Updated September 2017
When it comes to any type of holiday, aside from the obvious essentials like clothes and toiletries there can also be some not so obvious items that you'll find you need. There are things that you may not deem completely necessary, but will come in handy in the right situation – so read on and get prepared for your river cruise.
A Destination Travel Guide
A travel guide is a must have for any river cruise, as not only do these offer you a little background information about the areas you might visit, but they also usually include a street map which can help you figure out where you are and what is around you. They are also filled with recommendations of good tourist attractions, nice restaurants, bars, and so on.
Throughout your river cruise you’ll sail through many different countries, so it might be best to get a general guide of Europe which will enable you to look at all the countries you'll sail though. Or, you could get a guide to the country you’ll be seeing the most of - sometimes the cruise line you’re sailing with may even have guides to offer you.
Having at least one of these is definitely a must if you would like to charge up any electrical devices that you bring with you. This is because the plugs on any river vessel usually depend on where the vessel is sailing. For example, taking a river cruise onboard MS Emily Bronte in Europe will require a European adaptor.
Check when booking your river cruise to find out which adaptor you'll need to bring. It’s worth noting that some cruise lines either sell or lend these out to customers, if you do forget to bring your own.
Backpack & re-useable water bottle
A backpack is certainly essential for all the excursions you’ll potentially go on – having one will allow you to comfortably take everything that you need; your camera, a water bottle, and maybe a snack. They also help when it comes to carrying around any souvenirs that might catch your eye!
If you see fit, you could take a re-usable water bottle, but depending on the cruise line you’re sailing with this isn’t necessarily needed as some supply you with a bottle of water for every excursion you go on.
Medication/first aid kit
This isn’t something you necessarily need, but it can certainly come in handy while you're not on the ship. You may be doing a lot of walking, so perhaps treat your feet with some gel inserts for your shoes, or bring along any medication that you know you might need for time away.
Camera and/or binoculars
For many cruisers, taking a camera is a necessity as this allows you to capture every moment and memory that you might want to look back on. It’s possible that your mobile phone has a good quality built-in camera; if this is the case you could research some popular photography apps before your holiday to add an extra special touch to your holiday snaps.
On sunny days there is nothing better than enjoying the top deck of your ship and watching the world go by. Sailing picturesque rivers like the Mekong or the Rhine on Scenic River Cruises cruise can be perfectly accompanied by a pair of binoculars to help you get the most out of your surroundings.
Batteries and chargers
If taking a camera with you, you’ll need to make sure that you not only take your charger but also some spare batteries. You may find it difficult to get new ones whilst on holiday in a different country if your current ones become exhausted. Portable power packs are also a great way to keep charged whilst on the go.