Cruise Tips / 8 Tips on Dressing for a Cold Weather Cruise

Here are 8 tips on dressing for a cold weather cruise

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By: Ilona Kauremszky

Until recently expeditionary cruises to the North Pole and South Pole have been out of reach for most of us.

You’re best bet in viewing the icebergs, penguins, and miles of isolation identified by frozen terrain as far as the eye could see was best viewed on television by some nature documentary.

While those European Christmas markets you heard about with the mulled wine, ginger cookies and handmade crafts were other trip ideas you tucked away for some other day.

Today, these are popular specialty cruise vacays which have picked up plenty of traction giving cruisers more options to hang out in cold weather environs.

So what are you going to pack?

Here are 8 tips on dressing for a cold weather cruise:

1. Layers
Turtlenecks are en vogue on a cold weather cruise. Spot passengers wearing chic turtlenecks often paired with a stylish scarf on the grand European Christmas Market cruises. For the oceanic expeditionary types, it’ll be athletic-wear turtlenecks, the kind you might see on the ski hill which will be the go-to.

The underlining theme here is in the layers. Over the turtleneck add an outer layer of clothing. Maybe it’s a sweater or a fleece jacket. Beneath the turtleneck add another layer. Now over top the layers, yes, add another layer. Will you look like the Michelin Man? Maybe, but who cares you’ll be warm and toasty.

2. Thermal underwear
Thermal fabrics are your new best friend. There’s hi-tech breathable material, some of which are labelled as eco-sustainable created from recycled products. Sometimes we call thermal underwear “long johns.” This sheath-like attire is available as leggings or long-sleeve pullovers. Use both.

3. The Coat
Outerwear needs to move with you, giving you the best insulation possible on your cold weather cruise. Deemed as an essential for oceanic cruises to Antarctica or the Arctic, invest in a good water repellent coat designed for active lifestyles. It’s important that your coat moves with you and doesn’t restrict as you hop into Zodiacs. Some cruise companies include outerwear attire for their guests.

4. Footwear
The biggest deal in footwear is keeping your feet dry. Pack your warmest socks – think of woolen, hockey, or athletic synthetic ones that dry quickly if they get wet. Boots are essentials too. Invest in a pair that is waterproof. For the Tundra-frigid temperatures there are boots designed to handle -40C conditions.

5. Toque head
Who talked about looking glamorous? During those bouts of frigid air blasting its polar vortex around you, a good old-fashioned toque will come in handy. Thankfully, the headgear business has gotten ultra cool these days. So many designs to choose from. There are even toques with built-in synthetic scarves and face protectors.

6. Mittens and Gloves
Hard to enjoy epic scenes when your hands are cold. Your best bet is to invest in a pair of mittens in either breathable polypropylene or wool. It’s a good idea to pack a spare for those moments you thought you had them with you but realize you left them behind at the last excursion. Ski gloves are good too.

7. Warmers
Hot hand and toe warmers are quick’n’easy devices to ensure your appendages stay toasty on even the coldest days. These small packs can be stored in your boot or added inside your mitts. Expect instant hot results.

8. Sunglasses
Don’t forget eye protection is important. Invest in a cool sporty hi-tech pair able to withstand Nordic pursuits or find a design that can help channel the Christmas Market spirit vibe. Your eyes will be happy.

Ilona Kauremszky
Travel Writer
Ilona Kauremszky is an award-winning travel writer and former syndicated weekly travel columnist who regularly pens stories for trade, consumer and digital platforms. For ShipsAhoy.com, the bonafide cruise enthusiast interviews cruise influencers, reports trends and spotlights the latest in cruise news.

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