Top 10 Must Pack Items for a New England and Canada Cruise

September 13, 2022

Caravan Sonnet Blog
Hello friends! Thank you so much for stopping by to read today! I am so excited to discuss the top 10 must pack items for a New England and Canada cruise today! As the fall weather quickly approaches a cruise to these destinations always seems like the perfect way to celebrate this time of year! Cruising in the fall has been one of my favorite adventures!

When I went on my first cruise throughout New England and Canada I quickly learned that it was very different then packing for other cruises! For examples, cruises to New England and Canada aren't like packing for a cruise to the Caribbean. When I went cruising to the Caribbean my suitcase was filled with cute sundresses, lots of cute sandals and flip flops, bating suits, and adorable warm weather clothes. But unlike the tropical getaway that a cruise to the Caribbean provides, cruising to New England and Canada in the summer or fall provides a completely different climate.

When I took my first cruise to New England and Canada back in 2015, I searched for what to pack for this type of cruising climate and I struggled to find answers. There were tons of ideas for warmer weather cruising but not for "colder weather climates". So I searched to find anyone who had been on a New England cruise that could share their thoughts, talked with different cruise lines, and searched tons of travel sites for their thoughts on visiting this area of the world. The reality is that this area of the world in the summer and fall seasons yet it can bring unpredictable weather, beautiful views, and gorgeous opportunities. 

I have taken two cruises through New England and Canada. My first one was back in 2015 and it was in the early part of October. You can read about it HERE. In 2019 my mom and I had the amazing opportunity to sail in August through New England and Canada on Holland America and it was so delightful (you can read all about our trip HERE)! The one thing though that held true was that despite the season difference (late summer versus fall) I found that the list here still helped me pack appropriately for these two different types of trips. I hope you find it helpful also!

So if you are planning a similar cruise, here are the top 10 things that you can't leave home without y'all:
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1. Layers
With weather that is unpredictable during this time of the year (some days can be in the low 30s to the high 80s!!) it is important to pack clothes that you can "layer". I definitely threw in different coats along with lighter weather clothes (as you can see in the picture above) and the mix and matching of these items really helped me throughout the day!

2. Boots, Booties, Shoes, Sandals
Unlike the Caribbean where you live in sandals, you might want to vary your shoe "wardrobe" a little bit more for a New England Cruise. For time on the boat you might want to still live in cute sandals but time off the boat and the excursions that you choose might determine that you wear different types of shoes. 

Taking a cruise to New England and Canada offers you a wide array of options as far as choices go for excursions and many that include hiking so don't forget to pack a variety of different shoes that you will need for your cruise!

3. Scarves
Lets be honest. If you have been around the blog then you know that I love scarves and where them in all different weather environments, but a cruise to New England and Canada is a perfect opportunity and excuse to wear a variety of different scarves on the cruise. 

Scarves are also a perfect accessory for a cruise as they are lightweight and don't take up a ton of room but can bring a pop of color to an outfit, change up an outfit (by simply wearing a different scarf), and are the perfect addition to any cruising outfit.
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4. Sunscreen
It can be easy to forget this necessary component of your New England and Canada cruise since you are not traveling to a "warm weather" environment but don't forget to pack your sunscreen! There are so many days where the weather is so beautiful and you will definitely want to have your sunscreen with you! THIS ONE is one of my ultimate favorites and it is less than $10 on Amazon. You can find it by clicking HERE
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5. Camera (and the Extras)
I use my phone for pictures alone with my camera, but still am a photographer at heart so I always bring my camera on all of my trips and travels! I have the Canon EOS Rebel T5i and absolutely love it. I purchased it in 2016 and am always amazed by the quality of the photos it takes. I love this SD card HERE (it's less than $10!!)

Some additional suggestions...
Portable Battery Pack

6. Extension Cord
Throw in an extension cord and you will be glad that you did! One that I bring along is the 6-Outlet Surge Protector Power Strip simply because it allows for several things to be plugged in at once which is a must on a cruise! (Less than $15!)

7. Umbrella or Rain Jacket
As I stated before the weather in this area of the world is unpredictable, but many northeast cities get 3 to 4 inches of rain during the fall months. Consider bringing rain gear or a small umbrella so that you are prepared for whatever weather that you might encounter! THIS one HERE on Amazon is a great travel umbrella (and comes in tons of different colors) With over 52,000 stars and reviews this is a steal for under $30 that you can use all year long!

If you are not interested in an umbrella consider purchasing a rain jacket which can work well when planning out your layers!

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8. Purse, Bag, Etc.
BCBGMAXAZRIA Handbag (similar HERE and HERE)

Those of you who know me know that I have a little love affair with purses. *smiles* I have had many over the years, and love large purses- especially for traveling. For each of my trips I look for purses that I feel will "fit" the climate and the elements and that will be a neutral based color to easily match the clothes I am wearing. I also want a purse that was leather that could transition easily into fall. I saw the purse above and immediately fell in love with the color tone and the size of it. While it is no longer available (you could definitely try Poshmark or Ebay if you want the exact purse) these: HERE and HERE are similar in idea and size!

Also... if you have ready some of my other packing posts you will have heard me mention purchasing a Sturdy Purse Organizer and y'all. SERIOUSLY. Go purchase this for everyday life along with travel! I have started talking about non-stop and telling everyone about. Just the other day I was telling two friends that they needed to get one! It is life-changing! Hahaha! 

This felt organizer (I chose the beige color so that it will go with any of my purses!) comes in 11 different colors and is less than $20 on Amazon (you can find it HERE). I love that I can easily switch purses now just by taking this out and changing it from one purse to another. SO simple and easy! Even if you don't travel a lot you will love it for daily life (for size reference I chose a medium)! For traveling mine was loaded up with tons of items and it was the easiest trip in the airports because of how organized it kept things in my purse! If you are interested in it you can find it HERE

9. Journal, Travel Books, Etc.
Y'all know from my shop that I love creating and altering travel books and travel journals so this recommendation is probably not a surprise at all! *smiles* Some people like to pack travel guides to take with them on the cruise so they can explore in depth the ports of call while others like to bring journals on board so as to remember the special details and memories that are made. Check out the shop for perfect solutions for your travel needs!

10. Cruise Documents and Passport
Don't forget that you will need to bring all of your cruise documents and passport. Looking for a cute passport holder? I love THIS travel organizer and it is less than $15!

What about y'all? Any must pack items that you recommend for a New England/Canadian Cruise? Looking for more cruising tips? Check out the following cruising posts: 
Cruising Tips:   
7 Things to Take With You While In Port                                              
10 Things People Forget to Bring on Their First Cruise                                                                  
Top 13 Must Pack Items for a Caribbean Cruise                                                  


  1. I've never been on a cruise that's not in the Caribbean but I really want to go on one someday! This will definitely come in handy then! :)

    1. I totally understand! I have only been on one cruise but it was the Caribbean so this will definitely be a new adventure! :) Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by and comment! I hope that you are having a wonderful week!!
      Blessings, Rebecca :)

  2. You are going to have the best time! I was born and raised in Southern New Hampshire and New England in the fall is the best season and time in the world. I agree with your list; lots of layers and boots; you never know what the weather is going to be like and if you wake up and it's sunny, it'll probably be raining by the afternoon.

    xo Chelsie @ Life with Rosie

  3. All of these pics are getting me super excited for fall and layers! You're going to have a blast. Definitely want to see tons of pics when you get back!

  4. I'm from New England so this is definitely a good list. Layers, boots, gloves and even a hat are needed. That area gets colder a lot sooner than other parts of the US

  5. What should i pack for a june 2020 new england cruise on celebrity

    1. Hello! Thanks so much for stopping by and taking the time to comment on this post! While this post is primarily aimed at a fall New England/Canadian cruise I would still recommend each thing above for your cruise. I haven't been on Celebrity yet though so I can't speak to that directly but hope that you have a wonderful time!

      Warmly, Rebecca :)