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Under the Northern Lights: Exploring Iceland & East Greenland

What To Pack For Your Greenland Expedition

Greenland has an Arctic climate with average temperatures that mostly do not exceed 10° C (50° F) in the warmest summer months. With the extended daylight during the polar summer, especially in the Southern ranges of the country and the sheltered innermost parts of the long fjords, the temperature can, however, rise to more than 20° C (68° F) in June, July or August, making it warm enough to wear t-shirts on some days. 
However, Arctic weather is extremely variable and temperatures can and will drop abruptly, particularly with strong winds accentuating the chill factor significantly, and may even during summer days hover around or below the freezing mark, particularly often in the higher latitudes as well as at night and in inclement weather conditions.
When embarking on a Greenland expedition, be thus prepared to encounter the full spectrum of Greenlandic weather, including sun, wind, rain, and/or snow and fog. So be ready for any weather! and should be ready for
any conditions.
Packing for Greenland doesn't have to be daunting. The following list will help you prepare optimally for your polar adventure of a lifetime. To make it easier for you, all Quark Expeditions voyages include a complimentary Quark 3-in-1 Parka (with a waterproof outer shell and a removable inner liner to adjust to the activity at hand and your personal thermo-regulation needs, as required), a collapsible reusable water bottle, and a loan of insulated waterproof boots.

By Sea & Air

All transfers ship to shore, helicopter flights & Zodiac/ship cruising

1. ▢ Waterproof pants (mandatory for every Zodiac & helicopter ride)
2. ▢ Base-layer wool or synthetic top*
3. ▢ Base-layer wool or synthetic bottom*
4. ▢ Mid-layer warm or fleece top*
5. ▢ Mid-layer warm or fleece bottom*
6. ▢ Warm hat that covers ears (bring an extra) 
7. ▢ Scarf, buff, or other face protection
8. ▢ Warm wool or synthetic socks (keep a dry pair in your bag, and bring extras for layering)
9. ▢ Waterproof gloves or mitts (bring an extra, lighter pair for hiking) 
10. ▢ Glove liners* 
11. ▢ Hand and feet warmers*
12. ▢ Binoculars
13. ▢ Polarized sunglasses with UV protection (bring an extra pair)
14. ▢ Sunscreen
15. ▢ Ski goggles (for Zodiac cruising on snowy or windy days)
16. ▢ Waterproof, lightweight backpack or dry sack &/or rain sleeve for camera or a waterproof phone case (to keep camera & gear dry)

* recommended layering depending on the conditions of the day and reflecting your personal thermo-regulation comfort levels.

For Shore Excursions & Hiking   

In addition to the mandatory gear requirements (as above) for the transit from ship to shore, it is recommended to bring:

17. ▢ Worn-in Hiking footwear: While Muck-boots are provided and encouraged for most shore excursions, additional hiking footwear (Goretex-lined boots or similar water-proof hiking boots) can add to your hiking comfort, especially if you are a keen hiker 
18. ▢ (Smart) Wool or synthetic hiking socks for above footwear (bring an extra pair)
19. ▢ Lightweight and quick-dry, trekking pants that may or may not convert to zip-off shorts* (*depending on your thermo-regulation)
20. ▢ Breathable waterproof pants* and rain jacket** for outdoor activities in inclement weather (*can be the same pair you use for Zodiac operations / ** can be outer shell of complimentary Quark 3in1 Parka)
21. ▢ Comfortable long or short-sleeve shirt for hiking either synthetic/quick-dry or merino (smart) wool
22. ▢ (Hiking) gloves (medium thickness, waterproof preferred)
23. ▢ Hat, buff or scarf (for wind and weather protection)
24. ▢ UV protection (hat, polarized sun glasses, sun block, lip balm)
25. ▢ Collapsible Walking stick for hikes (if required). Quantities are available on every vessel to borrow.
26. ▢ Additional reusable thermos or water bottle (in addition to the reusable collapsible water bottle provided)

To Wear on Board

1. ▢ Comfortable casual clothing like lighter shirts, pants or jeans, etc. (in case the ship gets warm)
2. ▢ Comfortable non-slip closed-toed, heelless shoes (flip flops, sandals or slip-on shoes should not be worn on board due to safety concerns)
3. ▢ Workout attire (for the fitness center and other indoor activities)
4. ▢ Swimsuit (for the Polar Plunge! Some vessels may also have a pool, hot tub, sauna and/or steam room. See your ship book for details.)

Just a reminder: no formal evening wear required on our voyages! (but if you want to you can bring a little something more dressy for the Captain’s Welcome and Farewell cocktail parties)

Additional Items

1. ▢ Passport, visas, immunization records, travel documents, etc. as required
2. ▢ Camera gear
complete with charger, storage medium, transport & cleaning kit (lens cloth etc.) and extra batteries
3. ▢ Waterproof cell phone case or rain sleeve for camera
4. ▢ Earplugs and eye masks for sleeping
5. ▢ Voltage converters and plug adapters (see ship book for details)
6. ▢ Moisturizer for face and hands (skin dryness due to wind and temperature changes)
7. ▢ Seasickness, indigestion, headache, or other medications
8. ▢ Small amount of local currency (see pre-departure book for more details)
9. ▢ Insect repellant 
10. ▢ Mosquito netting

Additional topics are covered on our Frequently Asked Questions page.