but even better for solo cruisers is that Birdsong has "18 cabins dedicated to singles with no single supplement charge." The 132-square-foot staterooms are located on middle and upper decks, and include French balconies.
Birdsong's inaugural 12-day cruise from Basel Switzerland to Amsterdam is slated for March 2016, and throughout 2016, she will operate 8 to 13-day river cruise tours along the waterways of Holland and Belgium, the Rhine, Main, Moselle, and Danube rivers, including options during Christmas Market season and special sailings over the Christmas and New Year holidays.
Details: Tom Harper Cruises
Banderas, TX. Located in Texas hill country 47 miles northwest of San Antonio, the family-oriented Mayan Dude Ranch goes easy on the one-parent-family with a low single supplement add-on of only $20 per day. The Hicks family has been operating the ranch for 50-plus years and promises visitors their "own special brand of 'Horsepitality'" as well as modern facilities and all sorts of fun ranch-style activities geared for every age group.
This looks like a good place to check out if yours is a single-parent family, not to forget a nice idea for that grandparent and grand-kid getaway. And, single moms, do take note of this Mother's Day Special when, according to ranch spokesperson Kelly Orion, the single supplement will be waived entirely: May 1 through May 10, 2015, single moms can stay for US$100 per day (plus tax and service charge). Regular adult rates start at US$165.
Details: Mayan Dude Ranch
According to The Cruise People Ltd, Adventure Canada has waived single supplement fees on board Ocean Endeavour on select voyages in categories three through eight. The No Single Supplement offer is for the following trips and is subject to availability:
>> The Mighty St Lawrence, June 12-23, 2015
>> Newfoundland and Wild Labrador, July 5-17, 2015
>> Heart of the Arctic, July 17-29, 2015
This offer is valid through Valentine’s Day, February 14, 2015.
Details: Adventure Canada
January 16, 2015. Today is the day that Americans, single and otherwise, can start planning a trip to Cuba. Well, in fact, they always could despite government sanctions but only by special license or strictly arranged educational tours, or by traveling via other countries, such as Canada. Earlier, President Obama announced tension easing measures and now they are about to go into effect, according to a report in today's New York Times as well as other media outlets. And while you are off reading that report, I'll be updating Cuba, A Mini Guide for Solo Travel, which CSTN first published in 2009. The article was updated in 2012, and this revision will bring you up to date on planning your own solo travel adventure in Cuba.
Kudos for Holland America Line! Holland America has always been included on CSTN's list of single-friendly cruise lines because of its guaranteed share pricing and social programs for solo cruisers. Now, I am glad to report that Holland America has taken another positive step for singles by trending away from building ships to double-occupancy standards. When ms Koningsdam debuts in 2016, the ship will feature Holland America Line’s first-ever purpose-built staterooms for singles as well as families among its 1,331 guest accommodations. The 12 single ocean-view cabins will range from 127 to 172 square feet in size and will be available on multiple decks at a variety of forward, mid-ship and aft locations. You can explore the ship online.