Clothing for Antarctica cruise and excursions

We are scheduled for the December 7, 2021 trip (assuming it actually happens). Has anyone purchased the Polar Works Package from, and is that sufficient for on-board, outdoor activities and excursions? Are there other pieces of clothing that are recommended? Has anyone used an iPhone camera under Antarctic conditions? Thanks for any input.


  • They must not have had a Polar Works Program when I took the trip in 2016. I tagged this trip to Winter in Yellowstone so that I'd just have to pack winter stuff once. I'm a minimalist when it comes to packing. A couple of pairs of long johns, including the shirt, I bought boots to take. I just packed a bunch of clothes inside of them. In fact, they are in a large zip lock bag in the garage. If I want to remind myself of the trip, I can just crack open the seal and take a whiff. I can easily remember those little penguins with that odor. I assume they still hand out the red jackets. We had moderate temperatures in the 20s and 30s (it was actually colder in Yellowstone), so most of the time I didn't even have my jacket zipped up since I had layered stuff underneath it. I had glove liners and ski gloves to wear over them. Usually the liners were plenty. It will all depend on the weather. I took collapsable walking poles...never used them.

    Unless you are are planning on doing something special with your photographs, the iPhone will work fine. I like to print pictures, especially on glass or aluminum, and put them on the wall. I took my Nikon and 500mm lens for that. I think the iPhone would have been fine for both trips. I do have some nice Bison, penguin, etc. pictures on the wall, so it does work. The phone certainly takes up less space and is easier to carry around. Your choice.


  • TMG I was on this tour in December 2012. I don't remember the company you're referenced. Below is a list of the items i packed. This was the easiest trip to pack for.

    I purchased 2 sets merino wool base layers (long sleeve T-shirts and long john type leggings, 2 hooded fleece lined jackets and a neck warmer--all 260 merino weight) from the company Icebreaker. I also purchased 2 lighter weight (160 weight) merino wool long sleeve T's and merino wool socks from the company Smartwool. I also had 2 pairs (grey, black) of heavy weight pant style leggings to wear on board with the fleece jackets. I also carried a foldable down-filled jacket for deck use.

    I purchased Goretex water proof pants, ski gloves and glove liners from Cabelas. I also purchased the Russian style Ushanka hat lined in fur to protect my ears. I also had a beanie type wool hat and a pair of ear muffs to tuck in my fleece jacket pocket to use when the Captain called us to the deck of the ship to see some spectacular sight. A pair of shoes suitable for deck use and just walking around the ship is also a good idea for those times the Captain calls you to the deck. My heavy jacket and boots were kept in the mud room.I slept in a pair of silk long johns.

    I also had a waterproof backpack to carry my camera during the ride on the zodiacs. This backpack also came in handy as a means to protect the camera battery from the cold when we were just exploring and not taking pictures. I used my Canon DSLR with zoom lens. I had a Blackberry at the time--not the fancy Iphone we all carry today. I'm sure your Iphone will capture the sights and cute little penguins just fine. It is much less of a hassle to carry around. Technology...isn't it great!.

    Sunglasses and Sunscreen are a must!. I ordered a pair of polarized prescription lenses. The sun is very bright and reflects brilliantly on the snow. For my time on the front and back end tour in Buenos Aires I packed two casual dresses and one pair of nice rubber sole sandals for walking. There was never a need to dress up even when we dined in a fancy restaurant in Buenos Aires. Hope this helps--Enjoy your tour. Cheers--Robin

  • edited August 15

    We haven't done Antarctica but did Yellowstone in Winter which ndvd said was colder. The worst thing was getting into all the layers in the morning, then trying to bend over to put on and tie our boots. :D

    There was a forum thread about using cameras in the heat awhile back, but I don't recall ever seeing one about using them in the cold. That thread listed the typical temperature ranges. Except for the mirror on standard DSLR which flips up out of the way (can be locked up) there really aren't any mechanical parts that would be affected by cold. Extreme low temps can affect lithium batteries, however.

    A quick Google search shows manufacturers typically give very conservative temp ranges to their cameras: 32°F to 104°F + / -, however one professional said, "I wouldn’t be able to use my cameras all winter if they stopped working at 0° C. I’ve used mine at -23° C (-10°F) without difficulty."

    That being said, I used a Canon DSLR all the time for both stills and videos during Yellowstone in Winter in temps as low as -15° F and had absolutely no problems.

    A phone camera should perform the same, but you can read about it online. Remember, too, you will most likely remove your gloves to take photos, so you may want to keep the phone in your pocket where it can stay warm between photo ops.

  • TMG. I sent you a private ,message. Click on the link in right hand corner

  • The list Pure Luxury shared matches what we took in February 2016. We did not take the polar boots but rented them from a Ushuaia outfitter that delivered to the ship (it was an option Tauck listed)). Great way to lighten your suitcase. The iconic red jackets have been worn in Churchill to see the Polar bears and Finland to see the Northern lights. Great keepsakes! It took me about 20 minutes to gear up for the Zodiak landings…lots of layering! Such a remarkable trip…you will be so glad you went whenever you go!

  • Thank you to all! Helpful information, and we'll take everyone's suggestions into account as we start buying our gear for the trip.

  • TMG,
    I, too, sent you a PM. We're on the same tour!

  • I used a Nikon DSLR camera and my iPhone on both Yellowstone in Winter and Antarctica. I had glove liners with a pad on both index fingers that made possible to use both cameras with these gloves on. Kept my hands pretty warm and allowed me to take my photos.

  • Does one need anything stronger than the scopolamine patch for motion sickness? Any suggestions/recommendations are most welcome.

  • Yes Romano. I was reading about an Antarctica trip recently amd you go by Private jet from South Africa…..hold your breath, the tour costs $250,000 each. 🤪


    If you are interested in a more homeopathic solution, ginger is excellent for relieving motion sickness. You can buy it in crystalized forms (like a hard candy) in most health food markets. I always take some on trips. The key is to take it before symptoms start. I also carry ginger tea bags in my carry-on tote. Ginger is also excellent for thwarting off colds and sore throats. Good luck!

  • and cinnamon makes a very effective ant barrier.

  • and garlic keeps vampires away.

  • edited September 4

    and garlic keeps vampires away.

    You can't prove that one by me, but I can personally vouch for the effectiveness of cinnamon vs ants. :D

    As far as Dramamine, Scopolamine or other transdermals, wrist pressure bands, etc. it is all up to the individual. Generalizations don't work well in this instance. See your doctor.

  • Like I said, you can skip the Drake passage if you have a spare $250,000. 😂😂😂
    Yes Cathy, see the Doctor. You have to be sure any medicines you take don’t interact with any of there’s meds.

  • It would be a good idea to see your doctor and take along some motion sickness meds. Several years ago when we did a trip there, my wife, who'd never had sea or motion sickness issues, got very sick during the Drake crossing. And, in two years of sea duty when I was in the Navy, the Drake crossing was by far the roughest ride I'd been on! Even worse than crossing the Atlantic in October on a close to empty oiler.

  • Cathy, it was Tongue in cheek post but there is such a non Tauck tour. It would be a good gamble to save that money and get a smooth sea ride as some do.

  • I love reading and hearing about voodoo medicine.

  • Smart aleck comment aside, you need to check with your doctor. In addition, no one here knows your tolerance level to motion, the weather on the Drake crossing, or allergies to certain medicines. All of which are out of our control and probably above our pay grade. It was a bit rough on our crossing and many people had reactions to the motion, mild to severe. I didn't have any response, which was just dumb luck since I didn't use any medications, legitimate or voodoo. A phone call or visit to your doctor will probably help you more than anyone else. Getting seasick on an expensive vacation and spending time leaning over the rail or kneeling in front of the head probably isn't high on your list of activities. This is a great trip and you need to make the best of it.

  • There is almost always good advice here. Sometimes, not so good. I've probably been guilty of both. I can't believe this tour, compared to almost all others, is the same each time. You'll be fine and you will have to make adjustments to what you expect. Be flexible and have fun. I enjoyed my trip there. I'm glad to help, if I can.

  • Many thanks for all the suggestions - ginger, cinnamon, garlic! Add some curry powder and it's tikka masala time. LOL

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