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Holiday Solo Travel-River Cruises: As the year comes to an end, one of the recurring questions for solos is how we will spend the holidays. Although then-child actor Macaulay Culkin made us laugh through the blockbuster comedy,”Home Alone”, and its sequel, not many singles are looking forward to being a “Group of One” during the holidays as Christmas, Hanukkah and New Year’s approach.
With last minute shopping and year-end work deadlines, I have found a river cruise is one of the best ways for a great holiday without spending hours of preparation. In 2013, I went upriver on the Amazon in a small boat for 15. In 2014-Jan 2015, I had a very different trip, an elegant cruise through SE Asia’s Mekong Delta on a 100+ 5-star ship.
When you are budgeting the trip, look carefully at airline pricing. Typically, it goes up dramatically Dec 22 and declining around the second week in January. You may want to have a holiday markets tour at Thanksgiving.
After 4 river cruises, I have found this to be my favorite way to travel. The reasons?
- The pricing is excellent. Accommodations in lieu of a hotel, plus meals and tours are a good value.
- You have an immediate group for meals and tours.
- Let someone else do all the planning!
- Many of the world’s fascinating destinations are only accessible via small boats.
In areas recently open to tourism, a river cruise can provide superior lodging and meals which may not otherwise be available.
- Tired of unpacking and repacking? No need to do so on board. Once and done!
- As a woman solo traveler, I feel more secure in many locations as part of a river cruise. I don’t have to rummage around for dinner in an unfamiliar city. Although security can never be guaranteed, since the ship constantly moves and has multiple staff, it offers some protection.
Popular choices range from Christmas on the Rhine and Danube to Christmas from Basel to Prague. What could be more festive than a snowy day’s visit to holiday markets. Not a fan of cold weather? Try out the hot gluehwein to stave off the chill.
Here is one example of a great bargain for the holidays. When you are comparison shopping, remember this includes meals, tours and transportation via the ship and for its local excursions. This is the best way to get top quality in Europe during the holidays. Even better? There is no single supplement!
For special deals available, be sure to say that “SOLO TREKKER” sent you. You can follow their link to email questions. To email directly, you can contact the provider at firstname.lastname@example.org. Prefer to speak to a representative? Call (+1 from abroad) 310-751-1082. They are located in southern California.
Holiday Solo Travel-River Cruises:
I have traveled with this river cruise provider for New Year’s. The trip was about a week on the Mekong River. I had expected only moderate comfort. To my surprise, it was really both a 5-star facility and top tours. There was nothing rustic about the amenities as we floated through Cambodia to Vietnam. As a solo traveler, I quickly found a fellow solo traveler. We created our own group for meals very quickly.
Holiday Solo Travel-River Cruises: One Example:
8 Days | Christmas Markets on the Danube from Nuremberg to Budapest:
Days 1-2: You will begin your cruise in historic Nuremberg. The Welcome Dinner gives you an opportunity to meet your fellow passengers. You will quickly learn that the city has both 900 year old sights to see as well those from the 20th century. The Justice Palace was the venue in 1946 for the War Crimes Tribunal. Afterwards, the tour will move on to the festive Christmas Market.
Day 3: This is the enchanting heart of medieval Germany. You can still cross the Danube on one of its oldest bridges. You will visit the Old Kornmarkt or Christmas market and see special goods available at the Thurn and Taxis Palace. You may recognize the latter. Their family is still one of the wealthiest in Europe. From the 1500’s postal service, they have diverse enterprises including breweries. They have a grand life style with multiple castles. Their name often appears along with many glitterati at chic European events.
Holidays for Solo Travelers Join a River Cruise: Crossing into Austria:
Passau. Linz, Austria:
Day 4: I found Austria to be ideal for holiday markets. It has somewhat less of the hustle and bustle in Germany. As a result, it retains much of the past holiday charm. Passau is special as the place where two rivers flow in into the Danube. Its two millennia history is quickly apparent in the small side streets. As you stroll the cobblestone streets, you can visit St. Stephan’s Cathedral. It has the largest organ in the world. There is the option to shop at the local holiday markets, or take a day trip to Salzburg. In my student days in Germany, I fell in love with Salzburg during my visit there. I highly recommend it, especially for music lovers. Seeing the Mozart’s birthplace was a highlight of my trip to Austria.
Linz is a change of place. It is a key port and Austria’s third largest city. Nonetheless, it has much of the local charm still.
Days 5-6 These are both really magical destinations. Old Europe is perfectly reflected in Vienna’s architecture. It resembles in many places an intricate wedding cake style. The interim stop in Melk is very special as well. It is chiefly known for its Benedictine Abbey overlooking the Danube. It was one of my most memorable days of my trip. It is quite cold though so dress warmly. While I was there, a US choir was performing adding to the festive air.
No trip to Vienna would be complete without seeing the fabled Opera House. (Be sure to slip away from the group to sample the chocolate Sachertorte at the café across the street.) There are a myriad of elegant Baroque and earlier buildings to see right in the city center. St. Stephen’s Cathedral is one of the best known. Holiday Markets are both at the Town Hall and in the afternoon’s optional tour at the Imperial Schönbrunn Palace. I definitely recommend this additional stop. I took the subway since it is just in the suburbs. The Market was extensive with unique gifts to take home. The Palace is one of the most beautiful in Austria. You can finish off the day with more Gluehwein and gingerbread from the outdoor stalls.
Holiday Solo Travel-River Cruises: Hungary awaits you:
Days 7-8: The best way to see Budapest: Arriving on the Danube on your river cruise! Your day begins at the storied Buda Castle perched on the hillside overlooking the city. Then you are back in town to explore St. Stephen’s Basilica and the Royal Palace. Then you are off to the Christmas Markets. Budapest’s Opera House is on the must-see list. However, my very favorite local site was the Gothic Parliament. It is an amidst Gothic-style building right on the banks of the Danube.
Journey’s end in Budapest. Why not add on two days sightseeing before flying home? I spent four days there. I never ran out of things to do and see!
Follow the link today before the single spots are all snatched up! Do remember to say “Solo Trekker” sent you. Not looking for holiday travel but later in the New Year. There are hundreds of river cruises already scheduled for 2017. For more information, follow the link for pricing and departure schedules.
For Holidays for Solo Travelers Join a River Cruise, follow the link and choose from multiple departures. Be sure to check out Christmas Markets and wine tours. (Yes, the cold weather may keep the grapes from appearing. However, wine tasting never goes off-season!) The challenge is booking ahead. Many packages are filled quickly. Spaces reserved for solo travelers with no single supplement are always limited. Don’t delay while spaces remain!
Check out our unique patent-pending search tool, the Solo Travel Pricing Tracker, which features over 240 river and small ship cruise operators with no to low single supplements. For more options see our River Cruise Packages.