Packing List Of Essential Gear For South Pacific

One of the highlights of expedition cruising is exploring nature both from deck, and in zodiacs. That requires dressing to protect yourself from the sun. Selecting appropriate gear can feel daunting–thankfully, we have over 30 years of experience in providing quality expedition clothing and equipment for professional and amateur travelers. We’ve put together a curated packing list: to eliminate the guesswork, and to set you up to have the best and most comfortable experience on your upcoming cruise. Use this packing list as a guide and be sure to check conditions before your departure.

Packs & Travel Bags

Travel Luggage: The first step in preparing for your cruise is selecting the right travel luggage. Choose a travel bag appropriate in size to the amount you’re planning to pack to ensure your luggage doesn’t become bulky and difficult to board.

Expert Tip A soft-top bag is easily compacted and stored during your stay on board.

Backpack: A lightweight backpack can help carry your essentials while keeping your arms free for safe disembarking off the vessel and getting in and out of zodiacs. Choose a backpack that is waterproof to protect your technology – from camera gear to your phone – and keep your layers dry while you have them stored in your backpack.

Expert Tip Choose a backpack with a waist-strap–the extra strap helps distribute the pack’s weight, alleviating pressure off the shoulders, and secures the pack more firmly to prevent chafing.

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Long & Short Sleeve Shirts: Hot weather invites tank tops and short sleeve shirts intuitively–but especially in sunny weather, it’s important to include long-sleeve shirts to protect yourself from the sun and bugs. Longer sleeves are ideal for adventuring, and short sleeves tend to be worn around the ship.

Expert Tip Choose light and bright colors–dark shades tend to draw mosquitoes.

Rashguard: Especially useful if your itinerary includes snorkeling, a rashguard helps prevent sunburns and adds warmth during a swim in colder water.

Expert Tip Not all long-sleeve tops prevent sunburns equally well. A good rashguard often comes with a rating detailing just how much sun coverage you can expect.

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Convertible Pants: Even in warm weather, conditions can be fickle: wind, water, and some clouds can change the needs of the moment. Pack lightweight and fast-drying convertible pants with built-in UPF sun protection so that when the weather flips, you simply zip on or off the bottom legs to convert your pants to shorts.

Expert Tip Everyone has a favorite pair of jeans that seems to fit just right–but for an expedition, it may not hold up exactly the same. When jeans get wet they dry slowly, especially in humid conditions.

Shorts: On days when reprieve from the heat is paramount, a pair of comfortable shorts becomes essential to wear around the ship and on shorter adventures.

Expert Tip Ideal shorts are loose-fitting and breathable.

Browse Our Top Picks for Bottoms

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Rain Jacket: The idea of hot weather doesn’t usually conjure images of rain! But many tropical climates frequently experience sudden, intense downpours. A practical way to tackle this possibility is to pack a lightweight rain jacket or more economical rain poncho, and keep it handy in your backpack.

Expert Tip A great rain jacket makes for an excellent travel companion, on this adventure and the next one–investing in a breathable, packable rain jacket proves its usefulness again and again.

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Hats: In sunny conditions, the sun is coming from both above and below–bouncing right off the water! Shading your face and head from the sun is an essential precaution to help prevent heat stroke, sunburn, and ensure great vision. Opt for a large brim and a chin strap to secure your hat on Zodiac rides or during windy conditions.

Expert Tip Head nets worn over a hat are a favorite among guests, helping shield from bugs in addition to sun.

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Footwear: Opt for footwear that will remain comfortable in and out of the water. A great closed-toe sandal provides protection while remaining breathable and quick-drying. Always opt for a sandal with a backstrap to keep your feet secure when getting in and out of Zodiacs and navigating terrain. Also consider aqua socks for snorkeling and to protect your feet your feet from coral and rocks, making navigating the beach effortless and comfortable when you're not wearing sandals.

Expert Tip Do not opt for flip-flops. They are not secure enough, and give out easily on rough terrain.

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Binoculars: Your expedition will undoubtedly offer stunning views and rare peeks at wild aquatic life–moments you won’t want to miss! Compact, high-performance binoculars help ensure you experience every single unique vista along your cruising journey.

Expert Tip When choosing binoculars, be sure to select a pair with at least 10X power and 25mm objective diameter–this is considered ideal for scenic and wildlife watching.

Sun and Wind Protection: The sun will play a significant role in the everyday considerations of your expedition cruise. Stay protected from the sun by bringing sunglasses with UV protection, secure them with a sunglass retainer so they don’t fall in the water, and add a sun lotion suitable for use on your face. And, as always, prioritize staying hydrated!

Expert Tip Often forgotten, but no less important: Be sure to bring an SPF-charged lip balm along on your trip.

Protecting Your Valuables: Your phone and tablet are crucial tools in capturing your experience. Ensure they stay dry and safe during every part of your adventure by protecting them with a waterproof, floating case. A great case will allow full use of your device when it is in the case.

Expert Tip Use sturdy, leak-proof bags to keep other valuables dry in even the most challenging conditions.

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  • Consider compression socks. In addition to helping to reduce foot swelling during your flight, they help prevent sprains and offer additional stability over rough terrain.

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  • Reduce microfiber plastic entering the oceans by washing garments in the GUPPYFRIEND washing bag.