RECOMMENDED PACKING LIST
Here's the thing: it is not that cold. I travelled between Jan 5-Jan 15 and it was often just about 0°C, never unbearable. The key is to wear lots of layers, not to bring one gigantic duvet of a jacket. Aside from a beanie, I didn't need to buy anything new for this trip.
- Water-proof down jacket
- Water-proof trousers
- Double-layered beanie/knit hat--Reebok makes a really good one
- Several turtleneck jumpers or a neckgator-- protecting the neck is essential
- Very thick socks
Also, a caveat that while I found these items sufficient for Antarctica in January. If you're visiting in March, I am not sure how much the weather would have changed by then so it's best to call your cruise operator and ask for their advice as well.
- Sunblock (ideally SPF 45+)
- Seasick pills/ear patches (to this day, I have not met a traveller who did not need this for the Drake Passage. If you actually survived that sea without any help, please come forward.)
- Pair of ordinary gloves, preferably of the waterproof/leather variety
- Pair of glove liners or something thin enough for you to use your SLR camera
- Swimsuit-- for the polar plunge that you may not intend to do but will end up doing anyway
LEAVE AT HOME
- Tripod-- unless you happen to own the massive Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 IS L or a similar lens. We only had around 3 people bring a tripod on our ship
- Wellingtons/rubber boots -- at least, Quark provided them. Check with your operator before you go
- Hair dryer
- Antarctica books -- the library onboard the Orlova has extremely well-stocked with Lonely Planet guides and books on the adventures of the great Antarctic explorers.