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A few days ago I returned from a 14 day British Isles cruise on the Norwegian Pearl. I fretted for months about what to pack for a British Isles cruise because you have so many variables to think about. The weather can change from cold and rainy to hot and humid daily. With the itinerary so spread out you may hike, city tour and just kick back in pubs-all within a few days. I thought I would do the round up of what worked and what didn’t to help any of you out there considering a similar cruise.
Our British Isles Cruise Itinerary:
- 3 stops in the Norwegian Fjords (Flam, Geiranger, Haugesund)
- Scottish Highlands (Inverness)
- Paris (Le Havre)
We sailed mid June. 75% of the time it was cold and rainy. The 25% like London and Paris and Brugge were hot and humid. We only saw the sun one day on the ship. The ship had freestyle casual dining and no formal nights. There were only 3 at sea days. I used the thermal spa every day of the trip so the two suits were absolutely necessary for drying. We hiked in 4 of the spots. I had a bag of laundry sent out on day 7 to be done by the ship.
A picture of what to pack for a British Isles cruise is below. If I were to do it again I would not bring the shorts, white jeans, flowered blouse or one of the black v neck t’s. You can’t tell in the pic but the first black t-shirt has a criss cross cut out so it was redundant to have both.
What To Pack for a British Isles Cruise WINNERS:
Both pairs of Lululemon On the Fly black pants. I know they were very similar – one 7/8 and one crop but it was good to have clean ones to mix up. The crops were great for London and Paris and the 7/8 for 2 days of very long travel plus dinners on the ship.
Athleta Headlands Highland Pant-these are water resistant so they were both my hiking pants and my touring pants on very rainy days. I wore these the most out of everything I brought.
Lululemon Black High Waist Align Tights were perfect for lounging around on the ship and could have been worn with anything I had.
Eddie Bauer Infinity hiking shirt was easy to sink wash and hang for hiking
The black/white was a sweater and I was very glad to have it.
The white/Black was a cotton long sleeve and it was perfect for layering.
Scott E Vest Lucille black cardigan is great to do double duty as a bathing suit cover up and anywhere else you would need a cardigan. I always fly with it.
Scott E Vest red travel vest made it easy to carry my passport and money on the days we hiked or had big walks and I didn’t want to carry a bag.
Puffer jacket was from 32 Degrees and was comfy and had a great little pouch.
Rain jacket was Columbia Splash A Little II
What To Pack for a British Isles Cruise: Shoes
Salomon trail runners (Speedcross 5) worked great for our hikes and I even wore them to Giants Causeway for better footing. It’s very slippery on the rocks there. You don’t NEED them for there but since I already had them with me it was perfect.
ECCO Women’s Omni-Vent GORE-TEX waterproof Sneaker were PERFECT for city walking. Held up great!
Allbirds white tree runners heavily sprayed with stain resister. These were comfy for days with less walking and more tours. I would never wear these in a big city though. They would be ruined.
Allbirds ballet flats worked perfectly on the ship for dinners. I went back and forth between these and my poppy Tieks before leaving and these won for comfort. They are super light and a nothing to pack.
Flip flops-see comment about thermal spa. Plus it was just nice to give my feet a break. They are Crocs that I picked up in Hawaii years ago and so comfy.
What To Pack for a British Isles Cruise: Bags
Rebecca Minkoff Julian Nylon – I really loved this. It did fit a ton and was comfy to carry. That said, it rained a lot and I wished I had sprung for the leather model. Also the nylon does not have zipper on back but a reach in pouch so I kept money/passport inside with all the clips locked together. I didn’t use this in Paris or London as I didn’t like that it wasn’t slash proof.
Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Messenger Bag (Truffle) purse with two water bottle holders was perfect to put a water bottle on one side and tiny umbrella on the other. Umbrellas are useless in Amsterdam wind btw.
For both of the bags I used jacket clip ons. Worked great. They were a lifesaver.
Suitcases: my son and I both had carryons and we brought an almost empty checked bag on the way there. We came home with those and an extra foldable duffel bag I threw in all FULL. Lol.
Carryon: Genius Pack 4. The dimensions on Icelandair state this is too big but to everyone’s surprise it fit in their slider every time. I had tried it prior to the trip as well.
Checked: Ebags Motherlode 25. Love this bag. Holds a TON but easy to go overweight in.
An absolute essential was a small grocery bag in a tiny pouch that I kept in my purse. Most merchants either didn’t have bags or charged for them. I used this most days.
I would really like to thank the Travel Fashion Girls Facebook group for all the wonderful advice and friendship I receive there as I get better and better at packing more efficiently. You should join if you want some more, friendly advice and Alex, the owner of the site, has some fabulously detailed packing guides guides if you need more help.