This South Pacific cruise packing list covers all of the essentials you absolutely need for both shore excursions and activities on the ship!
Packing for a cruise in the South Pacific requires some planning. You’re going to want to bring items suitable for outdoor adventures when the ship is docked, as well as items that will keep you comfortable while aboard.
I recently went on a cruise in the South Pacific with Holland America, during which time we stopped in ports throughout Australia, New Zealand, New Caledonia, Fiji, and Vanuatu. I started packing for this trip a few days in advance knowing that there were definitely going to be things I didn’t want to leave behind; things that kept me prepared for every situation.
Here’s everything to put in your suitcase for a cruise through the South Pacific!
South Pacific Cruise Packing List (Must-Have Essentials!)
Being out on a ship with limited access to everyday medications means you’re going to want to bring some along for just in case. I recommend packing some real-deal Dramamine tablets as well as some ginger pills in case you’re struck by sea-sickness, as well as a bottle of activated charcoal to ward off any stomach issues.
Additionally, I always bring a travel-sized bottle of bug spray with me when I know I’m going to be spending a lot of time in nature. On this particular South Pacific trip, New Caledonia had a Dengue Fever warning, so I definitely recommend bringing it alone just in case. From hiking to the beach, bug spray will save you from mosquitos, sand flies, and no-see-ums.
Read more: 17 Days in the South Pacific With Holland America
A cruise through the South Pacific is the perfect sunny vacation, and as such, you’re going to want ample sun protection. I recommend bringing along reef-safe sunscreen (please protect the reefs!) and some aloe vera gel for when you just can’t apply the sunscreen fast enough (it’s also great for minor cuts and scrapes).
You’ll also want to bring along a couple solid pairs of sunglasses, a sun hat (this one is foldable), and a long-sleeved rash guard. Not only will a rash guard protect you from the sun, but it’ll also protect you from the small stinging jellies.
A swimsuit is a given when cruising through the South Pacific, but I recommend bringing along several options so you always have a dry one and don’t have to put on a wetsuit. A swimsuit cover-up is also a good idea for lounging around on the beach – I really love this lacy one!
For when you’re aboard the ship, I found having a few long dresses come in really handy. While some restaurants on your ship will definitely be more relaxed, any of the more high-end ones will have a dinnertime dress code to keep in mind. Enter the long dress. Along with that, bring a jean jacket — not only is it the perfect pairing for a long dress, but it will help keep you warm for when the ship blasts the AC.
Speaking of keeping indoor areas of the ship cold, for those times you want a little extra warmth, I recommend bringing along some long-sleeved shirts and a pair of light pants. I love these wide-legged palazzo pants for both lounging around the ship and hitting the beach. They’re lightweight, breathable and, best of all, they won’t wrinkle in your luggage.
Read more: How to Pack for a Sailing Trip
Packing three pairs of shoes will be perfect for a cruise through the South Pacific. I brought one pair of comfortable sneakers for hiking and hitting the gym, a pair of sandals for when we hit the beach, as well as a pair of flats for walking around the ship and having something classy, yet subtle, to wear for dinners aboard.
To ensure you can use your electronics with the power source in your room, you’re going to need a universal power adapter. In addition to that, I recommend bringing along a portable power bank in order to keep your many gadgets charged. A power bank has saved me from having battery-related meltdowns loads of times.
Additionally, if you plan on doing any underwater photography or you don’t want to risk getting your regular camera wet or full of sand while on the beach, I’d suggest bringing along an underwater camera such as the GoPro Hero 7. A sturdy tripod is also a great idea for group shots.
Read more: The Ultimate Packing Guide for Travel Photographers
I always carry my Nalgene water bottle with me when I travel as not only are they eco-friendly, they carry a lot of water. Fill it up on the ship, and then you’re good to go for a few hours out exploring. Speaking of days out exploring, I recommend bringing along a day pack such as a zippered backpack or tote — preferably one that keeps out sand.