Solo cruises for seniors: Arctic and Antarctic

One of the biggest joys of solo cruises for seniors to the Arctic—or the Antarctic—is that all of the work is done for you. All arrangements are in the hands of polar experts who know how to maximize wildlife viewing and on-shore excursions so you can have the best polar expedition ever. 

Every polar operator is different, so of course, you want to choose a polar expedition company that is highly experienced in Arctic travel. Quark Expeditions, for instance, has focused exclusively on polar adventures since 1991. Simply put: you want to travel with a team that is the most experienced in leading cruises to the Arctic.

Hiking in Antarctica is geared to all ages and levels of fitness. Everyone gets to participate!

Hiking in Antarctica is geared to all ages and levels of fitness. Everyone gets to participate! Photo: Nicky Souness

Another joy of solo cruises for seniors to the Arctic: Once you step onboard your ship for a cruise—whether for solo seniors or adventurous travelers in general—the details of the itinerary are worked out for you. You’ll have regular updates throughout the day from your Expedition Leader so you know what’s happening next. You also get to customize the off-ship adventures you like, but all of the planning and coordinating are taken care of by the onboard crew.
 
Another benefit of solo cruises for seniors to the Arctic with Quark Expeditions: you’ll be surrounded by experts 24/7. Unlike other types of vacations, you don’t miss out if you don’t attend a specific lecture in the library! With Quark Expeditions, polar experts present on a variety of subjects throughout the cruise–but they also accompany you off-ship, and join you at mealtime. On every Zodiac cruise, on-shore hike, or off-ship adventure option, you’ll be accompanied by polar experts. Your Quark Expeditions kayak guide could very well be a wildlife biologist. Your Zodiac driver could be an expert in glaciology or polar history.  

And let’s talk about camaraderie and making new friends on your voyage! As solo seniors, voyages with companies like Quark Expeditions provide instant companionship and community onboard, partly because of the relatively small number of guests. Quark Expeditions limits their onboard guests to 128 to 199. That means you fairly quickly go from seeing familiar faces on the ship to being on a first-name basis with fellow guests—and crew.

Your cruise might not be listed as a “solo cruise for seniors.” The beauty of a polar adventure with an operator like Quark Expeditions, you’ll be with a variety of people—and of course, many of them will be in your age demographic. 

Many of the people who travel with Quark Expeditions are middle-aged travelers (the majority are over the age of 55) who, like you perhaps, dream of a solo cruise for seniors to the Arctic. Many define themselves as learners, adventurers, escapists, or check-listers.

Quark Expeditions' guests explore the Arctic on foot accompanied by the most seasoned polar experts in the industry.

Quark Expeditions' guests explore the Arctic on foot accompanied by the most seasoned polar experts in
the industry. Photo: Michelle Sole

Quark Expeditions’ off-ship activities are geared to all ages and levels of ability. That’s especially important for seniors. Guided hikes, for instance, accommodate all levels. There will be an easy-paced group for those who want to stop and take lots of pictures, another for those who want to walk a little faster and include a few hills, and up to advanced groups who want to work up a sweat on a challenging hike. You choose what best speaks to you. As the saying goes: You do you!

Meal times are especially excellent on solo cruises for seniors to the Arctic as you’ll usually share a table with other passengers, maybe four at one table, or up to 8 at another. And a bonus for guests on solo cruises for seniors to the Arctic with Quark Expeditions is that the staff and crew will join you rather spontaneously at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You’ll get to hear their stories, and learn in-depth through mealtime discussions about polar wildlife, birds, glaciers, icebergs, history, and other polar-related subjects. (Chances are you couldn’t do this spontaneously on a large cruise with several thousand passengers on board.)

How to plan for solo cruises for seniors to the Arctic

As with any Arctic cruise, the first step when planning a solo cruise for seniors to the Arctic is to decide which region in the Arctic you wish to visit, whether it’s the Canadian High Arctic, Greenland, or Spitsbergen in Arctic Norway.

Then, once you’ve chosen which solo cruise for seniors to the Arctic you wish to take, it’s a matter of choosing when you want to go. For instance, do you want to go when it’s prime time to see the Northern Lights—the awe-inspiring Aurora borealis? Or perhaps you wish to time your cruise to maximize your polar-bear watching! Of course, you’ll want to dress appropriately for that long-awaited trek in Svalbard if that tops your wish list. 

Then—because you’re a solo senior—you’ll want to decide if you wish to book a cabin or suite all to yourself, or do you wish to save and take advantage of Quark Expeditions’ find-a-roommate plan. It’s called Request-Share Program and is designed for solo travelers of any age who prefer not to pay the single supplement. If you’re a solo traveler, Quark Expeditions can match you up with another person of the same genre who is traveling solo and who specified they would be happy to share a cabin. Both guests would save the single supplement. If Quark Expeditions can not find a person to share a cabin with a Request-Share traveler, they will waive the single supplement. This presents a risk-free opportunity for adventurers who travel alone.

And, of course, you’ll want to know what to pack for your polar adventure!

How to get the most out of solo cruises for seniors to the Arctic

You can most definitely get the most out of your solo cruise for seniors to the Arctic by traveling with the most essential item: an open mind. Be open to trying new adventures, especially if they’re a little out of your comfort zone. Be open to meeting people from all walks of life from all corners of the world. Be open to making friends with strangers who share your same passions and love of polar travel! 

Watch this short video to learn more about Life Onboard a Polar Ship.
 
And be sure to attend the onboard presentations which can provide you with a wealth of information that enables solo travelers to the Arctic and Antarctic to get a lot more out of your dream polar trip.

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