Travelling solo is a transformative experience that can provide you with countless benefits and opportunities for personal growth. Add in a life-changing destination like Antarctica or the Arctic and you are guaranteed to return a completely different person – for the better.

In this blog post, we’ll take a look at some of the remarkable benefits of solo travel with AE Expeditions.

Woman hiking across rocky landscape with mountains, Belsund, Svalbard, Lina Stock @DivergentTravelers

1. You will embrace freedom and flexibility

Travelling alone means you have the freedom to do whatever your heart desires. You’re not tied to anyone else’s schedule or preferences, allowing you to tailor your trip to your own interests. Feel like hiking up a mountain today? Great! Prefer to stay on the ship and take in the surrounds with a cup of tea? Go for it! The flexibility is liberating and allows you to truly make the most of the experience.

2. You will make lifelong friends

It’s somewhat ironic that travelling alone can also enhance your social skills, but it’s true. The reason is simple: when there are no familiar faces to keep you in your comfort zone, you are much more likely to strike up conversations with strangers from around the world.

Our purpose-built small ships carry a maximum of 132 passengers on the Greg Mortimer and the Sylvia Earle, and on average 154 passengers on the Douglas Mawson (setting sail in 2025), which means that you will see the same friendly faces around the ship, and the relaxed onboard atmosphere and thoughtful public spaces makes it easy to have interactions – whether it’s in the library, Citizen Science Centre, lecture theatre, bar or restaurants, or in the sauna or Jacuzzis after a long day of exploring.

If you book an add-on activity in our comprehensive activity program, like kayaking, snorkelling or diving, you will get to know the members of your small group intimately over the course of your voyage.

Also, did we mention that we’ve done the vetting for you? Our voyages attract travellers who share a passion for exploration, nature and wildlife, so there is no shortage of things to bond over. The friendships you make on our expeditions can last a lifetime, and it’s not uncommon for groups of newfound friends to get the band back together for more life changing expeditions!

Read more: Planning the Ultimate Friendcation Expedition

Hot tip: When you’re travelling solo, it’s easy to ‘table hop’ at meal times. Before you know it, you won’t know which dinner invitation to accept!

Passengers dining on the Greg Mortimer, Antarctica, Adrian Wlodarczyk

3. You will experience personal growth

The challenges and uncertainties that come with solo travel can accelerate personal growth. In particular, solo travel helps build self-confidence. As you navigate new places and interact with new people, you’ll gain a huge sense of achievement and realise you that you are capable of handling the unknown.

The expert guides and specialists onboard are dedicated to increasing your knowledge of the wild and remote destinations we visit. As a solo traveller, you can immerse yourself in the expertise they offer on diverse subjects including wildlife, history and geology, so that when you disembark, you are richer in your knowledge of the planet than you were at the start of your voyage.


4. You will have ample time to reflect on your life

Travelling solo often provides solitude and ample time for reflection and mindfulness. You can disconnect from the daily hustle and bustle of life, allowing you to relax, rejuvenate and gain a clearer perspective on your goals and priorities.

Whether you’re standing in awe of towering icebergs of Antarctica or witnessing the ethereal Northern Lights in the Arctic, the experiences you can have with AE Expeditions are bound to leave an indelible mark on your soul.

Hot tip: Take a journal to keep track of your experiences and capture your thoughts. Being alone in the presence of such majestic natural wonders can be an incredibly profound, personal and transformative experience.

Woman in zodiac in front of dramatic mountains, Akseloya, Svalbard, David Stock @DivergentTravelers

5. You will re-discover yourself

One of the most profound benefits of solo travel is the opportunity for self-discovery. When you’re on your own, you’re forced to rely on yourself for decision-making and navigating through new and unfamiliar environments. This self-reliance can reveal hidden strengths and capabilities you never knew you possessed.

Our Expedition Team is skilled at helping people push their boundaries and try new things, and will be on hand to help you on your journey to discovering who you are, what you value, and what truly makes you happy.

Spoiler alert: For many, it’s more meaningful adventures across the globe.


Embarking on an expedition as a solo traveller is an extraordinary opportunity to connect with nature, discover your inner self and make new friends while visiting some of the wildest and most pristine corners of the planet. So, if you’re contemplating a solo adventure, remember that the rewards are worth every step of the journey.


What do our solo travellers have to say?

Read two interviews with solo travellers, to discover what it’s really like as a solo traveller with AE Expeditions. Learn about their solo travel journeys and be inspired to take the extraordinary plunge into solo travel yourself!

What it’s Like Exploring the World Solo: Interview with Rachelle

Rachelle loves sharing the magic and freedom of exploring the world on your own terms. We sat down with her to dive into her solo travel journey, from her first solo experience in Thailand to encounters with curious king penguins.

Exploring the Polar Regions as a Solo Traveller: Interview with Karen Muller

Discover what inspired Karen to embark on expeditions to the polar regions, learn more about what it’s like to travel with Aurora as a solo traveller, and find out why Antarctica and the Arctic hold a special place in her heart.


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