How To Pack For Your River Cruise Adventure

Julie Green


While cruising down the Mississippi River on a beautiful boat with your loved ones is spectacular fun, packing for such a trip is not. If you have never been on a river cruise before, this process might be stressful. There is no need to worry! Keep these tips in mind and you will have everything you need to enjoy a few nights on the Mississippi River.


When it comes to packing clothes, you should think casual. Some cruises may offer a formal dinner but you will be in better spirits if you wear clothes you feel comfortable in most of the time. Of course your clothing choices will also reflect your intended activities off the boat.

A pair of comfortable walking shoes is a must. You may spend a lot of time walking around the boat, but you might also want to hike or walk along the river bank at stops.

It is not a bad idea to bring along one pair of dressy shoes you can wear to dinner, local restaurants or religious services. If you bring a pair that is relatively versatile there is no need to bring along one set for each outfit.

Cruisers should always be prepared to run into a variety of weather scenarios. A small umbrella that collapses enough to fit into a purse or coat pocket is a great idea. You should also bring a light rain jacket so you can still enjoy the beautiful outdoors in the worst conditions.

Even if it does not rain during your cruise, it might get cold. The breeze is sure to stir up a few goose bumps. This happens even in the summer evenings along the water. A lightweight jacket or warm sweater should do the trick in the summer. For the cold months you should pack heavier winter clothing. This includes a coat, gloves and suitable winter shoes.

Just as you should be prepared for the cold, you should also be ready to face some intense heat. Sunglasses are a necessity. You may want to pack a hat, sun visor or handkerchief for extra protection. Don’t forget your swim suit!

Toiletries and Personal Hygiene

You should not forget to pack medications and even light remedies, like Tylenol. If you have allergies, medication to help you manage them will be helpful on the cruise. If you do bring medical prescriptions, ensure that they are in their labeled containers.

The regular toiletries you might bring on any vacation are necessary. Eyeglasses, contacts, contact solution and hair care products are important. Hand sanitizer is also a good item to have on hand to prevent you from getting sick. Do not forget to bring along your razors and electric shavers.

Packing along some bug spray will help you avoid getting painful and itchy bites from mosquitoes along the river.

For Fun

Everybody wants to make memories on their river trips. The best way to remember the good times you have on board the cruise is to bring along your camera. Do not forget to pack extra memory cards and batteries! You never know what you will see along the bank of the river.

A pair of binoculars per person in your party will keep you from borrowing everybody else’s when you see something along the riverbank. You are likely to see something interesting that you want to get a closer look at.

You might also want to pack along some itineraries for each town your boat will be stopping in. Every trip takes some planning. You will take a lot of the stress of traveling off if you plan out some stops ahead of time. This will also help you determine where to go for meals and fun if you are running low on time. Along with an itinerary, you should also consider keeping some record of projected weather so you know what to wear when you leave the boat.

For Your Room

Some items will make your stay much more convenient. A small alarm clock and flashlight might come in handy on your cruise. There may be periods of time you want to spend in your room quietly. Some light reading will keep you entertained on your cruise.

There are a few things you really do not need to bring on board. Several outfits for each day really are not necessary. If you stick to one formal outfit and several casual pieces, you will have more than enough suitable clothing. You might also want to leave behind your laptop. It is likely to take up a lot of baggage space. Instead of sitting on your computer you will be enjoying everything the river has to offer! If you do insist on bringing your computer, ensure that you have it backed up elsewhere just in case something happens to it on the boat.

Packing is not an exciting activity, but if you do it right you will have save yourself a lot of trouble. You will be able to relax on your vacation. It is possible to pack light and still have everything you need on a Mississippi river cruise.


My name is Julie Green and I am the head writer, content contributor, and chief, cook, and bottle washer too! My goal is to provide you information about the Mississippi River.

It’s a wonderful place that I call home. I’d like to think I know a thing or two about this area!! Please stop by often and pay us a visit.


Image of a paddle steamer on the Mississippi River near New orleans at dusk

A Cruise Down The Mississippi River – A Review From A Real Traveller

During your travels across the world, you will rarely encounter anything as wonderful as a cruise down the Mississippi River. ...

Read more

Mississippi River Paddleboat Cruises

Beginning in northern Minnesota and winding through ten states until reaching its destination in the Gulf of Mexico, the mighty ...

Read more

Mississippi River Cruises From Memphis

Any visit to the city of Memphis should include a river cruise to get a taste of the sights and ...

Read more

Mississippi River Cruises From New Orleans

Close your eyes and imagine yourself cruising up the mighty Mississippi River. Picture the idyllic towns that dot its banks ...

Read more

Overnight Cruise On The Mississippi River

Overnight cruises on the Mississippi river give you a chance to see much more than you would be able to ...

Read more