British isle cruise in Ireland

How to Pack Like a Pro: British Isle Cruise (Free Packing List)

Are you going on a British Isle cruise? Below, I will give you some travel tips on what to pack for your European cruise to England, Ireland and Scotland. Plus, I will share my British Isle cruise packing list as a free PDF printable that you can download and use as a checklist to help you with your cruise packing.

British Isle Cruise Packing Tips

When you go on a British Isle cruise, be prepared for weather fluctuations. First of all, rain is common in England, Ireland and Scotland. You need to be prepared for rain anytime. 

Also, the temperature can fluctuate a lot from cruise port to cruise port. For example, I went on a summer British Isle cruise, one day it was tank top weather high 80’s F and it was a good day to take a dip in the pool. Then the following day it was chilly, in the high 50’s F where you need a jacket. 

Plus you will be on an air conditioned cruise ship. When packing for your UK cruise, you have to pack with layering in mind. You should have clothes and accessories that can be versatile for rainy days to cool evenings. 

Looking to save money on your cruise? 21 Smart and Easy Ways to Save Money on a Cruise

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British Isle Cruise Packing List

What to Pack for Your British Isle Cruise

1. Pants

Pack a few pairs of pants that are comfortable and easy to mix and match. Jeans, khakis and capris are great. 

2. Shirts

Pack a variety of shirts that can suit different occasions and temperatures. You can pack t-shirts, polo shirts, button-down shirts, or blouses. You can also layer your shirts with a cardigan or a jacket.

3. Sweatshirts and/or Sweaters

Pack a few sweatshirts and/or sweaters that can keep you warm and cozy on the ship or on shore. 

4. Jackets

You will need a jacket when you go on your British Isle cruise. It’s best to pack a waterproof jacket that will keep you warm and dry. It’s common for it to rain out of the blue with no warning and then be sunny immediately after. 

5. Socks and Underwear

Pack extra socks and underwear. Especially if you swim, that means you will need an extra underwear to change into. I always add extra, for example if you are going on a 10 day cruise, bring 14 underwear. 

6. Eveningwear (dress, jacket)

You will want to dress up on your British Isle cruise. Although the dress code is often optional, it’s always nice to dress up for the different evening dinners such as captain’s dinner, the gala night, or the farewell party. There are also a lot of photographers at the cruise so it’s always nice to be dressed up when you get your picture taken. I always try to get our family photo during cruises because it’s a lot less expensive to buy them on the cruise than having to go to a studio back home.

7. Hats or Baseball Caps

Pack a few hats or baseball caps that can protect you from the sun.

8. Gym Clothes with Sneakers

When I go on cruises, I always forget to pack gym clothes and I always regret not packing any gym clothes. They are perfect for working out on sea days or just relaxing on the ship (even if you don’t exercise).  

9. Pajamas

Pack some pajamas that are cozy and comfortable.

10. Flip Flops

Pack a pair of flip flops, you will need them when you go to the pool. It also doubles as slippers when you are in your cabin. 

11. Umbrella

Pack a small and compact umbrella that can fit in your bag. Trust me, you will be glad you have an umbrella for when it rains while you are out sightseeing. I suggest packing one umbrella per person so everyone has their own umbrella. 

12. Sunglasses

Don’t forget your sunglasses! It’s a must-bring for British Isle cruises.

13. Mesh Laundry Bag

Pack a mesh laundry bag that can help you organize your dirty clothes.

14. External Battery Packs

Pack a few external battery packs that can charge your devices and that can last for a long time. I like these external battery packs because they have a built-in flashlight. 

15. Chargers

Don’t forget to pack the chargers for your phone and other electronic devices!

16. European Plug Adapter

A European plug adapter is a useful item for your British Isle cruise. Depending on the cruise ship, you may or may not need one on board. However, if you are staying in a European hotel before or after your cruise, you will definitely need one. For UK and Ireland hotels, use this US to UK Travel Plug adapter. For other European countries, the Type C plug with two round pins will work. 

17. Electronics (iPad, Switch)

Don’t forget your devices to keep you and your family entertained – such as iPad, Switch, or Kindles. You will have some downtime during the cruise, especially on sea days, and you may want to use your devices. To avoid using your internet data or paying for a subscription on the ship, I recommend downloading movies and games at home before you board the ship.

18. Travel Coffee Mug

A travel coffee mug that can keep your drink hot or cold is a must-have for your cruise. I recommend these 20 oz insulated mugs with lids. I love filling mine with water or seltzer and adding some lemon for a refreshing drink. It’s so convenient to have it with me all day on sea days. You’ll thank me later when you don’t have to go to the buffet every time you need water.

19. Refillable water bottles

Refillable water bottles will come in handy during your Mediterranean cruise. Most cruise ships don’t provide free water in your cabin, unless you purchase the bottled water from the cruise line or get water from the buffet. I like to fill up my water bottles with water and ice and take it to my cabin. I also do the same when I go ashore. Don’t bring water bottles with straws since it’s a hassle to wash. I like these insulated water bottles without straws.

20. Bathing Suit and Swim Goggles

Since you are going on a British Isle cruise, you will most likely not be spending a lot of time by the pool since most days it will be too cold to swim. However, I’ve been on a June British Isle cruise and there were some days where it was pool weather! Also, if your cruise ship has an indoor pool, you may want to take a dip during one of the sea days. Bring your bathing suit and goggles just in case! 

21. Walking Shoes

You will be doing a lot of walking and visiting castles when you go on a British Isle cruise. Definitely bring comfortable walking shoes for exploring cities and when you go on shore excursions exploring castles. 

22. Sunblock

Pack some sunblock that can protect your skin and that can fit in your bag. I like to pack at least a 50 SPF sunblock. I usually bring a sunblock stick for the face and cream for the body. 

Check out: 30 Unusual Things to Pack for a Cruise: Things You Didn’t Know You Need

23. Tote Bag or Backpack

Pack a tote bag or backpack for when you go on shore excursions. It will come in handy to put drinks and snacks when you’re out sightseeing.   

24. Resealable Plastic Bag (Ziploc)

Pack some resealable plastic bags or Ziploc. It will come in handy to store snacks. If you have kids, you can get some Cheerios from the breakfast buffet and bring them down with you at the port for a snack. 

25. Luggage Scale

I always bring a luggage scale with me because it’s so easy to go over the airline checked baggage weight limit. To save me the stress and the hassle of having to move items around if one of my luggage is overweight, I always bring a luggage scale with me so I can weigh it to make sure it’s not overweight. I like this manual luggage scale with hook

26. Airtag

Lost luggage is a major headache when it comes to traveling. Why not give yourself peace of mind by putting an AirTag in each of your checked luggage. That way, if you ever encounter lost luggage, you know where it is!

27. Evening Bag or Clutch Bag

Pack an evening bag or a clutch bag that will go with your evening wear. I personally like clutch bags with wrist straps so I can keep my hands free especially when I’m at the buffet. 

28. Shawl/Pashmina

A shawl or a pashmina is a handy item to pack for your British Isle cruise. You can use it to keep warm in the chilly dining rooms when you wear a dress. It also comes in handy as a blanket when you’re in the air conditioned bus during your shore excursion.

29. Dressy shoes

Pack a pair of dressy shoes that can complement your evening wear. Make sure it’s comfortable because that’s your only dressy pair!

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30. Swim Cover Up

Pack a swim cover up. It’s especially useful when you are at the pool and just want to go to the buffet to grab a quick bite, you can easily put on the swim coverup. Of course, if you don’t plan to swim even if there is an indoor pool, then you don’t need a swim cover up.

31. Lip Balm with SPF

Pack a lip balm with SPF that can moisturize your lips and prevent sunburned lips. 

32. Lanyard

Pack a lanyard to hold your cruise card. Trust me, you will wish you had a lanyard because you need your cruise card for everything- getting on and off the ship, buying in the gift shop and getting into your cabin. It’s a hassle to have to rummage in your bag to find your cruise card. Do know that some ships will have wristbands (kind of like the Disney MagicBand) or even Medallion necklaces so you don’t need lanyards. 

33. Walkie Talkie

If you are traveling with family or a big group, it’s nice to have a way to communicate to each other onboard. Cellphone service is poor and internet service is expensive. Bringing a long range walkie talkie is an easy way to stay in touch and it can be a lot of fun for kids to use.

34. Binoculars with strap

I always pack binoculars when I go on cruises. It’s fun to use when your balcony. Definitely get one that is compact, lightweight and with a strap.

35. Seasick Medicine

Years ago, cruise ships used to give out seasick medicine freely. Now, I find that is not the case. It’s best to bring your own seasick medicine (unless you want to pay Cruise ship gift shop pricing!)  If you are cruising with kids, you should bring seasick medicine for kids– they are chewable and the dosage is meant for children. Check out: Cruise without Seasickness: Genius Tricks You Need to Know

36. Cross Body Bag with zipper

A cross body bag is a great choice for British Isle cruises since it can keep your valuables safe and handy. It’s also more convenient than a shoulder bag, as it stays close to your body and does not slip off. Make sure it has a zipper to keep your valuables secure. I like this crossbody bag that has RFID to prevent identity theft by keeping your credit card information secure. 

37. 1 Bottle of Wine (check cruise policy)

Most cruise lines will allow you to bring one bottle of wine on the ship when they board. You are allowed to bring one 750 ml unopened bottle of wine or champagne per person. Any alcohol that you buy ashore will be taken and kept until the end of the cruise. Double check with your cruise line before you bring wine. 

38. Corkscrew (no knife)

If you are planning to bring wine, don’t forget your corkscrew so you can enjoy it in your cabin. If you bring your wine to the dining rooms, you will be charged a corkage fee. Just make sure you pack a corkscrew that does not have a knife, as some cruises may have security rules or regulations for bringing sharp objects. To be safe, check your cruise policy.

39. Cash (small bills)

Pack some cash in small bills. It will come in handy for tipping. Of course, you can always get change from the guest services desk. But if you bring your own, you will avoid the long lines at Guest Services.

40. Travel Documents (Passport/Tickets)

Don’t forget your passport and tickets and other Identification for travel.

41. Photocopy of Passport/Cards

Pickpocketing is a common problem in Europe, so you should pack photocopies of your passport and your credit cards as a backup. If your wallet gets stolen, you can call the credit card companies to cancel the card and report the theft. You can also go to your consulate to report the loss of your passport, which will be easier if you have a photocopy of it.

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42. Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Comb

Don’t forget your toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, hairbrush, they don’t provide this on the cruise ship. You will have to buy it from the cruise gift shop if you forget to bring yours.  

43. Laundry detergent

British Isle cruises are typically long. You might need to wash some clothes. If you want to save money and avoid running out of clean clothes, you can wash some of your garments in the sink or the shower. Bring some laundry detergent to make it easier. I like these travel detergent packs.

44. Moisturizers and Face soap

Pack moisturizers, face cream and face soap. You don’t want to break your daily routine just because you are traveling. 

47. Shampoo/Conditioner (if you like to use your own)

This is optional. You don’t need to pack shampoo, conditioner, or body wash for the cruise ship, as they usually provide them in the shower dispensers. However, if you are picky about your hair products, like me, you may want to bring your own shampoo and conditioner.

48. Medication

Don’t forget to pack your medication. Bring some over-the-counter meds for allergies and pain relief.  If you take prescription medicine, bring extra in case of emergencies. You never know when you might get stranded due to a flight cancellation or a strike, which are common in some European airports, especially in France. I’ve gotten stuck in France many times because of strikes!

49. Lysol Wipes

I always pack Lysol wipes so I can sanitize my cabin. I like to wipe down the remote control, cabin phone, door knobs and more! 

50. Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer is a useful item to pack for your British Isle cruise. Even though the ship has many sanitizing stations, you will need your own when you are out on shore excursions exploring castles and museums.

51. Magnetic Hooks

Most cruise cabin walls are made of metal, which means you can use magnets to hang your photos, notes, itineraries, and other papers. I like these cruise magnet hooks to stay organized. I hang baseball caps and cruise lanyards on these magnetic hooks. Just don’t forget to bring them home! 

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2 Weeks British Isle Cruise Wardrobe for Women

Here is an example of what to pack on a 14 days British Isle Cruise for women

  • 20 pairs of underwear
  • 14-18 pairs of socks
  • 14 t-shirts/blouse/button down shirts
  • 10 pairs of jeans or pants
  • 1-2 pairs of leggings (for the gym or sea days)
  • 4 sweaters or cardigans or sweatshirts
  • 5 sleepwear/PJs
  • 1 waterproof jacket
  • 1-2 blazers 
  • 2 dresses or suit
  • 1 pair of dress shoes
  • 1 pair of sneakers
  • 1 pair of very comfortable walking shoes (stylish, not sneakers)
  • 1 pair of flip flops
  • 1 bathing suit (optional)
  • 1 swim cover ups (optional)
  • 1 hat or baseball cap
  • 2 shawls or pashminas
  • 1 evening bag or clutch bag

2 Weeks British Isle Cruise Wardrobe for Men

Here is an example of what to pack for a 14 days British Isle Cruise for men

  • 20 pairs of underwear
  • 14-18 pairs of socks
  • 14 t-shirts/polo shirts/button down shirts
  • 10 pairs of jeans/khaki pants
  • 1 pair of shorts or sweatpants (for the gym or sea days)
  • 4 sweaters or sweatshirts
  • 5 sleepwear/pjs
  • 1 waterproof jacket
  • 2 suits or blazers
  • 2 dress pants (match with blazers)
  • 4 dress shirts
  • 2 ties, belts and cufflinks
  • 1 pair of dress shoes
  • 1 pair of sneakers
  • 1 pair of very comfortable walking shoes 
  • 1 pair of flip flops
  • 1 bathing suit (optional)
  • 1 swim cover ups (optional)
  • 1 hat or baseball cap

What to Pack in Your British Isle Cruise Carry-On Bag

A large carry-on bag is essential for your British isle Cruise. You should bring a small roller luggage that you can take on board with you and store in the overhead compartment on airplanes. This is because your checked luggage will not be delivered to your stateroom right away on the first day of the cruise. It may take a few hours for your luggage to arrive. Therefore, you should pack your first day essentials in your carry-on bag. Here are some items that I suggest you pack in your carry-on bag.

Lysol Wipes

I like to sanitize my cabin the moment I get in, so I always keep a pack of lysol wipes in my carry on bag. 


Definitely bring your medication in your carry-on bag. My son is allergic to peanuts and I always pack his epipen and allergy medication in the carry-on bag.

Book, Electronics and Toys

There will be some downtime on the first day. If you are cruising with kids, you will need electronics and toys to keep them entertained. I like to bring my book with me just in case.

Toiletry Bag

I always pack my toiletry bag in my carry on so I have access to my face soap if I want to freshen up.

British Isle Cruise Packing List

British Cruise Packing List

Get your free British Isle cruise packing list, it’s a one page PDF printable to help you with your cruise packing!

If you need to book shore excursion tours for your British Isle Cruise, a great platform to book tours is with viator.

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