We've already discussed what clothes to pack for an Antarctic cruise. But, there are some essentials that we'd recommend taking to the Antarctic to make the most from your trip.
Whilst iPhones take great photos, when you want to zoom in and capture the real detail of the wildlife or icebergs a good quality camera makes all the difference. There are photographers on board and you can buy a memory stick with all their images from the expedition. It is quite pricey though! We captured some fantastic sights on the phone but got to see the real detail thanks to the camera.
Good quality binoculars are also a great investment, especially when you're viewing humpback whales or Orcas (we were lucky to see both).
Sunglasses are a must! That snow is bright! Make sure you've got some UV protection. Similarly, sun block is essential. You may only be out on the land for around an hour it's still plenty of time to get sunburn. Believe me, it was easy to spot those who'd forgotten their sun block. By dinner there were a few shiny red faces with an outline of their sunglasses!
Lip salve will be a saviour. It's cold and your lips get chapped - quickly. A good moisturising lotion and hand lotion will also save your hands from the cold weather.
Take an icy dip ... or warm bubbles
If you fancy taking the Antarctic challenge of an icy dip in the sea (hats off to you), then you'll need a swimsuit. But, if you're more into the warm then the swimsuit will come in handy for taking time out in the jacuzzi.
Make sure you have an international travel adapter. You'll need to keep the camera charged and your phone charged - especially as the battery drains quite quickly in the cold weather.
Once cruising the Antarctic you'll probably spend most of your time on deck watching the beautiful scenery. But, if the weather is inclement and to pass the time when at sea, you may want to think about taking a book, some travel games or a pack of cards. On our expedition, we were lucky to have time to do art classes and talks, lectures and films ran throughout the day. It was very difficult to get bored!
We bought a waterproof bag to take on landings but in all honesty we didn't use it. We were fortunate that the weather was very kind during our trip so we didn't experience many blizzards. A backpack with a carrier bag inside worked just as well for us!
Waterproof trousers however are essential. Head over to our blog post about packing clothes for the Antarctic.