Cruise: Solo travellers could be caught out by this hidden cost – could you lose out?

Cruise holidays are booming in popularity, with the latest travel report figures from ABTA revealing that there has been an increase in the number of Britons opting to go on a cruise holiday since last year. Couple that with the rise in solo travel, with ABTA finding that 15 percent of travellers took a lone vacation in 2018, and its no surprise many travellers are opting for a cruise holiday as a relaxing opportunity to enjoy some well deserved “me time”. However, this solo travel could come with a hidden cost many cruisers aren’t aware of.

Holidaymakers who decide to go on a cruise alone could be at the peril of a “solo surcharge”.

This charge is a fee put in place by the cruise company to compensate for losses to the cruise line because only one person is staying in a cabin.

In fact, nearly all cruise pricing is based on double occupancy, and thus solo travellers could find themselves at a disadvantage.

According to “Hotel and cruise ship operators claim that charging a single supplement helps them recover the fixed costs of maintaining the room or cabin, such as utilities and cleaning, which stay the same regardless of how many people use the room.”

The supplement will also help the cruise line make up losses that come from one less passenger and the lost revenue from spending and food as a result.

READ MORE: Holidays: Top holiday destinations for 2020 revealed [INSIGHT]

The handbook also recommends travelling in low season.

“Sailing during low season will increase the chance that your cruise operator of choice will be willing to waive their solo surcharge in order to fill rooms.”

There are also many travel operators who specialise in travel specifically designed for travellers hoping to do some autonomous adventuring.

“Licensed travel agents are often armed with special deals to incentives their business,” the expert writes.

“They’ll be your best advocate for equalising your cruising costs.”

The handbook also offers tips for saving money when booking a cruise holiday.

The time of year that passengers book plays a crucial role in how much their ticket could cost them.

“The best way to hit up the most popular cruising destinations on the planet at a fraction of the cost is to select a sail date outside of high season,” writes an expert.

“Fares follow projected weather patterns meaning that off-season or low season fares cannot guarantee the most ideal weather – but with fares being half the price, it’s worth checking out.

“Besides, you could luck into some serious sunshine.”

The book reveals the top three cruise destinations include Alaska, Europe and Eastern Caribbean.

The best times to travel to Alaska are in May or September, for Europe it’s February or March and August is the cheapest time for the Caribbean destination.

Additionally, autumn is another great time to book cruise holidays.