Solo travel has shed any lingering stigmas to become one of the key trends of the past decade. And yet, a cruise may still seem an unlikely choice for someone traveling alone. Nearly everything—meals, excursions, onboard activities—is done en masse. Now, however, the famously family-friendly industry is working hard to appeal to that very set of single travelers.
Demographics are shifting: According to the U.S. Census, in 2018, 70 percent of 18-to-34-year-olds were unmarried, compared to 41 percent in 1978. Norwegian Cruise Line was one of the first to turn its attention to this trend, repurposing interior-facing cabins as pod-like solo rooms known as “studios” when it launched the Norwegian Epic in 2010; now you can find them on five other ships in the fleet. Luxury line Cunard—famous for transatlantic trips and for keeping the sailing glamour of yesteryear—introduced solo rooms to the Queen Elizabeth 2 and then the Queen Mary 2 during its $132 million refit three years ago.