Tales and tips from A Solo Traveler

Solo traveler Judy Nutter shares her experience and wisdom after sailing with AmaWaterways on both a Christmas Markets and Mekong River cruise.

What inspired you to take an AmaWaterways river cruise as a solo traveler?

I’ve been a solo traveler for some time because I’m single and have no kids or grandkids. I can’t always travel with friends because we have differing schedules and priorities. Many people’s reaction to hearing that I travel by myself is, “Are you afraid?” And I answer, “Of what? What am I supposed to be afraid of?” We’re not guaranteed anything. Do the things you want to do and enjoy them while you can. That’s the overall mindset you need to have to be a successful solo traveler. Also, part of the appeal of traveling solo is that I’m not responsible for anyone else. There’s a freedom that comes with that and you can enjoy the solitude of your stateroom or sitting up on deck in peace.

Where did you sail on your first river cruise?

The first river cruise I took with AmaWaterways was a Christmas Markets cruise. I felt like I was losing the Christmas spirit. I also live in Dallas where it’s not even very cold at Christmastime. It’s hard to think of Santa when you’re wearing flip flops and shorts! During my cruise I met a local man who looked exactly like Santa, with the white beard and warm clothes. It was magical!

Did you find it easy to meet other guests at dinner and during excursions?

You’re thrown together with fellow cruisers from the very beginning. And there’s always someone there to greet you at the hotel or on the ship. I never felt like I was by myself. I also met friends on the van from the airport and I’m still in touch with people I met three years ago on my first river cruise.

In fact, I recently spent a great weekend in Florida with a lovely couple I met on my Mekong River trip at 6:00 am at the Hanoi Airport. Keep your eyes and mind open because you never know when or where a friendship will begin — even at baggage claim after flying all night.

Did any of AmaWaterways’ crew go above and beyond for you?

They all did. Everyone was so welcoming I started to wonder at what point will they get tired of being pleasant? The crew was so grateful to see us, so happy all the time, so thrilled to see me on board. Also, I’m not a coffee drinker and I don’t like hot tea, but the first morning I asked for a Diet Coke for breakfast. My waiter remembered and put a Diet Coke in front of me every single day.

What advice can you give potential first-time solo cruisers?

If you have a question, ask! Your travel advisor or a crew member on board has the answer. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to people, even if it’s a couple or an entire group. If there’s an empty seat, ask to sit there and talk to them. Doing this, I met six wonderful people during my Christmas Markets cruise, and it was instant friendship — we were joined at the hip for the rest of the trip and would love to do another cruise together.

Discover the amazing benefits in traveling solo with AmaWaterways on select cruises with our Solo Traveler Program.

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