SOLO holidays, whether on a cruise ship or in a hotel, are notoriously expensive because rates are always worked out on double occupancy.
Here are six of the best companies for single cruise passengers:
Fred Olsen Cruise Line: Overall there are 190 single cabins with no supplement to pay in the three-ship fleet, with 64 on Balmoral, 43 on Boudicca and 40 on Braemar.
Once onboard there are special meetings for solo travellers so they can get to know each other and staff make sure they sit together for dinner and try to arrange companions for them when they go ashore.
There are also Gentlemen Hosts and Dance Couples on board the ships to provide dancing partners for solo guests.
In 2015/16 Fred Olsen is also offering twin-for-sole occupancy discounts on some cruises, so there are no single supplements charged on non-single cabins.
Find out more at fredolsencruises.com or call 0800 0355 242.
Many of the Studio staterooms are connecting, so friends can travel together but still have their own private space.
The Studio concept was launched on Norwegian Epic, which has 128 Studio staterooms, and was built into Norwegian Getaway and Norwegian Breakaway with 59 Studio cabins each.
Norwegian Escape, which launches this autumn, will have 82 solo cabins.
Find out more at ncl.co.uk or call 0845 201 8900.
P&O Cruises: The new ship Britannia was built with 27 single cabins – 12 inside and 15 outside cabins with balconies.
Other P&O ships with purpose-built single cabins include Ventura and Azura, which both have 12 outside and six inside; Arcadia, with two outside and four inside; Aurora with four outside cabins and Oriana with two inside cabins.
There is no additional charge for these single cabins and staff organise coffee morning get togethers for solo travellers.
Where possible, P&O also tries to seat solo travellers together in the main restaurant.
Find out more at pocruises.com or call 0843 374 0111.
Royal Caribbean International: Quantum of the Seas and this year’s Anthem of the Seas were built with 28 Studio single staterooms, and when Ovation of the Seas launches this autumn it will also have Studio staterooms.
These include Super Studio Ocean View Staterooms with balconies and large single beds, and Studio Interior Staterooms with Virtual Views – a high definition screen showing views of outside the ship that can be switched off if you don’t want it. There is no single supplement on the Studio staterooms. Find out more at royalcaribbean.co.uk or call 0844 571 9999.
Holland America Line: Although there are no single cabins, the HAL Single Partners Programme offers solos the chance to share a double cabin with another single person of the same sex so there is no supplement to pay.
The programme applies to selected cabins only, and is not available for Grand Voyages or Alaska Land+Sea Journeys.
All HAL ships organise welcome parties for solo travellers so they can meet each other, and subsequent cocktail parties and games nights.
Social Hosts welcome singles to dinner and provide dance partners on some cruises and, if you ask in advance, singles can be seated together at dinner.
Find out more at hollandamerica.com or call 0843 374 2300.
Cunard: Nine new single staterooms have been added to Queen Victoria during refurbishment this year and nine midship single cabins were added to Queen Elizabeth in 2014.
On both ships eight of the cabins are Ocean View, with large windows rather than balconies, and the other is an inside cabin.
All have oversize single beds and are on Deck Two, near the social hub of the ship, and do not have a single supplement charge.
Find out more at cunard.com or call 0845 374 2224.
by DEBORAH STONE