Christmas Markets Cruise Packing List

Christmas Markets Cruise Packing List
Deciding what to pack is always one of the most difficult parts of getting ready for a cruise. Packing for a European Christmas markets river cruise can be even more challenging because of the potential weather extremes. Temperatures can be windy and below freezing for a few days, then warm up considerably. Snowy days can make the Christmas markets even more festive, but rain is also possible as well. It’s best to dress in layers and be prepared for any type of weather.

It’s easy to get in the spirit of the season on a Christmas markets river cruise. Holiday shopping at the Christmas markets is one of the main attractions for these theme cruises, so it’s important to plan accordingly. Experienced holiday river cruisers generally pack a folding duffle bag or two for transporting their gifts home. Items sold are often fragile, so make sure to bring some bubble wrap for packing. Some stores, such as the popular Kathe Wohlfahrt boutiques, will ship items home for customers. Some Christmas markets river cruise guests also take their well-packed items to city post offices to send them home as well. Concierges and cruise directors can often provide directions.

River cruise ship staterooms are generally relatively small, so try not to over pack. Make sure to pack a carry-on bag containing your first night's dinner outfit, travel documents, passport, credit cards, cash, medications, extra glasses, any valuable jewelry and anything else that is critical to enjoying the cruise. This way, your important items will stay with you in case your luggage is lost or delayed. It’s wise to pack some of your cold weather gear in your carry-on luggage, although an assortment of hats and scarves are generally sold at all of the Christmas markets.

In addition, make 2-3 copies of your passport and important travel documents. Keep one or two of them with you separate from the originals in case your documents are stolen. Leave another at home with someone who could get them to you if necessary.

Here’s a suggested women’s packing list for a one-week European Christmas markets river cruise. Feel free to modify it as necessary and let me know about anything I might have forgotten so I can add it to the list.

Christmas Markets River Cruise Packing List

down parka or waterproof ski parka
warm hat
glove liners
warm scarf
several pairs of socks (thick and thin)
long silk underwear or thermal long johns
boots with good treads for ice, snow and cobblestones
4-5 long sleeved shirts - thermal if possible
thin microfiber jacket for layering under parka
fleece jacket
2-3 pairs of jeans
waterproof pants (in case of heavy rain)
down vest
dress pants
dressy jacket for dinners
dressy blouses for dinners
fashion scarves
travel clock
cell phone/charger
foldable bag for tours and shore excursions
foldable duffle bag for Christmas markets purchases
travel documents
credit and ATM cards
ear plugs
ziplock bags (several quart and gallon)
prescriptions and medications
reading glasses
cameras and chargers
dress shoes for dinner
handbag with security features, such as a Pacsafe bag
bubble wrap and tape
European power plugs (several)
portable power source and charger

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