"Special" clothes to pack for Antarctica

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#41
SF Bay Area, CA
1,911 Posts
Joined May 2004
Originally posted by RachelG
There is a mud room with individual slots for each suite for storing the boots. It has an area with hoses and scrub brushes to get penguin poop or whatever else you might have stepped in off. At the beginning of the cruise they put a tag with your suite number on each boot.

As far as backpacks and poles, the most recent version does not have a way to attach the poles. Everyone just carried theirs. I bring the backpacks home and donate to the caring center at our church. They are always needing them.


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Thank you for the useful info. I debated about taking trekking poles on our Longyearbyen/Spitsbergen cruise, left them home, but then wished that I had them with me when we hiked on the permafrost (I was at the very back of the line). So I am definitely taking them with me to Antarctica. Just ordered some new Leki ones that collapse down to 15" (current ones are 24").

When ordering the Parka, should I order the next size up? Do the sizes take layering into account?
Will we need a balaclava?
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#42
Boston
5,021 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
2 poles each, I imagine?

And I'm seeing conflicting info about the parkas. Are they "free gifts" or do we just get them for the duration of the voyage?
#43
Port Saint Lucie - FL
2,716 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
Parkas are yours to keep. In my opinion the do run small and I order a size up. However they have plenty in stock on board and will do an exchange for you if they do not fit.


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#44
Tulsa OK
8,455 Posts
Joined May 2006
I ordered true to size and was fine, but if in doubt, order one size up.

The parkas are yours to keep. They are great in Oklahoma winters.
#45
Sunshine Coast, Australia
544 Posts
Joined Oct 2009
I love the "NEW" parkas on SS. They are a blue down coat, under a red waterproof coat. If you order the wrong size your butler will change it no problems. It is yours to keep. We have been on several of the cold climate cruises and when we have got off we have donated the parkas to the Salvation Army/Lifeline shop in the area. As we live in the tropics we dont really need the coats, but I did keep the blue inner jacket from our last cold cruise and it will come in handy next month when we venture south to Kangaroo Island !
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#46
Boston
5,021 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Thanks for the confirmation. Now how do *I* tell *her* I was right this time?

We'll have parkas on when we go to the airport already, will have to figure out how to maneuver two each of them into the suitcase!
#47
Boston
5,021 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
Shopping done! Mostly.

Ordered our parkas yesterday. Also I rented boots (wife bought -- she needs new winter boots), we both rented poles and I rented pants (she found a great markdown at the Eastern Mountain OOB sale). We used the vendor linked to by SS (Ship to Shore Traveler). They had a drop down to pick your boat . . . and Cloud wasn't listed, so we had to chose "Other". Sent them an e-mail with our order number so hopefully everything shows up for us.

Now to find a camera!
#48
QLD
9 Posts
Joined Apr 2017
Originally posted by rojaan19
I love the "NEW" parkas on SS. They are a blue down coat, under a red waterproof coat. If you order the wrong size your butler will change it no problems. It is yours to keep. We have been on several of the cold climate cruises and when we have got off we have donated the parkas to the Salvation Army/Lifeline shop in the area. As we live in the tropics we dont really need the coats, but I did keep the blue inner jacket from our last cold cruise and it will come in handy next month when we venture south to Kangaroo Island !
Well, sub-tropics perhaps, as is Brisbane, but thanks for the excellent information about the SS parka, which seems to be high-quality. It does seem that little else is needed, perhaps gloves and waterproof trousers.
#49
usa
3,485 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Don't know if anyone has suggested a bag that is waterproof for camera and camera gear. Get one that is completely sealable just in case you drop it in the water.
Also carabiner clips are good to attach stuff to the backpack.
BTW the backpack is NOT waterproof.
Some extra ziplock bags are a must.
And Vicks vapor rub under your nose will help to block the smell of guano.


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#50
Albany, NY
5,422 Posts
Joined Jul 2009
Good point about the porous backpack, Spins. We found that out the hard way - not in Antarctica, but in the Darién Jungle. Deluge fried both cameras.

In Antarctica, I found that we were so bundled up with waterproof layers, that we could just slip our cameras under our layers. We brought ziplocks but didn't bother most of the time.

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#51
United States
35 Posts
Joined Jul 2015
Great info, all! We will be on the Cloud next week and I still have no idea if the "borrow boots" (not rent) option might still be available. My husband has boots, but balks at packing them, and wants to take his chances on finding some to borrow. Has anyone been on the Cloud Expedition and discovered whether there are boots for stubborn people like him?

JP, thanks for mentioning that you hiked in your boots. I'd been wondering if people removed the rubber boots upon landing and changed into hiking shoes.
#52
usa
3,485 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Yes I have seen stubborn boots.
DH has a large foot and that meant risking not finding a pair to borrow.
Begrudgingly they were packed.
Also did have hiking boots which I changed into after landing.
But that was on Alaska expedition.
In Arctic I wore my high boots.
#53
United States
35 Posts
Joined Jul 2015
Originally posted by spinnaker2
Yes I have seen stubborn boots.
DH has a large foot and that meant risking not finding a pair to borrow.
Begrudgingly they were packed.
Also did have hiking boots which I changed into after landing.
But that was on Alaska expedition.
In Arctic I wore my high boots.
Thanks, Spinnaker. He wears a 9-10 so I'm guessing there might be some of those (for the stubborn).

It's hard to assess how much hiking will happen on the Greenland/Canada trip. It sounds like mostly easy walks, but maybe I'd better practice walking in my rubber boots.
#54
Boston
5,021 Posts
Joined Jan 2003
We found the backpacks to be cumbersome and unnecessary in Antarctica. Lots of big pockets (and small ones) in the parkas, plenty of room for camera and small bag, phone (for more pictures), gloves, and hat.
#56
Sydney
159 Posts
Joined Jan 2012
Although I had a quality, thinsulate lined, knitted cap which I pulled down over my ears at home, out on the zodiac it kept sliding up a little. Leaving me with cold ears. I remember gazing at those wearing hats with ear flaps, with something approaching sinful covetousness.
So, I recommend a hat that has flaps to cover the ears. Plus a gator to pull up over your nose on the windy zodiac rides.
#57
usa
3,485 Posts
Joined Feb 2013
Sam great advice about hat and neck gator.
I have a ski hat that has ties and it stays securely on.
Neck gator just adds another warm layer.
And those mittens with fold over fingers and Velcro close are great for photos.
I also have waterproof gloves with waterproof liners
Holding on in the zodiac one may get wet
The more protection against water the better.
#58
Encino, CA
1,187 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Originally posted by Nitemare
Thanks for the confirmation. Now how do *I* tell *her* I was right this time?

We'll have parkas on when we go to the airport already, will have to figure out how to maneuver two each of them into the suitcase!
I would advise not bringing your own parkas. Wear your warm clothes and a light rain jacket and you will find your new parka on your bed in your cabin when you board. We were on the Cloud in February (Antarctica).
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#59
Kansas City -- janet AT haskett DOT org
692 Posts
Joined Dec 2007
I did Seabourn’s Antarctica cruise and the one thing I wished I had brought was colored handkerchiefs (bandannas would work). When my nose is cold it runs. I hated pulling out a paper tissue from my parka pocket with my gloved hand and hoping it (or other white tissues) didn’t drop in the snow. A bright red bandanna to blow my nose with would have been easier to use AND if I dropped it, I would have seen it right away. My suggestion is to go to a dollar store and buy 2 or 3 bandannas to use as hankies!
#60
UK
268 Posts
Joined Apr 2011
Really interesting and helpful thread.......thanks to all.

We are booked on the November 11th Antarctica sailing, the first one of the next season, so it has an unusual one-off itinerary in that it starts from Punta Arenas then goes to Falklands then Antarctica and ends in Ushuaia. Because of the different start and end points, hiring any equipment isn't an option. And thinking of what and how we'll pack has been a challenge as we're planning to spend a couple of weeks around Santiago before the cruise so we need clothes for hot and cold weather!! And we're weight-restricted on the internal flights that we're doing before the cruise (and presumably on the one back to Santiago from Ushuaia which is being organised by SS but don't have any details yet!! But we will definitely need hiking boots and poles for our time in the Andes so packing is going to be interesting. We could look a bit odd boarding our flight!!

I'm counting on the SS parkas as we only plan on bringing lightweight waterproof jackets for the rest of the time. Multi-purpose layers and the washing machine onboard will hopefully sort out the rest of the packing!!
We'll be bringing our own muck boots. My husband has a new pair of the Arctic Ice ones and I have a mid-length pair of those which have great soles for the ice but not sure whether I really need to upgrade to longer ones (but that will be even more weight!!) Opinions seem to be mixed on whether or not mid-length boots are sufficient.

If there are any other folks following this who are booked on our cruise I'd be keen to hear from them. I did start a roll call but so far we seem to be alone - though the cruise seems to be almost fully sold!!