The phrase “it’s Baltic outside” may have you lining your suitcase with extra pairs of gloves and thermal undies when packing for a cruise around the Baltic states. But, in fact, the weather through the Baltic is not in a state of perma-freeze – it’s about as unpredictable as the great British weather.
This can make packing for a cruise around the Baltics as baffling as preparing for a weekend in Scotland. Especially in the summer months, when you’re just as likely to be on the receiving end of a perfect week’s worth of sunny weather and soaring temperatures as you are a few days of overcast rain.
So, if you’re on the countdown to your Baltic cruise, or eyeing up a few great deals on holidays around this majestic part of the world, and are concerned about preparing for your trip, you needn’t worry. We’ve compiled a selection of essential packing tips to ensure that your cruise around the Baltics is an absolute joy.
Pack for All Weathers
Cruising to the Baltic region will expose you to far more types of weather than a trip around the Caribbean Sea would. Instead of a few sassy changes of swimwear, you’re best advised to prepare for every eventuality – especially if your cruise is timed for late spring or either end of summer.
Visit the Baltic region during these times of the year, and you’re just as likely to enjoy beautiful sunny days, teetering on the verge of shorts weather as you are blustery rain-filled spells. So, when packing for the Baltic, prepare for all weathers. We’d recommend making sure you have at least the following:
- Light Shirts
- Trousers/Long Skirts (comfortable, relaxed and smart)
- Warm Jumpers
- Thick Coat
- Waterproof Coat
- Light Jacket
- Walking Shoes
- Light Shoes for On-Board
- Lots of Socks
And always check the forecast for the coming weeks just before you leave. The weather may be changeable in this part of the world, but the forecast should give you some form of direction.
And Pack for the On-Board Dress Code
The Baltic region is growing more popular among cruise lines and cruise passengers, with an increasing number of vessels visiting these beautiful states every year. From the traditional cruise lines to the more contemporary and family-friendly vessels, cruise transport to the Baltic region comes in all shapes and sizes.
Cruise lines operate significantly different on-board dress codes, so it’s important that you’re well-stocked and prepared for the cruise with suitable clothing during the days at sea and the wonderful evening events. From the relaxed approach favoured by Norwegian Cruise Line to the somewhat more elegant affair proposed by Celebrity Cruises, Baltic-navigating cruise lines request that their on-board codes are adhered to at all times.
If you’re a little uncertain about the dress codes of the different cruise lines, check out our comprehensive cruise attire guide. This should really simplify the packing checklist.
Stay Sturdy and Comfortable
Many of the Baltic capitals are perfect for a little exploration by foot, with wonderful, cobbled paths intertwining through charming old town regions. The likes of Riga, Tallinn and Helsinki, in particular, have relatively small centres, allowing you to walk from beautiful highlight to beautiful highlight.
So, if you’re planning any walking tours during shore excursions in the Baltic nations, it’s recommended that you pack clothing which will keep you comfortable on your feet. A pair of good quality walking shoes is a must, helping you navigate the cobbled streets in absolute comfort without flaring up blisters and sore toes. If you’re buying a pair of walking shoes especially for the trip, be sure to give them a few warm up walks before embarkation to help your feet get used to their new surroundings. The last thing you want is for your family to enjoy the splendours of Saint Petersburg, whilst you’re stuck in a café by the cruise terminal with your feet soaking in ice water.
The rest of the outfit is just as important, so make sure your port town exploration clothing includes breathable items, ensuring you can enjoy the delightful Baltic surroundings in absolute comfort.
Phrasebook or App
The Baltic region is full of distinct cultures and backed by a series of different languages. Depending on where your cruise ship drops anchor, you may visit cities which speak a selection of different tongues. From Finnish to Latvian and Lithuanian to Russian, you may find yourself in port towns and cities where the locals speak a different language to the natives you met yesterday.
Whilst English is quite a common second language, with millions of Baltic residents fluent in the Queen’s best, we know a lot of you like to make the effort to chat in your host nation’s local tongue whilst exploring the world. If your mobile phone plan covers browsing overseas, we’d recommend downloading the Google Translate App (on iOS or Android), so you can translate your questions or comments into over 100 languages.
If your phone or your phone plan doesn’t support Google Translate (or you’re a card-carrying member of the old school), then a few phrasebooks are a great addition to the suitcase, and can make wonderful bedtime reading the night before the port visit.
Essentials in the Hand Luggage
One for the first-timers this tip — we’d always recommend packing everything your family will need for the first few hours of a cruise in the hand luggage. Checking and distributing a few thousand suitcases is a big logistical task for the on-board crew, so it may be a few hours after embarkation before your luggage makes its way to your cabin.
Therefore, pack a change of clothing for the kids in hand luggage as well as cash in case you want to hit the speciality restaurants. Swimming costumes are also recommended if you want to undertake a few lengths as soon as the ship hops out of port. And all the stuff that isn’t needed until later in the holiday, can be packed into the hold luggage.
So now you’re clued up about packing for a Baltic cruise, why not check out Cruise1st UK’s great selection of cruises visiting this beautiful part of the world? For a full selection, click here, or call our friendly sales team on 0808 231 3669.