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Ladies Day

7 safest city cruise destinations for solo female travellers

Solo cruises are increasing in popularity but, if you’re a woman travelling alone, can you be guaranteed safety off the ship? We’ve rounded up the safest cities to visit on a cruise.

Cruises are wonderfully safe and convenient way to globetrot, but if you’re travelling alone as a woman you might worry about heading ashore or extending your trip with a cruise and stay vacation.

Luckily travel insurance comparison site InsureMyTrip has examined the safest cities in the world to visit for solo female travelers – and many of them are popular cruising destinations. In fact, some of the safest might even surprise you!

The brand standardised the latest available data for each city in categories including “quality of things to do”, “daily travel costs’, “gender equality”, “safety walking alone at night”, “attacks based on gender” and “TikTok popularity” – and gave each destination a score from zero to ten.

We’ve looked at the top seven safest cities to visit as a solo woman on a cruise.


Dubai, UAE

Dubai has rocketed in popularity for winter sun getaways in recent years, reflected in its first-place spot in this year’s safest cities ranking – up seven places from 2022’s study.

The city in the United Arab Emirates received the highest score (10) for “safety walking alone at night,” and “TikTok popularity’” along with high scores for “quality of things to do” (9.6), “gender equality”(8.9) and “absence of legal discrimination” (8.3).

In fact, the luxury tourist hotspot even offers public transport with a women-only section. Nevertheless, it is worth remembering that modest dress is advisable in the UAE and strict laws are in place, although Dubai itself is generally pretty relaxed.

For the best views of the city hit up the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world at 828m tall. It’s home to two observation decks – the two-storey At the Top on the 124th and 125th floors, as well as one of the world’s highest observation decks (555m) on the 148th floor. Up-scale restaurants and lounges can be found inside as well as sought-after apartments, a health and wellness centre and a hotel.

At its foot is The Dubai Fountain, the world’s tallest performing fountain. It’s more than over 900 ft in length and has over 22,000 gallons of water in the air at any given moment when operational. The fountain performs to a variety of music alongside myriad lights and color projectors.

The Dubai Mall (the largest shopping mall in the world at more than 1 million sqm) and Dubai Miracle Garden (the world’s largest natural flower garden) are other popular attractions.

Which cruise lines go to Dubai?

Royal Caribbean, Celebrity Cruises, MSC Cruises, Oceania Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line and Silversea are among the cruise lines sailing to Dubai.

Munich, Germany

Munich – a German river cruise call and Bavaria’s capital – scored 7.39 overall but has dropped three spots as one of the safest cities since last year. Nevertheless, the city ranked highly (9.08) for “safety walking alone at night”. For “attacks based on gender” it scored 7.66.

The city is famous for its beer halls, historical buildings, Oktoberfest celebrations and Christmas markets.

Do visit Marienplatz, the city’s central square and keep your eyes peeled for the Glockenspiel clock in the tower of the gargoyle-adorned New Town Hall depicting a Bavarian knight battling a French jouster. With a whopping 43 bells and 32 life-sized figures, it’s the largest glockenspiel in Europe

Other places to visit include the Englischer Garten (one of the world’s largest urban parks), Bavaria’s biggest beer garden Hirschgarten, Müller’sches Volksbad (the oldest public indoor pool in the city open since 1901), and Viktualienmarkt, Munich’s biggest open-air market.

From here a popular cruise excursion is to Neuschwanstein Castle, one of the most visited castles in Germany and like something out of a fairytale.

Which cruise lines go to Munich?

Avalon Waterways, Tauck and Viking are among the river cruise lines sailing to Munich.

Munich Germany
antalya turkey

Antalya, Turkey

Antalya has also improved its rating as one of the world’s safest cities – rising in the ranks by 27 places! It scored 7.26 for “absence of concern about gender-based attacks” and 8.53 for “feeling safe walking alone at night.

Don’t miss Antalya’s historic centre Kaleiçi. Its history dates back to Ancient Greece and the Roman Empire; look out for Hadrian’s Gate (the only remaining entry gate to the ancient city of Antalya), Tekeli Mehmet Paşa Cami (an Ottoman mosque built in the 18th century) and the ancient harbour.

Alternatively, soak up Antalya’s art scene, take in top views of the Med from Karaalioğlu Park, relax at a local hammam, go for a swim at Konyaaltı Beach or visit the ancient theatre of Termessos outside the city centre.

Which cruise lines go to Antalya?

Azamara, Oceania Cruises, Celestyal Cruises, Seabourn and Norwegian Cruise Line are among the major cruise lines sailing to Antalya.

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is up one place in 2023 with an overall score of 7.31. Its score was boosted by “quality of things to do” (9.51), “gender equality” (9.80) and “absence of discrimination” (9.75).

However for “attacks based on gender” it got 5.72 and for “safety walking alone at night” 5.26.

Iconic highlights in Barcelona include the Basílica de la Sagrada Familia, designed by Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. one of the best examples of Catalan Modernism and one of the most visited monuments in Spain.

Be sure to explore the rest of Barcelona’s Gothic quarter, as well as tourist-packed Las Ramblas and Park Güell, in the north of the city, with its tropical plants and colourful mosaics. For art, there’s the Picasso Museum and the Teatre Museu Dali.

Which cruise lines go to Barcelona?

Royal Caribbean, Carnival, Celebrity Cruises, MSC Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Virgin Voyages, Holland America Line, Azamara and Costa Cruises all sail to Barcelona.

medina saudi arabia

Medina, Saudi Arabia

This entrant might come as a huge surprise to many given its location but Medina in Saudi Arabia – one of Islam’s two holiest cities – zoomed up the rankings by 36 places to gain an overall score of 7.24, proving that there are destinations in the controversial Middle Eastern nation that woman can explore in safety.

In fact for overall safety it scored first place with 9.29 “safety walking alone at night” coming in at 9.98 and “attacks based on gender” 8.59 – all top of the 65 cities examined in the research.

It’s decent for “quality of things to do” (8.90) but low for “overall tourism” with a score of just 4.49.

Medina can be visited on cruise excursions when calling ay King Abdullah Economic City. Highlights include the Mosque of the Prophet of Islam (Al-Masjid An-Nabawi in Arabic), the second most important site of Islamic pilgrimage and Quba Mosque, the oldest mosque in the world,

Discover the city’s heritage and history amid many collections and visual galleries at Dar Al Madinah Museum, a private museum and take a peek at the market stalls during a visit here.

Which cruise lines go to Saudi Arabia?

MSC Cruises, Azamara, Norwegian Cruise Line, Emerald Cruises and Ponant cruise to Saudi Arabia.

Prague, Czech Republic

Prague, down by three places on 2022, achieved an overall score of 7.22 and overall safety of 8.14. “Safety walking alone at night” came in at 8.92 and “attacks based on gender” 7.35.

The Czech city – a beloved river cruise stop – also performed well for “quality of things to do” (9.55), “absence of discrimination” (9.38) and “overall equality” (9.09).

On your visit here, swing by St Vitus Cathedral (the most famous church in the city) and Prague Castle (said to be the oldest and largest in the world) and meander across the 600-year-old Charles Bridge with its baroque statue-lined parapets.

For art and culture check out the National Gallery and Prague City Museum and look up at the medieval astronomical clock attached to the Old Town Hall in the city’s historic Old Town Square.

Which cruise lines go to Prague?

Viking River Cruises, Avalon Waterways, CroisiEurope, Emerald Cruises, Uniworld, and AmaWaterways go to Prague.


Krakow, Poland

Fellow European river cruise destination Krakow garnered an overall rating of 7.16, mainly thanks to its quality of things to do score (10) – for which it was crowned first place.

It also got 9.38 for “absence of discrimination” and 8.80 for “gender equality”.

Tourist highlights in Krakow include the largest Medieval town square in Europe, Wawel Castle, Planty Park plus a plethora of Baroque churches and plenty of shops selling amber.

To delve further into the history of the region a visit to the concentration camp at Auschwitz-Birkenau outside the city will prove a sombre yet life-changing experience.

Which cruise lines go to Krakow?

Tauck and Riviera Travel cruise to Krakow.

Set Sail

Royal Danube, Berlin & Kraków with Tauck

Duration: 13 nights

Where: Kraków | Auschwitz | Kazimierz | Bratislava | Vienna | Krems | Linz | Passau | Berlin | Potsdam

Ship: MS Joy

Price: From £5,260 pp

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Published 01.08.23