What to pack for a Mediterranean cruise

Cunard's helpful packing guide for Mediterranean cruises, for every style, season and suitcase.

Whether you plan on spending your Mediterranean cruise soaking up the views, lounging in the sun, or sipping your favorite cocktail while gazing across unforgettably blue seas, worrying about your wardrobe should be the last thing on your mind.

To help you with your packing choices, we’ve compiled this comprehensive Mediterranean cruise packing guide, full of advice and FAQs to ensure you’re ready for every eventuality on your vacation.

Mediterranean cruise packing list

Mediterranean cruise packing essentials

Let’s start with the essentials you’ll need for your vacation, including the documents you’ll be asked to present at the cruise terminal on the day of your departure.

  • Passports
  • Driver’s licenses (if you plan on hiring a car when ashore)
  • Travel documents
  • Travel insurance paperwork
  • Any prescription medication you take, plus a doctor’s note
  • Spending money
  • First aid kit – painkillers, antacids, allergy relief, bandages, etc.
  • Device chargers

Mediterranean cruise clothing guide

As you cruise around the Mediterranean, you’ll discover a land shaped by ancient architecture, golden beaches and charming cities. While summers here can be hot and sunny (with the occasional thunderstorm), warmer temperatures can last well into October, so it’s important to pack clothes for your cruise that will keep you cool and comfortable.

Mediterranean cruise day wear

Days on board can be as active or as relaxed as you’d like them to be. A comfortable T-shirt with a pair of shorts or a sun dress would be a perfect choice for any of the bars or restaurants on board during the day.

Swimwear is essential if you plan on using the pools, whirlpools and spa, while trainers and activewear are ideal for working out in the gym or taking part in a fitness class.

Mediterranean cruise beachwear

Throughout your trip, you’ll have the opportunity to sample the famously warm waters of the Mediterranean at the region’s many golden beaches. Along with a bathing suit, bikini or swimming trunks, a pair of flip flops, and a simple kaftan or cover-up, are all useful to pack for a Mediterranean cruise. Some areas offer choice snorkeling as well, so bring along your snorkel and flippers if your suitcase allows.

Mediterranean cruise eveningwear and formal nights

Evenings on a Cunard cruise are the perfect opportunity to let your personality shine. Along with the chance to dazzle at our one of our decadent Gala Evenings and our fine dining restaurants, you’ll find many venues on board where casual dress is welcomed - think trousers or skirts with a dressy top, or chinos, shirts and blazers paired with smart shoes.

Gala Evenings (usually one or two per seven-night voyage) offer a chance to step out in full formal attire for a night of celebration, live music and specialty food and drink. Each one follows a theme, which is communicated in advance of sailing.

Formal dresses

Full-length evening gowns, ball gowns and cocktail dresses are all perfect choices.

Men’s formal suits

For men, the dress code for Gala Evenings includes black or white tuxedos, and dinner suits and formal jackets with ties, and other formal accessories..

For specific theme details and outfit ideas, visit our packing guide.

Mediterranean cruise shore experiences

We offer a full program of unique and unforgettable experiences in each port on your Mediterranean cruise. You could find yourself in a tapas cooking class, taking in the sights on an architectural walking tour, or sampling regional wines in a local vineyard. Comfort should be your priority if you plan to embark on any of these Shore Experiences, so make sure you pack some sturdy sneakers or walking shoes. Loose-fitting T-shirts, dresses, shorts, jeans and skirts are ideal for the warmer weather too.

If you’re cruising during the summer months, you may want to consider lighter-weight fabrics, such as cottons or linens. If you’re cruising in the fall or winter months, it’s advisable to have a lightweight jacket, raincoat and/or umbrella to hand, just in case you encounter rain showers.

Mediterranean cruise accessory packing list

With so many unique experiences on offer, it’s important to make sure you have the right accessories on hand to make the most of your Mediterranean cruise. We recommend you bring the following:

  • Sunglasses
  • Cap, visor or sunhat
  • Backpack or day bag
  • Umbrella
  • Camera and tripod
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Binoculars

Mediterranean cruise toiletries packing list

Once you’re on board, you’ll find complimentary Penhaligon’s toiletries in your suite or stateroom, including shampoo, hand wash and body wash. Additional toiletries and cosmetics are also available to purchase on board, and there’s always the option to shop ashore, so there’s no need to worry if you’ve left something behind.

Useful toiletries to pack include:

  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen –with a high SPF suitable for face and neck
  • After sun lotion
  • Lip balm - with an SPF
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Deodorant
In addition, you may also wish to bring:
  • Face and/or body moisturizer
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Cosmetics
  • Perfume/aftershave

What not to pack for a cruise

There are several items that we ask you not to bring on board our ships.

The onboard electrical systems in your stateroom do not support high-current electronics. We provide lower current hair dryers in all staterooms and irons are available in our laundry rooms. Please do not pack your own iron as this will not be permitted on board with you.

We also ask that you don’t bring extension cords with you, unless they are accompanying essential medical equipment, such as CPAP and nebulizer machines. These will be checked for electrical safety along with your medical equipment prior to sailing. Surge-protected extension cords are not accepted in any circumstances, as they interfere with the ship’s electrical distribution.

You may bring one bottle of wine or champagne on board to enjoy within your stateroom. You are welcome to buy alcohol ashore as a gift or souvenir, which will be held for the duration of your cruise, and returned to you when you disembark.

There are also a few items you won’t need to bring with you on your Mediterranean cruise, as these are provided, such as hair dryer, iron and pool and bathroom towels.

See our list of prohibited items for further information on what not to pack.

How to pack light for a Mediterranean cruise

Unlimited luggage allowances on all roundtrip Mediterranean cruises is one of the benefits of sailing with us, but if you’re catching a connecting flight, packing a multi-functional vacation wardrobe is the key to keeping your luggage light. 

For the daytime, choose shorts, T-shirts, skirts and tops in tonal and neutral colors, which will allow you to easily mix and match to enjoy maximum versatility out of each item. 

For the evenings, consider adding accessories, such as shawls, belts or jewelry, to elevate a daytime outfit, which can give the illusion of an entirely new ensemble and save luggage space. 

Each Cunard ship also offers several self-service laundry rooms so you can easily refresh your clothes, and we provide complimentary pool and bathroom towels – particularly useful if you’re joining us for a 14-day Mediterranean cruise.  

Mediterranean cruise climates: how to pack for every season

Mediterranean cruises typically sail in spring, summer and fall to take advantage of the best weather, but even between seasons the conditions can be changeable.

Summer (July/August)

If you embark on a Mediterranean cruise during the summer months, you’re likely to encounter warm waters and plentiful sun. Consider a cool wardrobe, featuring lightweight materials such as linen and cotton – and be sure to include plenty of sun protection, as well as sunglasses and a sunhat.

Spring (May/June) and fall (September/October)

Often considered as the ideal time to cruise the Mediterranean, the temperatures during spring and fall are comfortably warm. Dresses, shorts and T-shirts are likely to be fine during the day, but we recommend packing a cardigan, smart jeans, a wrap or lightweight cover-up in case of cooler weather, along with some long-sleeved eveningwear options.

As with all seasons, the weather in the Mediterranean can still be unpredictable and deviate from the norm, so it’s never a bad idea to pack an umbrella or waterproof jacket, just in case.

What to pack for a Mediterranean cruise FAQs

Explore the Mediterranean

Our guide to the Mediterranean

From local sights, delicacies and weather, to advice on what to pack and top tips from our own Shore Experience team, you will never be more prepared or inspired to visit this incredible region with our easy-to-read guide.

Find out more

Mediterranean destinations

Explore French flavor, Spanish sun, Italian history, Greek architecture, Croatian beaches and many other incredible sights and sounds on a Cunard cruise to the Mediterranean.

Find out more

Mediterranean voyages

Explore the Mediterranean with one-week highlight cruises, a two-week tour, or combine with our famous Transatlantic Crossing from New York. Browse our current itineraries to find the right choice for you.

View voyages

Mediterranean shore experiences

The Mediterranean has azure waters, breathtaking natural features and cities dripping with ancient history and culture, and all of these are discoverable on our shore experiences.

Find out more