I enjoyed the best of both worlds.
I had plenty of time to myself and lots of social time as well.
That's the way it works when you go solo on a river cruise. At least that's the way it worked on the 12-day cruise I took from Bucharest to the Black Sea and then up the Danube to Budapest with Grand Circle Cruise Line – my thanks to them for making this trip possible.
Here's the social side of a river cruise for solo travelers:
- Meeting and greeting: The voyage kicked off with a meet-and-greet for solo travelers where I met many other travelers (primarily women) on their own.
- Moving my feast: I made a point of sitting down to almost every meal with different people – and repeating meals with the people I enjoyed the most. The food was great and the company was even better.
- Sharing curiosity: With only one exception, each day began with a tour of a new port town. Being in a smaller group which naturally broke off into even smaller groups on the tour, I drifted from person to person and group to group to hear their questions, comments, and observations and participate in the discussion. It was natural for everyone to do this.
And yet there was still plenty of time and space for alone time.
- A cozy corner of the large lounge. While the lounge was certainly a place where I connected with people, especially before dinner, it was large enough that I could find a quiet corner by myself for reading, writing, or simply watching the scenery go by.
- The upper deck or the gym. The gym was always quiet and the upper deck offered opportunities for solitude as well.
- My cabin. And, of course, there was my cabin. While the lounge was active in the evenings I spent most evenings in my room reading and writing.
Whether you are in the mood for social or alone time, going solo on a river cruise gives you the option. But I'd like to go into one other aspect of river cruising that I find quite amazing. Please read on…
Off the Beaten Track on a River Cruise
In addition to being great for solo travelers, there is something else very special about a river cruise. It will take you to towns that you might not otherwise see. As the ship travels waterways that had historically been major thoroughfares, it stops in towns that are somewhat stuck in time – towns that are now off the beaten track because transportation shifts to trains and then cars have left them behind.
To wrap up this post I'd like to take you pictorially to the town of Vidin, Bulgaria. It's small, charming, and incredibly diverse. I would never have discovered it had it not been for this river cruise. Here is Vidin…
For more about this river cruise which was kindly sponsored by Grand Circle read:
- Life on a River Cruise? Here’s what it’s like.
- From Bleak to Breathtaking: Budapest 30 Years On
- No Food Left Behind: Staying Healthy on a Cruise
- My Eastern European River Cruise: Itinerary in Photos
- Eastern Europe: 6 Reasons I’m Excited to Go and 1 Reason I’m Not