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What to pack for a Luxury Expedition Cruise

As we weigh anchor on a new season of Luxury Expedition Cruises, we have prepared a checklist to help you prepare for your voyage

Whether you’re sailing to new horizons or back to see your favourite penguin in Antarctica on a Luxury Expedition Cruise, we have created a guide to ensure you are prepared for the adventure ahead.

As we launch four new cruises in 2023-2024, you may be tempted to join us on the following destinations, which take you from the Pacific islands to the paradise beaches of the Indian Ocean:

While you mull over which cruise to book, here is our essential guide to preparing for your next trip.

What should I pack for an expedition cruise? 

Complimentary polar gear for Arctic and Antarctic voyages is provided, some of which is yours to keep. These include:

  • Polar essentials are delivered directly to your stateroom when you board. This includes:
  • Custom-designed expedition parka
  • Multi-use backpack
  • Water bottle
  • Complimentary use of insulated winter boots, waterproof trousers, and trekking poles

Recommended items to wear for landings:

  • Base-layer wool or synthetic top
  • Base-layer wool or synthetic bottom
  • Mid-layer warm or fleece top
  • Warm wool or synthetic socks 
  • Glove liners
  • Waterproof gloves or mitts
  • Scarf or face protection
  • Warm hat that covers ears
  • Waterproof bag

Recommended items to wear onboard:

  • Lightweight waterproof or water repellent shell
  • Comfortable casual clothing 
  • Comfortable flat shoes with good tread

An outline of other essentials – depending on the type of cruise – should include:

  • Sun block and after-sun cream
  • Camera equipment including video and underwater camera
  • Waterproof phone case cover
  • Hand and feet warmers
  • Binoculars
  • Sketch book and paints
  • Swim wear including a long-sleeve rash guard
  • Cotton layers 
  • Hat or cap
  • Sunglasses with UV protection (pack two pairs)
  • Seasick tablets or bands
  • Small medical kit
  • Eye mask and ear plugs for sleeping
  • Travel log or diary
  • Portable charger
  • Formal attire for dinner with the captain
  • Anti-slip rock shoes for active shore excursions 
  • Pashmina or wool wrap

Pre-holiday checklist

  • Check passports are valid
  • Take out travel insurance for each country you are visiting
  • Apply for visas
  • Book jabs if necessary
  • Arrange malaria protection
  • Pre-order any medication 
  • A&K final documentation and essential information 
  • Check the roaming on your mobile

What are the ships like?

We select the most ideal small ships for every voyage we lead and then transform each into a luxuriously one-of-a-kind expedition. Whether sailing to the Arctic or French Polynesia, every luxury small ship that we sail is specifically designed for the places we explore.

The vessels we charter feature game-changing state-of-the-art stabilisation systems designed to deliver a smooth ride. Every ship is equipped with the latest communication, navigation and safety equipment including Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS) and real-time weather system.

For shore excursions, you will be expected to hop on board sturdy Zodiacs (rigid inflatable boats) which carry 12 people. 

Snapshot of a typical day at sea

This is taster of what to expect at sea. The extract is from our new cruise: French Polynesia to Easter Island Expedition

Marokau Atoll | Pearl of the Tuamotus

A vast contrast from Fakarava, tiny Marokau is home to just over 90 inhabitants and was once a primary destination for collecting pearls in the Tuamotus’ lagoons. Soak in its breath-taking scenery during a relaxing morning on your luxury ship before setting off on Zodiacs for the afternoon of exploration. Choose to join your expedition team for activities ranging from birding walks to snorkelling as well as beach combing and swimming. Return to your ship late afternoon, with time to relax and participate in fascinating lectures led by your experts. After dinner, cocktails out on deck under starry French Polynesian skies are in order.

Le Boreal | Meals: D, L, D

What are the health requirements?

To ensure your wellbeing during your voyage, all LEC guests must be vaccinated against COVID-19 and take a rapid antigen test before boarding the ship. There may be further testing needed during the voyage. 

Wherever possible, A&K facilitates any required testing during your journey. On board, extensive steps are taken to provide a safe cruising environment including thorough cleaning of public spaces and recirculating air. 

A full-time doctor is also on hand, along with a well-equipped medical centre shout the need arise.

We would also remind you to pack your current medication along with supply of contact lenses.