Top 5 Packing Tips for a River Cruise

No matter if you’re organised or last minute, packing for a holiday is always stressful. While river cruises provide the added bonus of only having to check into one room for your whole holiday, there’s still a definite art when it comes to what to take!

1) Know the dress code

River cruises tend to be more luxurious experiences. With smaller ships, a higher staff-to-guest ratio, and less family-orientated activities, the dress code tends to be more formal. Special dining nights and exclusive cultural excursions require you to look the part. Do your research to ensure that you’re packing the right kinds of clothes.

2) Dress for your Itinerary and excursion plan

While warm inside, river cruises can take you to some particularly chilly destinations. Look at your itinerary before you pack so that you’re not floating through the Norwegian Fjords in your shorts and singlet. Don’t be scared of layers—remember, most ships have laundry services on board. Pack smart and leave room for souvenirs!

3) Remember the basics

While you do have the opportunity to pick up forgotten items when you dock at ports, you don’t want to waste your whole cruise hunting for basics. Remember to stock up on batteries, memory cards, ear plugs, plastic bags (for wet items and liquids), power cords, and over-the-counter medications. Don’t waste your holiday missing all the sights!

4) Toiletry inclusions may not be to your liking

There’s nothing like your favourite shampoo—the way it works with your hair and makes it sit just right. While river cruises are luxurious, do not assume that they have the exact same standards as you. If you’re particular about your toiletries, pack your own! It would be a shame if generic haircare cast a shadow over your whole holiday.

5) Keep all important items with you

Remember that a new port may mean a new country and a new entry visa. Keep your photo ID, passport, visas, and prescribed medications with you. There’s nothing worse than preparing for an exciting onshore excursion only to find that you don’t have the right documentation, or you’ve forgotten your ID to get back on-board the ship!

Packing for a river cruise doesn’t have to be stressful, but you do need to talk to someone in the know. Contact the expert consultants at to find out more!

Olivia Watson

Olivia is a world traveler who has been to 27 countries in just over 15 years. She loves to share her knowledge of traveling to help others travel safer, cheaper and have more fun.
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