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What to Pack on Your Antarctic Cruise

by Oceanwide Expeditions Blog

Antarctic Peninsula

What to Pack on Your Antarctic Cruise

While planning an Antarctica trip, you do not want to forget anything important. When you're visiting a destination that is as unique as the Antarctic, it’s important to pack everything you would need. You should pack the essentials, without overpacking. The following list will help you prepare for your adventurous journey ahead.

Required Documentation

  • You will require a valid passport, please ensure that your passport is valid for a minimum of six months after your trip ends
  • Visa (if required), please check with the nearest embassy for more information


Although Antarctica is cold, it’s not as cold as many believe (especially in the summer months). Also, you will be walking a lot, which can help generate heat. Based on both cold and possibly warmer temperatures, you should bring layers.

  • T-shirts, these will be great when layering or hanging out on the vessel
  • Long sleeve shirts + turtleneck (fleece, wool, and silk clothing are great, as they are superior to cotton)
  • Wind and waterproof and outer layering, including waterproof pants (ski pants are great to have for this purpose)
  • Good quality, thick wool socks + lighter socks for layering
  • A hat that covers your ears
  • An outer jacket that is warm, yet comfortable for hiking
  • Gloves, preferably made from a material that dries quickly (bring two pairs)
  • Long underwear, as well as your standard undergarments
  • Light, comfy shoes, as you will want to be comfortable on the ship. This is especially true when you’ve been hiking in large rubber boots all day
  • Swimsuit
  • A scarf or neckwarmer, to protect your face and neck during heavy winds
  • Knee-high rubber boots (these need to be strong and fully waterproof). Large heavy boots that make it challenging to walk are NOT recommended. Boots that have a waffle sole are ideal, as they tend to give the best footing. You should also avoid boots that have been made from PVC, because you will be more prone to slip. A couple of the best options are Wellies and Viking Boots.


  • Sunglasses, as there are some gorgeous, sunny days
  • Goggles (this is of course a necessity if you’d like to ski, but anyone can benefit from bringing a pair of goggles. They’re handy to have in your backpack if it begins to snow heavily during a hike)
  • Electrical converter with adaptor plug
  • Binoculars, for all the wildlife and stunning scenery
  • Leak-proof water bottle for hiking
  • Journal + pens

Toiletries and other related products

  • Sunscreen, do not assume that sunscreen is not needed, just because it’s a colder climate. The sun still shines bright and the UV rays are strong, so it’s important to protect your face and other exposed areas
  • Cream, as the air is fairly dry
  • If you tend to get seasick, some medication to combat this + all personal medication
  • Lip chap, once again the wind and dry weather can cause your lips to crack. Due to the sun exposure, a lip chap with SPF 15 is recommended
  • Small, personal medical kit


  • A camera, you’re going to see some of the most breathtaking views and experience some incredible encounters with wildlife
  • A waterproof bag for your camera and lenses
  • An extra memory stick for your camera  
  • If your camera uses film, please bring extra


The bag you use to pack all your items, should be appropriate for your travels ahead. Although many want to pack everything they own, this is not necessary. Antarctica is so unique, that many people overpack.

There will be times when you need to carry your baggage, as you travel from location to location. While on the zodiac for instance, it will be important that your bag is manageable. Basically, you want to pack all the items you need, in a bag that is fairly mobile.

Also, it doesn’t hurt to carry a bag that is water resistant. A large backpack, a duffel bag on wheels, or any other nimble, light-weight bag will be great. You will also want to bring one smaller daypack, which can be used on hikes and exploration.


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