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Packing for Antarctica

Visiting Antarctica with Bark EUROPA will be an amazing adventure, and we want you to be able to enjoy the experience to the fullest. An important part in this is dressing for the occasion.
Staying warm and dry is of the utmost importance during your voyages on Bark EUROPA. Staying warm is accomplished by layering your clothing, with a wind and watertight outherlayer to keep you dry.

Please see below for your Antarctic packing list!


Basic Travel necessities:

  • A valid passport. It is important that you check with your own embassy for visa requirements and vaccinations pertaining to each country you visit during your voyage
  • Visa: it is your own responsibility to check if you need a visa for your voyage on EUROPA and arrange it.
  • Certificates of medical and travel insurance

Toiletries and Medicine

  • Eco-friendly soaps and shampoo's to avoid large impact in the Antarctic
  • paracetamol, ibuprofen and band-aids for personal use
  • Bring the medication you normally use. The ship is only provisioned with emergency medication.
  • Sunscreen and lipbalm
  • What you normally pack


  • Water bottle, if you do not have one you can buy a Bark EUROPA dopper on board
  • sunglasses or ski goggles
  • usb-stick for the exchange of pictures
  • Cash: as there might not be that many functioning ATM machines in Ushuaia. On board you can pay your bar bill and souvenirs at the end of the trip with EUR and USD. We do not accept credit cards.


  • Duffle bag: these can be fold away in the cabin. There is no space on board to store large suitcases (see below). 
  • Day pack: lightweight and waterproof to bring with you during landings in the zodiac for storing sun scream, cameras etc.

Basic Clothing

We will do our best to make sure there is at least one opportunity for personal washing but we cannot guarantee it because we are bound by the weather. We can only use the washing machine if the ship stable. The cooks will provide every cabin with one or two washing bags to collect the laundry and return it to you when cleaned. There is always the possibility to do a small hand wash.

22 day Antarctica voyages: 

  • Socks: two pairs of merino socks (they do not smell fast) and 7 normal pairs
  • Underwear: at least 12
  • Thermos-layers: at least 3 pairs, with at least one made from Merino wool (these won’t smell for quite some time). Our crew wear several layers (4/5) of Merino wool shirts on top of each other.  
  •  T-shirts: at least 6
  • Knitted sweater: 3 or 4 warm sweaters (wool is always preferred)
  • Pants:
          o   2 or 3x thermal pants
          o   2x normal jeans
          o   1x Sweat pants (if you like those)

Long voyages to and from Antarctica

  •  Socks: 21 pairs
  • Underwear: for 21 days
  • Thermos-layers: 5 pairs, with at least one made from Merino wool (these won’t smell for quite some time).
  • T-shirts: 12
  • Knitted sweater: 5 or 6 warm sweaters (wool is always preferred)
  • Pants:
          o   2 or 3x thermal pants
          o   at least 3x normal jeans
          o   1x Sweat pants (if you like those)

Antarctic Gear

Base layer

  • Thermal underwear: a natural fibre such as merino wool is best to keep you warm and will also stay odourless longer than synthetic fibres.
    The best would be medium thick to thick.
  • Socks: here we would also suggest merino wool socks, the higher the better! Try to find seamless socks to prevent blisters

Second layer/optional

  • Shirts: both long and short sleeves. Shirts made out of 100% cotton are not ideal since it holds moisture and dries slowly. Best would be have shirts with a bit of elastane.
  • Pants: what you prefer. Quickly drying is advised.

Insulation layer

  • Often for this layer fleece is suggested, but we would like to ask you to bring wool sweaters instead. During one laundry cycle, a fleece jacket releases up to 250.000 synthetic fibres. These get into the waste water and eventually end up in our oceans contributing to the plastic soup.
  • Down jackets

 Shell layer

  • Wind and water proof. Since we will be sailing to Antarctica we suggest to go for sailing gear. Big brands are Musto, Helly Hansen, Henry Lloyd, but these are also quite expensive. As an alternative, have a look at oil suits, less pretty but just as effective in keeping out the wind and water


  •  Gloves: inner and outer gloves.
         o   Inner gloves: excellent dexterity and good wicking properties
         o   Outer gloves: pick one of good quality. Select on warmth, waterproofing and dexterity.
  • Hats and scarves
         o   Hats: bring something warm and which you like. Don’t forget something to cover your ears
  • Scarves: a neck gaiter is a good option, because it will not leave you with loose ends which can get caught up in something.

Feet: If you want to wear two pairs of socks make sure there is room in your footwear!

  • Muck boots: during landings we might not always be able to do a complete landing, so you will have to walk through a bit of water to reach the shore. Make sure your boots are as high as possible, just under the knee.
  • Walking shoes: for walking during the landings you can bring normal hiking shoes. Shoes with not too much profile are preferred, as not to transfer material from one landing site to another. You can bring them in you backpack to shore.