The travel kit list: what to pack for a polar cruise

Whether exploring Greenland’s craggy glaciers or searching for Svalbard’s amazing array of wildlife, be ready for every Arctic adventure with this warm and waterproof kit.

By Farida Zeynalova
Published 25 Dec 2022, 08:00 GMT
Clockwise from top left: Sorelwomen's Glacier XT boot, Leki Sherpa FX.One Carbon, Northface Summit Verbier Futurelight ...

Clockwise from top left: Sorelwomen's Glacier XT boot, Leki Sherpa FX.One Carbon, Northface Summit Verbier Futurelight Jacket. 

Photograph by National Geographic Traveller UK

1. Sorel Women's Glacier XT Boots

Put your best foot forward in trying conditions with these adventure-ready boots, created with the most frigid temperatures in mind. They offer high-grade warmth, traction and resistance against both water and wind, and are well-padded on the footbed for extra comfort. There’s a removable felt inner boot, too. £170.

2. Leki Sherpa FX.One Carbon

The Arctic is home to some of the most challenging terrain on the planet, so ensure you’re steady and supported with these aluminium walking poles from experts Leki. They’re robust, lightweight and foldable (great for packing), and have an extra-long ergonomic grip to make going downhill that little bit easier. £169.99. 

3. Overboard Pro-light Waterproof Backpack

Keep your binoculars and camera equipment safe and dry with this fully submersible backpack made from uber-light TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) — a material ideal for withstanding lower temperatures. With secure fastening, ample pockets and padded shoulder straps, it’s the perfect companion for lugging your belongings around the wild and elemental Arctic region. Available in sizes of 20 or 30 litres. £94.99. 

4. The Northface Summit Verbier Futurelight jacket 

Created for the most epic mountain and snow adventures, this stylish ski jacket leaves all others in the shade when it comes to water-resistance, flexibility and durability. The high-end price tag is justified by a seam-sealed advanced fabric technology that provides breathable, top-of-the-range protection. Just make sure to wear a down jacket underneath for extra warmth. £585.

Clockwise from top left: Bolle Ascender, Helly Hansen Powderheaven Pant, Nikon Monarch M5 10X42, Rab Women's Pivot GORE-TEX Gloves. 

Photograph by National Geographic Traveller

5. Bolle Ascender

Come winter or summer, intense sunlight reflecting off snow and ice can be incredibly damaging on the eyes and even cause snow blindness. Keep peepers protected with Bolle’s glare-reducing Ascender sunglasses, which feature tinted photochromic lenses that adapt to any light conditions. Back in the city, just remove the side shields and you’re good to go. £135.

6. Helly Hansen Powderheaven Pant

Waterproof, breathable and insulated, these trousers are ideal for keeping warm and dry during an expedition. They’re fitted with thigh vents to neutralise body temperature and a two-way stretch for adventures that require exertion. £160.

7. Nikon Monarch M5 10X42

Whether for spotting a polar bear roaming the pack ice or an elusive bowhead whale on the horizon, these lightweight binoculars are a must-have for any Arctic expedition. The impressively high optics allow for clear-cut, up-close views, and the rubber eye cups are comfortable enough for hours of searching and staring at wildlife. They’re waterproof, too. £359.

8. 5. Rab Women's Pivot GORE-TEX Glove

A reduction of blood flow means hands feel the cold more intensely than the rest of the body. Shield them from the harsh elements with these waterproof Gore-Tex gloves that have PrimaLoft Gold synthetic insulation — ideal for maintaining warmth and dexterity. The useful wrist straps are great for ensuring they don’t fall overboard when zooming along on a Zodiac. £120. 

Published in the Cruise 2023 guide, distributed with the Jan/Feb 2023 issue of National Geographic Traveller (UK)

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