Posted by: Sarah Lee | February 2, 2010

Epic news for solo cruisers

Norwegian Epic promises big things for solo travellers

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Last week Norwegian Cruise Lines (NCL) announced that it will be bringing it’s newest ship Norwegian Epic to the UK for Summer 2011 sailings around the Mediterranean. The ship is set to  deliver a host of new features when it launches later this year.

The company is hoping it’s most innovative of ships will appeal to everyone – not just the families that are usually to be found on an NCL cruise. In a big move for the industry they are developing studio-style staterooms for solo travellers and with no single supplement. The rooms will be priced from £599 on Caribbean itineraries.

Trendy studios for solo travellers

NCL CEO Kevin Sheehan said:  “We are breaking the mold of traditional cruising by offering a stateroom designed and priced specifically for solo travellers, making cruising a more attractive travel option.”

The Studios, a private key-card access complex, will consist of 128 staterooms and a Studio Lounge over two decks. Each Studio stateroom with approximately 100-sq-ft living space will have contemporary design a full-size bed and separate areas for the bathroom, sink and shower.  Guests in the Studios also have private access to the exclusive Studio Lounge where they can have a coffee or a drink in the evening.  With many of the Studio staterooms connecting, there is also the opportunity for friends to travel together while giving each their space.

Although the Studios sound great the key-card access and Studio lounge make you wonder if NCL is trying to keep the single people contained in one place – away from all those nice families. Then again most single travellers would likely state this is exactly what they want.

I wonder if NCL’s efforts have the power to change the face of crusing, making a younger, bolder crowd take to the seas. Either way let’s hope other companies are persuaded to take up this flexible approach to cruising and travel in general so people are not punished for travelling solo.

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