It’s a great day for solo cruisers. Norwegian Cruise Line announced Monday its plan to expand its offerings to travelers who want to cruise without a companion. The line will more than double its solo accommodations across its 19-ship fleet beginning in January.
Additionally, the new solo cabins will include ocean-view and balcony options. Currently, studio cabins on Norwegian ships are tiny inside cabins. The line plans to recategorize existing cabins and retrofit them as solo accommodations across the fleet.
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Why has Norwegian decided now to retrofit its ships with new solo rooms? It’s likely because the demand for solo cruise accommodations shows no signs of diminishing.
A study by Travelport revealed that solo travel made up nearly 18% of global bookings in the travel industry. Additionally, from 2019 to 2022, Norwegian reported an increase in guests booking accommodations as a single occupant in non-studio cabins.
Solo cabin amenities
Although Norwegian’s existing studio cabins are small — around 100 square feet — they are ideally designed to maximize storage space. These solo cabins are situated around an exclusive-access Studio Lounge, which features a bar and television area, as well as daily happy hours.
New solo cabin categories will also include access to the dedicated lounge space. However, ships that currently do not offer studio cabins will only receive the solo cabin retrofit and no new lounge space. Passengers can take part in organized onboard activities exclusively for solo travelers.
Designated solo cabins will be available on every ship, but the number of accommodations will vary. For example, currently, Pride of America features four studio cabins, while Norwegian Viva offers 73.
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Solo cruising conundrum
Solo cabins are highly sought after on cruise ships because single cruisers have historically been punished for traveling alone. Most cruise ship cabins are designed for two people, and the cruise fares for these cabins are per person, based on double occupancy. That means the rates are only available to customers sharing the cabin with a second paying passenger.
Solo cruisers must pay an extra fare, known as a “single supplement,” to make up for the lost revenue from the hypothetical second passenger who could have shared the room with them.
Norwegian responded to frequent requests to accommodate single cruisers by debuting the industry’s first solo cabins in 2010 on Norwegian Epic. It was such a success that the line continued to include the studio cabins on ships that followed. You’ll find them on Norwegian Getaway, Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Epic, Norwegian Escape, Norwegian Encore, Norwegian Bliss, Norwegian Viva, Norwegian Prima and Pride of America.
Booking new studio cabins
Beginning Oct. 19, you can book one of Norwegian Cruise Line’s new solo cabin categories for sailings beginning Jan. 2, 2024.
Pricing will vary with destination and demand but will be cheaper than having to pay the single supplement for a traditional double occupancy room. If you’re thinking of booking, act fast. Studio cabins are a hot commodity and are usually snatched up early, and the new solo rooms will likely be equally popular.
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