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Antarctic Peninsula

What To Pack For Your Antarctic Expedition

Antarctic weather is highly variable and subject to frequent changes. The extended daylight during the polar summer can cause temperatures to rise significantly above freezing during the day, with sheltered areas warming up to the point where it may even feel warm enough to wear t-shirts. However, temperatures can drop abruptly, particularly with strong winds that can accentuate the chill, and may hover around or below the freezing mark, particularly at night and more frequently on the fringes of the season.
When embarking on an Antarctic expedition, be prepared to encounter the full spectrum of Antarctic weather, including sun, wind, rain, and/or snow and fog, which can alternate rapidly. Therefore, it is essential to be equipped for any weather conditions you may encounter during your expedition and be ready for any conditions.

Packing for Antarctica 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 to Antarctica 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 and helicopter ride. For Ultramarine guests who are participating in Helicopter flights, we recommend packing loose fitting rain pant style waterproof pants, rather than fitted ski pants. You will also be required to wear a drysuit, which our team will help you prepare for on the ship.)
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 wool or synthetic socks (keep a dry pair in your bag, and bring extras for layering)
7. ▢ Glove liners *
8. ▢ Hand and feet warmers*
9. ▢ Binoculars
10. ▢ Waterproof gloves or mitts (bring an extra pair) 
11. ▢ Scarf, buff, or other face protection
12. ▢ Warm hat that covers ears (bring an extra)
13. ▢ Waterproof, lightweight backpack or dry sack &/or rain sleeve for camera or a waterproof phone case (to keep camera & gear dry)
14. ▢ Polarized sunglasses with UV protection (consider bringing an eyewear retainer: string/clip etc.)
15. ▢ Ski goggles (for Zodiac cruising on snowy or windy days)
16. ▢ UV protection (sun hat, polarized sun glasses, sun block, lip balm etc.)
17. ▢ Collapsible Walking stick for hikes (if required). Quantities are available on every vessel to borrow.

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

To Wear Onboard

1. ▢ The complimentary Quark 3-in-1 Parka provided on board is designed with a waterproof shell that can be worn out on deck, and a removable liner that you can wear to stay comfortable indoors)
2. ▢ Comfortable casual clothing like lighter shirts, pants or jeans, etc. (in case the ship gets warm)
3. ▢ Comfortable non-slip closed-toed, heelless shoes (flip flops, sandals or slip-on shoes should not be worn on board due to safety concerns)
4. ▢ Workout attire (for the fitness center!)
5. ▢ 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 would like to bring something a little more dressy for the Captain’s welcome and farewell cocktails you may certainly do so!

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. ▢ Additional reusable thermos or water bottle (a collapsible reusable water bottle will be provided onboard)


Related topics are covered on our Frequently Asked Questions page.