Cold Weather Clothing – Silver Explorer
The Dress for Dinner
There are two nights, Captains welcome and farewell dinners, where ship say elegantly casual rather than casual. On these nights only about 50% of the men wore jackets as dictated in the Silversea materials but most did not wear a tie. There were also some who did not wear a jacket and they were certainly not turned away. The other nights the dress was very casual to country club casual. Men wore open neck shirts or sweaters and trousers, women wore pants and a top most nights. Not as upscale as a normal Silversea ship because this is an expedition cruise and far more casual. Do not bring only warm items. The ship is heated and you need some lighter clothing as they do keep it warm on the ship.
The dress During the Day on the Ship
Very casual and comfortable. Be sure to bring some cooler clothing as they keep it warm on the ship so you do not need all the heavy fleece type clothing. Even some short sleeve t-shirts would be appropriate.
What to Wear in the Landings
LIFE VEST Last thing you put on is your life vest. These are very small and not big like many life vests can be. Not uncomfortable to wear.
WALKING STICK If anyone has a little difficulty with balance, a walking stick is a great idea and it does help steady you on the rocky landings. Quite a few people had these.
PROVIDED CLOTHING The ship will provide you with a polar parka and backpack that you can take home with you when you leave the ship. Even though the parka does not look very thick, it has a puffer jacket underneath and then the red polar parka. It is surprisingly warm and works great. I bought a new warm coat for my first trip and never even put it on! Make sure that the provided rubber boots you select are big enough for your pants and sock layers. This is important since they are hard to get on and off, particularly if they are too tight. The pre-cruise materials suggest you bring your own boots but in the past there were plenty onboard. If you have exceptionally small or large feet then you could consider buying a pair of boots or renting them from Silversea.
IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT YOU BRING A PAIR OF WATERPROOF PANTS The cheap type works fine with the rubber inside. We purchased a pair from REI of the lighter weatherproof nylon that were about $75 and I actually really liked these pants. Be sure that they say WATERPROOF not WATER RESISTANT. Zippered pockets helped hold our room keys and they dried instantly. Sporting goods stores carry these. Lots of people had rubber overalls and they worked well, but pants are sufficient. These are very ugly but do not worry, everyone looks just the same.
FIRST LAYER First you need a layer of long underwear, top and bottom.; The silks are highly touted but I found that the plain cotton duofold sold at Oshmans and other sporting goods stores work the best. It is, of course, a personal choice. The silks are thinner, but believe me, everyone looks like a roly-poly, so it really does not make any difference. Dillards carries a line of long underwear for women that I found to be excellent. I would also buy the liner socks. These are either silk or cotton, very thin to wear under the thick socks. This makes quite a difference in the warmth and comfort factors. Another thing I found very helpful, was the liner gloves. This makes it much easier to slip on and off your leather gloves. Hand and foot warmers can be helpful but at most times it is not that cold. I always carry these but often do not use them.
SECOND LAYER For the top I would wear another t-shirt, or if it appears to be cold, a layer of fleece, which is still light, yet warm. This is plenty with the polar parka that the cruise line will provide you. NO ONE WILL EVER SEE THIS CLOTHING as the parka covers up everything, so just buy cheap fleece tops; two would be sufficient. For the bottom, you need a pair of pants to go between the long underwear and the rubberized waterproof pants. If you do not have an extra layer and you perspire, you can get cold. I would suggest something that thins out at the ankle. You need to stuff all this in your boots, so if it is too full at the bottom it can be a problem. My husband wore blue jeans; I wore a pair of fleece pants. You will need one or two pairs of wool or ski socks. I wore two pairs and never had cold feet; my husband wore one pair and was fine.
THIRD LAYER You need a hat. The ones that worked the best were fleece, which is light and warm. The only problem is if the hat rides up, your ears can get very cold. The people that had hats with earflaps or earmuffs were very smart. These looked so silly in the store, but they really work well. The parka the ship gives you has a hood, but you need a warm layer under that. You will need leather or waterproof gloves. Fleece gloves get wet very quickly, so they do not work well. Once you take off those gloves, it is hard to put them back on without the glove liners. Put on your waterproof pants, your parkas, and your rubber boots and away you go. Always put the first pair of pants inside the boots and the rubberized pants on the outside of the boots. This way you stay dry when you step into water.