The ever-changing tides of the travel industry are no secret. Trends ebb and flow as surely as the ocean’s waves. One of the latest shifts? The rise of solo travel. And no company seems to be riding this wave more adeptly than Norwegian Cruise Line (NCL). The pioneering force in global cruise travel recently unveiled plans to significantly expand its offerings for the solitary voyager, and I’m here to give you the inside scoop!
Doubling Down on Solo Travel
Hot on the press is the announcement that NCL is set to unveil nearly 1,000 solo staterooms across its vast 19-ship fleet. Let that sink in. This isn’t just a minor addition or a trial phase—it’s a full-blown commitment to catering to those who choose to embark on journeys on their own terms.
Launching this week are three brand-new solo stateroom categories—Solo Inside, Solo Oceanview, and Solo Balcony. These will be available for future sailings, with the starting date penned in for January 2, 2024.
Affordable Luxury for the Solo Voyager
If you’re wondering about the costs, here’s the enticing part: solo travelers can anticipate paying less than what you’d shell out for a traditional double occupancy room. Pricing, of course, will vary based on the destination and demand. But this shift in pricing structure is a clear nod to the individual traveler, ensuring they don’t have to break the bank to enjoy their own space.
David J. Herrera, president of Norwegian Cruise Line, shared, “We strive to provide our guests with diverse offerings to create their dream vacation.” True to his word, since the initial launch of solo staterooms in 2010 with the Norwegian Epic, the company has seen an impressive uptake by single travelers.
Beyond the Room: The Complete Solo Experience
But NCL isn’t just about offering solo staterooms. They’re cultivating a complete experience for the solo cruiser. Those opting for these rooms will be granted exclusive access to the Studio Lounge on select ships—a haven just for them, complete with a bar stocked with beer and wine and an array of daily snacks. Moreover, a variety of activities are scheduled exclusively for single travelers, making it a breeze to meet fellow cruisers and form new connections.
With this expansion, solo cruisers aren’t just limited to specific ships. They can now traverse dreamy destinations like Asia, Africa, Australia, and New Zealand aboard any vessel in NCL‘s fleet—a move that represents a significant stride in inclusivity.
The Solo Travel Surge
This decision by NCL isn’t arbitrary. A noticeable upswing in the popularity of solo travel has been documented in the tourism sector. A Travelport study highlighted that solo journeys constituted almost 18% of global bookings. Radical Storage reported a whopping 267% surge in online searches for “solo travel” between December 2020 and April 2022. Furthermore, Norwegian itself observed a growing trend of guests booking single occupant accommodations even in non-studio staterooms from 2019 to 2022.
It’s an exciting era for those who cherish their solo adventures. With companies like NCL acknowledging and adapting to the changing needs of travelers, the horizon looks bright for those setting sail on their own. Whether you’re a seasoned solo traveler or contemplating your first solo voyage, it might be time to consider the open seas and the myriad experiences waiting on an NCL cruise. Safe travels!