Are you trying to figure out what to pack and what to wear for your upcoming Antarctica cruise? You’re not alone! We all are trying to figure out how to stay warm on the planet’s final continent, while also trying to overpack knowing that we have a weight limit for our luggage. So if you’re looking for the ultimate Antarctica packing list that will tell you what to wear and what to pack for this dream trip, I’ve got you covered.
Below is my full packing list with links to items I personally use and love, but obviously if you have similar items, bring what you’ve got! And if you purchase anything from one of these links, I’ll make a small commission, so I genuinely appreciate it if you do make a purchase (and thank you sincerely).
What to Wear in Antarctica
This probably feels obvious because it’s… ya know… Antarctica. But no Antarctica packing list would be complete without some waterproof outer layers to protect you from wind and elements that are especially unique and prevalent in Antarctica.
Warm Winter Jacket
You will receive a coat from Hurtigruten if you go on one of their Antarctic cruises, but it’s best to have another that is warm and packs down easily
If for some reason you want to pack a full parka (which I don’t think you will need), here are my current favorites:
No Antarctica packing list is complete without some good, warm base layers. I am personally a fan of merino wool, but alpaca is also a great fabric to keep warm. Both of those fabrics will keep you warm and are definitely an excellent answer to the question around what to wear in Antarctica. Also, don’t worry about being fancy. The dress code, especially if you go on a Hertigruten cruise, is very relaxed. Just stay warm and cozy.
Fleece-lined Wind and Water Resistant Pants
One of the best additions to this Antarctica packing list – in my opinion – is a fleece-lined water resistant pant. Wear these over leggings or long underwear and you’ll be set the whole week. You also only really need one pair, so don’t feel the need to buy multiple unless you really want to.
Layers are going to be your best friend for an Antarctica cruise and why you’ll see the on basically any Antarctica packing list you find, and a nice, fleece zip-up is a very popular item to wear in Antarctica.
Gloves or Mittens
Keep those hands warm while on your Antarctica cruise! I tend to like something waterproof, thick but not too thick, that also is touchscreen capable.
Beanie and Scarf or Balaclava
Every “what to wear in Antarctica” list is going to have a hat, scarf, or balaclava (or all three) on the list and for good reason. It’s important to be as warm as you can while on your Antarctica cruise, and these essential items help get you there.
- Beanie with fur pom (on Amazon)
- Arc’teryx Lemae Balaclava (on Amazon)
- Carhartt Beanie (on Amazon)
- Merino wool scarf (on Amazon)
Does this look like a potentially insane addition to this Antarctica packing list? Probably. But you’ll want to bring your swimsuit for the on-deck hot tubs/spas and if you’re particularly brave, for the polar plunge. A must on any Antarctica cruise!
Leggings or Long Underwear
To keep your legs warm under your waterproof pants, I pretty much always just wear leggings under them. You might also wear them walking around the boat during your Antarctica coat, but at bare minimum they’re on this Antarctica packing list for more insulation.
What to wear in Antarctica? All the stuff I’ve previously mentioned but also some good waterproof shoes/boots with good grip and coverage (for the boat specifically) as well as some thick, warm socks.
Other Things to Pack for Antarctica Cruise
A couple of items to pack for Antarctica are just to make sure your stuff stays charged!
- Travel power adapter (Hertigruten boats use European style plugs)
- Wireless portable charger
- Charger with plug-in and wireless charging (on Amazon)
I, personally, think having a nice camera for your trip to Antarctica is super important. However, I know that not everyone’s a photographer! So if you’re not, and you’re happy with your phone photos, feel free to skip this section. But if you’re like me, camera equipment is a must-add to your Antarctica packing list, so here are my recommendations:
- A nice camera
- Extra batteries (battery life is shorter in cold areas)
- Extra memory cards
- Zoom lens
- Waterproof backpack
- Sunglasses with UV protection
- Water bottle
- Printed copy of your passport as well as your physical passport
Medication & Healthcare
- Sun protection
- Lip balm with UV protection
- Motion sickness medication
- Remember to pack 2 weeks of your prescriptions just in case
So there you go! The ultimate guide to what to wear and pack for an Antarctica cruise! As always, please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns. I hope you have the time of your life on this bucket list experience, and I hope this list is everything you need!