4 luxury trips for solo travellers

Splashing out on the adventure of a lifetime? These luxury tours are ideal for travellers going it alone...

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If you’re splashing out on the adventure of a lifetime, you need to make the most of every moment – and flying solo means having the freedom to go at your own pace and explore the places that interest you the most, with no compromising your dream trip to suit someone else’s schedule. Some luxury trips cater particularly well to solo travellers or offer low or no single supplements, so there’s nothing to stop you from giving it a go. 

1. Photograph polar bears in Svalbard

Great travel photography relies on skill and subject matter, and there’s no shortage of either on an expert-led journey to one of the most remote regions on Earth: the frozen archipelago of Svalbard. If you’ve always dreamed of seeing polar bears padding along a frozen tundra, or walruses lolloping about on the fringes of an ice floe, you can take your time crafting the perfect shot on photography-focused ‘micro cruises’ with Secret Atlas. The Svalbard Explorer Photo Tour takes just 12 passengers on the refurbished vessel Vikingfjord, meaning there will be plenty of opportunity to soak up advice from experienced photographers such as Paul Goldstein or Florian Ledoux. Best of all, the ship comes with solo cabins, meaning there is no single supplement and there are likely to be plenty of other solo travellers on board to share the adventure. 

More information: Secret AtlasApril–September; 9–10 days from £10,500pp (excluding international flights).

2. Join the Verdi Festival in Italy

Art and music are a matter of personal taste, so finding friends or family who are as dedicated as you are to following the trail of the French Impressionists or seeing opera in its spiritual home can be tricky. Don’t let that stop you from following your passion, though; there are plenty of cultural escapes where you can share the experience with other devotees. Opera fans can explore the birthplace of Italian composer Giuseppe Verdi on a new departure from Kirker Holidays that coincides with the Verdi Festival in Parma. Led by art historian and opera specialist Patrick Bade, the trip takes in not only the beauty of Emilia Romagna – renowned even among Italian regions for its cuisine – but also features tickets to four Verdi Festival performances at the Teatro Verdi and the atmospheric Teatro Regio in Parma.

More information: Kirker Holidays. 19 September; 6 nights from £4,070 (including single supplement).

3. Track cheetahs on a conservation adventure in South Africa

Watching wildlife from the comfort of a luxury lodge is one thing, but it’s quite another to get stuck in with a hands-on conservation adventure. Set in South Africa’s Great Karoo, the Samara Karoo Reserve’s rewilding project has brought lions, cheetahs and elephants back to its semi-desert landscapes for the first time in over a century, with mother-daughter team Sarah and Isabelle Tompkins at the helm. Conservation specialist Journeys With Purpose brings small groups out to get involved by tracking cheetahs and replanting native spekboom shrubs on the 27,000-hectare wilderness. Because of its shared goals, solo travellers will find more chances to engage with the local community and other guests than on a standard safari.

More information: Journeys With Purpose. 10-16 March 2024; 7 days from £12,970pp for a single room (excluding international flights).

Read next: Secret African safaris without the crowds

4. Take a sleeper train through the Scottish Highlands

Make friends aboard the Belmond Royal Scotsman (Alamy Stock Photo)

Make friends aboard the Belmond Royal Scotsman (Alamy Stock Photo)

When you’re surrounded by the rugged landscapes of the Scottish Highlands, passing by ancient castles and sweeping through heather-carpeted glens, there’s no end of inspiration to strike up conversation with fellow passengers. The Belmond Royal Scotsman has four en-suite single cabins on board, so you can choose between watching the scenery go by in peace or finding a comfortable spot to discuss the day’s adventures with other guests. Grab an armchair in the observation car, an open-air view on the veranda or a wee dram after dinner and compare notes on off-train adventures that include whisky tastings, a private tour of Culloden battlefield or fishing in Cairngorms National Park on Belmond’s Taste of the Highlands journey.

More information: Belmond. April–October; 2 nights from £4,000pp. 

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