Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Destinations > Antarctica > Antarctica
Reload this Page >

Doing an Antarctic cruise as a solo traveler?

Doing an Antarctic cruise as a solo traveler?

Old Apr 7, 16, 11:47 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: MSY
Programs: BA GfL
Posts: 5,451
Doing an Antarctic cruise as a solo traveler?

I'm interested in a trip to Antarctica/S. Georgia this fall/winter, specializing in birding, but I'll be on my own. Is it standard operating procedure to group solo travelers together in double or triple cabins, or will I get stuck paying a single supplement? If solo travelers are put in double/triple cabins together, is any thought given to things like gender, sleep habits, etc? (I realize that matching people by sleep habits or other habits might be a challenge to do successfully, but I wonder if anyone makes an attempt.)

I see that triples are by far the cheapest, but they also seem to involve a shared bath, which I kind of hate dealing with. I'd prefer a double with a private bath--I wonder if these get booked by solo travelers looking for a roommate.
travelmad478 is offline  
Old Apr 12, 16, 10:09 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: May 2001
Posts: 359
I would think you have to pay a single supplement on many of the lines.

You might want to look into Quark--You can pay a single suppplement if you want your own cabin--however they will match you up with another solo traveler of the same sex if you prefer--if they don't have another solo traveler to match you up with you get the cabin to yourself without the single supplement. (at least that was the offer a few years ago when I was looking into going solo, not sure if they still have this policy)
luv2go is offline  
Old May 6, 16, 10:18 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: YYZ
Programs: TK*G, Marriott/SPG Gold, Hilton Gold, Hertz Gold
Posts: 604
I traveled solo on Quark last year and they can definitely match you up with a roommate. There are quite a few solo travelers so no worries!
ericw is offline  
Old May 7, 16, 6:59 am
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: MSY
Programs: BA GfL
Posts: 5,451
Thanks ericw, very helpful! One other question: I'm wondering about the average age of trip participants. I tend to find that the usual demographic for trips like this is 25 years older than me (I'm 48) Is Antarctica a slightly younger crowd, or will I be the whippersnapper?
travelmad478 is offline  
Old May 14, 16, 10:12 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 221
I've done Antarctica solo a couple of times. Once with Quark. They do have cabin share rates which don't require you to pay the single supplement (unless you want to and have the cabin all for yourself), and both times I was matched with someone of the same gender.

Sleep habits? Shared bath? Wow, that's a little picky! No different than if you were in a dorm room in a hostel. You aren't exactly spoilt for choice when it comes to the triples... and how would anyone know if your potential roommate would snore all night or shower at 2 AM? It's not something they ask on the questionnaire.

Sounds like you're trying to wrangle a premium experience but are skittish about ponying up for it. You'll have to ask the operator if they extend the program for a double occupancy. I am not sure if they only allow matching in the triples.

Originally Posted by travelmad478 View Post
I'm wondering about the average age of trip participants.
Yes, the preponderance are fairly geriatric, as you wouldn't expect a bunch of 20 somethings to have either the time, money, sense or inclination to fork out about as much cash for a 3 week adventure as you could get yourself a new car with. However -- there are a lot of younger folks on these cruises and I would say up to a fifth or even a fourth could be below 50 so you shouldn't have any issues connecting generationally.
bosboy73 is offline  
Old May 14, 16, 11:44 am
  #6  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: MSY
Programs: BA GfL
Posts: 5,451
Originally Posted by bosboy73 View Post
Sleep habits? Shared bath? Wow, that's a little picky! No different than if you were in a dorm room in a hostel.
I wasn't really expecting to be able to get a match on the sleeping part but since I am a bad sleeper generally, and this is a 3-week trip, I figured it couldn't hurt to ask. I don't stay in dorm rooms or hostels...that is why. However, neither do I feel like paying $30K for this trip, so I will have to deal with what I get.

Originally Posted by bosboy73 View Post
Yes, the preponderance are fairly geriatric, as you wouldn't expect a bunch of 20 somethings to have either the time, money, sense or inclination to fork out about as much cash for a 3 week adventure as you could get yourself a new car with. However -- there are a lot of younger folks on these cruises and I would say up to a fifth or even a fourth could be below 50 so you shouldn't have any issues connecting generationally.
Great. I will be very happy with a few 40-somethings.

I have been talking to Polar Cruises (all of the boats seem to be available from all of the front-end agents) and they are OK with matching me with a roommate. There are some (minor) discounts available if the trip is booked before the end of May, so I will probably bite the bullet soon.

Thanks for your help!
travelmad478 is offline  
Old Aug 19, 16, 10:11 am
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: LAS
Programs: Hilton Diamond, IHG Spire Ambassador, Radisson Gold, Hyatt Discoverist
Posts: 3,038
I did a 4 week cruise with Oceanwide Expeditions in March. I paid for berth in a two person cabin. Much to my delight, I had no roommate. Other passengers traveling alone got paired up. One of the guys said that on the prior leg down to Antarctica he was in a 4 person cabin and it was a bit miserable because there wasn't much space to move around and you do have to change in and out of boots, waterproof pants, etc. for excursions and it was uncomfortable having four guys in a tiny room all changing at the same time.

Another guy complained that his roommate wasn't using the ship's (albeit expensive) laundry service and was instead washing his clothes in the shower and hanging his wet clothes in the bathroom.

If it's a birding trip there will be a lot of solo guys. I was surprised by how few couples there were on the trip I took. Good luck.
jphripjah is offline  
Old Aug 19, 16, 3:35 pm
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: MSY
Programs: BA GfL
Posts: 5,451
My trip is booked for end-December into mid-January. I was originally booked for a trip in October-November, and I was getting hopeful that I'd end up with a similar no-roommate situation, but in the end the trip was so sparsely booked that they cancelled the voyage entirely Now set for the later sailing, with a cabin upgrade for my trouble, and still hoping for no roommate. If there a lot of solo guys I may be in luck, since I'm a solo woman!
travelmad478 is offline  
Old Sep 8, 16, 5:23 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Canada
Posts: 98
Have an amazing trip! By Far THE MOST memorable trip I've taken!
emustyle is offline  
Old Sep 23, 16, 7:26 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Programs: AA MM, AA EXP; OW Emerald, EK silver
Posts: 503
Originally Posted by travelmad478 View Post
My trip is booked for end-December into mid-January. I was originally booked for a trip in October-November, and I was getting hopeful that I'd end up with a similar no-roommate situation, but in the end the trip was so sparsely booked that they cancelled the voyage entirely Now set for the later sailing, with a cabin upgrade for my trouble, and still hoping for no roommate. If there a lot of solo guys I may be in luck, since I'm a solo woman!
December to January is the best time to go, you'll have a great time. The cabin is basically a place to store your stuff, shower and sleep and you'll find yourself using the joint facilities most of the time - even if not sharing. I've shared on several of these trips and even with a room mate with different sleep habits have had no problems whatsoever. When not on shore you'll want to be out of the cabin on deck enjoying the scenery or attending the many lectures on board. So, relax, don't worry about sharing and have a terrific experience!
dwugson is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: