What to pack for your Atlantic Odyssey voyage?
When packing, don’t weigh yourself down with too many clothes or too much gear. Select informal, practical clothing for your trip that can be worn in layers. Including:
A (waterproof ) nylon backpack, rucksack, or similar bag with shoulder straps, for car- rying your camera and other gear during shore excursions. Be sure to choose one with shoulder straps so that your hands are free. It is very important that you have some means of keeping your camera dry. Every summer we have disappointed people whose camera has been splashed in a Zodiac. So do take a special waterproof bag with you in case your backpack is not totally waterproof itself.
Good quality sunglasses. Note that the glare from the water and surrounding snow/ice can be quite penetrating, even when the sky is overcast.
Sun lotion with a high protection filter is recommended. In the high latitudes there is a high amount of UV radiation. On the deck in the wind, you will not notice the burning of the sun. Don’t forget to bring it with you when you go ashore!
A pair of binoculars is highly recommended.
Camera, plenty of memory cards and batteries. Also enough film and extra bat- teries for your video camera! From experience we know it is advisable to bring an extra (pocket) camera in case of malfunction or accident. Cameras have been dropped in the water and it is a disappointed photographer who can’t take pictures.
Be prepared with a standard European two round pin socket. The electrical supply on board the ship is 220 volts / 60 Hertz.
Earplugs may be useful if sharing a cabin with a snorer.
Warm and water-resistant “rain pants” of coated nylon are essential. Wear them over your regular clothes to keep you warm and dry. Gore-Tex and similar fabrics are waterproof and “breathable”. Ski pants are suitable but be aware: they are often not waterproof!
Bring sturdy trousers that can be layered between your long underwear and rain pants. Jeans and corduroys are good both for excursions and wear aboard ship. But please note: cotton clothing like normal t-shirts and jeans tend to get wet and stay wet in a cold environ- ment and prevent breathable fabrics from working properly. Hiking trousers are more suitable for the cold Antarctic environment. Silk or polypropylene underwear is highly recommended since it keeps you warm without adding bulk.
Wool sweaters or a polar fleece jacket of medium weight are recommended.
Gloves / Mittens
Keeping your hands warm and dry is a challenge - and important. Thin polypro- pylene gloves can be worn underneath warm mittens. Thus, you can take off the mittens to operate your camera and still have some protection from the cold. It’s a good idea to bring an extra pair of gloves/ mittens to wear if your other pair gets wet (or lost).
Cap / Hood
Cap to protect your ears and your head from sun burning.
Woollen socks that can be worn over a thin pair of (silk, polypropylene or woollen) socks should provide enough insulation for your feet. Bring several pairs, since you will inevitably get your feet wet as moisture from your feet accumulates in the rubber boots, hence decreasing the insula- tion of the socks. Changing socks frequently may prevent cold feet. For the warmer regions the thin socks should be sufficient.
A well-fitting waterproof jacket with attached hood should be worn over your under layers. It is important that this garment is thoroughly waterproof. Gore-Tex or sailing jackets are ideal alt- hough it is possible to find cheaper waterproof gear. A waterproof jacket is one of the most impor- tant items on your packing list. There is nothing worse than cold wind on wet clothing!
Bathing suit, bathing towel and snorkel gear for a swim in the warm waters near the Equator.
Teva Sandals, Crocs or similar footwear are very comfortable to wear around the ship. Sandals are appropriate in the warmer regions. Please make sure sandals have heel straps. It is required on board ships due to safety reasons.
Bring your favourite books, movies and even games to keep you busy during the long sea passages. On board there is a limited library with nature books and novels.
Bring cash in US Dollars as well as British Pounds. The islands to be visited (e.g. St. Helena, Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha) are British and do not always accept credit cards. You don’t want to miss your collection of stamps on these islands!
Flash light and batteries. For outings during darkness. For example, we want to go looking for turtles laying their eggs on the beach! This will be done during the night.
On all voyages rubber boots are essential. Rubber boots are to be used on virtu- ally all of our shore landings, and will be provided on the ship. If you bring your own boots please make note of the following: The boots should be knee-high, preferably unlined, and completely waterproof and with a good profiled sole. Stepping out of the Zodiac on the shore almost always involves stepping into water. It is therefore important to have waterproof boots that are high enough to avoid water coming in. For this reason boots such as Sorrels, snow boots, hiking shoes or low rubber boots are not satisfactory (you’ll get your feet wet!).
Avoid imitation ‘rubber boots’ made from PVC. These tend to have less of a good grip and cause slipping more easily than those boots that are made from real rubber. Good brands, among others, are Muck, Viking, Aigle, Hunter, Nokian and Tretorn. They can be purchased from outdoor shops, work clothing stores, surplus stores, farm co-op stores, garden supply centres, and marine supply houses.
Sailing boots have good non-skid soles and are good for slick ship decks and wet rocks, however they lack traction on snow, ice and mud and should therefore NOT be used. Remember that you will be wearing these boots a lot. So they must be comfortable for extended wear and walking. The boots should not be too tight or too sloppy. If they are too tight you will get cold feet more easily. In case they are a bit too loose you can add an extra insole or extra socks to take up the space (within reason).
For maximum warmth, wear loose-fitting boots and two pairs of socks. Rubber boots gene- rally come in whole sizes and many brands are unisex sizes. Be sure to get the best fit no matter what size they are. Try your boots before the voyage! Your boots are probably the most important item you need to bring; so if you have questions or just need some further advice please don’t hesitate to contact us!
Best rule for packing
Pack fewer clothes than you think you‘ll need!