Antarctica Travel Accessories

There are various Antarctica travel accessories that you should consider taking on your trip.

To help get you started we have put together a list below of the most important Antarctica accessories.


Water Bottle

Water bottle image

A good water bottle is always a must. Keeping properly hydrate, even in cold conditions, is vital. We would suggest drinking at leat 2 litres of water a day.  A great quality water bottle is the plastic Camelbak Eddy which comes in 0.75L and 1L variations. 

It is common for water to freeze in Antarctica when on-shore, a good way to avoid this is to insulate your water bottle in one of your spare thermal socks. 

Another good tip is to keep your water bottle upside down in your daypack as the water will freeze at the top end first.


Neutrogena Sunblock

Although it sounds odd, getting sun burn in Antarctica is all too frequent. 

The latitude of the South Pole makes for a strong UV intensity, as does the snow refection! Therefore, you’ll want a sunscreen with a SPF factor of greater than 30. 

A good suncream option is P20.


Photo of a powerstrip

Power points are not common on cruise ships and with the amount of electronics we now travel with, it’s a great idea to bring a power strip to make the most of any power point you come across. 

We suggest buying a lightweight powerstrip that will enable you to plug in all your electronic devices in one spot.


Image of some binoculars

We can’t recommend a good quality pair of binoculars enough for your Antarctica trip. A great piece of kit to see wildlife. Anyone who does not have a pair will be jealous when they hear the pleased noises of their fellow cruisers looking through their binoculars at a far away animal.

You’ll need to decide on whether you want a long-range pair or a shorter range pair that is more compact and light.

As with most things, price reflects quality. A really good pair will set you back well in excess of a US$1,000, however, depending on your requirements and fussiness, you can get some great pairs for much cheaper. Once again though, because these are optical instruments with many expensive parts, the more expensive the binocular the better image quality you’ll get. Really good binoculars will last you years and years.  

An important aspect to note here is that higher magnification is not necessarily better. 

Higher magnification binoculars are often darker, have a shallow depth of field and accentuate hand shake. They also cost more for the same quality. When choosing your binoculars you’ll want to look out for things similar to choosing a camera lens. These include edge sharpness, colour quality, resolution, depth of field and close focus quality. Also take into account build quality and whether your binoculars are waterproof. You don’t want to fall in the snow and then discover your binoculars are not working.

We tend to go for high quality smaller magnification binoculars as these are compact and easy to carry around, but also provide great optical quality. We would suggest a magnification of 8 x 32 or 8 x 42 or similar. If you’re looking for a budget option that is still great quality then we would recommend the Nikon Monarch range – particularly their 8 x 42 model. 

For a higher end option we would strongly recommend the Canon Image Stabilization All-Weather Binoculars. These beauties are absolutely cracking and the image stabilization is a real bonus! For really top end binoculars we recommend the Swarovski Optik Swarovision range. These are simply the best image quality you can get and, if you can afford them, buy them.


Image of a Canon Camera

The landscape and wildlife of Antarctica is extraordinary. Bringing a good camera to capture your experience is crucial, however, finding the best camera for Antarctica can be tricky. Everyone has their own take on cameras these days and, if your seriously planning on visiting Antarctica, you probably already own one. 

Like the above mentioned binoculars, the more you pay the better image quality your going to get – Although this is also dependent upon lens quality. 

A good quality DSLR is probably the way to go if your serious about your photography.

Firstly, there are two types of DSLR sensors – full frame and cropped sensor (APS-C). 

A full frame sensor essentially means you’ll be getting a wider exposure and a cropped sensor acts like magnification as it crops the view you’re looking at. 

Generally, landscape photographers will use a full frame sensor whilst wildlife photographers will use a cropped sensor. 

However, this varies depending on the photographers style and lens magnifications.

When choosing your camera you will need to take into consideration aspects such as ISO range (how well it shoots in low light), mega pixels (how large your image can be blown up to) and FPS (how fast your camera can shoot).

Best Cameras for Wildlife Photography

Image of a Canon Camera

The most popular wildlife camera in the world is probably the Canon 7D and Canon 7D Mark II. Both have cropped sensors and extremely fast shooting speeds (10 fps), and have great ISO range for low light shots. We personally use the 7D Mark II and can’t fault it! Professional wildlife photographers often use the full frame Canon 1DX (mark IV), however, this is usually in conjunction with a hefty 500mm or 600mm lens. The 1DX is simply the best for speed and ISO. If you’re a Nikon person then we recommend the Nikon D4 – brilliant wildlife camera!

Best Cameras for Landscape Photography

Image of a Canon Camera

If you’re into landscape then the Canon 5D range is your best bet, although this is top of the range. The Canon 5DS is the best, but comes at a professional cost level. For Nikon the best full frame option is the Nikon D810, however, this is also pricey – but great image quality!  The cheapest option for a full frame Canon is the 6D model which is fantastic, and  also the Nikon D7000.

Please note that because of the extreme cold weather in Antarctica, this can affect your camera equipment. We strongly advise you bring a dry-bag and several seal-able bags to store your camera gear. For our article on Antarctica photography tips click here.

Camera Lens

Camera Accessories

Lenses tend to be very personal decisions depending on what you’re trying to shoot. Like anything optical, great quality comes at a greater price. Canon and Nikon are the market leaders here, although Sony is starting to push, particularly in the professional sphere.

You first need to decide if you want a prime lens or a zoom lens. Prime lenses have a fixed focal length and don’t allow to zoom in and out from your subject.

However, what they lose in versatility, they gain in image quality. Because prime lenses are solely built for one focal length, that focal length is generally of a very high quality. Top line zoom lenses certainly provide great quality images, however, they will never quite match their prime lens equivalent in the same price bracket.

This being said, zoom lenses are certainly more versatile and will often allow you to capture shots you would have other wised missed with a prime lens. The decision is yours. What you will need to take into account for your Antarctica trip is weight. 

Generally, the higher (longer) the focal length, the bigger and heavier the lens will be. 

Both Canon’s 500mm and 600mm prime lens are enormous for example and quite impractical for your trip – assuming you are not a professional. 

The Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM Super Telephoto Lens is borderline and anything lighter is great.

One of the most popular wildlife zoom lenses is the Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM Telephoto Zoom Lens

Whilst this an exceptional lens, the weight and size of it should be considered. For your Antarctica trip a better option may be the Canon EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM UD Telephoto Zoom Lens or the Canon EF 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS USM Lens

For Nikon we recommend the Nikon 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED IF AF-S VR Nikkor.

For landscape the best option is a short focal zoom lens. The best Canon options are probably the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L ll USM Zoom Lens and the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM Lens. Both lenses offer image stabilization and an image quality that is to die for! 

Nikon’s best landscape lens is probably the Nikon AF-S FX NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8E ED Vibration Reduction Zoom Lens with Auto Focus. Such a good all-round landscape lens! Great shallow aperture of 2.8, although this does come at a price.

Video Camera

Image of a GoPro Hero 5

There is definitely no better camera to capture your Antarctica experience than the GoPro Hero. Especially true if you’re planning on doing some cool activities like kayaking! The footage you can capture with a GoPro in Antarctica is simply breathtaking. 

Each GoPro package includes a 131’/40m Waterproof Housing, Higher Capacity Li-ion Battery, Wi-Fi Remote, Quick Release Buckle, 1 Curved + 1 Flat Adhesive Mount, Vertical Quick Release Buckle, 3-Way Pivot Arm and a USB Charging Cable. Capture your Antarctica experience like a Pro! 

Check out prices for the GoPro Hero on Amazon now!


Photo of a Tripod

With so many tripods of differing sizes and shapes, it’s often difficult these days to tell how good one is! The question you need to ask yourself for your Antarctica trip is – how often am I going to be using a tripod?. 

If it’s all the time for every shot, then investing in something like a Manfrotto MKBFRC4-BH Carbon Fiber Tripod with Ball Head is probably the best idea as it’s the best quality on the market and made from super light carbon.

If you’re shooting wildlife with fast shutter speeds, you may not be to bothered about a tripod. However, it’s still good to have one just inn case. There is one tripod we never go anywhere without, and that’s the JOBY GP3-BREN GorillaPod SLR-Zoom GP3+BH

This thing is super small and light and, best of all, it’s flexible! t definitely should be one of your key Antarctica travel accessories. The Joby tripod can literally wrap its legs around anything – including a ship’s rail! 

The Joby is the perfect traveling tripod for Antarctica.

SD Card

SanDisk Ultra SD Card

You’ll want a good-sized SD card to store the hundreds of photos you’ll be taking! Try to avoid anything below 32BG. 

Great SD cards include the Sandisk Extreme and the PNY Elite Performance.

Spare Batteries

Photo of a spare Canon Battery

Always remember some spare batteries. The come in useful more often than you realise – particularly for your camera. 

There is nothing more frustrating than seeing the perfect shot and then realising you’ve run out of battery.

Ear Plugs

Photo of some Ear Plugs

Highly recommended for light sleepers. Your cabin walls will not be as thick as standard walls, and everyone wont go to bed at the same time. 

This is also true in the morning when some people get up super early for the good light. Therefore, a good pair of ear plugs is a must!

Small Lock

Antarctica ships are super safe and there is absolutely no criminal activity on them. 

However, you’ll most likely be staying in South America before your trip begins and it is always wise to bring a couple of small locks to lock up your main travel bags, especially the ones carrying cash or passports.


There will probably be a doctor on board if you develop any serious medical problems on your journey. 

However, for smaller issues like aches and pains, we recommend bring some standard pain killers. Your cruise will have these on-board, but it never hurts to bring your own. 

Please remember any other medication you need as there are no on-board pharmacies! Another good thing to bring is blister plasters – Compeed do the best.

Book / Kindle

Relaxing by reading a book is a favourite of many Antarctica travelers and should be one of your key Antarctica travel accessories. 

A standard Antarctica trip will be roughly 2 weeks long, therefore, it is probably better to bring a Kindle as you can read several books without compromising on space. We recommend the Kindle Paperweight Edition – glare free and super light! 

You can see our Resources page for some great Antarctica book recommendations.

Antarctica Gear List Continued

Antarctica Clothing – From your base layers to your outer core shell jacket.

Antarctica Footwear – From waterproof boots to socks.

Headgear and Gloves – Gear to keep your head and hands warm, as well as recommendations on Antarctica headlamps.

Bags and Daypacks – From the Antarctica kit bag to your general day-pack.


If you would like to know more about your Antarctica accessories please leave a comment below and we will endeavor to get back to you within 24 hours! Alternatively, please see our FAQ page here. If you would like to get a cruise quote, please use this form.

Thank you - AntarcticaGuide Team

Tags: Antarctica accessories, Antarctica travel accessories, Accessories for Antarctica, Antarctica cameras


  • jon ringbom says

    5 years ago

    great info. My wife and I will be on the Le Lyrial for an epic cruise across the So. Atlantic. We now feel semi-prepared - at least clothingwise.

    • Burnham Arlidge says

      5 years ago

      Glad we could help Jon - enjoy the cruise!

  • Garry says

    5 years ago

    Very helpful info just about to head off to Antarctic in a couple of weeks. Still not sure about lens. So many people say no need for big telephoto zoom lenses as the wild life gets so close. Concerned I may end up taking too much gear or wrong gear.

    • Burnham Arlidge says

      5 years ago

      Yeah, it can be difficult choosing which camera gear to bring! It really depends on your style and what type of shots you're aiming for. If you prefer landscape pics then don't bother with the telephoto if space is an issue. However, even though penguins get close, if you want to get portrait shots of the wildlife then a telephoto is the only option. I would bring as many lenses as possible! You can always leave them on the ship when you know you won't need them for certain shore excursions. Hope that helps - Burnham, AntarcticaGuide team

  • Jack Whitaker says

    4 years ago

    Hi Burnham I've found both your articles very interesting and useful. I think I'm going on the same Ocean Diamond cruise as Leah Sobol and I'm planning to take my Panasonic TZ200 together with my old Nikon D80 plus 18-70 f3.5-4.5 and 55-200 f4.5-5.6 lenses. I'm a bit concerned as to whether the Panasonic would still operate in the severe cold but your answer re the Sony RX 100 seems to confirm that it will be OK provided I take all the precautions regarding condensation etc - am I right? Thanks in advance for your answer.

    • Burnham Arlidge says

      4 years ago

      Hi Jack, Yes you should be fine - you'll only need the bags if it gets very cold. Your batteries will go down fast also. Cheers, Burnham

  • Leah Sobol says

    4 years ago

    Would you kindly tell me if my Sony RX100 V Will be functioning well in Antartica (I also have a III s a second camera). As I am 78years young I have renounced carrying heavier cameras....It seems a bit unnecessary buying a recommended canon for that wonderful cruise on Ocean Diamond from 19 December to 9 January... Would like your sincere honest opinion and advice...Kind regards

    • Burnham Arlidge says

      4 years ago

      Hi Leah, Sorry for not responding sooner! I've actually owned the Sony RX100 V in the past for slow motion use. The camera will be absolutely fine for your needs in Antarctica. Obviously you won't have as much creative control over your shots because you can't change lenses, but it will do the job for a lightweight trip. Just remember that your camera will get condensation if you expose it to the cold too quickly when you come out of your cabin/ship. See here for more info - Hope that helps, Burnham - Antarctica Guide Team

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