Your Polar expedition packing guide  

First time Polar travellers typically over pack, as there is always some concern over what to actually pack for an Arctic or Antarctica cruise. You may have some gear already, especially if you ski or snowboard, however today’s lightweight, high-tech fibers make layering less bulky, whereas some older gear may be more bulky and less effective at retaining warmth and creating the essential barrier against the cold polar temperatures. 

Scenic will provide all guests a wind-proof, waterproof, complimentary hooded parka especially designed for Polar cruises when you board Scenic Eclipse. This is yours to keep as a memento of your Polar experience. We will also provide complimentary use of Polar boots for the cruise duration. No other boots, including hiking boots, will be needed for going ashore.

The best way to stay warm in Polar climates 

  • Base layer
    Fibres that insulate and wick moisture such as polypropylene, merino wool, and other synthetics are recommended – but NOT cotton or denim. We recommend that you pack two full sets of base layer tops and bottoms. Breathable, lightweight tops and bottoms provide warmth without bulk.
  • Insulation layer
    Lightweight and traps body heat. A good quality polar fleece or lightweight loft jacket or vest. Lighter and heavier garments that can be worn alone or in combination allow for greater flexibility and maximum warmth when needed.
  • Outer layer
    Waterproof and breathable barrier. Your complimentary Scenic Eclipse Parka will protect you from spray during Zodiac rides, however you will need waterproof pants for every excursion.
    Pants should be lightweight, breathable and wide enough to fit over your boots. Knee-high side zippers are preferred so you can get your boots on and off easily. We advise against pants that have Velcro as these end up being a biosecurity hazard. Waterproof pants should be loose fitting so you are comfortable when sitting in the Zodiac.

  • Accessories – protect extremities with a hat, neck gaiter and gloves.

  • Sunscreen and sunglasses are essential as well as lip balm to protect from wind burn.

Essential packing checklist for Polar cruises

Scenic Eclipse Zodiacs


  • Base layer (wool or synthetic)
  • Insulation layer (warm/fleece top and pants)
  • Waterproof pants
  • Wool and synthetic socks (2-3 pairs)
  • Glove liners
  • Waterproof gloves (two pairs suggested)
  • Neck gaiter, scarf or other face protection
  • Fleece or wool hat or beanie that covers the ears
  • Sunscreen and lip balm
  • Sunglasses with UV protection – polarised is best 


  • Comfortable casual clothing (pants/jeans, shirts, sweaters or jumpers)
  • Lighter shirts or tops in case the ship gets warm
  • Smart casual evening wear
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Waterproof, lightweight backpack or dry sac – for protection of camera and binoculars
  •  Swimsuit – for the temperature controlled pools
  •  Binoculars
  •  Camera with extra batteries and battery charger
  •  Extra memory cards
  •  Eye masks for sleeping – please note the suites do have blackout curtains
  • Prescription medication or supply of other medication you take regularly
  • Extra pair of prescription glasses
  • Fitness gear for use of the on board wellness facilities
  • Foot/Hand Warmers
  • Summer/Spring clothing for Buenos Aires or Santiago (when cruising to Antarctica