How to prepare for your first cruise

If you’ve never taken a river cruise before you’ll be in a quandary as to what to take and how to best prepare for your forthcoming adventure. Obviously, you should research the climate in advance of your trip and there may well be a few health precautions to bear in mind.


South East Asia

This part of the world is home to many ancient cultures and indigenous peoples, as well as bustling and vibrant street markets and other scenes. If you are visiting either Cambodia or Vietnam by taking one of the many boat cruises on offer then it may be a good idea to visit your local GP in advance of the trip. Sadly, mosquitoes also live in this part of the world and you won’t want to return home with a bout of malaria.

The weather in South East Asia can also be rather clammy and wet at certain times of the year so it’s a good idea to contact your tour company and ask for advice. Even though your boat will be the epitome of comfort, you won’t really want to see the stunning temple complex of Angkor Wat, for example, through a monsoon.

Freya cruise ship
Freya cruise ship


If you are planning to experience Europe on a cruise ship then again, it’s a good idea to contact your tour director for advice. Some firms pride themselves on the informality of their atmosphere, but dressing up for dinner can sometimes add an additional sparkle to an evening. Most European tours will encompass plenty of historical sightseeing trips, so sensible shoes are an absolute necessity as high heels and cobbled streets have never made good companions.

If you want to stay up at night and admire the scenery as you glide down any of the major European rivers do take a cardigan or even a fleece. Your arms will be protected from any bugs and you’ll be able to stay warm before retiring to your stateroom.

Other Essentials

Postcards are all well and good but you really should pack a camera in order to capture your special ‘magic moments’. Modern digital cameras are so easy to store but remember to take a battery charger also.

Any form of wet wipes, either scented or plain, will be refreshing if you’re sightseeing. A phrasebook is a good idea, if only to order your coffee on shore in the local language, the gesture will be appreciated and you’ll be so proud of yourself.

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