For those folks who either enjoy traveling solo or have found themselves suddenly traveling as a single, the dreaded single-supplement can stop them in their tracks when trying to make a reservation. Just about all cruise lines (not to mention hotels, resorts and tour companies) base their pricing on double occupancy, so when one is traveling alone there is a single-supplement - up to 200 percent of the cabin fare - that the traveler must pay.
There are some solo travel programs such as a shared room program in which the guest signs up and pays 50 percent of the stateroom fare and the cruise line matches them with other singles to share the stateroom. If they can't find a match (same sex, non-smoker, etc.), you may luck out and have a stateroom all your own - you just don't know.
Occasionally cruise lines will come out with a promotion that waives the single supplement or reduces it for affordability. Of course, this would not be on the more popular sail dates because the ship will probably sell out at double occupancy prices. But when they don't sell out, the cruise lines would much prefer a stateroom sail with one person than it go empty.
Uniworld, for a limited time, has waived its single supplement on it 2011 'Springtime on the Rhine' cruises. What wonderful news for those who would like to enjoy the slow paced 8-day itinerary without having to pay the double fare. There are a couple of single supplement staterooms left on the March 27 cruise, and April is sold out, but if you plan early there are some also offered in April, July, August and October on the lovely Danube Discovery cruises.
The river cruises are slow paced but offer so much to enjoy. Art and history lovers are sure to get an eye- and earful on just about any itinerary.
Those that enjoy the music of old will not be disappointed as each port town has its own musical history and enjoy performing their cultural dances for the cruise guests.
The low-lying ships must be slender - a maximum of 37.5 feet wide - to navigate the rivers, which although very wide in many places, include winding, canals and low bridges the ships must deal with.
Passenger capacity on the newer vessels can reach 200 but most accommodate fewer. However, it's not the size that matters here, it's the onboard experience and the itineraries.
Uniworld has stepped out of the box with their boutique collection of vessels. Because of their unique relationship with sister company Red Carnation Hotels and their shared passion for excellence, the ship's distinctive boutique design sets it apart from other river ships. From the luxuriously appointed river-view staterooms - some with French balconies - to the gourmet cuisine created with fresh, local ingredients, and onboard programs and included shore excursions hosted by English speaking guides, Uniworld redefines the river cruising industry.
Whether traveling alone or with a group, a Uniworld cruise is a great way to go.
Patty Toppa is a travel consultant with Gadabout Travel. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or www.cruisetraveltours.com.