The last time we packed for a river cruise was for our November 2018 8-day Paris to Normandy trip. This time, we’re heading off on Viking’s 15-day Grand European itinerary, with extensions before and after in Bruges and Prague, respectively.
I had to look back at our previous packing list to remind myself of what worked for fall weather, and life on a river vessel, which is not only more compact but also more casual than an ocean cruise. Packing for a week in Paris. On that previous trip, we travelled with just a carry-on each but, with the longer itinerary, this time it will be one large checked bag, and one carry-on between us. The carry-on will contain clothes for our pre-cruise time in Belgium, just in case our large suitcase doesn’t make it through our fairly tight transfers at Charles DeGaulle and Schipol airports. Worst case scenario, our checked suitcase meets us on the boat in Amsterdam.
I’ve been tracking the 14-day weather for the major cities on our route: Bruges, Amsterdam, Cologne, Nuremberg, Vienna, Budapest, and Prague, in order to determine what we need to pack in the way of outerwear. In the end, we decided that our fleece-lined Viking World Cruise jackets, along with a lighter micro-fleece layer, and gloves, should get us through even the coolest expected days.
So here’s the end result of what’s in the carryon for the 4-day pre-cruise extension. We’ll wear our Viking jackets, keeping that bulk out of the suitcase.
- 1 pair navy pants each as backup for the ones we’ll wear in transit
- 2 t-shirts each as inner layers
- 1 fleece layer each
- 3 long-sleeved tees/sweaters each for daytime wear
- 2 dressier shirts each for restaurant dinners
- 1 pr casual shoes each to supplement the running shoes worn in transit
- Scarves and gloves in case we need them when touring the battlefields
- Socks, undergarments, pyjamas, vitamins, makeup, razors, toothbrushes etc
- Laundry hooks in case we need to rinse anything out in our hotel room
In our checked suitcase will be the clothes we need for the 15-day cruise and 3 more nights in Prague. As always, we travel with everything in a mix-and-match colour palette: blue and black for Ted, blue and orange (with one random kelly green top that I couldn’t resist) for me. Packing 7 sets of mix-and-match clothes should mean only one set of laundry needs to be done for us on the boat.
- 2 more pairs of pants each (a navy and a black for Ted, a navy check and a navy velvet for me)
- 7 casual shirts each suitable for daytime/excursion wear
- 7 shirts/tops each suitable for dinner wear
- 1 long skirt, 2 dresses, 1 jumpsuit (all me), plus a pair of dressy flats and some costume jewelry
- Ted’s dress shoes, and my spare running shoes (mostly because they need to come on our NEXT journey to Mexico, so need to be with us when we do our suitcase swap in Toronto before flying south).
- A couple of larger size cosmetic items not eligible for carryon
As usual, Ted’s tech/camera bag travels as cabin baggage, as does my shoulder bag with medication, our passports, and our travel documents.
So, we’re ready. Tomorrow morning #2son will drop us at the nearest SkyTrain station for our trip to Vancouver International and our long flight to Europe.