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Dressing for the Polar Vortex 101


When it comes to gearing up for cold weather, look no further than Quark’s Merchandise team for all the tips and tricks you’ll need to stay warm.

Layering is essential. Synthetic fibres work well as a base layer, but natural fibers such as merino wool work even better. There are various weights to merino wool base layers, but for walking your dog, or trudging through the snow to your next destination, we recommend the Icebreaker brand. This is a truly ‘cool’ New Zealand company whose products are worn by athletes, adventurers and everyday Joes like us. On every Icebreaker product there is a “Baacode” so you can track your individual garment’s origin back to the source!

We recommend their everyday long sleeve crew and leggings for men and women. At 200gm, they will fit under your favourite outfit. This wool isn’t the kind that will make you itchy and uncomfortable either; their merino wool is soft, lightweight, breathable and keeps you warm and dry.

long sleeve crewe womanIcebreaker long sleeve crewe

Remember your extremities. Layering works for your hands and feet as well. You can keep wearing those cute hand-knitted mittens, but remember to wear a glove liner such as Outdoor Research’s Bio Sensor gloves underneath. They will keep you warm from the inside out and will allow you to keep on tweeting about how freezing it is out there! Visit our Gear Shop for this fab find.


Gloves Bio Sensor Liner Gloves

Keep your feet warm and dry by starting with a great sock such as the Icebreaker City Lite Crew against your skin and remember to wear waterproof boots to keep the moisture out.


Socks Icebreaker City Lite Crew Socks

Stay warm and look cool. One of the favorites among our polar travelers is Buffwear. We recommend the polar buff or the wool buff to keep your head and neck warm on those blustering winter days. They can easily transform from a cool neck-warmer to warm balaclava for full face coverage in seconds! Check out these videos for creative ways to sport your Buff.

Alternatively, if you subscribe to the “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” philosophy when it comes to combatting the Polar weather, we encourage you to don a Polar Bear Spirit Hood while shoveling the driveway. What’s more, 10% of the net profits of Spirit Hoods are donated to protect the endangered species, including Polar Bears International a cause close to Quark’s heart.


Spirit hood polar bear Spirit hood polar bear

Bergans of Norway: My Name is Roald Amundsen and I approve of this rucksack


Quark Expeditions® is very proud to sell Bergans of Norway in our onboard Polar Boutiques. Since 1908, Bergans of Norway has been a leading innovator of outdoor equipment and technical clothing. The story behind the brand goes that Ole F. Bergan, a bicycle manufacturer by trade, was suffering the ill-effects of less than ideal cycling equipment after a hunting trip. He was inspired to design a rucksack with the ‘Bergans Frame’ – a design that would eventually make the Bergans brand synonymous with the rucksacks and outdoor equipment. For over 100 years, Bergans of Norway has offered a wide range of expedition, mountaineering and outdoor adventure equipment.

Bergans also has a place in the annals of Polar exploration dating back to the 1911 and the ‘Race Against the South Pole’ with Captain Robert Falcon Scott, Roald Amundsen and Sir Ernest Shackleton. Amundsen himself gave Bergans a huge product endorsement as his team was equipped with Bergans backpacks.

Today, Bergans continues to innovate and has been recognized by the ‘Environmental Lighthouse (Miljøfyrtårnet)’, a Norwegian certification program focused on environmental sustainability, for its compliance in reducing greenhouse emissions – an initiative Quark Expeditions’® introduced in 2012 with CarbonNeutral Voyages® in the Antarctic.

Bergans products sold onboard

Valdres LT Ins Mens and Ladies Vest

In our tips for packing for the polar regions, one of the golden rules is layer, layer, layer. The vest made from PrimaLoft® One material, keeps you warm even if it’s wet. It is made with windproof and water-repellent Pertex® Quantum and has a compression pocket which makes it easy to pack.


Grey Vest Valdres LT Ins Mens Vest


Purple Vest Valdres LT Ins Ladies Vest

Bergflette Lady Jacket

This retro-inspired jacket is extremely comfortable. Made with Bergan’s Tecnowool® fabric and other blend, it features a fixed hood, front pockets and an extended back hem.


Blue Jacket Bergflette Lady Jacket, Navy


White Jacket Bergflette Lady Jacket, Cream

Kollen Jacket

Waterproof, windproof and breathable, this ski jacket with two-way stretch ensures freedom of movement. With elements of traditional Norwegian in the design, the jacket can zip up to any mid-layer garments and features underarm zip vents, detachable snowskirt, reflectors, extended back hem, front and chest pockets as well as a ski pass pocket.


Blue Ski Jacket Kollen Jacket, Navy/Red/White


Red Ski Jacket Kollen Lady Jacket, Red/White/Navy




Original Penguin: A hot label fit for Antarctica


Original Penguin clothing line was born almost 60 years ago in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and has been a key piece of Americana ever since.

Pete the Penguin came about when Abbot Pederson, a salesman for the Musingwear undergarment factory, purchased a stuffed penguin from a taxidermist and brought it on his flight from New York City back to Minneapolis. While on the flight, Mr. Pederson accidentally knocked off the penguin’s head. The ‘stewardess’ kindly took Mr. Pederson’s tie and wrapped it around the penguin’s head to connect it back on. And Pete (with a tie) was born!

Many celebrities were known to wear Original Penguin clothing such as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Arnold Palmer, Clint Eastwood and Richard Nixon, to name a few. Original Penguin became a true American classic.

Quark’s merchandise team carefully selected items that could be worn onboard and still be fashionable at home too. You can buy Original Penguin polo shirts, t-shirts, button down shirts, funky socks, hats, scarves and wallets at Quark’s onboard Polar Boutiques this Antarctic season.



Helly Hansen: The Captain of Polar Fashion


In cooler temperatures, warm becomes the new black. No other brand has stood the test of time in polar fashion stronger than trailblazer, Helly Hansen. The brand started back in 1877 when Norwegian Captain Helly Juell Hansen and his wife Margarethe began producing jackets, trousers, sou'westers and tarpaulins, made from coarse linen soaked in linseed oil.

Fast forward to the 20th century, Helly Hansen has continued to make several huge fabric technology breakthroughs. In fact, they’re responsible for:

  1. The layering principal
  2. The original fleece, fiberpile, which protects and insulates the bodies temperature
  3. Helox, a thin sheet of translucent PVC plastic sewn into waterproof coats
  4. The wonder fiber, LIFA, which pushes moisture away from the body

In addition, in the late 1980’s, they launched Helly Tech technology and revolutionized the creation of breathable and waterproof garments.

Today Helly Hansen is used by world-class sailors, skiers, adventurers – and more importantly –Quark Expeditions! We’re thrilled to be selling Helly Hansen in our ships boutiques, and we’re confident the garments will provide Quark travelers with a strong and sturdy guard against the polar elements so you can snowshoe, hike, ski and sightsee with ease.

Needless to say, you're in good hands when you're with Helly and Quark.




This thin, lightweight down jacket for women can be worn as a mid layer or as a coat in its own right. Easily fits into a backpack, making it ideal for active lifestyles or when you're out and about in the polar regions.



A great-value, basic rainwear jacket for women. Fully waterproof with Helly Tech® Protection, this raincoat was developed for trekking, biking or just hanging out in winter weather on the ships deck.



This thin, lightweight down jacket for men can be worn as a mid layer, and easily fits into a backpack. Ideal for active lifestyles like Quark's adventure options.







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