Guest Blog Post by Danny Pastuck, Quark Merchandise Manager
As you'll likely spend hours agonizing over what to pack for your polar cruise, you may want to consider what not to pack as well! Take a cue from Quark's seasoned expedition staff who spend a better part of the year globetrotting to remote corners of the globe, often living out of one suitcase for months at a time.
Items not required on your polar expedition:
Parka – Your outer layer is essential protection from polar elements and the most important piece of gear you'll wear each day. Luckily, Quark has designed a durable parka to keep you warm, dry and ever so comfortable. And you'll receive it complimentary on board, freeing up plenty of space in your suitcase. (Tip - save some room when packing as the Quark parka is yours to take home.)
“Onesies” or hard to remove clothing – If you struggle to put it on at home, it will be five times harder to take it off while wearing gloves during your expedition landings. Avoid one piece snow suits, items with small zippers or difficult buttons. Instead bring items that are lightweight and easy to put on, or take off, as temperatures fluctuate.
Unfamiliar gear – A once in a lifetime expedition is not the time to test out the durability of a new pair of waterproof pants, or a fancy new camera you've never used. Make sure you're using dependable gear that's tried, tested and true before leaving for your polar cruise. Read the full instructions on electronics to ensure you bring the right accessories and know what you're doing before you get on the water.
Waterproof boots – Landings require tough and durable waterproof boots to get you ship to shore while keeping your feet dry. Waterproof boots will also be provided on loan on board, so you can leave yours at home.
Heavy shoes – Footwear with wooden or heavy soles add weight to your suitcase and don't provide a stable grip while walking around the ship in rough seas. Opt for lightweight sneakers with good rubber grips and you'll be walking like a seasoned sailor in no time.
Beauty products – Instead of multiple products in heavy glass jars, bring a simple moisturizer with an SPF. Bring travel sizes of other products or opt for smaller plastic travel jars to lighten your load.
Expensive jewelry and formal clothes – While you want to look your best in photos, leave traditional cruise line formal attire at home. You'll spend your polar holiday in a casual and relaxed environment. One dressy outfit is enough (and you might choose to leave the sequins at home).
AND REMEMBER - Quark has well-stocked, carefully curated gear shops on board each polar expedition vessel. Drop by the shop on your next expedition for great packing tips from a seasoned polar traveler (and to pick up that extra pair of socks you forgot)!