Lots To Consider To Pack Properly For An Antarctica Cruise
There was a lot to consider to pack properly for an Antarctica cruise. When we planned for our cruise to the Antarctic we found the primary requirement for great adventures was to keep your body and equipment warm and dry. As Canadians, much of our winter packing gear came from our closets. We needed to protect our skin from sun, dry air, wind and cold. And considered seasickness needs.
The one big investment we made was in camera gear. It was time to refresh some of our equipment and our Antarctica cruise was the perfect driver.
In the end, the baggage limitations was the major constraint. It limited us to pack just what we needed.
Our Trip To Antarctica And South America
We took many factors into consideration in the plan for our Antarctica trip. We booked a 20 day Antarctica cruise in February with Silversea Cruises. The trip started with an overnight stay in Santiago in Chile. We then boarded a charter flight to Puerto Williams and boarded the Silver Endeavour. The cruise started and ended with the transit through the Drake Passage. But once clear of this sometimes treacherous stretch of water, we had 16 days on the Antarctic continent. This was our 7th and final continent visited.
For most days, the ship offered two excursions per day. None of the excursions were booked before we started the trip. And even as the ship moved around Antarctica, the exact stops and excursions were not known well in advance. But the exciting days included zodiac rides, wandering around landing areas, hikes in the local area and kayak trips. We wanted to do it all! So we made sure we packed for cold weather adventures.
Once we returned to Santiago after the cruise, we flew on our own to explore Buenos Aires. And then did a 3 day trip to the Iguazu Falls. In March, Argentina was very hot. So our packing had to factor in the warm temperatures and some new adventures around the falls.
With such diverse requirements for this trip, we started very early and thought about how to pack properly for an Antarctica cruise that did not end right after the cruise.
Dress In Layers To Stay Warm And Dry
Packing for Antartica meant being prepared for weather that was cold, windy and often could get wet. When we checked the weather forecast for February, we saw average temperatures were around 1° C (34° F). It was generally a dry month with a fair amount of sunshine.
The weather in Antarctica for the time we visited was nothing for us Canadians where February temperatures were often much colder than this. When Toronto weather got a bit mild, we even went north of the city to Muskoka for winter weather to prepare for our coming cruise to Antarctica.
We knew that winter weather meant layers. Silversea Cruises provided a great winter parka. We shopped in our cupboards for wicking and warming layers for top and bottom. And made sure we had good waterproof outer pants – not just “water resistant”.
We wanted to do several kayak trips on our cruise to Antarctica. And were not sure what extra we needed to pack. So we were happy when we learned that the cruise company provided special outer gear for kayaking.
We started to pack properly for an Antarctica cruise from our cupboards and saved some money.
Getting The Right Boots
With our body core protected, we made sure our feet stayed dry. Many cruise ships provided boots on Antarctica cruises. But Silversea Cruises required we rent boots from their outfitter. We were not really comfortable using the big bulky waterproof boots for the first time when we were on the ship. And when we talked to the outfitter, they provided only one style of “standard” boots.
I wanted boots for wider calves to ensure I could tuck in all the layers. And I wanted to check on the comfort of the boots for hiking in the snow in Antarctica. So I found the boot brand from the outfitter and ordered my own Muck boots.
When I went out for my first walk in the boots, I was sure glad I got them in advance. I learned that I needed to do some training with the heavy boots for endurance. When David felt the weight of the boots and how they moved, he decided to buy his own boots in advance. He even found a brand new pair at a discount price which made his cost of buying even less than renting!
Keep Your Feet Dry
We made sure our boots were fully waterproof. We knew that most of the zodiac landings in Antartica were “wet”. Our boots needed to stay dry standing in 6 to 12 inches of water. We even packed Aquaseal to do any minor repairs that might be needed.
The big downside of having our own boots was the added size and weight when we knew we had baggage constraints. This extra weight meant we needed to be extra careful to pack properly for an Antarctic cruise and not over-pack! We knew in advance that it just meant we wore our boots when we boarded the charter flight to the cruise ship.
Ultimately we decided to leave our boots behind on the cruise ship when we left. We were sure there were passengers or staff who could use the great boots we bought. And it saved us luggage room on the return trip.
As suggested in the packing guide we made sure we had several pairs of warm socks. We even dug out some big wool socks as a second layer if we needed them. After walking in the boots, we purchased thick felt-insulated insoles. We were sure our feet would be both warm and dry.
Protect The Extremities
From our feet we moved to the other extremities. Having been to the high Arctic, David had a whole selection of hats to choose from. But even in cold Canadian temperatures, the most I ever wore was ear muffs and at times I pulled up my hood. I finally broke down and bought a proper hat for our trip to Antarctica.
All of the packing guides we read suggested a “neck gaiter” rather than a scarf to protect our neck for travel on the zodiacs. This ensured no long loose ends flapped in the wind. Again, David dug into our winter gear box and found two fleece Hotheadz gaiters.
When we checked our winter gear box, we found lots of gloves and mittens for the outer pair. We wanted one set of gloves and one set of mittens each. We knew the gloves ensured our hands were more functional. But the mittens would be warmer. Unfortunately we found most of our existing supply was not truly waterproof. So we purchased a few pairs for the trip.
Underneath the outer layer of gloves or mittens we wanted thinner liners. And this layer needed to support touch capability to use our phones and cameras. We ultimately purchased new liners for both of us. And one pair of gloves we bought even had turn-back thumbs and index fingers so we did not need to remove the gloves completely.
Some people suggested bringing hand warmers for inside the gloves. But we were used to the cold and did not feel this was necessary for us to pack properly for Antarctica.
Cover Your Eyes
We had good sunglasses to deal with the bright sun and blinding snow. And we knew to pack a spare pair. But after reading about the wind on the zodiacs and considering windy conditions on shore, we looked at some additional options.
At the bottom of our winter gear box we found our old ski goggles but time had deteriorated the foam seals. After much searching we found the OutdoorMaster goggles. These frameless goggles had a magnetic face that allowed the lens to be changed. Initially we bought lenses with a UV Protection Coating and a low VLT (“visible light transmission”). For very sunny and snowy conditions, we needed the low VLT to block the light.
We wished that every day in the Antarctic would be sunny with blue skies and clean white snow. But we expected grey days and blustery weather. So we added a second clear lens to our pack. The magnetic frames made it very easy to respond to daily weather conditions. And it was a smart way to pack properly for Antarctica.
Hiking Gear To Pack Properly For An Antarctica Cruise
For many years we resisted the idea of hiking poles. But after we purchased a great set of collapsable hiking poles, we were converts. Instead of making us feel weak for the extra support, it provided the support that let us move confidently and quickly over all kinds of surfaces.
We heard that the cruise ships provided hiking poles. But when we dug deeper, we were told that there were some hiking poles on the ship. But the limited supply meant they may not be guaranteed when you needed them. So we added our hiking poles to the pack.
The one additional gear item for hiking and sightseeing we considered was binoculars. I was always envious of the magnified view that David got with his camera zoom lens. But two things convinced us not to add binoculars to our pack.
We heard that the Silversea Endeavour had one pair of good binoculars in each cabin. And even if they were not to be removed from the ship, they would be a great treat for views from the ship. The extra weight for potential use off the ship finally meant we packed no binoculars. That balance in weight versus use was sometimes needed to pack properly for Antarctica.
A Swimsuit Is Needed If You Pack Properly For An Antarctica Cruise
I had no illusions about lounging on a deck beside a pool on our cruise to Antarctica. But we sure loved the idea of soaking in a hot tub after a day excursion. So swimsuits were definitely in our packs.
A polar plunge in icy water was a common Antarctica experience. We have never participated in the New Year’s Day polar plunge in the frozen waters of Lake Ontario at home in Toronto. But we sure wanted to do the polar plunge in Antarctica. And every picture we saw had people in their swimsuits. So we resisted the temptation to pack our scuba wetsuits.
The walk to the jump platform and the climb back up the ladder looked very uncomfortable for people with bare feet. So we made sure we added closed-toe water shoes. These were also the shoes we used to go to the wet room to suit up for our excursions.
Dressing For Time On The Ship
It was quite easy to decide on cold weather gear for our trip. The cruise lines provided great packing lists to ensure we were warm and dry on the excursions.
For the time spent on the ship, the dress code really varied by cruise line. Some of the excursion companies went totally casual. But on Silversea Cruises there was still a dress code. We fretted for weeks about whether we really needed very dressy clothes for some of the dinner venues.
Our cruise to Antartica was our first trip with Silversea and we really had no experience with dress codes. But we had lots of upscale dressing experiences on our Oceania Cruises trips. Ultimately we learned that “dressy tops and pants” for women and “shirts with collars and dress pants” for men were acceptable on our excursion cruise. So David took his suit jacket off the packing list.
For casual dinners and time around the ship, we packed for comfort and warmth. There was a self-serve laundry on the ship and we knew we really did not have to pack different outfits for each of the 20 days at sea. To pack properly for Antarctica we needed to balance the mandatory items with the urge for variety in clothes.
Protecting Our Skin
With most of our skin covered in winter gear, we next paid attention to our skin. The environment in Antarctica was cold, windy, very dry and the sun was strong. This meant we protected the exposed skin on our face and lips.
We made sure we took a heavy SPF sunscreen meant for faces and used it every time we went outside. We even packed a heavy moisturizer for the night. For our lips we brought a good chap stick with SPF protection.
We did not want to miss a minute outdoors. So our packing ensured we protected our skin.
We have cruised about 350 nights in all parts of the world including crossing the Atlantic Ocean. And have cruised enough miles to go more than 3 times around the globe! But I must admit that we had amazing weather on most of our cruises. Even when we cruised to Iceland and visited Greenland we had calm waters. But when the seas got rough, we did not really suffer greatly from seasickness.
One of the decisions we needed to make when we planned our cruise to Antarctica was the route. We needed to decide if we would cruise across the Drake Passage or choose a new option that flew us to Antarctica to start the cruise. This section of water was often referred to as either the “Drake Shake” for very rough crossings or the “Drake Lake” when the seas were calm.
In the end we chose to cross the Drake Passage. And we prepared for rough seas. As ex-Navy and lifetime professional diver, David just shrugged off concerns about seasickness. My first line of defence was an electronic device I bought for seasickness. When I used that on whale watching trips and on other cruises the device worked just fine.
As a back-up, we purchased some Gravol to take proactively when bad weather was forecast. We briefly considered seeing the doctor for a stronger prescription medication but ultimately decided to pass. And we hoped that we would again not suffer any major issues with seasickness.
The need to address seasickness is a very personal issue. We felt it prudent to do some preparation – just in case! Many people will say that to pack properly for Antarctica their bags must address seasickness.
Upgrading Our Camera Gear
When we put together our packing list for Antarctica, we were delighted that we had little to purchase. Our supply of winter gear as Canadians filled most of our needs. And we had the opportunity to hike in the winter at home to test our winter gear. But for a cruise to Antarctica, we had high requirements for our camera gear. And most of our shopping centred on this.
For our trip to Antarctica we knew we wanted more than just our iPhones for photos. We always carried a DSLR camera with a good zoom lens. David’s old Canon D80 was a workhorse. It travelled all around the world with us and we took hundreds of thousands of images on it. The camera and the zoom lens were even serviced by Canon once from the dust on our trip to the Middle East and Africa. We knew it was time to replace the old reliable DSLR camera.
David did a ton of research and decided the Canon R6 Mk II with the 24 – 105 mm lens would work for this trip. And while we debated renting a bigger zoom lens for the trip, we let that urge pass and bought a Canon 100 – 400 mm lens to get those outstanding images of penguins and sea mammals! Luckily some of David’s batteries and storage still worked. So our accessory shopping for the Canon was light.
We wanted a great camera and the new Canon mirrorless camera was our major purchase to pack properly for Antarctica.
Cameras For Every Need
We both had good iPhones. And we knew from experience that they were awesome in their sweet spot for getting exceptional photos. And even better for video.
But everything was on our iPhones and we really did not want an accident. I learned that the hard way scuba diving in Grand Cayman. So we were not sure we really wanted our phone exposed to the elements in Antarctica for all of our outdoor adventures.
We looked at a GoPro as a second underwater camera for years. So our trip to Antarctica was the perfect reason to finally get the GoPro Hero 11. We quickly learned that there was a lot more gear we needed for the GoPro.
We started with an underwater enclosure and floaty stick. On this trip, our GoPro would not be in water any deeper than the GoPro could handle “bare”. But we wanted no hesitation to put our camera underwater if there were whales, seals or penguins in the water. A great new flexible tripod had the right fittings for both our iPhones and the GoPro.
With all the GoPro gear, we knew that we would be switching out both housings and sticks. We initially bought bigger connector screws to help with making gear changes with gloves. And then we invested in magnetic connectors. We hoped this would make using all the GoPro gear easy in the freezing temperatures of Antarctica.
For the cameras we packed lots of extra batteries. On excursions, the batteries stayed near our body to keep them warm for better performance. With multiple batteries we packed battery chargers and did not charge from the cameras. Lots of storage cards ensured we never missed a new memory.
A key accessory we bought for all cameras and the iPhone was polarized lenses. We knew that the bright sun and water introduced lots of shadows. And a circular polarizing lens (CPL) helped sharpen the photos on all cameras.
To pack properly for Antarctica we made sure we had all the camera gear we wanted.
Waterproof Bags And Coverings
When we picked our outerwear, we made sure it was all waterproof. But we also made sure we protected any other gear we took out.
Even though our iPhones were not our primary cameras, we added a protective outer case. Both iPhones were waterproof so that was not a key requirement. iPhone cases from Otterbox fit the bill properly to add some extra protection and help keep the phones warm in the Antarctic temperatures. A small waterproof bag on a lanyard ensured we did not lose our phones on bumpy zodiac rides.
We wanted a waterproof backpack for day trips on our cruise to Antarctica and for our travels after the cruise in South America. The heavy backpack we purchased was a bit of overkill. But it was large enough and fully waterproof for any conditions.
And when we arrived at the cruise ship, we got a smaller and lighter Silversea waterproof backpack. This was perfect for most of our excursions. But when we went kayaking we took the serious waterproof bag for extra protection.
We packed lots of ziplock bags for added protection for smaller items we took on excursions. After reading several blogs about photography in cold climates, we made sure we had bags big enough to hold our camera gear when we returned from excursions. This saved the cameras from condensation damage when the cameras warmed up on the cruise ship.
To pack properly for Antarctica, we made sure that everything was protected from water.
Electronics To Pack Properly For An Antarctica Cruise
In addition to our camera gear, our carry-on bags carried a wide selection of electronics. We debated travelling without our laptops. But a 35 day trip was a long time for us to leave them behind. We hoped to have some downtime to work on blog content and pictures to get our Antarctica blog posts out quickly. We always felt more secure when we knew all our images were backed up. This was especially true when we cruised with limited wifi that never really synched everything fully with the internet.
We both travelled with our iPads. As well as being a good photo editing device, our iPads always contained content to watch, read and listen to. And for the charter flight, we were told that personal devices were needed for in-flight entertainment.
With all the electronic devices came the variety of cables we needed. While the Silversea Endeavour suites had multiple plugs and USB charging ports, we knew we also needed to carry converters for the hotels in South America.
But there were some trade-offs in our electronics. We loved to travel with full over-the-ear noise cancelling headphones. But we really did not have the space. So we packed much smaller earbuds instead.
For this trip we assessed every single electronic item we normally travelled with to pack properly for an Antarctica cruise. And left a fair amount behind due to space and weight constraints. But we still filled much of our carry-on bags with cameras and electronics.
The last piece of electronics we put in every bag was an Apple AirTag. They have eased our anxiety in the past when we worried about losing our bags. And since we pared our pack to the minimum, Antarctica was definitely a trip we needed what we packed.
Baggage Concerns To Pack Properly For An Antarctica Cruise
Once we looked at all the things we needed to pack properly for Antarctica, we moved on to our next concern. We had no illusions that we would travel with carry-on only. And we knew we had existing luggage that worked for this trip. The weight limitations were a major concern.
On our International flights with Air Canada, we did not worry about the number or weight of bags. We had elite status and knew we would not get close to the limits. But we had other concerns on our international flights. Weather delays and baggage chaos caused problems all through the holiday season. We had little slack time for lost baggage. So when we packed our carry-on bag from Toronto, we carried our boots and one full set of winter gear with us. If we lost the checked bags, we at least knew we could do excursions properly dressed without a major shopping challenge.
But there were real baggage constraints on the charter flights between Santiago and the cruise ship. And we were a bit worried about some of the internal flights we planned in South America after the cruise. So we packed for the charter flight and knew we were ok for all other flights. The charter flight limit included one checked bag to 50 pounds. And we were limited to 17 pounds for the one carry-on bag.
Packing For Baggage Weight Constraints
The weight limitations for our checked bag meant everything we took was re-considered several times. When we bought our boots, we knew it meant wearing them on the charter flights. And we planned to leave them behind on the cruise ship. We even had a fallback plan to leave the summer clothes for our extension trip to South America at the hotel while we were away in Antarctica.
The limitation on the carry-on bag created different considerations. We normally travelled with a rolling bag as our carry-on. We even have a smaller sized rolling bag for the reduced requirements in many countries. And we rarely have had our rolling bags weighed.
But we learned early that the charter planes did not have overhead bin space for rolling bags. If we met the weight requirement with rolling bags they would likely be taken as checked bags. So nothing of importance should really be in those bags. Since we packed everything we could not lose in our carry-on we were not putting our carry-on bag in the airplane hold – even if checked at the gate.
This meant we moved to backpacks as our carry-on bag. David had the rugged waterproof backpack to use. And I had many to choose from. But we left many of the things that routinely travelled in our rolling bags behind.
Baggage constraints ended up being a major driver to pack properly for an Antarctica cruise.
It Took A Lot Of Thought To Pack Properly For An Antarctica Cruise
We thought a lot about how to pack properly for an Antarctica cruise. During the early stages of planning for our cruise to the Antarctic we spent a lot of time and determined what to pack. We found the packing required for the Antarctic adventures was well detailed by the cruise line and we got input from people travelling to Antarctica while we planned.
The primary requirement for great winter adventures was to keep our body and equipment warm and dry. Luckily we Canadians got much of our winter packing gear from our closets. And we spent time outdoors hiking in the winter to prepare for try trip to Antarctica.
We made the biggest investment in camera gear. This Antarctica cruise provided us with new camera gear that will be perfect for all of our travel adventures.
Baggage limitations was the major constraint. But we made smart choices and managed within the limits to pack properly for an Antarctica cruise.
Even with all the thought we put into packing for the Antarctic trip, we will learn much through our trip. And come back and update this packing guide with those lessons.
Did you pack properly for an Antarctica cruise? What was the one biggest mistake you made?
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A cruise to Antarctica sounds incredible! It’s important to plan meticulously when determining what to bring on this excursion if you want to enjoy it to the fullest. And since this information aims to assist, I’ll definitely pin this post for further use.
We did a lot of thinking and planning to get our gear to meet the needs but not to bring “just in case” stuff. Hope this helps others wondering about some packing items for an Antarctica cruise.
this post ALMOST makes me want to visit! lol! But I am going to use your advice for our Quebec December 2023 trip.
A lot of this is valid for most winter travel. We had such tight baggage requirements we had to pare it down as much as possible. We will see if we pared too much.
All great advice and tips for packing. An Antarctica cruise is on my bucket list, so this list will come in handy.
We read a lot of advice about what to pack and living in Canada we got some practice to test out our packing ideas. Hope you get to Antarctica one day.
I always find buying new stuff for a trip is great part of the fun. I have the feeling that you are enjoying putting all this stuff together and trying it out maybe not as much as going on the trip but quite a bit 😉 I totally get it.
Also, I find this post very informative. Going to Antarctica is my big dream and it’s quite shocking that you need all this stuff. I though I put on a warm sweater and off I go. If my dream every should come true, I’ll come back to this post to get everything that will make my trip smoother.
Your first point is funny. My best friend is rolling his eyes at all the research and testing we are doing for this trip. So much more than normal! I will update the post if we learn something on our coming trip. We have tried to cover off what we need. But you know how that goes!
Wow! What an adventure! This is beyond bucketlist. I love your detailed post, and got some great ideas about glove liners that you can use with your phone, waterproof phonecase and the hotheads gaiter.
I am happy that this post provided you with some ideas for packing for Antarctica or for any other winter trip. We were glad we did our research and tested some options too.
This is uncanny! I was looking at a very similar cruise just yesterday and then today, I find your blog post. There are so many great tips here. I am with you completely about boots and would buy my own for a trip like this (can’t guarantee that someone as kind as you had left some behind!). I think I would also be able to draw on my ski gear for some of the layering and goggles ( I have those interchangeable lenses too. Aren’t they great!). We invested in a Go-pro for exactly the same reasons as you for a recent watery trip. It worked a treat and I am a convert. This was also the first time I left my laptop behind and relied on my tablet. Anyway, thank you for all these tips. This is the one cruise I would really like to to on. Just need to persuade my husband now!
Our clothes packing required some test and learn. But we were happy we could shop from our closet. Glad to know the GoPro will work out. I have done some practice at home. And hope to get some great footage on this Antarctica cruise. We will see if we actually leave with a lighter electronics pack. I always think I will do far more work on our trips than I end up doing. Hope you can convince your hubby to book this trip. I will post lots of pics and posts to help with the convincing.
Great guide! Super helpful for anyone going to Antartica.
Thanks. We sure learned a lot getting ready to go to Antarctica.
That was such an interesting read! I still have hopes that I will be able to set foot on Antartica. And there’s so much preparation to do.
I hope you do get to go to Antarctica one day. It was far more planning than we expected. But we really wanted to be properly prepared.
Wow – you really put a lot of thoughts in your Antarctica packing! Did it all work out? Or did you discover that you overpacked in some places or that something was missing, you should have brought along? How did the kayaking go? And did you finally do that splash in swimsuits into the Arctic waters? Looking forward to more posts about your cold adventures!
We will be writing all about our Antarctica adventures. And if we really packed the right things. It took a lot of research and some practice to pare down the gear for a trip that had more than one destination.
I plan to visit Antarctica one day, but I’m a total warm weather person, so packing for the trip would be a total challenge for me.
This article will certainly help me.
Being Canadian I am sure helped us with packing and getting some practice. I a sure the whole trip is much more of a shock for warm weather people.
You certainly did put a lot of thought into this list. I’ve been following your Antarctica posts and really look forward to following in your footsteps one day! (PS: I used hiking poles for my Kili hike and have never looked back! I’m glad you’re a convert now, too)
We sure hope we have everything we need as we head out very soon. I packed my bag 10 days before we leave and have been fine tuning it ever since. But I never considered removing my hiking poles. David did and I hope he does not regret it.
That really is a lot to consider to pack, who would’ve thought! I’m glad you created this guide because it’ll help many others (hopefully also me in future) to be well prepared for an Antarctica cruise, so thanks for sharing!
There was so much to think about in packing for a cruise to Antarctic. I thought it would be helpful to answer some of the “why” questions and not just give a list.
What an insightful post. I would never have imagined there would be so much to consider. I was interested to read about an electronic seasickness gadget. What does it do? I hadn’t thought too much about suffering from sea sickness on an Antarctic cruise so thanks for highlighting it.
We hope we are well prepared for our Antarctic cruise. The electronic device pulses on the point on the inside of your wrist that helps with nausea. Found it worked well on other trips. We will see how it does on this trip if the seas get rough.
Your preparation for Antarctica cruise looks full proof and it’s great to know that the Silver line cruise had a dress code. And your Muskoka trip served as a drill for your Antarctica trip. It’s a good thing that you left your normal boots before boarding on cruise ship and packed other essentials like sunscreen, extra zip locks and light weight backpack. Upgrade on camera gear for Antarctica cruise is a must.The outdoor master goggles are a great choice with magnetic lens and so is the neck gaiter for protection.
We were glad we put a lot of thought and practice into our final pack. But I must admit we are doing minor changes as the day approaches.
wow, that a well thought out packing strategy. love how you guys tested all these things in the snow beforehand. we went to Antarctica with Quark and they provided us waterproof pants…but i just wanted to double down on your comment that they should be waterproof and not just resistant. from the wet landings you mentioned to sitting in the snow (for a LONG time) with penguins around, you need it to be waterproof.
also love the magnetic lens swap on the googles. huge help! pro move!
We both have one pair of great waterproof pants and our second pants are a little less great. So we have sprayed them multiple times to add more water resistance. Glad to hear that the magnetic lenses for our goggles intrigued you. I am sure they will come in handy.
Antarctica is on my bucket list! And yes I can imagine you need to really consider what your packing for that trip. The cold, the sun and the water all will effect everything hugely. Great advice.
I hope this packing post does come in handy when you finally get Antarctica booked.
What a comprehensive guide. But really, I can’t fault any of this planning, for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to a frontier of nature.
We sure wanted to make sure we were ready for this great adventure!
This is sure a very helpful and informative post. Very smart to plan in detail ahead. It sure saves the I wish… I would love to make it to Antartica one day and when I do i know where to refer my packing list to! Great article
I hope you do get to Antarctica one day. We did a lot of research and testing and wanted to share.
Wow what a thorough post! Great tips and I’m saving this for when I go one day!
There was a lot to think about when packing for Antarctica. Lets hope we got it right.
I think it is even more vital to pack the right things for an Antarctica trip. It would be dreadful if your trip is spoiled because of incorrect planning and packing. It is not just a matter of discomfort for a short period of time!
We would have hated to miss a single adventure in Antarctica because we were not prepared.
I can see that you’ve put a lot of thought into what to pack for the cruise to Antarctica, and thought about pretty much everything. I agree that layers is a great approach to facing the cold there, I use the same technique whilst at home when it’s cold, to feel comfortable outside. As someone who suffers from sea sickness, I would definitely get the medication with me and hope for a smooth sailing. But I’ve heard too many horror stories about the Drake Passage to think it will be a calm crossing.
We are hoping for a smooth sailing to Antarctica but are prepared if the Drake is rough. The 2 days will build excitement to land.
My son wants to go on this adventure! I’ll share this with him!
We are so excited about our coming trip. We hope all the thought and re-packing we did will ensure we are ready for this great adventure.
Wow! What a detailed guided list!! Amazing, I am not a cold lover but this almost makes me think I could handle it !!
I think that travelling in cold weather is great if you are dressed properly. We wanted to make sure we did not miss any of the fun on our cruise to Antarctica.
This is super helpful. My good friends are planning on going on a cruise to Antarctica next year. I’m going to share this with them. Thanks!
We did a lot of research and some practice. I hope this helps them to prepare too!
That’s indeed a very detailed and complete packing list. Missing something where you are out in cold weather could completely ruin the experience and this is very helpful.
We really did not want to miss a single adventure. So it was worth putting the time into our packing plan.
Oh I love this. This is a dream for me, but I have always felt it would never happen because of my motion sickness problem. I would hate to spend the money and then be so miserable the entire time. I have not used an electronic motion device before. I think I will discuss this idea with my doctor. Great post Linda!
I hope you do get this on your travel plan. Everyone I talk to say they return and want to go back. We will see how I feel. The electronic seasickness band has worked on other cruises for me. Prefer that if it is working. But I have meds for a backup plan.
Travelling to Antartica is such an experience! Since it’s not a regular type of trip, it makes sense to take time to prepare for it. I love how informative your post is – everyone planning a trip to Antartica needs to read this. I have to say, I’m impressed with your photo gear!
We are hoping the photo gear will cover all our needs – and not be a bunch of stuff we carry and don’t use. We spent some time practicing with it before we went so hopefully we will be ready.
Wow, what an amazing amount of preparation for yor Antartica cruise. But I can’t wait to read more about it.
We are sure hope we got the pack right. But we will know pretty soon. We would hate to miss any of the outdoor fun – in the hot or cold temperatures – on this trip.
This sounds like an amazing experience but I get horrendously sea sick! I’ve tried a lot of medication and they haven’t worked but I’ve never heard of Gravol before. This is a really detailed list!
Many people will pass on this trip because of the rough waters. You might want to check into the cruises that start with a flight right to Antarctica and miss the Drake Channel.
Wow, I would never have guessed that the cruise line would make you rent boots from a specific vendor! Good thinking to try them out in advance!
We have been so happy to have our own boots in advance. But we are not sure we will bring them back home!
I really want to go to Antarctica so this post was so helpful. The baggage limitations definitely sound like a brainteaser – especially when winter apparel is so bulky and heavy. I love that your long underwear had little penguins on it – perfect for this adventure!
We were extra challenged because we had to pack for cold and then 2 weeks in hot South America too. But we did a test pack and we look ok! I was glad I found the penguin pjs for some fun.
We friends are planning an Antarctica trip at the end of the year. However it’s more a road trip through Canada. But this list is going to be super useful. Although I myself tend to plan well, your tip for protecting my feet well with the right pair of boots will be essential. More so because am a diabetic.
Glad this will be a useful list for packing for the cold. Good boots are always a key for lots of outdoor fun.
I’m not going to Antarctica, but I’ve been going through the same process for a trip to Bulgaria – making sure we have the right cold-weather clothing, etc. Camera gear is next on the list, and my other half has just bought yet another camera bag to make sure his fits airline requirements (mine is OK) – if only all airlines had the same dimensions for cabin bags! I’m leaving my muck-boots at home – great though they are – and taking a lighter-weight pair and thicker socks. Apparently we can hire boots at our accommodation, but I’d rather go knowing I have something that fits my wide feet comfortably.
Anyway, you’ve reminded me of a few things I still need to check. Thank you.
I am sure this list will help with heading anywhere cold. Glad it reminded you of a few things. We had some challenges packing our carry on because there were both weight and size limits. We are hoping we got it right.
You compiled this post with everything which one can need for Antarctica planning. I wish to visit Antarctica soon as this is one of bucket list place for me and this post comes as a savior to me. The layers , medicine , skin prtections are major things and camera is also important for such trips. I too recently bought my gopro11 for such adventurous trips. I am curious how much weight the cruise allows to take per person and what their package cost for Antarctica trip?
The cost really varies on the route, the cruise company you use, how many people you want on your ship, how long you cruise for and when you go. Once you sort that out it is easy to find a range. But it is not cheap no matter how you go. I am hoping our new GoPro works out perfectly.
I’ve noticed a lot of people are going on cruises here recently! Definitely good to know what to bring beforehand so thank you for the helpful tips.
It does seem like there are a lot of people visiting Antarctica this year. So many of us had our plans put off over the worst of the pandemic years. So glad to finally get this trip.
A great post with comprehensive information and useful tips which will be essential for many! Keeping your feet dry is a very important thing in such conditions and great thinking to bring some aquaseal just in case of a leakage. It seems like you really planned this trip very well. I hope it was as magical as it seemed!
We are excited to head out this week. We do hope we packed everything we will need. And hope our boot seal will hold.
The cruise and the activities sound incredible! The packing prep is next level, and you really broke down the elements and thought process into easier steps. I wouldn’t have thought about the extra calf space in the boots for all of the extra layers!!
We have had some time to build and test our packing list. And learned some things along the way that will hopefully ensure we are fully prepared for Antarctica.
It’s a great and helpful list for packing for the Antarctica cruise. Lots of handy tips on how to do it properly. For sure, wearing layers is a must in such harsh weather conditions. Protecting the head, eyes, and hands is crucial during frost. I also are needed some technical clothes. Wearing proper boots to keep feet stayed dry is a must. I appreciate your tips about protecting camera gear and electronics as well.
Our research and some testing helped us to refine the list. But I must admit we packed almost 2 weeks before we left. And then swapped a few things in and out as we did more thinking and a little testing.
This is really useful advice. For a once in a lifetime trip, I wouldn’t want to forget anything that would affect my enjoyment of the Antarctic environment.
That is how we felt. It was worth doing some tests too to make sure we got it right. Hopefully any misses are minor.
Wow, that sounds so stressful to pack for! I remember not knowing what to pack for a week long Alaska cruise, and that is nothing compared to this!
I recently got a new GoPro too and didn’t know how many additional accessories you needed to buy for it 🙁
I can’t wait to hear more about your trip, it sounds like a truly amazing experience!
We were packed and so excited. I must admit we did a shuffle of some things at the last minute. Less about cold weather clothes and more about what we need on the ship and for our hot weather in South America.
I’m not used to cold weather, so definitely would need an Antartica packing list!
We were surprised when we learned that Antarctica would not be any colder than home in Toronto when we visited. Made it easier for us to think about packing for cold.