Packing for any sort of travel can be done a number of ways. Some travelers like to plan ahead and carefully consider what they will bring along, based on a number of factors. Others wait until the last minute and get ready on the go, packing list in hand. Regardless of how we go about it, packing for a river cruise is a bit different than other forms of travel.
There Are No Formal Nights
We might as well just get this out of the way right now. Leave the formal wear at home unless off-ship plans include a lovely evening in Vienna for a Mozart concert, a night on the town in Paris or simply dining in some famous restaurant along the way. On Viking River Cruises, for example, there is a Captain’s Welcome Aboard Dinner and a Farewell Dinner as well. No need to dress up.
All Of The Sudden Footwear Is Important
Walking on centuries-old cobblestone streets, alleys and sidewalks; the surface will be uneven. Every day includes a tour that takes river cruise travelers off the ship and into fabulous places they may have seen only in books, on TV or in movies. You don’t want to be impaired by your designer shoes that look good but are not up for the task. Flat-soled shoes that are comfortable and fit well are a good choice
An Alternative For Onboard Programming
Unlike their ocean-going counterparts, river cruise ships offer few onboard amenities. Odds are there will not be a pool, whirlpool, fitness center, spa or casino. That would be an ocean cruising ship and there are plenty of them to choose from. On a river cruise, the focus is 80% off the ship as the ship glides down rivers within sight of land at all times.
Putting the matter to rest easily, the Program Director of Viking Odin, one of Viking River Cruises longships, made it very simple: “If the ship were to ‘sink’, odds are it would only go down a few feet, the distance between the bottom of the ship and the bottom of the river. We would all just go up to the top deck and wait for help.” That statement also explained why there are no lifeboats on river cruise ships…they kinda are one.