Antarctica Packing List
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Antarctica Cruises

Antarctica Packing List

4 min read

Jun 20, 2017


By Rebecca Deering

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Last updated on March 18th, 2021 at 08:31 pm

Antarctica Packing List

Are you searching for a Packing List for an Antarctica Cruise, but not sure where to start? No problem! I was lucky enough to do a 9-day Polar Circle Air-Cruise in February of 2015, with Antarctica 21, and lucky for you I know what to pack and what to leave at home. We explore everything from a warm Parka to gloves, hats, scarves, sunscreen, binoculars, winter boots, and all the other Antarctica equipment you’ll need to pack an Antarctica tour or cruise.

Before Packing for Antarctica

Some cruise companies will provide parkas and rubber boots. You should also check if the cruise offers laundry service. For those of you that have planned an extensive South America trip and don’t want to lug jackets and boots along with you, there are some companies in Ushuaia that will rent equipment! If you are Visiting Chile and are flying across the Drake Passage or Visiting Argentina and planning an Antarctica Cruise & Antarctica Tour, this Packing List for Antarctica has you covered!

Antarctica Packing List

Clothes & Accessories

jacket - Antarctica Packing ListOne thing is for sure, you need to layer! When you dress in layers, you create pockets of air in each layer of clothing which provides more heat than just wearing 1 heavy layer. With that said, don’t overdo it! If you are too warm and begin to perspire, you will lose body heat quickly, especially while in cold weather conditions. Synthetic fibers like polar fleece and polyester can provide the best insulation, even when wet.

  • Waterproof Parka
  • Waterproof pants that will fit over multiple layers
  • Bathing suit: used for the polar plunge!
  • 1 nice outfit: depending on the cruise, you may want to have one fancier outfit.  My cruise was extremely casual and I didn’t feel out of place with a sweatshirt and jeans.
  • Pocket or hand warmers
  • Sunglasses
  • Scarf
  • A warm wool hat that covers your ears
  • A few pairs of wool socks: your socks may not dry overnight so always have an extra pair
  • Thermal pants and long sleeve shirt
  • Waterproof rubber boots
  • Comfortable clothing to wear on the ship: slip-on shoes are a must
  • Waterproof gloves and thin, underlayer (polypropylene) gloves

Travel Tip: The weather in Antarctica is cold. When we went watching on the zodiac we sat still for over an hour. I had to take off my outer gloves in order to take pictures and my hands were freezing! 

Cameras & Gadgetscamera - Antarctica Packing List

  • Extra memory cards
  • Extra camera batteries
  • Laptop and pen drive

Travel Tip: Most cruises will not have Wi-Fi, and if they do, it will be expensive and extremely slow. I suggest you bring a laptop and pen drive so that you can share photos with your friends on board. Don’t expect to surf the net!

  • Multiple lenses with great zoom capability for all the wildlife
  • Waterproof case or bag for your camera
  • Binoculars
  • Electrical converter and/or adaptor
  • Travel alarm clock
  • Multiple Cameras!!

Travel Tip: My biggest regret on my Antarctica adventure was that my camera broke on the 2nd day. Always prepare for the worst and pack an extra camera. This way, you won’t miss capturing any of the moments that pass by!

What to pack for your Free Time

Journey to record your Antarctic experience If you cross the Drake Passage, you will have a few days of downtime. If you are doing an air- cruise you will have downtime at night before you go to bed. Below is a couple of ideas for things to use during your free time.

  • Playing cards
  • Kindle, tablet or book
  • iPod
  • Journal

Toiletries & Medications

Here is where I suggest overpacking. While many ships will have a small store they may not have what you want. If you think you may need something, take it with you!

  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm with SPF
  • Lotion
  • Sanitizing Gel
  • Kleenex
  • Any other medications that you may need
  • Seasickness medication.

Travel Tip: It’s never a bad idea to have seasickness medication while traveling on a ship, especially if you cross the fierce Drake Passage. I highly recommend bringing motion sickness medication on any Antarctica Cruise. 

Bags & Bottles

  • Dry bag or waterproof backpack: great for the excursions and on the zodiacs
  • Water bottle
  • Plastic bags

Travel Tip: Penguin poop is one of the foulest smelling things you’ll come across. If you have the misfortune of getting this on something, you’ll want a plastic bag. Plastic bags are also handy if your cruise doesn’t offer a laundry service.

Ready for a trip to Antarctica? Contact our team to help you decide which cruise is best for you. In no time, you will be expertly packing your bags and cruising on a trip of a lifetime!

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Last updated on March 18th, 2021 at 08:31 pm

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