Packing for a Russian River Cruise

What to Pack for a River Cruise in Russia

Things You Will Need on a Russian River Cruise

  • Onboard: Light layers for summer evenings and warm layers for spring and autumn cruises. Comfortable and casual clothing is ideal. A swimming costume if you would like to wild swim or visit the spa/sauna.
  • Onshore: Comfortable and suitable shoes for walking in a variety of terrains. Appropriate clothing for the weather and for visiting religious sites. An umbrella, sun-hat and sunglasses if necessary.
  • Evening-wear: Something elegant and formal for evening events such as the Captain’s Dinner, welcome reception, concerts and dances. There is an onboard laundry and ironing service.
  • Toiletries: Cabins are equipped with towels, private bathrooms and hairdryers. Bring shower toiletries, health-related items and prescription medication.
  • Money: Roubles in cash for visiting markets, small towns and villages, and tipping guides and onboard staff. Currency must be exchanged prior to boarding.


Your flights are booked, your Russian river cruise awaits, and you’re counting down the days until you set sail. But there’s still the question of what to pack. With such famously fluctuating weather, packing for a trip to Russia can seem like a daunting task. However, it needn’t be stressful with our useful guide of what to bring on your Russian river cruise.

Due to frozen waterways, our river cruises do not operate during the winter months. You’ll be safe to leave your ski jacket and snow boots at home. However, it can get quite chilly on the river during the evenings, so even during the height of summer we would recommend packing a jumper or light jacket. You will also need a warmer coat, scarf, hat and gloves for cruises in spring and autumn.

You’ll be joining a number of guided land excursions as part of your river cruise. Please ensure that you bring comfortable, durable, and waterproof shoes suitable for a day of walking on a variety of terrains. The weather in Russia can be famously capricious (make sure to check the weather forecast beforehand) so pack suitable layers and an umbrella, as well as a sun hat, sunglasses, and lightweight clothing for summer.

Clothes for a Russian River Cruise

Comfortable, casual clothing is perfectly acceptable both onshore and onboard, and the majority of our guests choose to wear jeans and sneakers. However, even for a summertime cruise we recommend that you bring suitable attire - Russians dress modestly, especially in provincial towns and villages. When visiting churches and monasteries, men must wear trousers and women are required to wear long skirts and cover their heads and shoulders.

If you enjoy dressing up, feel free to pack something elegant and formal for special events. As part of your river cruise you will be treated to a Captain’s Dinner and welcome reception, and evening entertainment includes concerts and dances. Formal evening-wear is not compulsory, but women generally opt for evening dresses, and men for a classic suit and tie or shirt and smart trousers. All ships are equipped with a laundry and ironing service for putting together your best outfit, and all rooms have wardrobes with coat hangers.

Evening  wear for a Russian river cruise

Our Russian cruises can include ‘green stops’ - free time on the riverbank. During this time, you may have the opportunity for some wild swimming. If this captures your attention, make sure to pack a bathing suit. You may also need swimwear if you choose to use the onboard sauna and spa.

Toiletries and Personal Items

Aside from clothes, you will need to pack toiletries and personal items. Each cabin contains your own private bathroom with a shower, towels and hairdryer. Those staying in deluxe cabins are also provided with a bathroom set containing a bathrobe and slippers. If you are staying in a different class of cabin, you may wish to pack your own. Toiletries are not always included, so please bring your own shampoo, conditioner and shower gel. If you’re setting sail during the White Nights, a sleeping mask may prove to be very useful.


All ships are equipped with medical facilities and a doctor is present onboard at all times. However, we suggest that you bring adequate supplies of any prescription medication you require, as well as other health-related items. Depending on your destination and the season, sun-cream and mosquito spray are highly recommended. Please ensure that your prescription medication is legal in Russia.

Medications for a trip to Russia

Power Adapters

There are power outlets in each cabin with 220v voltage. Russia uses two-pin round European outlets, so please pack any adapters you may require. Alternatively, bring an extension lead from your home country. Learn more about voltage in Russia.


For your comfort and security, bring a couple of different bags. A travel belt is the best way to carry your money and passports, and a small handbag or daysack will be useful for excursions.

Our river cruises are all-inclusive, and you’ll enjoy full board, entertainment and excursions. However, we would recommend bringing some roubles in cash. Although you won’t have a problem paying by card in cities, cash is necessary for making purchases in small towns, villages, souvenir markets and small shops etc. If you wish to tip your tour guides or onboard staff, please bring some cash. Money must be exchanged prior to boarding the ship, as onboard currency exchanges are now prohibited.  

Photo by Noorulabdeen Ahmad, Scott Warman on Unsplash


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