Many retirees are finding that retirement is the beginning of an entirely new life, with endless possibilities for exploring new dreams. For single retirees, this is even more the case. An astonishing number of Americans over the age of 45 are single — some 40 percent, according to the U.S Census Bureau. Millions of these singles are actively seeking new partners, but dating for those over 50 years of age is different from dating as a young adult. How can you meet eligible prospects if you’re retired?
Singles Cruises Over the Age of 50
Retirees have free time, and many retirees have sufficient savings to indulge in vacations; the leisure industry has capitalized on this. Many cruise lines market singles cruises over 50 — cruise vacations that cater specifically to singles over 50 years of age. One way the cruise lines do this is by adjusting how they price cruise tours. Normally, cruise liners have double-capacity cabins and price tours as “per-person, double occupancy.” If you travel as a single and occupy a cabin by yourself, you’re stuck paying a single supplement, up to 50 percent of the total trip cost. One way around this is to travel with a friend of the same sex, preferably also single, and share the cabin, but most of your shipmates are likely to be couples — not a promising field if you’re looking for new romance!
Singles-friendly cruises, on the other hand, greatly reduce or even eliminate the single supplement. Sometimes, the operator will offer a “guaranteed share” option, whereby you are matched up with a cabin mate of the same sex and smoking preference. Cruises that offer these options tend to attract a much larger percentage of single travelers.
Singles Travel International
One company that specializes in tours for singles is Singles Travel International, which arranges cruises to a variety of destinations worldwide. Standard cruises operate in the Caribbean, Hawaii, the Mediterranean, and other common cruise destinations; more exotic trips explore the Alaska panhandle and Antarctica. Prices for most cruises start at about $1,000 per person, though the Antarctica expedition can set you back $6,000 or more. Singles Travel International advertises that they charge no single supplement — you pay the same rate for single occupancy.
All Singles Travel
All Singles Travel is another organization that offers cruises for singles; younger singles are welcome as well, but cruises tend to attract singles over 50. Some trips cater to specific categories of singles, including a Caribbean cruise for singles over 60. All Singles Travel also offers non-cruise tours to destinations such as Italy, Turkey, Thailand, Tibet, and much more; often, they center a tour around a specific event, such as the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
O Solo Mio
O Solo Mio is yet another tour operator catering to singles, welcoming any singles over the age of 35 (though most travelers on their tours are in their late 40s and 50s). This operator primarily offers non-cruise tours; Italy is a popular destination. A recent ten-day trip to Tuscany was priced at $2,125 per person for double occupancy, with an additional $550 for single occupancy.
An amusing take on a single’s experiences on board a cruise liner is the “embellished” memoir Meet Me on the Queen Elizabeth 2!, in which Singaporean writer Catherine Lim recounts her experiences flirting with various single men during a cruise holiday. Lim pays much attention to her clothing while on board, particularly her cheongsam, a body-hugging, one-piece Chinese dress that seems designed expressly to attract members of the opposite sex.
Whether you’re looking for a little bit of flirtatious fun, like Catherine Lim, or a long-term romance, singles cruises operate around the world and can be affordable as well as rewarding.