What to Pack for Your Small-Ship Arctic Expedition Cruise
Let’s face it: travelling to the Arctic is not an average holiday! There are some special considerations when it comes to packing to ensure you are fully prepared for your trip of a lifetime. Learn about all you need to bring on your next Arctic expedition!
Starting with the basics, there are some things you simply can’t travel to the Arctic without:
Your passport, travel insurance, proof of vaccination, and any necessary visas or other travel documents
Waterproof rain pants (These are required for all Zodiac rides, including for embarkation and disembarkation of the ship.)
A toque, beanie, or winter hat
Waterproof gloves or mittens, ideally with texturized palms for gripping
Layer, Layer, Layer
Dressing in layers of increasing thickness is the most comfortable way to beat shifting Arctic temperatures, allowing you to easily add or remove extra warmth whether ashore or aboard. Avoid cotton and instead opt for quick-drying wool or synthetic materials. You’ll want:
One complete set of long underwear (top and bottoms)
Lightweight or cropped pants and short-sleeved shirts
Long-sleeved shirts, a light sweater, and warm pants
You won't want to miss the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a polar dip just because you forgot to pack a bathing suit!
Extras You May Not Have Thought Of
If you’re a light sleeper, it may be worth bringing along earplugs, a sleeping mask to block out the Arctic’s late-night sunlight, or medical sleeping aides to help with any jet lag.
If you’re considering purchasing a new daypack, think about opting for a waterproof backpack to save you the hassle of fiddling with a rain cover or dry bags while travelling in the Zodiacs.
Some Things You Could Skip
If you begin packing and realize you need to lighten your load, you could ditch the following from your suitcase:
A waterproof shell jacket (We’ll provide you with an expedition jacket, which is yours to keep after the voyage!)
Tall waterproof boots to wear for Zodiac wet landings (We will equip you with a pair when you arrive on board.)
Books (We have lots to choose from in our ship’s library.)
A bulky camera kit, if photography is not a passion of yours (You can borrow cameras and lenses from our on-board Nikon trial program, and the professional photographer on your expedition will provide all guests with a digital photo album at the end of the trip.)
An alarm clock (You’ll get a cheery wake-up call from the expedition leader over the PA system each morning.)
A hair dryer or bathrobe (These are provided for you in your cabins.)
Small-Ship Expedition Cruise Into the Northwest Passage