You can make your cruise even more pleasurable and relaxing by thinking ahead about what you’ll need to bring, and what you’ll need to plan for, before you set sail. We’ve created this list for your convenience; you may want to add to it as you go along. We suggest beginning to plan a river cruise several months ahead of time – more if you need to obtain or update your passport.
Take the time to thoroughly review this list, especially if this is your first cruise. You may be surprised by the essential things you might not think of ahead of time. You don’t want to come home with a story about some important item or preparation that you forgot! Instead, plan ahead — and simply return home with wonderful memories of your vacation.
In addition to the information below, please also see our list of Frequently Asked Questions for more information and tips about cruise planning, and what to expect during your cruise.
Travel Documents from CroisiEurope, airlines, rail, etc.
When you book your cruise, CroisiEurope will send you a Welcome Letter (which includes the name of your ship and a map with your dock location), your Travel Confirmation & Invoice, your Boarding Ticket(s), and CroisiEurope’s contact phone numbers that you may leave with friends and family at home.
For your convenience, we have included links below to websites with further information about passports, visas and international travel. Be sure that all of these necessary travel documents are valid and up to date.
And…before you leave home for your trip, remember to print out and bring your flight tickets, your cruise tickets, and any other necessary boarding passes or lodging documents!
Ensure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months after the date of your return from your cruise. This is a general regulation with all cruise lines, and CroisiEurope abides by this rule. Check your passport, and if necessary have it renewed well in advance of your trip.
Certain countries require some citizens of other countries to have visas for travel within their borders. As a passenger, it is your responsibility to find out if a visa is needed for any country to which you are traveling, and to obtain that visa prior to your cruise. Failure to obtain a necessary visa may be cause for refusal of entry to a country or boarding on a ship. Click here to see the Visa guide for Americans.
If you are a citizen of any other country, please check with your country’s embassy website concerning visas.
Protect yourself and your enjoyment of your trip: purchase insurance!
Take out travel insurance as soon as possible after booking your cruise. While you may wonder about its necessity, travel insurance is very important – particularly if you are traveling abroad and will be away from the familiarity of your native lands, languages and routines. Travel insurance can cover a variety of potential mishaps or troubles that can occur after booking and when traveling, including lost baggage, airline and railway delays, personal illness, and more. For your convenience, we offer insurance packages when purchasing your cruise. See our FAQs section or ask your agent for more details.
Air and rail transportation
When you are traveling to Europe from the U.S. for a CroisiEurope cruise, book your airplane flights as soon as possible so that you know you will be able to reach your cruise departure point easily and in plenty of time. You will also want to book train, automobile or other transportation to take you from the airport to your cruise departure point. Many passengers find it convenient to arrive a day or two ahead of time, and take lodgings, in order to ensure timely arrival at their ship on the first day of the cruise. Your electronic documents will contain information on the boarding location, map and how to reach the dock. These will be sent to you once your trip has been confirmed and fully paid. If you still have questions after receiving your package, please feel to contact one of our agents.
If you are arriving a day or more before your cruise begins, and/or leaving several days after your cruise is over, book your hotel, motel or inn when you book your transportation. Many passengers plan to arrive a day or two early to relax, take in local sights, and to ensure their easy and prompt arrival for their cruise.
CroisiEurope accepts cash in the form of euros only. We do not accept U.S. currency, other European currency, or traveler’s cheques. Be sure to exchange your U.S. money before embarking on your cruise, so that you can pay in euros when you wish to.
CroisiEurope accepts American Express, Visa and MasterCard. You may want to contact your credit card companies and your bank to let them know you will be traveling abroad.
Telephones, mail etc.
Consider signing up for an international calling plan for your cell phone while you are away, to stay in touch with family and friends. Our ships have a radio telephone for cases of emergency only, and we do not have a public telephone on board.
Mail and newspapers
You might want to suspend delivery of your newspaper and mail while you are away, or arrange with a neighbor to pick up or take delivery of these items until your return.
Some health clubs also allow you to ‘freeze’ your membership at no cost for the duration of a trip, which will save you money during the time you are away. Check with your health club for information.
Items to pack
Here are a few suggestions to make packing for your cruise even easier!
Here is a short list of items you might want to be sure to bring with you:
- Casual, comfortable clothing, appropriate for weather in your destination
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Dressier clothing and shoes, for celebrations and dinners
- Collapsible umbrella and/or lightweight rain gear
- Lightweight jacket/warm sweater/sweatshirt
- Sunglasses, sun hat or visor
- Toiletries (including medications and sunscreen)
- Warm coat, gloves and water-resistant footwear (if needed for cooler months)
Consider bringing the following items if relevant:
- All needed medications, including prescriptions, in their original, labeled containers (make sure that you have refilled all necessary prescriptions prior to your trip)
- Eyeglasses, contacts, contact lens solution
- Important papers and travel documents
- Camera gear, film, extra memory cards (digital cameras), extra batteries
- Electric converter/adapter for appliances and electronic devices. Verify that all electronic devices/adapters you bring are dual voltage models (they should read 110 – 220 volts on the appliance itself) and make sure to fully charge all of your devices before you leave home. You’ll also need a US to European plug adapter.
- Travel alarm clock, travel flashlight, binoculars
- Anti-bacterial wipes and/or hand sanitizer
- Small calculator for foreign exchange calculations
- Travel journal/notepad and/or reading material
- Small, basic sewing kit and extra buttons (pack scissors in checked bags)
- Address list or pre-addressed labels for sending postcards and letters
What not to bring
Be sure you are aware of current regulations about items you should not pack into your checked luggage, as well as current regulations about prohibited items, liquids and other objects in your carryon luggage. Here is a link to TSA’s list of prohibited items, and here are the regulations regarding liquids and gels carry-ons.