Packing Essentials for Antarctica Cruise

A list of packing essentials when travelling to Antarctica
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To make the absolute most of your trip, then this is our recommendation for the packing essentials for your Antarctica cruise. The things that you won’t want to do without! We’re not talking about what clothes to pack for an Antarctic cruise, as we’ve already posted about this. These are the essentials that we’d recommend taking with you to get the most from your trip.

Grey seal in Antarctica, the image was captured using a decent camera - just one of the packing essentials for Antarctica
A decent camera is essential to get up close with local wildlife

Pack a camera to capture memories

Whilst iPhones take great photos, when you want to zoom in and capture the real detail of the wildlife or icebergs a good quality camera makes all the difference. There are photographers on board and you can buy a memory stick with all their images from the expedition. It is quite pricey though! We captured some fantastic sights on the phone but got to see the real detail thanks to the camera. Apparently the extreme cold can also drain your phone battery very quickly whereas a traditional camera can be a little more reliable. There are so many photo opportunities that you’ll probably take thousands of photographs – so remember spare batteries or your charger.

Also, good quality binoculars are also a great investment, especially when you’re viewing humpback whales or Orcas (we were lucky to see both).

Protect your face

Sunglasses are a must! That snow is bright! Make sure they’ve got UV protection to protect your eyes. Similarly, sun block is essential. You may only be out on the land for around an hour it’s still plenty of time to get sunburn. Believe me, it was easy to spot those who’d forgotten their sun block. By dinner there were a few shiny red faces with an outline of their sunglasses! Don’t be one of those people!

Lip salve will be a saviour. It’s cold and your lips get chapped – quickly. A good moisturising lotion and hand lotion will also save your hands from the cold weather.

Take an icy dip … or plunge into warm bubbles

Hat’s off to you if you fancy taking the Antarctic challenge of an icy dip in the sea. You’ll get a certificate for your bravery. But, if you’re more of a warm-water kind of person then there’s an onboard jacuzzi to relax your muscles. Either way you’ll need to pack a swimsuit or trunks.

Travel Adapters

Make sure you have an international travel adapter. You’ll need to keep the camera charged and your phone charged – especially as the battery drains quite quickly in the cold weather.

Keeping entertained

Once cruising the Antarctic you’ll probably spend most of your time on deck watching the beautiful scenery. But, if the weather is inclement and to pass the time when at sea, you may want to think about taking a book, some travel games or a pack of cards. On our expedition, we were lucky to have time to do art classes But the crew were great at keeping you entertained throughout the day with talks, lectures and films. It was very difficult to get bored on board!

Staying waterproof

We bought a waterproof bag to take on landings but in all honesty we didn’t use it. We were fortunate that the weather was very kind during our trip so we didn’t experience many blizzards. A backpack with a carrier bag inside worked just as well for us!

Waterproof trousers however are essential. Head over to our blog post about packing clothes for the Antarctic for more advice.

Say goodbye to sickness

If you’re heading to Antarctica, there’s no choice but to cross the Drake Passage. It’s known as the most turbulent crossing your can undertake. If you’re lucky you’ll experience ‘The Drake Lake’ , but if the weather determines otherwise, then ‘The Drake Shake’ sees wave heights between 9 – 12 metres. Either way expect some ‘movement’ in your cabin so a couple of anti-sickness products may be worth investing in.

For the duration of the trip, anti-sickness travel bands that you wear around your wrist are, in my opinion, just brilliant. You really notice a difference as soon as you put them back on after a shower. For really choppy crossings then I’d recommend following the motto ‘prevention better than cure. Anti-sickness tablets can help prevent any unfortunate incidents! We bought these – but they did knock me for six and I spent much of time during the Drake Passage fast asleep (so they definitely worked for me!).

Get in touch with more questions

If you’re a first-time traveller, then please do get in touch with us if you need help, advice or have unanswered questions on packing tips for the Antarctic.

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