I am shocked and appalled that people are actually calling limiting single openings without a supplement "discrimination". I find this incredibly ungrateful as GCT and OAT are the ONLY tour companies who don't charge a single supplement on ANY of their land tours. They also don't pretend like "matching" you with an unknown roommate is truly accomodating single people or remotely acceptable to some.
The dilemma for the single traveler is that it is not always feasible to find a COMPATIBLE friend who wants to visit the SAME destination at the SAME time who shares the SAME socio economic status and can afford to travel.
I for one am extremely grateful someone has finally shown me, as a single traveler, a little respect and does not assume that I want to jeopardize thousands of dollars and a trip of a lifetime on a COMPLETE UNKNOWN who could snore, be obnoxious, smoke, have overnight "guests", and who has access to my jewelry, money, etc etc. because we share the same room.
The option with other companies is you can pay 150 - 200 % despite the fact that you are not eating for 1.5 or 2 people, you are not using airfare/room on the bus for 1.5 or 2 people nor are you utilizing tours for 1.5 or 2 people. Are you kidding me? Now that looks more like "discrimination" to me or better yet gouging and its been a common business practice for years in the travel industry.
As for the river cruises, Vantage by the way DOES charge a single supplement. They just hide it by having "single" cabins as do the larger cruise ships. Heres how it works - I considered them and called to find out what my costs would be for a certain cruise ($4799 pp) vs. what it would be for my couple friends coming with me ($3949 pp). For that price they get a regular size room and I get a broom closet for my extra $800 plus dollars. In addition, I also had to book a year in advance to get a single cabin. From time to time they supposedly have "single sales" but I'd be really careful, read the fine print and consider the manipulation around the supplement issue.
Now on the river cruises through GCT - they OWN their one and only single supplement charge. Its $595. For that $595 I don't get a broom closet but a regular sized room as opposed to Vantage.
Thank you GCT/OAT for being progressive enough to recognize the value of Solo travelers in the travel industry and FINALLY show us a little respect and regard. I've done 5 trips with these companies and plan to do 2 more in 2014. They are wise enough to know that people like me will refer them to my single friends AND have brought my couple companions and girlfriends willing to share along with me. If it weren't for their single friendly policy, none of this business would have come their way.
So if others want to enable tour companies that cater to couples/twosomes to continue to gouge the single, you go right ahead and fork over the supplement or bunk with an unknown possibly jeapordizing your trip. As for me, I'm most appreciative and will be a loyal customer for life. I refuse to support companies who gouge the single traveler, cater to couples/twosomes and assume that rooming with an unknown is a viable option for an investment of thousands and a once in a life time trip. I'm choosing to be treated with respect rather than paying more to be treated as a second class citizen.