If visiting the Arctic isn’t on your bucket list, it definitely should be. From its untouched landscapes, plethora of flora and fauna, indigenous culture and unique natural wonders, the Arctic has a lot to offer. The most convenient, comfortable and enjoyable way to satisfy the adventure bug is with a luxury cruise through the Arctic Circle. You’ll visit the northern regions of Scandinavia, Canada, Russia and Alaska. Below are some tips to help you plan and pack for a wild luxury cruise you won’t forget.
When to Go
If you’re looking to enjoy almost 24 hours of daylight, less frigid temperatures, the full bloom of Arctic flora and bountiful active wildlife, late spring and summer months are right for you. The winter months also have their upside, including an increased chance of seeing the Aurora Borealis (the Northern Lights) and winter activities, such as ice fishing, guided dog mushing expeditions and getting cozy in your luxury cabin and enjoying the beautiful scenery.
How to Pack Appropriately
No matter what time of year you sail north, dressing appropriately is crucial to an enjoyable experience. Unlike other luxury cruises, your first priority should be to stay warm, dry and comfortable, especially if you’re planning outdoor or sightseeing activities.
When you’re onboard, the dress code varies from cruise ship to cruise ship, but generally comfort and casual attire is acceptable. In the evenings, you may want to dress up with a nice blouse, dressy slacks or a button-down shirt. Some luxury cruise lines host black tie optional events, but this isn’t very common when traveling through the Arctic Circle.
When headed outdoors, dress in layers, topping them off with waterproof and windproof jackets and trousers. Especially if you’re travelling in the winter months, pack thermal underwear, gloves, hats and wool socks. Depending on what activities and adventures you’ll be enjoying, a heavy duty jacket and waterproof gumboots are also necessary; although, there may be an opportunity to rent or borrow some from the cruise company.
What Outdoor Gear to Bring
Now, it’s time to consider what gear you need to pack. You need a day pack to stash your belongings and essentials in because some cruise ships drop you off at different ports with the option to explore for a few hours. If you’ll be doing any moderate or vigorous hiking, trekking poles can assist you in conquering the unpredictable, yet mesmerizing, landscapes of the Arctic.
If you don’t pack anything else mentioned, binoculars are one piece of gear you don’t want to leave behind. Whether from the deck of your cruise ship or while walking through Arctic habitats, binoculars enable you to discover the unique birds, playful marine mammals and awe-inspiring bears the Arctic has to offer.
How to Capture the Adventure
Perhaps unorthodox and a bit off the beaten path, your luxury Arctic cruise will be a trip you’ll want to brag about to all your family and friends. If a picture is worth a thousand words, be prepared to properly capture every moment of your adventure.
A tripod lets you steady the camera while you capture the beautiful scenery and wildlife from the deck of your cruise ship. At times, you may come across a sight as your ship sails by and you won’t have time to go grab your camera or set up a tripod. For these moments, having a smartphone with a camera like the 16-megapixel Galaxy Note5 in your pocket means you can capture that floating iceberg holding the polar bear pup or the Northern Lights painting the Arctic night sky on a moments notice.
Courtesy TheTopTier Digital Media