Ultimate Cruise Packing List (Cruise Essentials for Any Destination!)

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Wondering what to pack for your cruise and don‘t know where to start? This list is here to provide you with an easy cruise packing list guide to get you on your way to a stress-free vacation in no time!

Cruising can be a great way to vacation. Whether it’s a vacation for two or the entire family, you are sure to find something fun for everyone.

If you are an adventure seeker, it can be full of adventurous day excursions from the ship that have you leaving the ship as soon as you can and returning right before it leaves the dock. Or perhaps you are the type who uses this time to truly unwind.

No matter which cruiser you are, this list will help relieve the stress of packing.

The Ultimate Cruise Packing List

When trying to pack for your cruise consider these things:

  • What type of cruise are you taking? Will you be mostly lounging by the pool on the upper deck and lying on the beach when you are at the port? Or will you be booking adventurous excursions that take you away from the ship all day and into the element of your destination? Or perhaps your cruise vacation will be a mix of both. Decide this to help you pack the necessities.
  • What will the weather be like? Temperatures can be consistent depending on your destination but always make sure to check the weather before assembling your items.
  • Can I do laundry or will I need to bring enough items for the entire length of my trip? Most cruise ships offer laundry service or have self serve laundry available on most cabin decks on the ship. Both services are available for an additional fee.  
  • Does the cruise you are on have a dining dress code? If so, you may need to be aware of this so you can pack some nicer items in your luggage.

Cruise Packing List: General Items for Any Type of Cruise

Malcapuya Island in the Philipines

Sun Protection

One of the great joys of being outdoors is basking in the warm glow of the sun. However, like so many of life’s pleasures, it’s best done in moderation. Sun protection belongs on the top of every cruise packing list, regardless of your destination

Sunlight includes rays of ultraviolet (UV) radiation and exposure to those rays can lead to a much-unwanted sunburn while on vacation. For this reason, it is wise to pack a good sunscreen, UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) clothing and a good wide brim UPF hat.

To help protect against the sun make sure to pack a good SPF 50+ sunscreen. The best is to get one with zinc oxide as an ingredient like Neutrogena Sheer Zinc Sunscreen because zinc oxide provides a physical barrier from the sun in addition to the many chemical barriers all sunscreens contain.

If you are not a fan of the greasy feel of sunscreen or often forget to reapply after the initial application UPF clothing may be a great choice for you! UPF clothing is designed to protect you from the sun.

They make for great cover-up clothing and are so lightweight and comfortable you may prefer to wear them over slathering sunscreen on constantly. You can find a variety of options from pants and capris to button-up shirts and wide brim hats.

Our top recommended Sunscreen Items:

Lip Protection:

Our top recommended UPF items:

Brimmed hat & sun hat that covers ears/neck (We love our Buff’s.):

Pass Island, Philippines

Kindle/E-Reader

On every cruise vacation you will inevitably end up with time on the boat to relax and if you’re the type, this is best done by diving into a good book! There are a ton of E-reader options on the market today. Personally, nothing beats the Kindle Paperwhite.

Not only does the E-reader have a battery life of up to 8 weeks on one single charge but it also adjusts to being easily read in the sunlight without reflection or glare and has great dim settings for easy reading at night.

Alternatively, you can use an IPAD/Phone/Tablet with a book app downloaded on it to read. The Amazon Kindle App is available for both Apple and Android app markets.

The only negative to this is if you are planning on reading in the daylight you won’t get benefits like anti-glare and anti-reflection. You will also need to be prepared to charge your device more frequently.

Our top recommended E-Readers:

Rocky coastline

Proper Shoes for the Occasion

Whether your cruise will have you stepping off the ship onto a beautiful European city, beach town in the Caribbean, or an Alaskan Mountain town you want to make sure you have the most comfortable shoes for where the day may take you.

Having the proper shoes is a cruise packing list essential. It is always great to bring along your most comfortable pair of walking shoes, whether those are Merrell trail running shoes or Keen sandals.

Water socks or water shoes/sandals with straps:

Comfortable walking or outdoor shoes

Comfortable Hiking Boots

Dinner shoes

Beach in the Galapagos Islands

Camera Gear

We want you to get those amazing shots and you need to have the right gear to do that. If you are into action shots don’t forget to pack your GoPro HERO7 with extra batteries and a grip.

If you are interested in bringing your GoPro into the water with you then make sure you buy a waterproof case for it. Do not forget to pack extra batteries and memory cards, this is a must when traveling.

The weather variations will suck your batteries dry. We recommend always packing at least 3 extra batteries.

GoPro Cameras: (100%  waterproof, Great for kayaking, hiking, and other all-around adventures. Not great for wildlife viewing)

Basic Camera Gear:

Pro Camera Gear: (You will want a good camera if you are doing any type of wildlife viewing while cruising!)

Find the perfect camera setup for your Cruise: Ultimate Travel Photography Gear List

white sand beach in Mexico

Sunglasses

No matter where your cruise vacation brings you, it will most likely involve copious amounts of time outside of the ship. There are a lot of options available for sunglasses but you should always make sure your pair have UV protection.

If you want to spend a little extra get a pair that is polarized. Polarized sunglasses reduce the glare from the sun making your view through the lenses more clear. However, polarization does not increase UV protection.

It would be a good idea to bring at least one pair on your cruise vacation.

Sunglasses & retainer strap

Snorkeling in Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Bathing suit

No matter which cruise destination you choose for your vacation you will likely want to have a bathing suit or two packed. Whether you are relaxing on a beach in the Caribbean or doing the Polar Plunge in Antarctica will decide which type or style you pack with you.

We like to travel with two suits so that we always have a dry one.

For ladies, it may be good to have a bikini and some kind of one piece with you. Depending on your itinerary you may be doing some activities that require a bit more support. 

It may even be good to travel with a rash guard. These are great for providing comfort and support and most rash guards these days are outfitted with UPF protection so you won’t need to worry about applying sunscreen to the covered area.

For men, it is nice to have one or two nice bathing suits. Choose a lightweight pair that is just above the knee that is flexible to allow for movement. 

Sunset in Panama

Layers

Even though weather in certain cruise areas can be very predictable it is always good to pack layers so you are prepared. The destination will ultimately dictate how warm these layers need to be.

For colder weather environments it is nice to pack a down jacket as most of them fold up nicely into a small pouch that could fit in a day bag. In a warmer destination, it may be nice to have a lightweight sweater or scarf handy.

Merino Pullover Sweater: (We go everywhere with ours!)

Light fleece or jacket/pullover:

Packable Down Jacket:

Vest:

Light rain jacket or poncho with hood:

Rain Pants:

Shawl/Scarf:

Divergent Travelers on the beach in Mexico

Medications

All cruise ships rock while in transit to their destinations. The question is do you need a medication to help you through this. Seasickness is an all too common thing for cruise vacationers.

There are several over the counter medications you can bring with you on your cruise vacation. Dramamine and Gravol are perhaps the most effective and most widely used by cruise-goers.

Best to buy ahead of time as the cruise ship may not have them, but if they do, expect to pay much more on the ship for them then you would on land. In addition to seasickness medications, make sure to pack a medication bag for your trip too.

Even if you are a person who takes no daily medications consider that you may encounter a problem on the ship or on land that requires treatment. It is always a good idea to pack:

Having a small medicine selection may prove quite helpful. Better to have packed them and not need them than to wish you had them.

Electrolyte replacement tablets or mix: Nuun Sport: Electrolyte Tablets

Insect repellent:

Other Items:

The Ultimate Cruise Packing List

Daypack for excursions

Since every cruise ship will allow you the time to be off the boat throughout your vacation you want to make sure you have a good daypack with you. It is nice to have either a comfortable shoulder bag or backpack for you to carry items like water, towels, binoculars, camera, ID, etc. while onshore.

We even opt for a dry bag as a day pack to ensure our items will remain dry during the water adventures.

Daypack for walks, hiking, skiff rides:

Dry bag for camera gear or cellphone:

Beach Bag:

Zip-lock bags to separate wet & dry items:

Find the perfect day pack for your cruise: Best Travel Daypack

River cruise in Europe

Nice outfits for dinner on the ship

While most cruise ships do not have a formal dress code for everyday activities aboard the ship there may be one or two restaurants and dinner nights in the main dining room that have a semi-formal to formal dress code.

You can check with each cruise through their website to find out what exactly they recommend for these nights but it is safe to say a tie, nice dress shirt and slacks is ok for men and a nice dress, blouse with pants or skirt and a pantsuit for women will easily meet expectations for the dress code.

Items we love for Men:

Items we love for Women:

Dinner shoes:

Biking in Fiji

Comfortable Clothes

In between ports, you will be spending all of your time on the ship. Depending on what activities you will be doing onboard, if any, will help dictate what constitutes comfortable for you.

We opt for breathable fabrics that allow us a wide variety of options for our day. Luckily, activewear now is often both stylish and comfortable. Women can wear a variety of leggings with fitted tunics and men can wear fitted joggers with a comfortable shirt.

Lightweight long-sleeve shirts:

Short-sleeve t-shirts:

Lightweight or convertible hiking pants:

Khaki’s, shorts, skirts/dresses:


Tropical Cruise Essentials

Beach in the Philippines

Sun Protection

As mentioned above there are several different options for sun protection now then there ever has been before. Always make sure to pack good sunscreen for your trip. Sunscreens that contain zinc oxide in addition to the other chemical barriers provide an extra layer of protection.

We prefer Neutrogena Sheer Zinc sunscreen. But as my dermatologist always says, “The best sunscreen is the one that you are going to use.” So make sure to have tried your sunscreen prior to packing it otherwise you may end up bringing something you don’t like which will just lead to you not applying it.

Other good options for sun protection are UPF(Ultraviolet Protection Factor) clothing, UPF hats and rash guards. If going the UPF route, you will want to buy the highest rating which is always located on the tags of the clothing.

The highest UPF is 40-50+, which blocks 97-99% of UV radiation. Wide brim UPF hats (3in brim or greater) help to cover areas we often forget to apply sunscreen, like the back of our neck and ears. Columbia now makes a line of clothing called Omni Shade-Sun Deflector.

These items are designed for use in Hot and/or humid conditions where you will be getting extreme sun exposure. All the items in this line: Deflect sunlight away from the body so you feel cooler and stay protected, block damaging UVA and UVB rays, are made of breathable fabric and wick away sweat.

Rash guards are an important item to pack if you plan on spending the majority of your time in the water while on vacation. You can wear them to protect against sunburn (as most include UPF as well), surfboard chafing and even jellyfish stings.

They are also useful to wear underneath a wetsuit for diving if you needed an extra layer of insulation.

Our top recommended Sunscreen Items:

Our top recommended UPF items:

Brimmed hat & sun hat that covers ears/neck: (We love our Buff’s)

UV Arm Sleeves:

Blue Lagoon Beach in Fiji

Layers for Warm Weather

It may seem like you don’t need to worry about bringing layers on a tropical cruise as the temperatures are usually stable and warm. However, after spending a day in the warm sun, a cool breeze after the sun goes down may have you reaching for a cover-up.

Cardigans or lightweight sweaters are a great choice as they can be dressed up for dinner and scarves are always a good option for the ladies as most can double as a shawl.

Light fleece or jacket/pullover:

Shawl/Scarf:

Light rain jacket or poncho with hood:  *** If you are cruising in any tropical areas you will need this ***

Rain Pants: *** If you are cruising in any tropical areas you will need this *** 

Taveuni Island, Fiji

Tops & Shorts

Hot weather almost always calls for comfy tops and shorts during the day. Depending on what your cruise itinerary looks like will help determine the type of fabric is most suitable for these items.

In general, for a tropical climate, it is always a good idea to purchase clothing that is breathable, dries quickly and is comfortable as you will be spending many sweat-filled days in them.

I am always an advocate of UPF clothing. Not only because they provide sun protection but also because they are such lightweight and breathable fabrics. I like to pair a breathable tank top like Eddie Bauer’s V-neck T-shirt with a pair of nylon/spandex shorts.

Try your best not to pack cotton tops as they do not have UPF, do not dry easily and do not breathe.

Lightweight long-sleeve shirts:

Short-sleeve t-shirts:

Lightweight or convertible hiking pants:

Khaki’s, shorts, skirts/dresses:

Divergent Travelers in Galapagos Islands

Swimsuit

As mentioned previously, your activities will dictate which type of swimsuit you may need to pack for your tropical vacation. Make sure to bring two suits so you always have a dry one to change in to.

Ladies, if you plan on being active by snorkeling, diving, boogie boarding, surfing, etc. then you may want to consider packing a comfy one-piece suit, a rash guard top or a less revealing two-piece to avoid any accidental exposures.

If you are more of the beach lounging type, then pick out your two favorite suits of any kind to wear while on the beach and the ship.

For men, it is nice to have one or two nice bathing suits. Choose a lightweight pair that is just above the knee that is flexible to allow for movement. They also make rash-guards for men which are great to help prevent sunburn and protect you from other elements in the water.

Divergent Travelers in Mexico

Microfiber Travel Towel

It may be a good idea even to pack your own quick-drying towel for off the boat adventures. Most cruise lines do not allow you to take their towels off the ship.

Instead of packing a regular towel from home that can be thick, heavy and slow to dry or a beach towel that can be even larger and thicker consider buying a microfiber travel towel.

Not only are these towels good for beach days off the ship but they are also great to have with for your excursions as well. Most microfiber towels come in multiple sizes and pack down very small.

It may be nice just to have one with for you more strenuous adventures to wipe the sweat from your brow! The material is designed to be anti-odor and anti-mildew which will be great for all-day off boat excursions as they also dry up to 10 times faster than cloth or cotton towels.

Find the perfect microfiber towel for your cruise: Best Travel Towels for your Next Trip

The Ultimate Cruise Packing List

Versatile Footwear

Not only do comfy multi-use sandals come in handy for tropical vacations but they are also great for packing. Bringing along a great sandal gives you the benefits of comfort, safety and support without the bulkiness of a sneaker or hiking boot.

We always make sure we have a good sturdy sandal to wear in case we do some hiking through the local town or hikes that will bring us through the environment. Lina prefers chaos for its versatility and comfort throughout the adventurous days we have.

Most closed toes hiking sandals are able to go in the water as well so they double as a water shoe. Dave also prefers chaos for its arch support and comfort.

In addition to your great sandal, you may want to pack an item of footwear that can double as casual and dressy. Flats are great for women as you can wear them throughout the day but they can also be dressed up with a cute dress or skirt and blouse for those fancy dinners on the ship.

For men looking for a nice boat shoe or comfy everyday shoe that can double as nice with a pair of slacks and look great with shorts or jeans.

Water socks or water shoes/sandals with straps

Comfortable walking or outdoor shoes:

Dinner shoes:


Alaskan Cruise Essentials

Cruise ship in Alaska

Warm Jacket

It’s going to be cold at times while on your Alaskan cruise so you will want to make sure that you are prepared by bringing a warm jacket. Down jackets are the best as they are incredibly warm and can easily be packed since they roll up quite small.

The downside, many down jackets are not waterproof. Another great idea is to bring an all in one jacket that has a light fleece or down shell that zips into a waterproof outer jacket. These are a great option as well, but they do take up quite a bit more space in the suitcase.

Packable Down Jacket:

Packable Waterproof  Down Jacket/Rainjacket:

Hiking in Alaska

Warm, Waterproof Hiking Boots

Anything with a good sole is a great shoe to have with you in Alaska. The best to bring is any shoe that is also waterproof. We like to use Salomon and Oboz Hiking boots as we find them the most comfortable and they are waterproof but breathable.

You will be spending a good amount of time in these boots so make sure to wear them in before your trip to avoid discomfort like blisters.

Glacier view in Alaska

Warm Accessories

You will need some good warm accessories while traveling in Alaska. For gloves, you will want to find a light pair that allows you to still be able to operate your camera or smartphone.

I would also recommend that they be waterproof. You want your hands to stay warm and that’s hard to do while out in the Alaskan environment. In addition to gloves, you will want to pack a couple of hats.

You can opt for a baseball cap with ear covers like the Eddie Bauer Down Baseball hat or just a regular beanie live the Eddie Bauer Thistle Beanie.

Socks:

Gloves:

Warm Hats:

Multifunctional Headwear/Face Protector:

  • BUFF Original Multifunctional Headwear (Men’s or Women’s) *** We do not go anywhere without ours!***

Hiking in Juneau, Alaska

Comfortable hiking pants

Considering the weather in Alaska, it is likely you will be wearing pants most of the time during your trip. There are many different pants you could select but I find hiking pants the best for all-day activities.

Hiking pants are lightweight, stretchy and breathable. You can find many different styles from many brands. Ranging from tighter legging styles to looser cargo style pants. Word of advice-if you enjoy mostly hiking as opposed to sightseeing in town, pack jeans sparingly.

They are heavy and retain water, so don’t plan to wear jeans while exploring the outdoors.

Men’s Hiking Pants We Love:

Women’s Hiking Pants We Love:

Rain Pants:

Alaska Cruise

Layers for Cooler Weather

In order to be comfortable and prepared for the weather on your Alaskan cruise, it is important to pack items that can be easily layered. Think lightweight and breathable. All the clothing you pack for your trip should be interchangeable.

The layering concept is simple and it allows you to make quick adjustments based on the weather and your activity level. Each layer has a function. The base layer (anything against your skin) manages moisture.

Next is the insulating layer that protects you from the cold. The outer layer shields you from wind and rain. It’s simple and sweet and you can add or subtract layers as needed. I would also include a good vest to this layering list as sometimes it is cool in Alaska but not cold enough to break out the heavy jacket.

Base Layer Tops:

Base Layer Pants:

Base Layer Long Sleeve Tops:

Merino Pullover Sweater: (We go everywhere with ours!)

Vest:

Light rain jacket or poncho with hood:

Alaska Cruise Hiking

Binoculars

A must-have item for any Alaskan cruiser is binoculars. Odds are you will be close enough to shore at times to see wildlife not to mention the abundance of life you may see in the water. When it comes to picking out binoculars you want to make sure you get a good enough magnification.

We find that either 7x or 8x magnification works best while onboard. Note that 8x magnification binoculars are also considered ideal for other uses such as watching the scenery, wildlife, bird watching or sports. 7x or 8x binoculars are not only easier to stabilize but also provide a wider field of view than higher magnification models.

Compact size waterproofed binoculars are a popular choice for those who like to travel light, alternatively, mid-sized binoculars are great if you want a good balance between size and image quality.

Our top recommendations for Binoculars:

Find the perfect binoculars for your Alaska Cruise: Best Compact Binoculars for Outdoors & Travel

Taking photos in Alaska

Camera Essentials – Telephoto Lens

We have put together a shortlist of what camera gear you should pack when traveling to Alaska. The wildlife photography opportunities are abundant in Alaska and having the right camera gear to capture it is essential.

We want you to get those amazing shots and you need to have the right gear to do that. Do not forget to pack extra batteries, this is a must when visiting Alaska. The weather variations will suck your batteries dry. We recommend always packing at least 3 extra batteries.

Note: A camera like a GoPro 7 works great for capturing adventures up close and personal but they do not work well for wildlife viewing unless your subject is within 7 feet. On a cruise in Alaska, you will need something that has a good zoom. 

Our top recommendations for Camera Essentials:


European Cruise Essentials

The Ultimate Cruise Packing List

Plug Adapter

An easy essential to pack for your European cruise is a plug adapter. Depending on where you are originally from, you may not consider that your plugs may not fit in the outlets of your cruise ship.

Lucky for you plug adapters are easy to find around town or order from an online site like Amazon. Make sure to pick up a couple so you have several areas to charge devices in.

Our top recommended Plug Adapters:

Munich, Germany

Guidebooks

Looking for a brief history of your cruise destinations or maybe some restaurant recommendations while at the port? European guidebooks are a great source for finding everything you need to know about the cities you will be visiting.

The best part is you can buy these books ahead of time so you have a general idea of where you are headed and what activities lie ahead.

A personal favorite of mine is the DK Eyewitness Top 10 books. Every book subject is one city. It is slim in size and can easily fit in a back pocket or small purse.

They are not only great for providing you with the top 10 sites to see in a specific city but they also come with a small pull out a laminated map of the city and a small phrase guide at the back of the book. They are a must-have travel essential for any European travel.

If your cruise will be taking you through multiple parts of one country you may want to purchase a guidebook for that specific country. This way, you will have resources for multiple cities instead of one.

Our top recommended guide books:

Luxembourg

Proper Attire

Summer in Europe can get very warm. No matter if you are cruising the river on an island cruise or cruising around the Mediterranean, you can expect to see plenty of sunshine.

This being said, you may need to forget the usual tank top and shorts attire as there are many sites you may want to see along your route that requires more clothing.

Most holy places throughout Europe require shoulders and chest to be covered for entry to be allowed in. Some are even as strict to say knees must be covered as well and they have no problem turning people away who are not dressed properly.

Does this mean you cannot wear a tank top or shorts your entire trip? Of course not. Just be smart about always packing a scarf, cardigan or light sweater so you are prepared to cover up when need be.

Since the sun will be shining most of your vacation remember to bring a good wide brim hat to protect your face, neck, and ears. If you plan on being quite the adventurer on land, make sure to opt for lightweight breathable fabrics to help keep you cool unrestricted.

Make sure to pack some items that can be worn for nice dinners, either on land or on a ship. Nothing too fancy is necessary, little black dresses for women are a classic staple and can be easily dressed up or down for multiple occasions. For men consider nice slacks, a button-up shirt and if you are into it, a tie.

Items we love for Men:

Items we love for Women:

Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

Comfortable Shoes

European cruise vacations will be bringing you to destinations where you will be walking a lot if you choose. This walking will be wonderful. Long winding streets, cobblestone pathways, uphill climbs to scenic over city views, European cities have it all.

To ensure you have a great time walking around taking in the beauty of these cities, you will want to make sure you bring your most comfortable shoe for walking. As with any shoe, make sure to have broken it in long before your trip to avoid blisters and sore feet.

Comfortable walking shoes:

River Cruise in Europe

Credit Card/Debit Card

Gone are the days when it was necessary to carry all of your spending money in cash while on vacation. Credit cards, by far, offer the best customer protection against fraud but it may also be a good idea to bring along your debit card to withdraw cash from an overseas ATM.

Don’t forget to call and notify either your bank or credit card company to let them know about your travel plans. The last thing you want is to end up on vacation and have your card frozen because your bank or credit card company suspect fraudulent charges.

Keep your credit cards safe with these items:


Polar Cruise Essentials

Antarctica Cruise

Binoculars

As mentioned above, binoculars are a must-have item for any cruiser with the opportunity to see wildlife and in the case of Polar cruises, a chance to see glaciers and the abundance of sea life that frequent these waters. When it comes to picking out binoculars you want to make sure you get a good enough magnification.

Binoculars are a great addition for photographers as well, allowing you to pick out great shots, or to find excellent locations or hidden spots in the distance for that perfect composition.

The best compact binoculars are small, lightweight and have excellent range, while also being rugged and durable. They are also a popular choice for those who like to travel light. Alternatively, mid-sized binoculars are great if you want a good balance between size and image quality.

Our top recommendations for Binoculars:

Antarctica cruise excursion

Packable Down Jacket

It’s going to be cold at times while on your polar cruise even if it’s technically summer while you are visiting, so you will want to make sure that you are prepared by bringing a warm jacket.

Down jackets are the best as they are incredibly warm and can easily be packed since they roll up quite small. The downside, many down jackets are not waterproof. Another great idea is to bring an all in one jacket that has a light fleece or down shell that zips into a waterproof outer jacket.

These are a great option as well, but they do take up quite a bit more space in the suitcase. Check with your tour company as some provide parkas with your package.

Our top recommendations for Packable Down Jackets:

Lina Stock in Antarctica

Cold Weather Accessories

You will need some good warm accessories while traveling on a Polar cruise. For gloves, you will want to find a light pair that allows you to still be able to operate your camera or smartphone.

I would also recommend that they be waterproof. You want your hands to stay warm and that’s hard to do while out in the polar environment.

In addition to gloves, you will want to pack a couple of warm hats and even a neck gaiter.  Neck gaiters can provide you that extra coverage and warmth for your long day trips off the ship. Also, pack a couple of good pairs of wool sock plus some thinner sock liners.

Our top recommendations for Cold Weather Accessories:

Socks:

Gloves:

  • The North Face Apex Etip Light Gloves  (Men’s or Women’s) *** We used ours daily in Antarctica*** 
  • The North Face Revelstoke Etip Heavy Glove (Men’s or Women’s) *** We used ours daily in Antarctica and they fit with the light gloves for extra warmth.***

Warm Hats (Pack 2, one will always be wet):

Neck Gaiters (Pack 2, one will always be wet):

Snow Pants:

Zodiac cruise in Antarctica

Layers for Cold Weather

In order to be comfortable and prepared for the weather on your Polar cruise, it is important to pack items that can be easily layered. Think lightweight and breathable. All the clothing you pack for your trip should be interchangeable.

The layering concept is simple and it allows you to make quick adjustments based on the weather and your activity level. Each layer has a function. The base layer (anything against your skin) manages moisture.

Next is the insulating layer that protects you from the cold. The outer layer shields you from wind and rain. It’s simple and sweet and you can add or subtract layers as needed.

Our top recommendations for Layers:

Base Layer Tops:

Base Layer Pants:

Base Layer Long Sleeve Tops: 

Light fleece or jacket/pullover:

Merino Pullover Sweater (We go everywhere with ours!):

Vest:

Rain Pants:

Taking photos on Antarctica cruise

Extra batteries and memory cards

We have put together a shortlist of what camera gear you should pack for your polar cruise. The photography opportunities are abundant and having the right camera gear to capture it is essential.

We want you to get those amazing shots and you need to have the right gear to do that. Do not forget to pack extra batteries. As mentioned previously, the weather variations will suck your batteries dry so always pack extra batteries.

Note: A camera like a GoPro 7 works great for capturing adventures up close and personal but they do not work well for wildlife viewing unless your subject is within 7 feet. On a polar cruise or on an expedition you need something that has a good zoom. 

Our top recommendations for Camera Essentials:


Not finding what you are looking for? Check out our favorite places to go shopping for travel gear.

Shop Columbia – The industry leader in outdoor apparel and products; You can find anything from great jackets, gloves, hats, shirts and travel pants.

Shop REI – They offer some of the best outdoor gear around. We love REI since they have a year Love it or hate it no questions guarantee.

Wherever your cruise takes you, we hope this guide helps to ease just a little of that packing anxiety.

More on Cruising:

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If you need more help planning your trip, be sure to check out our Step by Step Trip Planning Guide where we break down our process for getting the trip planning process right every single time.


About David Stock

I have always been an outdoorsman so becoming an adventure traveler was just the next natural step. I love nature, I love to get off the beaten path and I like to explore. I enjoy scuba diving and cars. And yes, Lina and I have a naked dog.



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