• TRAVEL NOTICE: Learn more about COVID-19
  • Newsletter
  • Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Find a Cruise
  • Reviews
  • Cruise Tips
  • News
  • Deals
You may also like
Dismiss
Best Layers to Buy for Your Alaska Cruise
Best Layers to Buy for Your Alaska Cruise
What to Pack for a Baltic Cruise
St. Petersburg (Photo:hramovnick/Shutterstock)

What to Pack for a Baltic Cruise

What to Pack for a Baltic Cruise
St. Petersburg (Photo:hramovnick/Shutterstock)
Erica Silverstein
Contributor
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter
You've finally signed up for that bucket list trip to Russia, Scandinavia and Northern Europe -- But, what should be on your packing list for this Baltic cruise? As with any trip, you'll want a camera, your favorite toiletries and necessary medication, and mix-and-match clothing to avoid overpacking. But, if you're wondering what to bring that might be a little different from other cruises you've taken, here are our top recommendations for what to pack for a Baltic cruise.

Warm Layers

Amazon Essentials Women's Full Zip Polar Fleece Jacket (Photo: Amazon)

Scandinavia and Russia are not as hot as the southern Mediterranean countries in summer. You are more likely to find yourself wearing jeans than shorts, and might even need a sweater, sweatshirt or

fleece jacket

. You can certainly buy yourself a locally made wool sweater as a souvenir, but they don't come cheap; you're better off packing warm layers you can put on as needed.

Rain Gear

Weather in the Baltics can be unpredictable, and you're bound to experience some rainy days. Bring a small umbrella that you can easily carry in your day pack and a

waterproof jacket

(bonus if it packs small and can be worn over your warm layers), so you're prepared when the skies open in the middle of your tour.

Walking Shoes

Clarks Women's Sillian Bella Mary Jane Flat (Photo: Amazon)

Many of the Baltic cruise ports are perfect for independent exploration and walking tours. This is not the trip to experiment with those adorable shoes that pinch your feet after a few hours. Invest in a sturdy pair of

walking shoes

or sneakers so you can pound the pavement all day without pain.

Walking Tour Instructions

You've got the shoes, but where do you go? If you're planning to do your own thing in cities such as

Tallinn

,

Stockholm

or

Helsinki

, self-guided walking tour instructions are essential for helping you choose an efficient route and

providing information on the places you pass. Download a walking tour app or pick up a

Rick Steves' guidebook

, which are known for their smart walking tours.

Related: 8 Free Phone Travel Apps for Cruisers

Proper Documents

tomtoc Family Passport Holder (Photo: Amazon)

Baltic cruises can be tricky because visitors to Russia need visas, but those are often provided by the tour company you've booked (either independently or through your ship). You will, of course, need a passport to fly into and out of your embarkation and debarkation ports.

If you're planning independent travel in

St. Petersburg

, you'll need a visa. If you've booked a tour, make sure you print out all the documents they send because some pages will need to be shown to the customs officials at the cruise port.

Keep everything together in a handy

travel document case

.

Related: 7 Best Cruise Document Holders

Multiple Currencies

If you're used to Mediterranean cruises where every country takes the euro, you'll need to change your mindset for a Baltic sailing. Russia uses the ruble; Poland the zloty; Finland, Latvia, Estonia and Germany are on the euro; Sweden, Norway and Denmark all use different currencies, but they're all called kroner; and some cruises sail from England, where you'll pay in pounds. You'll need to bring or take out different money for the various ports, or plan to charge purchases to your credit card as much as possible.Pack a

currency organizer

, so you can keep your bills and coins from getting all mixed up.

Eye Mask

MZOO Sleep Eye Mask (Photo: Amazon)

Russia's White Nights are famous for late-night events, but if you're exhausted after a day of sightseeing, the midnight sun is not going to help you sleep. Most cruise ships have blackout curtains, but if you're especially sensitive to light at night, throw an eye mask in your suitcase. You might get one free on your flight over, but they're typically flimsy and not that comfortable, so choose your own (such as this

soft, molded version

) for a better night's sleep.


Theft-Proof Travel Bag

While most Baltic cruise destinations tend to be safe, pickpockets can lurk anywhere in touristed cities; thieves have been known to hang out in St. Petersburg near major attractions, such as the Hermitage or the Church of the Savior on Spilled Blood. As a precaution, invest in a

theft-proof bag

for your day pack. Look for a purse or backpack with slash-resistant straps, secret or locking pockets and even RFID-blocking compartments.

Related: Pickpocket-Proof and RFID-Blocking Gear to Keep Your Stuff Safe on a Cruise


Cruise Critic is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to https://www.amazon.com/.

Updated July 07, 2021

How was this article?

Featured News

1
Cruise Lines Change Testing Protocols, Requirements for Kids 2 to 11
5
Silversea Cruises Reveals Name, Details of New Class of Hybrid Ship
Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy and Cookies Statement and Terms of Use.