Top 10 Reasons to Take a River Cruise
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Afraid to travel solo? Worried you won't have a good time traveling alone?
Fretting about being the "odd" person out? Don't be... it's time to change your mind!


Most of today’s (aged 50+) travelers view travel as a birth right more than an element of their annual discretionary spending. And while our parents looked for that Kodak moment on their 10-14 day bus tour (or, pardon the expression — car trip with the family), today’s +50 travelers look for new adventures, new places to explore, and a lifetime of new exciting travel memories and new friends.

The quest for such fun and invigorating travel certainly applies to most Boomers and pre-Boomers, but does it apply to you?
Or, are you what we call a “timid solo traveler"? We’ve been planning exciting vacations for cruise travelers of all ages, backgrounds and socio-economic ranges for over 35 years. Recently however, we’ve begun to hear from what appears to be a larger than expected numbers of solo or single travelers who seem to be a bit reluctant to put their foot in the water. We now call these folks, “timid” solo travelers.

At times it’s a bit difficult to pinpoint the traits that make them somewhat afraid or apprehensive about traveling alone. We do know from talking with many that during a conversation a common phrase often appears: “If I only had someone to take this trip with, I’d do it in a heartbeat.” Is that you?

While we are only speculating, we believe the number of so called “timid” travelers is growing a bit faster than the overall number of solo travelers which now approximates 15% of all travelers in Canada and the U.S. So, if you are in fact a “timid” traveler you can bet you’re not alone.

In working closely with our so-called “timid” travelers we know it’s not about the cost of a vacation nor is it about where to go or when to go, it is purely about but the fact that they perceive there is no one to enjoy the vacation with.

You know, it’s kind of like thinking: that’s a really cool and exciting trip… for everyone but me.

Timid travelers don’t want to be lonely, the “odd” person out, dine alone, stay in their room or otherwise fret, so it’s just easier to stay home and go to the movies, or visit the grand kids.

If you’ve found yourself thinking similar thoughts, you’re really missing out on one of life’s grand treasures — the memorable, enjoyable, affordable, and very solo-friendly world of river and small ship cruising.

At Premier, we’ve always worked closely with those who travel solo and there’s one thing we know for sure: that knowledge is a very powerful ally when it comes to deciding to travel solo. That’s why planning your trip through Premier is so important. We have the expertise to remove any anxiety you may have about taking a river or small ship cruise alone.

What we have also learned over the years is there’s never been a vacation choice
that is better suited for solo travelers than a river or small ship cruise vacation.

That's right... None. No way. No how. Here’s why...
River ships only carry about 150 passengers and small ships approximately from 100 to 350 passengers – so you meet everyone quickly
The environment is much more casual, social and nurturing than on the mega-sized ocean ships
On European river cruises, solo travelers make-up about 7% of all passengers; on small ships a slightly smaller percentage
Other passengers are of a similar age group, similar lifestyle, and love to travel.
River and small ship cruisers are a naturally a warm and friendly group who look after each other; so you’re really not ever traveling alone.
With such a small number of guests on each cruise, you know almost everyone in a day and the crew knows you.
It is easy to meet other solo travelers in the small group, “included” escorted shore excursions.
The long days in port allows for exciting guided shore excursions, and plenty of time to explore with new friends.
Unlike the massive-sized ocean ship cruise lines, river and small ship cruise lines encourage and embrace solo travelers.
Open dining is a breeze with no assigned tables. This encourages everyone to mingle; everyone is very comfortable joining others you’ve already met at a table.
You can take comfort in knowing the Cruise Director knows you are traveling solo and is there to answer any and all questions you may have.
And, it’s an absolutely great way to meet other solo travelers and form new friendships with all of your fellow cruisers.


A few years ago, we worked with our friend Janice Waugh, founder of the Solo Traveler Blog, one of the most widely quoted and respected solo travelers in the world. At that time, Janice had never been on a river cruise of any type before. She actually really had never thought about one as she felt it would be too restrictive and too “couples”-oriented (Boy, was she wrong!). So, we asked Janice if she would like to be a guest of Uniworld River Cruises and enjoy an illuminating Holiday Markets cruise sailing from Vienna to Budapest.

After a bit of arm twisting and pointing out the fact that she was going to be in Europe anyway, she reluctantly agreed to go.

Rather than take lots of space to tell you how she felt after her Danube cruise, below are a few excerpts from her Solo Traveler Blog article about her cruise. Please take a few moments to read them and find out why Janice is NO longer "The Reluctant River Cruiser"!

Excerpts from Janice Waugh's Articles on Her Uniworld
Holiday Markets River Cruise on the Danube

10 Reasons. 10 Photos. River Cruises are Great for Solo Travelers. It’s time to sum up my first experience on a river cruise. Was it great? Would I recommend it for solo travelers?

The answer is: "Yes!"

Those who know me know that a river cruise is a departure for me (please pardon the pun). I’m typically an independent traveler and my quest is rarely for luxury. However, I enjoyed both the luxury of the cruise as well as a chance to relax and let someone else manage all the details for a change. So, if the question is: should I go on a river cruise, the answer is: it depends on what you want in your travels. If it’s a bit of relaxing luxury while still seeing and learning a lot, a river cruise may be for you. To help answer the question, please read my full article on "10 Reasons River Cruises are Great for Solo Travelers." >>

When the River is Your Highway — 7 Tips on River Cruising. The river cruise I took in 2012, was a great surprise. It was as luxurious as a fine hotel, but far more friendly. A hotel has people coming and going all the time. It’s not an environment for meeting people the way a river cruise is. On the River Countess, I met people and could hang out with them or, if I wanted to, go my own way.

It was hassle-free. Cruising the Danube river, we arrived in a new location every day without the annoyance of having to pack and unpack. The food and wine were exceptional. I was quite content to eat there for every meal as the chef offered a local specialty on the menu each evening. With only 88 passengers, it was truly a fine dining experience.

Finally, as someone who experiences sea sickness easily, I had absolutely no problem with it whatsoever. My conclusion: river cruising is great for solo travelers. Based on my experience I’d like to share a few tips on cruising. Please read my full article on "7 Tips for River Cruising." >>

The Reluctant River Cruiser. I’m a bit of a snob. A reverse snob by most standards, but a snob nonetheless. I generally like to travel on the cheap – low to the ground so that I connect with locals and other travelers. I find expensive hotels to be impersonal; guests don’t mingle and locals are a rarity. While I enjoy luxury when traveling for work, I have generally preferred to stay in B&Bs, hostels, and budget hotels when going for pleasure. — Until now. — I just experienced my first river cruise and my thinking has changed. Please read my full article, "The Reluctant River Cruiser." >>

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