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10th February, 2020

What should you pack for a river cruise?

A man packing a jumper into suitcase

River cruises are on the rise, and it’s easy to see why. Not only do river cruises offer comfortable surroundings and excellent amenities, but they also give you the chance to explore plenty of different destinations - all during one holiday.

With so many things to see and do during one trip, it’s easy to see why packing could get a little overwhelming. One of the benefits of a river cruise is that you only have to unpack and pack again once, even though you’re visiting lots of different places - however, this can add a sense of pressure. What if you forget something? Or pack the wrong kinds of clothes?

Well, that’s where we can help. Whether you’re considering exploring the Elbe or relishing in the rivers of Rhine, we’ve rounded up some of our top tips on what you should pack for a river cruise - including some things to avoid if you want to cruise like a pro.

Comfort is king

One of the incredible benefits of river cruising is the number of beautiful towns and iconic cities they boast along their route. This gives you the chance to explore new places, cultures, and sights on a daily basis - meaning that river cruises are rarely sedentary. Make sure that you pack comfortable shoes that offer good support so that you can make the most of each and every destination.

You also don’t want to be worrying about things falling out of your pocket if you’re enjoying excursions. Pack a light cross-body bag so that you can keep your hands free, all the while keeping your belongings safe and sound.

Think about the weather

Depending on the time of year you choose to depart on your river cruise, and the destinations you’ll be visiting, you should adapt your wardrobe to make sure it suits the weather. If you’re travelling during spring or autumn the weather can be unpredictable, but if you’re doing a lot of walking you can quickly get quite warm. Pack lots of light layers so that you can adapt what you’re wearing easily, and don’t forget a waterproof layer, just in case.

Keep it casual

Due to the busy nature of river cruises, there’s often quite a casual approach to dressing. If you’ve been on a long excursion then there may not be time to get dressed up for dinner, so people tend to be more laid back about their wardrobes. Pack comfortable separates in similar colours that can be mixed and matched together for the perfect capsule holiday wardrobe. Some people choose to dress up a little more for the final evening, or if there’s a Captain’s dinner, so you may want to pack one fancier outfit if you like to dress to impress.

Space saving

Don’t forget that while they’re certainly not cramped, river cruise cabins are not massive. This means it’s preferable if you don’t have lots of suitcases cluttering up your room during your stay, so try to save space where you can - and avoid taking more than one suitcase per person.

Pack multi-functional products where possible, and check what’s included in your rooms as standard so that you’re not taking anything unnecessary. Don’t forget that capsule wardrobe, too; pack trousers or skirts that you can wear more than once with different tops to ensure you’re not over-packing.

Taking to the river with Saga Holidays

As an easy and effective way to travel, it’s no wonder that river cruises are attracting more new passengers than ever before. Whether you’re considering embarking on your first river-based adventure, or you’re a river cruise pro, Spirit of the Rhine and Spirit of the Danube are ready and waiting to answer your call.

Find out more about our upcoming Spirit of the Rhine and Spirit of the Danube cruises, or get in touch with a member of our knowledgeable team to find out more about our river cruises.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.