20 Packing Tips for Sailing in Antarctica + Free Packing List!

A trip to Antarctica is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to visit the southernmost continent with its magnificent landscapes and an abundance of wildlife. Because of its harsh weather and cold air, you must be prepared well for this trip.

Getting ready can take weeks even months, so this downloadable packing list will be very handy for you. See below what is necessary to have on your sailing adventure to Antarctica:

1. Jacket

Antarctica - wearing a jacket

A waterproof and warm jacket is a must for a trip to Antarctica. Although some tour operators offer their own waterproof clothing, it is best to come prepared and have a jacket that fits you perfectly. These jackets can be expensive so make sure you buy them ahead of time.

2. Wind and Waterproof Pants

Having warm, waterproof pants is essential. The best and most appropriate clothes for this kind of excursion are ski gear. If you have a good pair of ski pants, you can sit on the snow to get the perfect shot of a penguin because they are made to go with waterproof boots.

3. Gloves

You’ll also need gloves that are waterproof and warm. A pair made for skiing would be ideal. While in a boat, gloves will be necessary, and you should think about how simple it will be to use your camera while wearing them. Take a thinner pair to use on deck and while ashore if you have a touch screen or want to change your camera settings.

4. Layers

To adjust to temperature changes, it is better to wear layers of outdoor gear. You’ll be inside the ship’s warmth while you wait to disembark, so a zip-up fleece with a base layer is excellent. The last thing you want to be experiencing while taking in the amazing wildlife and scenery is the annoyance of being too hot or too cold.

5. Sun Protection

Sunscreen and sunglasses are a must because snow glare is very strong on bright days. If the ship has a deck, you can eat lunch outside during nice weather, or take photos of icebergs and wildlife while sailing.

6. Backpack

Antarctica trip - backpack

You must have a nice backpack to get your necessities ashore. You should bring a drink, an additional layer, sunglasses, and a camera. You’ll want to make sure everything you take ashore is securely fastened because getting into and out of a boat can be difficult.

7. Casual Clothes

On board, casual attire is the norm, with jeans and sweaters being the most popular choices. Even while certain cruise companies may act a little more formal in the evening, everyone wants to be at ease, especially following a long day of excursions.

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8. Camera

Bringing a camera is a necessity because you will undoubtedly want to document this once-in-a-lifetime experience in photo and video. The precise model is entirely up to you, but for capturing animals, we’d suggest something with a strong zoom and a quick shutter setting or sports mode.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to maintain a camera on board with you at all times, even during meals. Even though all you have is your phone camera, it will be worth it if you can capture a breathtaking sunset when the light is just right or if whales are spotted nearby.

9. Swimming Suit

Even if your ship doesn’t have a pool or Jacuzzi, it’s still a good idea to bring your swimming gear because you might get the chance to try the infamous polar plunge, which involves jumping into the chilly Southern Ocean.

10. Seasickness Pills

Navigating the extremely turbulent Drake Passage is a necessary part of a cruise to Antarctica. Even while you might get lucky and have a smooth crossing, it’s still wise to be ready for the worse. Seasickness medication is necessary on sailing like these.

11. Hat

Your entire body will stay warmer with a wool hat. This is a crucial component of the list because your head, toes, and fingers are the main points of heat loss. You might even want to bring a fleece face mask when packing for Antarctica in addition to the hat and scarf.

12. Scarf

An additional layer wouldn’t harm! A scarf doesn’t have to be worn with a winter coat, but it can be worn with a vest or a lightweight insulated coat. It’s a fantastic layer to bring. While synthetic materials might be the least effective at retaining heat, wool will keep you the warmest.

13. Waterproof Boots

Having good waterproof boots is essential for surviving cold weather in Antarctica. Wind and snow will freeze your toes if they are not safe and warm. Some of the best brands to choose from are Patagonia or The Falklands.

14. Toiletries

Toiletries differ from person to person but don’t forget to bring the essentials. Shampoo and conditioner, body lotion and face cream, and a toothbrush with toothpaste are among the most important items to have on any trip. SPF lip balm and sunscreen are essential too. Consider using travel containers for your toiletries.

15. Passport

Remember to bring your passport and any additional documentation you need for traveling. Since there isn’t a customs border in Antarctica, you won’t need it there, but you will require it when you board your cruise ship in your country of entry. You might also require a visa, depending on the nation from which you are traveling.

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16. Books and Magazines

For time spent indoors or in the evenings it is good to have some reading materials handy. If books and magazines are taking up too much space in your luggage you can bring a waterproof Kindle or some other reading device. They are compact, light, and can hold a lot of books.

17. Headphones

If you like listening to music or podcasts, you better bring headphones with you. They will be useful on your way to Antarctica but also for the free time you have after daily excursions. You will most probably be surrounded by a lot of people, so headphones will give you a better sense of privacy.

18. Water Bottle

Antarctica trip - water bottle

Everyone needs water to survive. No one can maintain good health if they don’t drink enough water. Since it is imperative to regularly drink water throughout the day, having a water bottle with you while traveling will help you stay hydrated and healthy.

19. Binoculars

Some cruisers prefer to see and photograph animals using the zoom on their DSLR cameras or cellphones, but if you prefer binoculars, bring a good waterproof pair. When using them frequently, it will be much easier to grip a pair that is lightweight and with a neck strap.

20. Dry Bags

Bring dry bags for your phone and camera equipment if you’re using a water-resistant backpack rather than a waterproof one, or if you’re just being extra cautious. Dry bags offer additional protection in case your backpack becomes wet. Additionally, they work well for securing a smartphone or small camera that you carry around in your pocket rather than a bag.

Packing list:

Jacket
● Light jacket
● Warm jacket
● West
Wind and waterproof pants
● 2-3 pairs of pants
● Long underwear
Gloves
Layers
● Under layers
● Outer layers
● Socks
Sun protection
● Sunglasses
● Sunscreen
● SPF lip balm
Casual clothes
● Sweaters
● Jeans
● Hoodies
● Long sleeve shirts
Casual pants
Camera Gear
● Camera body
● Lenses
● Lens filters
● Lens hood
Swimming suit
Medication
● Seasickness pills
● Pain medication
● Vitamins
Hat
Scarf
Waterproof boots
Toiletries
● Shampoo and conditioner
● Body lotion
● Face cream
● Hand cream
Passport/Visa
Books and magazines
Kindle
● Books
● Magazines
Download apps for the phone or tablet
Entertainment
● Headphones
● Phone
● Tablet
● Laptop
Water bottle
Binoculars
Dry bags

If you’ve been dreaming of visiting Antarctica, let’s talk! The Trip Atelier takes the stress out of vacation planning. Schedule a consultation to plan your amazing Antarctica adventure!

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