Discover Exclusive Offers and Special Deals on MSC Cruise Deals
Find a cruise and book cruises direct - no booking fee!


What should I pack for an expedition cruise?

Considering taking an expedition cruise but unsure of what to take? Here’s what you need to bring on an expedition cruise to a tropical or polar zone.

By Cruise Booking Team

Book Your Cruise

Expedition cruises have laxer dress requirements because they are more focused on what happens off the ship. At mealtimes, there is no formality. You dress for the outdoors for both breakfast and lunch.


What should I pack for my first cruise?

You should wear something casual and comfortable when travelling by ship, such as trousers, jeans, sophisticated sportswear, long-sleeve tops, thin jumpers, body warmer, and/or other layers. Inside will be cozy and warm, and some people decide that short-sleeve polo shirts are appropriate. Have an extra layer on hand if you want to dash out onto the deck when something is sighted.

Limit your use of shoes. Slippers should only be worn within your cabin. Trainers, boat shoes, or lightweight boots will do.

Things you should pack for a tropical weather expedition cruise

1. Swimwear with UV protection

Cruisers on expedition voyages to tropical locations will spend a lot of time in the water, especially when snorkeling and kayaking, so protecting yourself from the sun is extremely vital. UV-protective swimwear, such as swim leggings, long-sleeve shirts, and even swim hats, are recommended in addition to sunscreen with a high enough SPF. You won't be the only one hiding, so don't worry about appearing strange. However, depending on where you're cruising, you might find a diving suit to be too warm.

2. Sweat-wicking clothing

Why are the tropics so tropical? Why do we need sweat-wicking clothing? If you're not from a region of the world where the temperature and humidity are consistently in the upper double digits, you might be surprised by how much one person can perspire. Walking around with your t-shirt stuck to your skin is never comfortable, and it also takes longer for your body to chill down as the sweat on your clothes takes longer to dry. Purchasing a couple of sweat-wicking garments will provide you with much-needed comfort during a sweltering hike through the Amazon or Costa Rican rainforests.

3. Tablets for rehydration

In the tropics, especially if you've been active, it doesn't take long to become dehydrated due to sweat. While it's important to drink plenty of water, you should always have at least one full bottle with you when you leave your expedition ship — rehydration tablets, also known as electrolyte tablets, can be beneficial.

4. Insect repellent

Mosquitoes and the diseases they spread are sadly brought on by the heat and humidity. You might need to take anti-malarial medicine depending on your schedule, but these won't shield you from other diseases, including Zika, West Nile, and chikungunya. You must bring bug repellent with you to protect yourself from various diseases spread by mosquitoes.

5. Antibiotic

While stomach bugs can be caught on any cruise, bacteria do tend to thrive in many of the warmer climates that expedition ships travel to. A traveler's tummy is something that no one wants to deal with on any trip. Regular hand washing is your best line of protection against norovirus and other gastrointestinal infections, but just in case, always ask your doctor for an antibiotic like ciprofloxacin or xifaxan that is very effective at warding off stomach bugs.

6. UV protective sunglasses

It may sound a bit apparent to say that you'll need sunglasses, especially in the tropics, but your sunglasses must be UV protective. This will shield your eyelids as well as the inside of your eyes.

Also Check: Which cruise line is best for single adults?

Things you should pack for a polar expedition cruise

1. Cloth layers

When packing for an extremely chilly cruise, layers are the most crucial thing to keep in mind. In areas where temperatures can induce frostbite in minutes, it is essential to stay warm. Inner, middle, and exterior layers are necessary for proper layering.

2. Touch-screen gloves

For the same reasons as before, layers are also necessary on your hands; however, you only need the insulation and outer layers in this case. If you're one of the many people who utilize their smartphone as a camera, we advise making the inside layer a warm pair of touch-screen gloves. Even if you believe you'll just be doing it for a little moment once you're outside, you cannot take the chance of taking your gloves off completely. Therefore, having gloves that can operate a touch screen is essential. Cover with mittens or waterproof gloves.

3. Waterproof pants

Nearly all shore landings in the Antarctic and Arctic are wet. You will require a pair of waterproof pants to wear over your regular pants to ensure your legs stay dry as you enter the icy air.

4. Moisturizer

Even though most of your exposed skin will be covered when you're outside, cold and wind are harsh on the skin. Bring some moisturizer with you, ideally extra strength, and remember to apply it whenever you can.

5. UV protective sunglasses

Sunglasses with UV protection are necessary for both polar and subtropical adventure cruises. It should go without saying that you'll need sunglasses with UV protection. Your eyelids and the inside of your eyes will be safeguarded by doing this.

Also Read: How long do Expedition cruises last?


Whether traveling to a tropical region or a polar region, taking an expedition cruise will undoubtedly be a fantastic and unforgettable experience. However, you can't enjoy your vacation without items like insect repellant, antibiotics, moisturizer, and layers of clothing. Bring these items and you will think less about what to wear and more about your vacation.

How do I not spend money on a cruise?

Book A Cruise Now You received a terrific price on your cruise fare because you booked it during a great sale, picked a less costly stateroom, took advantage of travel agent discounts, and chose [...]

May 17, 2024

How to get the cheapest rate on a cruise?

Book A Cruise Now Vacation on a cruise is like a dream holiday for many people because it may be quite exciting and loaded with a variety of entertainment and fun activities. While traveling to [...]

May 17, 2024

How early should I get to cruise port?

Book A Cruise Now Although it may seem daunting and hectic, the process of arriving and checking in for your cruise is normally well-organized. Your cruise line will notify you of the best time [...]

October 31, 2023

Which cabins are best on a cruise ship?

Book A Cruise Now Great entertainment, lovely sea views, and visiting exciting destinations, vacation on cruise ships can be fascinating as it has great things to offer. It can be a wonderful [...]

November 10, 2023

Our cruise experts will help you to plan your perfect cruise vacation!
phone number with country code (hyphen allowed)
0 / 500

Cruise Inquiry