How do I pack for Antarctica?

This is a question we frequently receive from travelers. After all, you are going to the coldest, highest, driest, windiest place on the planet, right?

Fear not, packing to travel to the Antarctic Peninsula and surrounding areas is not as daunting as you might think.

Wear for Polar Weather

When packing for Antarctica, having the right clothing will really help you enjoy your trip. Our mantra: dress in layers! The day may start out cold and snowing, and as you hike up a glacier, the sun comes out. Being able to add and subtract layers will make you more comfortable during the voyage.

Important clothing items you should think about are: waterproof jacket and pants and warm layers to go underneath, such as thermal top and bottom and a couple pairs of thermal socks. Winter gloves and a warm hat are also very important. Bring comfortable walking shoes for time on the ship.

Some other essentials not to forget: toiletry kit and any medication you may take. Keep in mind that motion sickness is very common while crossing the Drake Passage, so bring your preferred remedy to get through those days.

Charging! Battery chargers may not work so bring adapters/converters as needed. Ships voltage varies between 220 V European (round plugs) and 110 V American (straight pins). Check with out about your ship!

Make sure you bring a day pack or backpack that is water resistant so you can have with you important essentials while off the ship, such as extra layers, sunblock and sunglasses. The sun can get very bright, especially when reflecting off the ice.

Photography: Whether you an iPhone photographer or carry multiple lenses, make sure you are able to capture this trip. Binoculars are also great to get a closer look at scenery and wildlife.

Don’t forget your bathing suit if you’re brave enough to do the polar plunge!

Antarctica Classica Cruise from Ushuaia

What not to bring?

Don’t worry about bringing muck boots. They will be provided to you and will be yours until the end of the trip. Also, towels & soap will be in your cabin, so you can skip those as well to save space in your luggage.

Antarctica Classica Cruise from Ushuaia

Our Essential Packing List

  • Waterproof jacket (some ships provide this, please check!)
  • Waterproof pants
  • Heavyweight fleece
  • Thermal top and bottom x 2
  • Thermal socks x 3
  • Warm hat
  • Winter gloves or mittens x 2 (to rotate when wet)
  • Glove liners (great for taking photos)
  • Jeans, khakis, or fleece pants (several pairs)
  • Shirts
  • Walking shoes
Other essentials: 
  • Sunglasses (polarized, close fitting are best)
  • Sunblock
  • Daypack or backpack (waterproof/resistant is best; or line with plastic bags)
  • Bathing suit – for a polar plunge!
  • Binoculars
  • Camera / Video o Extra batteries for cameras (not available on board)
  • Extra memory or film for cameras (not available on board)
  • Plastic freezer bags with zip closures (for keeping your camera dry)
  • Battery chargers
  • Converters/adapters as needed (ship voltage varies – 110 V / 220V)
  • Appropriate clothing for Buenos Aires (or Santiago depending on your flight routing)
  • Medications – bring a sufficient supply of any medications you regularly take; prescription and over-the-counter including your preferred motion sickness remedy, as well as copies of your prescriptions. Your necessities and favorites may not be available on the vessel or in Argentina. o
  • If you wear prescription glasses or contact lenses, be sure to pack an extra pair.
  • Your personal toiletry kit (toothbrush, toothpaste etc

Our Trips in Patagonia, Ushuaia & Antarctica