What to pack for expedition cruising?
Congratulations, you’ve booked your expedition cruise to the Amazon, the Galapagos Islands or the Antarctic and the fun is about to begin. However, before it’s that time to hop on the plane, some planning is required. Packing for such cruise expeditions, especially when it’s your first time, can be stressful. Let us lend you a helping hand with our comprehensible packing guide for different types of expedition cruises.
Amazon cruise expeditions
Quick-dry clothing: quick-dry clothing with loose fitting is recommendable for the high temperatures and levels of humidity you’ll with undoubtedly going to face in the Amazon jungle. Even though the temperatures in the Amazon will always stay in the double digits, it’s advisable to wear long-sleeved tops and trousers to protect yourself from the sun and mosquito bites. Don’t wear dark clothes, as mosquitoes are attracted to dark colours.
Light windbreaker and rain jacket: the Amazon is known for its heavy rain showers from time to time, so a light windbreaker and rain jacket will come in handy for those jungle treks.
Footwear: protect your feet and legs from water and insect bites by wearing water-proof high shoes or boots when you embark on an expedition through the jungle. For times when you stay on the riverboat sandals are the most comfortable types of shoes.
Swimwear: going into the waters of the Amazon isn’t always a dangerous activity as they led us to believe in some of the movies. So don’t leave those swimsuits at home.
Bug spray and after-bite: protect yourself from mosquito bites as best as possible by spraying bug spray across your whole body. It’s hard to stay completely bite-free, so bringing an after-bite product with you is highly recommended.
Galapagos cruise expeditions
Light-summer clothing: zip-off trousers, shorts, as well as short-sleeved shirts and tops are great for the climate in the Galapagos. If you’re outside for longer it’s recommended to protect yourself from the equatorial sun by wearing long trousers and long-sleeved shirts. For any formal dinners opting for a summer dress or shirt can be a good idea.
Wind-and rain proof clothing: bringing a light-weight windbreaker and rain jacket is recommended for the slightly colder and wetter days and nights. Packing at least one fleece jacket can help with this as well.
Footwear: light hiking boots or sandals are essential to protect your feet from a wet landing on the islands, as well as the volcanic landscape. Sandals and boat shoes are ideal for a lounge session on board the vessel.
Swimwear: taking a dip in the deep-blue waters of the Galapagos is on most people’s list, so don’t forget to pack your swimwear.
Antarctic cruise expeditions
Base and insulating layers: staying warm during an Antarctic cruise expedition is essential and can be achieved by wearing a good set of thermo-base layers and insulating layers such as fleece, vests and jumpers. Inside our expedition vessels it’s always warm and comfortable, so make sure that you wear layers which you can take on and off quite easily depending on where you are.
Protective outerwear: water-and windproof are the key words here. Make sure that you wear warm and waterproof over-trousers and jackets that leave enough room for the layers you’re wearing underneath. Warm gloves, scarves and hats are fundamental items to take with you as well.
Footwear: Waterproof hiking boots are essential for walks ashore, while shoes with nonslip soles are more comfortable to wear on board the vessel.
Essential on all types of cruise expeditions
Medication and toiletries
High SPF sunscreen, protective sunglasses and hats
Chargers for electronic devices
Camera with extra batteries and memory cards
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Sally Dodge - Travel Expert
A former Journey Latin America tour leader, Sally spent 7 years working, travelling and living throughout Latin America before returning to the UK to help people arrange their own adventures to this wonderful destination.
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Heloise started her Latin American journey as an exchange student in Santiago, Chile. With extended summer holidays this was the perfect opportunity to backpack through Bolivia, Peru, Argentina and Brazil.
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Sophie lived in Chile before joining us and has travelled extensively across Latin America, from Mexico to the furthest tip of Patagonia and beyond to Antarctica.