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Solos Mix

Murray River Solo Travel Cruise

Embark on this deluxe river cruise along the tranquil Murray River with our solo traveller group.


Delight in five nights onboard the Proud Mary; a boutique river vessel with a maximum of 18 cabins.  The cruise is designed to provide a perfect balance of activity and relaxation. Revel in the peace and quiet of cruising Australia’s biggest river and getting to know the flora and fauna of the various areas as you glide by the iconic sights of the Murray River.

Proud Mary Boutique River Cruise

Throughout your cruise, you’ll enjoy a range of shore-based tours and experiences. There is abundant wildlife to see during the day and at night thanks to state-of-the-art LED floodlights which illuminate the banks, making it easy to observe nocturnal activity on shore. And of course, the magnificent and changing River scenery provides a breath-taking backdrop each day of your cruise.

Optional Extension: Adelaide Stay Tour Package
Extend your stay;  A 2 night stay in Adelaide and a full day tour including the pretty town of Hahndorf, McClaren Vale including wine tasting and the coast.

PACKAGE DETAILS
  • Ages:
    best suited 50 years+
  • Duration:
    7 Days
  • Status:
    Bookings open
  • Region:
    Oceania
  • Destinations:
    Australia
  • Travel Style:
    On The Water
  • Accommodation:
    Boat cabins
  • Prices from:
    AUD4065 with own cabin
  • Transport:
    Private coach, Boat
  • Pace:
    1
  • Max Group Size:
    12
REVIEWS

'I would highly recommend a holiday with Encounter Travel. My trip was well organised and the co-ordinator was fun and helpful and full of energy. I met some great people of all walks of life. There is a good mix of organised activities and free time. I had a blast.'

Linda, Victoria

'Thank you for your organisation of a great holiday. As a first time traveller with Encounter, I didn't know what to expect. The Red Centre is indescribably beautiful and should be on every Australians' bucket list. We saw every sensational attraction in just the right order - each new experience was more incredible than the last. Thank you for recruiting such a great group of people for my travelling companions. The hotels were clean and very comfortable and it was a pleasure to be transported across such an amazing landscape so comfortably. I learnt so much about our wonderful country and wished I had done such a trip years earlier.'

Sarah, 52 years, Sydney, Australia
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INCLUSIONS

ACCOMMODATION & MEALS

  • 5 nights deluxe boat cabin accommodation with ensuite
  • 1 night boutique hotel stay, Adelaide
  • 6 breakfasts
  • 5 lunches
  • 1 supper
  • 4 dinners including a Captain's 5 course highlight menu

SIGHTSEEING

  • Guided shore excursions as detailed by the itinerary

TRAVEL

  • Return coach transfer Adelaide to Murray Bridge
  • Boutique river cruise boat

OPTIONAL EXTENSION: Coast, Vales & Hills Day Tour 17SEP 2022

Not included:  

  • Airfares to/from Adelaide (unless requested)
  • Airport transfers unless specified
  • Travel insurance
  • Excess baggage
  • Visa fees if applicable
  • Any tips or porterage at airports, hotels, drivers & local staff
  • Meals and beverages not specified on itinerary
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry & medical expenses
  • Incidental expenses such as taxi fares, telecommunications

Travel insurance is a mandatory requirement for joining this tour & is in addition to the tour price.

Itinerary

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Visit picturesque Mannum, including a history tour of this small township.
  • Overnight mooring at Walker Flat; enjoy the prolific bird and wildlife.
  • An “Australiana Night” that features a dinner with some traditional bush foods
  • Join an expert ecologist for a Nocturnal Discovery Tour.
  • Glide by magnificent scenery and Big Bend; famous for its soaring ochre cliffs.
  • A Captain’s overview of the story of Murray River.
  • Visit the pioneering township of Swan Reach and with a local guide visit Costa Brothers Almond Farm.
  • Cruise boat secures at Blanchetown, site of the Lock and Weir No 1 - sightings of pelicans and dozens of species of water birds can be seen
  • An overnight mooring spot of Sugar Shack; an astronomer’s paradise and a morning ecological walk around Sugar Shack.
  • A stop at Swan Reach
  • From Big Bend, a small boat cruise expedition through the lagoons and inlets, led by our expert ecologist.
  • A traditional Aussie barbeque under a canopy of stars
  • Disembark at Ngaut Ngaut Aboriginal conservation site for a tour of one of the oldest archaeological digs in Australia.
  • A silver service Captain’s Dinner, a five-course menu of modern Australian cuisine.
  • Visit the Reedy Creek Conservation Park.

PRE OR POST TOUR STAY 
Consider arriving a day before the cruise start for extra time in Adelaide. Ask our travel team about this option, and the additional costs.

 

DAY 1 -  SUNDAY

Adelaide

Join the group transfer from Adelaide Central Bus Station, departing 6PM to transfer to the departure point about one hour from Adelaide at Murray Bridge.

This evening at 7PM you are welcomed aboard by the friendly Proud Mary crew. Having settled into your comfortable, river-view cabin, you may like to join your fellow passengers in the dining room & enjoy a pre- dinner drink before a delicious hot supper is served. As you cruise, Proud Mary’s powerful floodlights illuminate the shore. This is an excellent opportunity to see the River environment from a different perspective and may allow you to view some of the noctural wildlife, especially birds such as night herons, owls, and coots.

10:00pm Proud Mary ties up at our overnight mooring, for a night of peace and tranquility in the Australia bush.

Meals: Supper


DAY 2 – MONDAY

Cruising the Murray River

Enjoy breakfast from 7am in the dining room.

8am Proud Mary departs Sunnyside and continues upstream. You will pass huge lagoons teeming with birdlife. During floods, these inland lagoons were so immense that, in the early riverboat days, captains could not find true channels. In the early 1900s, riverboat captains planted willow trees along the banks to clearly mark the main river channel. Today these willows provide the perfect haven for the prolific birdlife.

8-8.45am This morning you will enjoy a delicious buffet breakfast while cruising through Mypolonga, Wall Flat, Caloote and Ponde. Your appetite will be stimulated by the magnificent scenery you’ll pass.

10.30am Mid-morning Proud Mary arrives in picturesque Mannum, inhabited prior to white settlement by the Narraltie aboriginal tribe. The name Mannum can be translated as “the place of many ducks”. Here you’ll board a waiting coach for a history tour of this small township that has played a significant role in the development of South Australia. Captain William Randell launched the first paddle steamer, the “Mary Ann”, on the Murray River in 1853. By the late 1880s, there were over 250 paddle steamers and barges trading on the Murray River and Mannum became an industrious inland port. On the tour, you will re-trace the colourful history of several pioneering families whose efforts shaped the successful development of this region. Your tour includes a visit to the Mannum Dock museum in Mannum, where you will find a fascinating collection of historical memorabilia. Mannum is also famous as the site of the production of the first steam car in Australia with a differential, built by the Shearer brothers.

1pm The vessel departs Mannum. Lunch is served aboard as you cruise upstream past Younghusband, Teal Flat, lovely Lake Carlet, Bowhill, Purnong and onto Walker Flat. The menu may include dishes such as Chicken Saltimbocca with Asparagus or Pork Cutlet with Yam Mash, fabulous flavours to complement the superb scenery gliding by on both sides of the Proud Mary.

6pm Proud Mary moors at Walker Flat. The bird and wildlife here is prolific, including wallabies, wild ducks and bush turkeys. The towering cliffs are superb and provide a majestic backdrop to the tranquility of cruising Australia’s most famous river. This evening is “Australiana Night” and dinner will feature the use of some traditional bush foods such as emu, kangaroo, damper bread and fresh water crustaceans, with flavours of lemon myrtle, wild bush tomatoes and quandongs. These delicious dishes are created by our resident chefs to showcase Australia’s continually evolving cuisine. You might be offered Tasmanian Scallops with lemon couscous, Pepper Leaf Kangaroo Medallions, Northern Territory Barramundi or a Porterhouse Steak with Bush Tomato chutney. This evening join our expert ecologist for a Nocturnal Discovery Tour. This tour provides an insight into the abundant local wildlife, including South Australia’s fauna emblem, the Southern Hairy Nosed Wombat. These delightful creatures are found only in a limited area on the western side of the river. It’s rare to see them in the wild but you’ll board a coach to take you to their warrens and hopefully you’ll see one or two active in the evening light, as well as other nocturnal wildlife.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 3 -TUESDAY

Cruising the Murray River

Enjoy breakfast from 7am in the dining room.

7.45am Proud Mary departs Walker Flat and continues upstream. You will pass the town of Wongulla where, some fifty years ago, men found the fossil of a 20 million year old shark.

8-8.45am Another hearty breakfast is available while cruising through Wongulla, Nildottie and Big Bend. There’s something very satisfying about enjoying a good breakfast while you glide by magnificent scenery and Big Bend is famous for its soaring ochre cliffs.

10.15am A display of souvenirs is available in the Dining Room for you to browse through and purchase.

10.30am Feeling peckish? Morning Tea is available in the Dining Room.

10.45am Join the Captain in the Dining Room for a complete run-down on the story of Murray River including its history, current water usage practices and the ecology of this vital water source. You can also watch a video about the famous 1956 floods that devastated the area.

11.45am Proud Mary arrives at the pioneering township of Swan Reach. The settlement was originally the port of the large Portee Sheep Station and was settled as a township in 1899. Here you will disembark Proud Mary and with a local guide visit Costa Brothers Almond Farm. The almond industry is the fastest growing horticulture crop in Australia. Discover how this state of the art almond farm uses water-recycling technology to limit its direct impact on the river system and help secure the diverse ecosystem of the river. Also visit the Swan Reach Museum which is housed in the original school building that was built in 1917; the museum’s collection focuses on the history of education and the social history of the area.

1.45pm Rejoin the Proud Mary for another delicious lunch, perhaps featuring Natural and Kilpatrick oysters and Roast Chicken, as we depart Swan Reach and cruise through the shallows to Blanchetown.

4.45pm Proud Mary secures at Blanchetown, site of the Lock and Weir No 1. The river is dammed by 13 locks built to facilitate the early riverboat trade. Water cascades over the lock creating an excellent feeding place for birdlife. Pelicans and dozens of species of water birds can be seen diving in the water to feed. It’s a wonderful experience to watch as you relax with a quiet drink.

7.45pm Tonight, enjoy a delicious roast dinner with all the trimmings finished off with one of the home-style desserts Proud Mary’s chefs are famous for. Your evening cruise takes you to your overnight mooring spot of Sugar Shack. Sugar Shack is part of the River Murray International Dark Sky Reserve which is an astronomer’s paradise. The unpolluted skies and isolation from artificial light sources make the park one of the best places on earth to gaze at the stars. Your Captain will steer closer to the bank this evening so you can take full advantage of the LED floodlights that illuminate the towering river redgums and perhaps watch the possums as they scamper through the branches. The River takes on a wonderfully moody and atmospheric quality at night providing a magical backdrop as you drift by.

11.30pm Dining Room closes. Enjoy a peaceful night surrounded by stars and the sounds of the Australian bush.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 

DAY 4 -WEDNESDAY

Cruising the Murray River

Enjoy breakfast from 7am in the dining room.

This morning you will wake up in one of the most unspoilt and picturesque areas of the River Murray. Make sure you go out on deck to immerse yourself in the surroundings and experience the peace of the riverside environment.

8-8.45am Another Full English Buffet breakfast is available for you to choose from, or perhaps you might like a lighter Continental option this morning. The choice is yours.

9am This morning provides another unique experience with an absorbing ecological walk around Sugar Shack. Here you’ll discover the importance of flood plains to the river system. The history of the area began in 1840, when explorer Edward John Eyre established a village named Sturt after the famous explorer navigator.

10am Proud Mary departs Sugar Shack and cruises downstream towards Swan Reach, passing magnificent lagoons teeming with birdlife, awesome cliffs reaching for the sky and spectacular scenery as far as the eyes can see. Throughout your cruise you can listen to the informative commentary that occurs from time to time about the history of the areas you pass through and the boats that used to work there.

11.45am We’ll tie up briefly at Swan Reach in order to get the daily newspapers and you can disembark and stretch your legs if you feel inclined and have a wander around this lovely town. Call into the Hotel, built around the original Swan Reach Station Homestead, and admire the views of the River and the collection of historical photos that are on display around the building.

12.30pm Lunch is served, which today may focus on traditional fish and chips, using fresh Australian seafood or, perhaps, Roast Turkey.

2pm This afternoon the vessel ties up alongside the towering cliffs of Big Bend, the tallest anywhere along the River. This is a truly majestic landscape providing definite photo opportunities. A highlight of your expedition is a small boat cruise through the lagoons and inlets, led by our expert ecologist. There are some 320 species of birdlife in this area and, with the aid of binoculars and your well-informed guide, you will study at close range the prolific birdlife and wildlife of the region including kangaroos, wombats, emus, echidnas and goannas. Your flat-bottom boat allows you to get right up to the riverside cliffs to see nesting birds and examine the geology of the landscape including the many exposed fossils.

4.30pm Bar opens on shore.

6.30pm This evening delivers another rewarding experience… a traditional Aussie barbeque prepared by our chefs and eaten under a canopy of stars amidst the restful sounds of the nearby river. Afterwards, enjoy an evening’s entertainment around a blazing campfire, provided by our resident musician. Request a song and sing along into the night as the stars of the Australian sky hover above, almost close enough to touch.

11.30pm Dining Room closes. Enjoy another quiet night’s sleep in the tranquil Australian bush.A

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
 

DAY 5 -THURSDAY

Cruising the Murray River

Enjoy breakfast from 7am in the dining room.

7.15am Early this morning, the Proud Mary departs Big Bend and heads towards Ngaut Ngaut.

7.30-8am Enjoy your breakfast as you watch the sun climb over the towering cliffs, creating marvelous changes of colour in the sandstone and ochre hues.

8.15am Disembark at Ngaut Ngaut Aboriginal conservation site for a tour of one of the oldest archaeological digs in Australia. This is one of the definite highlights of your cruise. Take the boardwalk to the site of ancient aboriginal rock art where your local indigenous guide will explain their meaning and significance. Ngaut Ngaut was a major meeting place for the tribes of the area and you’ll see where they prepared and cooked food at a ceremonial site that dates back thousands of years. The view from the top of the cliffs is astonishing with vistas that stretch for miles in every direction.

10am Depart Ngaut Ngaut.

10.30am Join your fellow passengers, some of whom will have probably become friends by now, in the Dining Room to view an interesting and informative documentary that traces the Murray River from its source high in the Snowy Mountains right to its entry to the sea in the Coorong. The documentary explains the intricacies of the River environment and why the Murray is one of the great rivers of the world. You’ll learn about Australia’s greatest river landscapes and the people that call the River home while we cruise through Krohns Landing, Sabaruma and Walker Flat.

12.30pm Lunch is served featuring another of our chefs’ delicious creations which you can enjoy as we cruise through Bowhill, Teal Flat, Younghusband and Pellaring Reach. It’s a wonderfully relaxing afternoon. Time to lay back and enjoy the peace that surrounds you as you watch the changing views glide by.

4.30pm Arrive at Mannum. Take the opportunity to enjoy some free time in this delightful town or rest up ahead of the Captain’s Dinner this evening.

7pm Gather in the Dining Room to enjoy a complimentary champagne or cocktail prior to dinner.

7.30pm The culinary highlight of your cruise is the silver service Captain’s Dinner, a five-course menu of choice featuring mouth-watering dishes based on modern Australian cuisine. Enjoy the food, wine and atmosphere with your fellow passengers as the Captain visits every table and chats. It’s a chance to dress up a little and enjoy a gorgeous formal dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner


DAY 6 -FRIDAY

Cruising the Murray River

7am Dining Room opens. Tea and coffee available.

8-9.15am Enjoy a hearty breakfast this morning as you prepare to visit the Reedy Creek Conservation Park.

8.30am Depart Mannum. Cruise through Ponde, Caloote and Wall Flat to Woodlane.

10.15am Arrive at Woodlane to board the waiting coach for your tour to Reedy Creek Environmental Park. This was an important gathering point for local Aboriginal tribes as it provided a continuous source of water throughout the year. Comfortable walking shoes are recommended and don’t forget to take along your cameras, as Reedy Creek is very picturesque indeed, especially when the waterfalls are flowing.

12.45pm Return to Proud Mary and enjoy another delicious smorgasbord lunch as you cruise through Mypolonga, Sunnyside, Mundurra and Willowbanks.

4pm Tie up at Murray Bridge. We say goodbye and thank you for joining us on this exploration of the Murray River and we hope we might see you again in the future to enjoy another relaxing and immersing holiday along Australia’s greatest river. Join a group transfer to return to central Adelaide.

5:30PM Arrive to Adelaide and make your way to our nearby group hotel in easy walking distance.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
 

DAY 7 – SATURDAY

Enjoy a relaxed breakfast at your hotel. Package inclusions come to an end at hotel check out.
Like to see more? Join the extension option; Coast, Vales & Hills tour today

Meals: Breakfast

 



View Full Itinerary

ACCOMMODATION

Destination

Hotel 

Adelaide

Hotel Indigo Adelaide Markets

Hotels may be subject to change, due to circumstances outside of our control. Should this occur, a hotel of a similar standard will be provided. 

PROUD MARY, MURRAY RIVER CRUISE BOAT

Proud Mary was designed by Naval Architect, Mr Peter James, and built at Pt Adelaide by Ron Proud who owned the Berri Ship Building Company in 1981. The style of the vessel evokes the legendary Mississippi river cruisers and the original paddle steamers that shaped the successful development of this part of the Murray River – and in fact, South Australia - through industrious trading in the 1800s.

Originally owned and operated by the Foord family, Proud Mary had been branded under various names until its purchase in 2011 by owners Dennis Sims, Matthew Sims and Mark Greig. This is when her then owners saw fit to re-launch under the iconic M.V Proud Mary brand. The vessel was also slipped and refurbished ready for a new chapter in Proud Mary’s journey.

In 2021 Matthew and Mark were honoured to become full custodians of Proud Mary with Dennis leaving for retirement after his 10-year involvement.

Today, the Captain and team of over 20 employees present the best of the River Murray. Proud Mary cruises leave from Murray Bridge just 74 kms from Adelaide, South Australia.  Each cruise is defined by exemplary service from crew members who are genuine ‘river locals’, chefs who are passionate about local seasonal produce and a tour and transport operator dedicated to providing an unforgettable Murray River experience.

THE CABINS

The Proud Mary boasts 18 spacious ensuite riverview cabins. With only one room type, each cabin has:

  • Twin or double beds
  • Individually controlled air conditioning units
  • Private ensuite
  • Tea/coffee making facilities
  • Hair dryers

All the cabins are serviced twice daily free of charge & open onto balcony areas offering you spectacular sceneries.

Proud Mary riverview cabin Encounter Travel

Riverview cabin with ensuite

Riverview cabin with ensuite

Hotel Indigo Adelaide Markets

Hotel Indigo Adelaide Markets

HOTEL DESCRIPTIONS
The Adelaide hotel is optional for a pre and post cruise stays

HOTEL INDIGO ADELAIDE MARKETS, ADELAIDE
Boutique hotel rooms in Adelaide’s CBD pay homage to the legendary festivals of the city. In easy walking distance from Adelaide Central Bus Station, a mere 600 metres.

Where rich history collides with modern, creative design, step inside the locally inspired Hotel Indigo Adelaide Markets and peel back the curtain on one of the Festival City’s most exciting – and surprising – neighbourhoods. Located at the heart of the Market Precinct and Adelaide’s Central market, this unique boutique hotel celebrates the areas stories, industrial past, while contemporary amenities and indulgent touches create a cocoon of calm amid the action.

  • 29 sqm room size
  • WIFI, Chromecast, Bluetooth radio
  • Espresso Machine, Minibar
  • King bed with premium bedding
  • Two-head rainfall shower, Spa-inspired Biology Smart Skincare amenities
  • Wheelchair accessible room available in this room type

Check In: 3PM  | Check out: 11AM

Wi-Fi: Free


More About Accommodation

PRICES

  

Prices per person (in AUD)

OWN ROOM

STANDARD Package per person

AUD $4065

PRE CRUISE STAY:  Hotel Indigo Adelaide Markets, King Standard room with breakfast
Rate applies 9 & 10 SEP 22

AUD $275

POST CRUISE STAY:  Hotel Indigo Adelaide Markets, King Standard room with breakfast
Rate applies 17 SEP 22

AUD $275

SHARE & SAVE
If you are happy to share with a roommate of the same sex, save $1480 on the price of taking a room to yourself (subject to roommate availability).

GETTING THERE

Starts In: Adelaide
Ends In: Adelaide

Start and end destinations are the travel points to arrive to and depart from to join your holiday.

First Day Information
Join the coach transfer from Adelaide Central Bus Station, departing 6PM for Murray Bridge; the departure point for the Proud Mary. 

Final Day Information
The river cruise comes to an end in the afternoon. Disembark the cruise and join the group coach transfer back to Adelaide, arriving around 5:30PM to Adelaide Central Bus Station. 

Hotel Check In/Out Times
Consider the hotel check in time on arrival and the hotel check out time on departure. If you arrive prior to the check in time, the hotel will store your luggage until the check in time and can also store your luggage until you are ready to depart for your onward journey.  

AUSTRALIA
Hotel check in:  most hotels have check in from 2PM or 3PM
Hotel check out: most hotels require check out by 10AM or 11AM.

AIRPORT TRANSFERS
Airport transfers to/from Adelaide are by your own arrangement.

FLIGHT INFORMATION
We are able to provide flight advice and booking services. A small service fee applies, due in advance.

 

DETAILS

TRIP AVAILABILITY
If this trip seems right for you then we encourage you to book early and secure your place with a deposit.  Cabins are limited. Also, many services on this tour must be booked well in advance. To ensure your place, please check trip availability at your earliest convenience

FELLOW TRAVELLERS 
The river boat has a maximum of 18 cabins for sole use or twin share. We have a total of 12 of these 18 cabins available for our solo travellers. You will enjoy this group experience with a maximum of 14 solo travellers in our group, on board this boutique river boat cruise on Proud Mary. We expect most, if not all our solo travellers to take their own cabin however there is the option to share with our roommate match offer (same sex).

SOLOS MIX
There’s a mix of travellers; single travellers and couples cruising – this is our SOLOS MIX offer.  From our ‘know-how’ this cruise is popular with solo travellers.

We only select small group tours for our Solos Mix selection. There’s a good likelihood of more than a few solo travellers joining the tour. We expect at least 6 solo travellers and up to 14 in total onboard as part of our Encounter Travel group.

THE PACE  [1 out of 5]
Easy going. More Information > Visit Travel Fitness

TRAVELLER REVIEWS

'I would highly recommend a holiday with Encounter Travel. My trip was well organised and the co-ordinator was fun and helpful and full of energy. I met some great people of all walks of life. There is a good mix of organised activities and free time. I had a blast.'

Linda, Victoria

'Thank you for your organisation of a great holiday. As a first time traveller with Encounter, I didn't know what to expect. The Red Centre is indescribably beautiful and should be on every Australians' bucket list. We saw every sensational attraction in just the right order - each new experience was more incredible than the last. Thank you for recruiting such a great group of people for my travelling companions. The hotels were clean and very comfortable and it was a pleasure to be transported across such an amazing landscape so comfortably. I learnt so much about our wonderful country and wished I had done such a trip years earlier.'

Sarah, 52 years, Sydney, Australia

'Did a Red Centre solo 7 day tour absolutely fantastic, Uluru and Kata Tjuta (the Olgas), Kings Canyon, Palm Valley you have to see it and experience it. The coach drivers were professional, excellent knowledge and with a great sense of humor.'

David, Eschol Park, Sydne, New South Wales
Since 2006
We've already racked up 15 years of experience creating and delivering the best ever holidays for solo travellers. As a boutique tour operator, we delight in detail, delivering personal service and finding your next best memory.©
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100% Australian, created by Australians for Australians; we 'get' the Australian travel style. And, better still, our arms are open to welcome our friends from other countries around the world, who'd like to travel with friendly Aussies.©
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Travel solo, not alone when you join one of our small group tours. Share your journey, without the drawbacks of big coach tours or the solitude of being alone.©
Age-Matched Tours
From our traveller feedback we know that our age-matched holidays are one of the main reasons that solo travellers choose to join us. All our 'Solos Only ' tours are age-matched, making for a better chance that you'll be travelling other like minded single travellers. ©