The Best Baltic Cruise Packing List For Female Travellers

If I could give you one piece of advice when packing for your Baltic cruise it would be ‘bring layers’. When I checked the weather forecast for the six different countries I would be visiting on my cruise around the Baltic aboard Regal Princess the temperature ranged from five degrees centigrade at the beginning of the trip, to 25 degrees eight days later.

Over the course of the trip I was due to experience snow, rain, and sun, and thanks to Easy Jet’s luggage allowance I only had 20kg worth of baggage to accommodate three different wardrobes.

With that in mind, what’s a girl to do?

After much deliberating I managed to pack what turned out to be the optimum number of layers for both freezing Baltic mornings, and warm Scandinavian afternoons. Looking for the beat Baltic cruise packing list for female travellers? You’ve found it, read on below…

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PLAN A CAPSULE WARDROBE

SHOPJeans: Nudie JeansRaincoat: Amazon FashionBoots: RemonteCardigan & Top: Boden

When its necessary to travel with a capsule wardrobe I always start with the item that I have the most difficulty purchasing. For me that’s shoes; my feet are one size above the standard EU size 42 which is the largest size for a lot of high street brands.

Whether you have a favourite pair of jeans or a jumper that pairs with everything, start with one item and build your wardrobe out from there.

THINK SMART CASUAL

SHOPT-Shirt: BodenTop: JoulesChinos: Asquith & FoxShoes: SupergaBag: Orla KeilyBlazer: Joules

Nowhere on the Baltic Sea itinerary, other than on formal dining nights and on evening shore excursions, will you need to be very smartly dressed. For this reason, I would advise you to plan smart-casual looks that would work well if you found yourself in an upmarket restaurant at lunch or enjoying sail away drinks on the Lido Deck before changing for dinner.

Scandinavia tends to be slightly more relaxed than Russia, however with so many iconic sights to see and so many candid photographs to be snapped it’s always good to feel like you look your best.

CHECK THE WEATHER FORECAST 

Thanks to the varied landmasses that make up Europe and the Middle East the weather in the Baltic region is highly unpredictable and can change at a moment’s notice.

As such, there’s really no point checking the forecast and planning your wardrobe until 7-10 days before your departure.

PACK FOUR PAIRS OF SHOES FOR YOUR BALTIC CRUISE

SHOPBoots: RemonteSandals: VivaTrainers: NikeDeck Shoes: Superga

In my bag I packed one pair of deck shoes, one pair of ankle boots, one pair of trainers, and one pair of heels. The itinerary was city-centric so I knew I wouldn’t need hiking boots.

I found that I only wore my ankle boots in Estonia and Russia where the weather was the coldest. The rest of the time when on shore I wore my deck shoes, except when at the Russian ballet when I wore my heels.

PACK TWO PAIRS OF VERSATILE TROUSERS

SHOPChinos: Asquith & Fox – Jeans: Nudie Jeans

Comfort is key when you’re out exploring at each new destination so with that in mind I packed one pair of jeans and a pair of dark chinos that I could dress up and down with my four pairs of shoes.

As the temperature in Russia was so cool I actually wore my dark chinos jeans with heels to the ballet; I’d originally planned to wear one of my formal night dresses but I couldn’t bring myself to go outside bare-legged!

PLANNING A BALTIC CRUISE? READ MY CRUISE TRAVEL GUIDES

CONSIDER BOOKING YOUR NEXT CRUISE WITH PRINCESS CRUISES

PACK TWO THERMAL TOPS

I was the only one in my group to pack thermals but I know that I feel the cold and was glad of the extra warmth when exploring Estonia and Russia.

My top tip to layer up without the bulk is to find a basic ski-thermal in a nice colour that you could wear with jeans, and pop a thin cotton t-shirt underneath.

PACK TWO COATS

SHOPDown jacket: AigleRaincoat: Amazon Fashion

Because of the variable climate in this part of the world I’d suggest that you pack two coats. One lightweight and waterproof, and one heavyweight and waterproof. Alternatively, you could pack one mid-weight coat and layer up underneath if it gets cold.

PACK AT LEAST ONE JUMPER

I managed with just one jumper, a cashmere roll neck, that I wore when the temperatures dipped of an evening. Go for something lightweight and packable that you can throw in your day pack if you get too warm.

PACK TWO OR THREE DRESSES AND SKIRTS

SHOPFloral dress: Joules – Green skirt: Amazon Fashion – Denim dress: Joules

Knowing that the weather was due to warm up later in the trip I packed one green skirt, one jersey dress, and one cropped-sleeved denim dress.

I wore the two dresses to dinner on some of the smart-casual evenings, and out during the day when the temperature pushed 20 degrees in Scandinavia. The skirt came in handy for a particularly warm day in Helsinki. In contrast I could have worn either with tights during the day or evening if needed.

PACK A SELECTION OF LONG AND SHORT SLEEVED TOPS

For my eight-day trip I packed eight different tops which I worn in different combinations depending on the activity and weather. I actually didn’t pack any short sleeve tops and there was only one day (our last day in Copenhagen) during which I was too hot.

YOU WILL NEED FORMAL NIGHT ATTIRE

SHOP  Short sleeve dress: Amazon Fashion – Green v-neck dress: Amazon FashionRed jumpsuit: Kissmoda

As a first-time cruiser I wasn’t initially aware of the need to pack black tie worthy outfits for a jaunt in the Baltic. However, take it from me, you’re going to need more than one.

If you can, opt for mid to long length dresses cut from man-made fibres tend which have the most wrinkle resistance. These will pack down without the need for layers of tissue paper and require minimal post flight care; simply sling them on a hanger.

USE PACKING CUBES

If you’re not familiar with the concept, a packing cube is basically a soft zip-able cube into which you can packed rolled and folded clothing. Whilst not only bringing order to your suitcase, they can double up as desk tidies or dirty laundry bags when on board the ship.

Unless you splurge on a suite there isn’t a huge amount of space in your stateroom so keeping things in some sort of order is an advantage when you come to pack up and go home. You can buy the set I use here.

DON’T FORGET YOUR GYM GEAR

SHOPLeggings: NikeTop: Under Armour – T-Shirt: TCA – TrainersNike

Although I found that I got plenty of steps in whilst exploring on-shore, if you’re a bit of a gym-buff or just want to make sure you get your heart rate up on the days you’re at sea don’t forget to pack your gym kit. I was surprised to find a spacious and well-equipped gym aboard Regal Princess and enjoyed starting my day with a 45 minute session mixing cardio and weights to work off the scrumptious meals I’d enjoyed in the ship’s restaurants the day before.

Its a common misconception that cruise travel is unhealthy. My advice is to incorporate regular gym sessions, with active shore excursions as well as ditching the elevators on board in favour of the stairs. Find out more about how to stay fit and healthy on a Princess Cruise in this helpful post.

IF YOU’RE IN A TIGHT SPOT YOU CAN DO LAUNDRY

On each deck of Regal Princess there’s a laundry room, so if you get caught short you can always wash dirty clothes and rework another look.

Be mindful that sea days are very popular for laundry, especially first thing in the morning, so if you think you might want to wash out a top or two during the trip I would advise that you take a small amount of laundry liquid in your bag. There’s enough space to hand wash them in your sink and a small laundry line on which to hang them over the shower.

JAZZ UP A LAYERED LOOK WITH ACCESSORIES

SHOP – All necklaces from Oliver Bonas

When packing a capsule wardrobe, the simplest way to keep your outfit reworks under the radar is to accessorise each look with a different necklace. I have three statement pieces all from Oliver Bonas that I always travel with and find that they completely transform an otherwise boring look of jeans a mono-tone t-shirt.

TAKE HALF THE TOILETRIES YOU THINK YOU’LL NEED

Trust me. If there’s one thing frequent travel has taught me its that you can live without the lotions and potions you slather on yourself at home.

Aboard Princess Cruises’ ships they provided shampoo and body wash in every cabin. No it’s not quite the same as the brand you use at home but it is perfectly adequate for a few days away. Leave yours at home and you’ll save a huge amount of weight, especially if you’re packing for two.

Whatever your daily routine, here’s the maximum number of products I’d suggest you should take:

1 x facewash

1 x moisturiser

1 x tinted moisturiser

1 x eyebrow pencil

1 x lipstick

1 x blusher

1 x toothbrush

1 x toothpaste

If you find that you can’t live without one of the other products you use at home, chances are you can either buy it on the ship or in one of the ports you visit.

BRING A DAY PACK

SHOP: 55cm smokey blue pack: Eagle Creek51cm black pack: Eagle Creek66cm maroon pack: Eagle Creek

When travelling abroad it’s a good idea to try and blend in with the crowd so don’t walk around with your brochures, cameras, and souvenirs out on show. A simple, durable day pack, with space for a water bottle and an inside pocket for your passport is ideal.

PACK YOUR ESSENTIALS IN YOUR CARRY ON

As with any trip, pack a few essentials in your carry on just in case. Keep in mind that if you choose a larger capacity model, your day pack can double up as a carry on.

DON’T TRY AND BUY DIFFERENT CURRENCIES FOR EVERY COUNTRY

In my experience credit and debit cards were widely accepted as are Euros. There’s no need to buy a selection of currencies for the trip.

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If you have some helpful packing advice for travellers taking a Baltic cruise please leave a comment below!

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    1. Hi Alexandra,

      I travelled during the first two weeks of May 2018. Give me a shout via the contact form if you have any questions that I haven’t covered in this post.

      Safe travels!

  1. Hi Charli. Thank you for such a comprehensive guide to packing. My husband and I are sailing the Baltic on the Sapphire Princess from 1st to 14th June and then doing a coach tour of Croatia/Bosnia afterwards so need to pack for 2 climates. Your article is really helpful as I think your suggestions will cover both. Layering seems to be the answer! Thanks again.

  2. Very helpful many thanks. My only question I will be in the regal princess cruise 4-12 June sailing from St. Petersburg. Do you think the clothes you mentioned down jacket will still be needed in June? Then we will do coach tour within Rusia on our return

    1. Hi Pauline, fab to hear you’re heading out to explore the Baltic with Princess! I would suggest that if you have space a down jacket would be a good ‘just in case’ item to have. When I was in St Petersburg in May it was still very cold, and given the unseasonable weather patterns we’ve seen in Europe recently I wouldn’t rely on ‘average temp’ stats for the summer. You may find it’s really warm but an additional layer that you can pack down in a day pack etc may come in handy!

  3. what about clothes for the month of July in the Baltic? Shorts and t shirts or long pants?
    How about a fleece in stead of a down jacket?
    What is the thermal you spoke of? A ski underwear or a sweatshirt cover up?
    Thanks

    1. Hi Suzanna,

      Thanks for your comment. The thermal I referenced in my post is a long-sleeved ski base layer. I have two, one in maroon and another in black, and I find that they work well as jumpers whilst giving added warmth when required.

      July weather in the Baltics can reach 65°F to 70°F, rarely falling below 54°F or exceeding 81°F so I would suggest that a fleece would be sufficient for your trip. If you take a couple of layers that you could add underneath if needed I’m sure you’ll be fine. I’d take both shorts and pants and maybe a casual skirt/summer dress also.

      Hope that helps!

      Safe travels.

  4. Great article. At least now I have a rough idea on where to start packing. How would the weather be end of Aug?

    1. Hi Angie, you’re more likely to get warm sunny days at that time of year, however I’d pack a couple of lightweight jumpers and one pair of trousers just in case. If you have a packable rain mac that’d probably be a good idea too.

  5. Did you pack any swim/resort wear for the boat? I’m SO glad I saw this post as I think I was planning to pack WAY to tropical haha! Thank you so much for your thorough suggestions!

    1. Hi Heather, definitely take some swimwear, The Sanctuary (the adult only spa area at the bow end of the top deck) has some fab loungers and Jacuzzis and you could always consider starting your day with a few laps in the main pool! I’d take a few summery items, just in case the weather is really hot – you just can’t predict it at the moment!

  6. Thank you so much for this post! Very helpful! We are heading out for a Baltic cruise the end of August going into September. I have a similar shoe situation as my size (10.5 US) makes things challenging. I usually plan my wardrobe around my feet! I have read that dressy tennis shoes will get you almost anywhere in Northern Europe. Would you agree?

    1. Hey Judy, so great to hear you have enjoyed my post! Unless you are planning to go to an upmarket restaurant or bar a pair of stylish tennis shoes (such a those from Superga) will be fine. You could always pack a pair of flat ballet pump style shoes that are compact and lightweight to use as an alternative. Hope you have a great trip!

  7. I am going on a Baltic cruise next July 2020. This info was very helpful. I have one question… What is a jumper? Growing up in the US, to me a jumper is a dress that is sleeveless and you put a blouse on under it. So I am not sure when you say “jumper”, what you are talking about. Thanks.

    1. Hi Reenie, thanks for your comment. I’m envious of your upcoming cruise plans! Hope you have a fantastic trip. A jumper in the UK is known as a sweater or jersey in the USA! Hope that puts my jumper recommendations into the right context! Safe travels, Charli

  8. Hello Reenie!Thank you so much for all of your helpful information. My husband and I are leaving August 24 2019 for 15 days on the Viking Ocean Cruiseline.We are trying very hard to take only clothing that will take us from excursions to dinner on board.No formal nights just nice casuals. We do have a couple events in the evening off the ship that will require casual,nice clothing. I always over pack and I don’t want to do that this time. We will be celebrating our 43 yr anniversary. We will appreciate any suggestions you have for us.

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