Cheaper European cruises for solo travellers

European Waterways is inviting the growing number of solo travellers to experience the joys of hotel barging, with the elimination of the single supplement aboard select departures of the company’s La Bella Vita luxury hotel barge, which operates out of Venice.

The special can save you up to €1600 ($2400) per cabin. The offers are valid on the vessel’s six-night, all-inclusive 17 April, 15 May and 29 May 2022 departures.

European Waterways is also offering an early booking special of 10 per cent off per person for La Bella Vita’s annual ‘Solo Cruise’ that departs 16 October 2022. Accommodating up to 20 passengers, La Bella Vita is European Waterways’ largest hotel barge, with a one-of-a-kind itinerary through Italy’s historic River Po that includes guided tours of the Renaissance cities of Ferrara and Mantua, and the picturesque fisherman’s town of Chioggia – often called ‘Little Venice’.

Solo travel

Solo travel is one of the fastest-growing segments of the industry, representing nearly 25 per cent of the market. Today’s solo travellers are more confident and adventurous and have the financial independence to explore the world on their own. For them, travel is less about living ‘the single’s life’ and more about seeking out experiences that help them learn about different cultures and contribute to personal growth.

“While solo travellers want to meet new people, they also want experiences that enrich their lives,” said Derek Banks, managing director of European Waterways. “La Bella Vita is especially suited for this new generation of travellers. Spacious and stylish, it offers a memorable journey between Venice and Mantua that immerses guests in the culture, tradition, art, and architecture of Italy – all while being treated to world-class cuisine and the finest wine.”

Read: Your guide to cruising European waterways and canals

One-of-a-kind cruise

Every aspect of La Bella Vita’s itineraries is carefully curated to help immerse guests in the region’s most influential cultures. The classic cruises feature dinner with a countess at her 17th century riverside villa and a private wine tasting in the ancient cellars of the 17th century Villa Widmann-Borletti. In addition to cruising along Italy’s famed Venetian lagoon, guests will enjoy inspiring views of the River Po’s shallow wetlands, which teem with migrating fowls such as wild geese and flamingos. An onboard master chef prepares daily gastronomic feasts that include local vintages of the finest variety.

Read: A slow cruise of French waterways

La Bella Vita’s Solo Cruise in October features extra touches, such as a stroll along the streets of Venice and dessert at the Florian Café, a local favourite and one of the world’s oldest of its kind. There is a traditional boat ride along the canals of Chioggia and a visit to the fish market of Piazzetta Vigo. There are also onboard interactive cooking demonstrations around the open plan show kitchen, as well as an opera night led by a professional quartet of singers.

“With European Waterways, you might be travelling solo, but with so many other like-minded guests to share these unique experiences, you’ll always be in good company!” said Mr Banks.

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