Are you traveling to and wondering what to pack for a cruise to South Pacific? In this guide we will round up what to wear on a South Pacific Cruise both on the ship and on the shore, as well as round up any South Pacific dress code requirements and other top tip
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Where Does a South Pacific Cruise Go
The South Pacific is a big region and each South Pacific Cruise itinerary is slightly different. Much generally you can expect your South Pacific Cruise to some of the following places
- French Polynesia including the islands of Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora
- New Zealand
- New Caledonia
To name just a few that you may stop at.
The great thing about most of these stops (I’m looking at you New Zealand as the exception),is that you will normally get similar weather which ever islands you are going to.
The great thing about the South Pacific is that the temperatures are relatively consistent all year round. The biggest difference is if you are traveling in the wet or the dry season. If you are traveling in the South Pacific wet season you will definitely want to add some more waterproof gear into your packing list.
Considerations for your South Pacific Cruise Packing List
Where is your Embarkation and Departure Port
Now you might not think this is important but if there is one thing that will affect your cruise packing list is where you are getting on and off the ship and if you are travelling to another destination before or after our cruise.
This is because in large parts of the South Pacific for instance Fiji and Bora Bora, they are only accessible by smaller planes which therefore impose a very strict weight limit in luggage. Therefore if you are embarking, disembarking or traveling to somewhere like this in addition to your cruise please do check your luggage allowance and pack very lightly.
For more information on what to wear in Bora Bora in line with luggage restrictions check out this post.
One way we recommend doing this is by packing a cruise capsule wardrobe to reduce how much you need to bring with you.
What to wear on your South Pacific Cruise
The main things to consider when you are on a the ship itself is how many days your ship will have a formal night and whether you wish to attend them.
Formal night means there is a strict dress code in the main dining room for dinner i.e. long sleeve shirts for men and evening wear for ladies. These items tend to be bulkier so you will need to plan it more closely.
Requirements for on Land
The dress codes for most places you will visit will be relatively casual as goes with the hot weather and outdoor nature of the actives. However some of the places in the South Pacific do have some dress code requirements.
For example – did you know that in Fiji you can’t wear hats in some of the villages as it is only the Chief of the village can headwear and it is offensive for others to do so? You can read more about the What to wear in Fiji Dress Code here.
Be sure to check out our island by island guides for more information.
What to wear on a South Pacific Cruise
Swimwear – and lots of it
For most cruise ports on your South Pacific itinerary will involve outdoor activity especially in the water whether that be scuba diving or snorkelling or going on a catamaran or simply lazying around at a hotel pool day.
I would recommend taking at least 2-3 pieces of Swimwear for the South Pacific because you will be wearing it so much.
Although you can wear any type of swimwear n the South Pacific I would include at last one one piece for days when you are doing a more active water excursion.
As you will spend so much time in the swimwear you will want a couple of beach covers with you too.
If you are short on space in your luggage because you are trying to pack for a cruise in carry on only or because you have weight restrictions to consider the best alternative to several beach covers is a simple sarong.
Sarongs are more versatile than beach covers and can be styled in several ways so you get several looks from one item.
Maxi dresses are perfect for day to night transitions and are a great thing to pack for a cruise formal night as they can be cool and dressed up with jewelry and a pashmina for a formal night.
Shorts and T shirts
The islands of the South Pacific actually have a very casual dress code. Therefore on most days when you are in port or even on sea days aboard the ship shorts and t shirts are perfect attire.
As there are so many great outdoor excursions even out of the water for instance hiking in Moorea (check out our what to wear to Moorea packing list here), you will want to make sure that you have your comfiest pair of sneakers with you.
For the evenings and for days on the beach and round the pool the best type of footwear to wear is absolutely sandals.
But don’t think you only need shoes for on land. It is really important wherever you are traveling in the South Pacific that you have water shoes for in the sea.
There are lots of Hazards in the South Pacific Ocean such as sharp pieces of coral and also rock fish. If you were to step on any of these your vacation would be ruined and you wouldn’t be going back in the water.
Therefore to help save your holiday and medical bills be sure to pack a pair of water shoes with you.
I personally have never felt sun as strong as I did in the South Pacific. When you are snorkeling and in the water it can be easy to forget about the strength of the sun and gets sun burnt. Help protect your skin by wearing a rash vest when you are doing activities in the water.
If you plan on attending one of your ships formal nights be sure to pack a smarter outfit.
Chinos and Blouse
Chinos and a blouse are perfect for smart casual evenings and are great as they keep your arms and legs covered on hikes and in the evenings when you might be at risk of getting bitten.
Pashminas are my number one travel accessory. They are perfect on a South Pacific cruise as in the evenings the ships air conditioning can be very strong and a pashmina can keep the chill off.
Wide Brimmed Hats
Given the strength of the sun in the South Pacific you will want a hat with you. We recommend taking a wide brimmed hat as this offers more sun protection than say a baseball cap.
Note: please check out the Fiji dress code requirements regarding where and when not to wear hats.
Light weight rain jacket
If you are traveling even the south Pacific rainy season you will definitely need a light weight packaway rain jacket.
Even in the dry season you could get rains so best to pack a rain jacket with you but make sure it is lightweight.
What to Pack for a Cruise to the South Pacific (non clothing)
Wherever you are traveling in the South Pacific you will need insect repellant. There are lots of mosquitos and other bugs throughout the South Pacific so you will want to protect yourself.
We recommend a good insect repellant that has Deep in as the most effective.
Please note that you can buy this in ports in the South Pacific or on the ship but you will pay a hefty uplift for this pleasure. we therefore recommend packing this and taking it with you.,
This can be rented so if you don’t have room in your case don’t panic. However if you do have space in your case we recommend taking your own with you if you can.
the reason for this is that your own snorkelling equipment will undoubtedly be of better quality and fit you better.
Please note if you are planning on going scuba diving there are restrictions on what you can not bring on a cruise relating to scuba diving equipment.
As I mentioned before I have never felt the sun so strong as I did when I was traveling in the South Pacific. Be sure to take plenty of sun cream with you as you will need to keep applying this regularly to make sure you don’t burn.
Again sun cream is available on the islands and on the cruise ship but you will be paying a steep premium for not having traveled with it.
Also if you plan to do any snorkelling, scuba diving or any other activity in the water then we implore you to please use coral safe sun cream that protects the oceans you are swimming and enjoying.
Although I hope no one burns while on a South Pacific cruise the truth is it is easy to do given the strength of the sun. If you do get burnt you will absolutely be wanting to use aloe vera to take some of the sting out of your burns.
It is one of the things I recommend you pack but hope you will never need to use.
As the sun is so strong be sure to protect everywhere by bringing a lip balm with an SPF in.
If you were say going on a river cruise in Europe by advice would be save room in your case and buy on arrival. However things on the small South Pacific islands cost a lot more than on the mainland therefore I recommend bringing any required toiletries with you.
For a full list of what toiletries to pack for a cruise check out this post.
As you will spend lots of in the water on a South Pacific cruise we recommend taking a go pro with you to capture all of those underwater memories.
It doesn’t have to be a go pro, any underwater camera will do for this but we have found that the Go Pros are the best.
It is hot in the South Pacific and you will need to rehydrate regularly. To help save the oceans reduce plastic waste we recommend traveling with your own water bottle to refill.
Have you been on a South Pacific Cruise? What did you wear?
Next Reads: Looking for more cruise related wardrobe and packing advice? Be sure to check out our cruise packing list guides: