What to Bring, and What Not To Bring

Before you travel on the MV Explorer, please take a moment to review our suggested packing list and a list of prohibited items.

Packing Tips

  • Lay out everything that you think you need, put back half, and then pack what’s left.
  • Your luggage will be stored in your cabin. Consider bringing a duffle bag on wheels rather than a huge suitcase.
  • More conservative clothing will give you the most flexibility, especially when in port.
  • Visits to many cultural sites require covered shoulders, shorts/skirts below the knee, and closed-toe shoes.
  • Life aboard the MV Explorer is casual except for a few special occasions. You are limited to two pieces of luggage plus a carry-on. Pack for maximum versatility.

Linens and Towels

Bed linens and bath towels are provided on the ship. You do not need to pack them.


Drip-dry and lightweight clothing is essential, as is sturdy, comfortable footwear – you will be doing a lot of walking and hiking during your port explorations. Laundry service is available onboard.

  • Undershirts
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Shorts
  • Jeans/Khakis
  • Sturdy, comfortable shoes
  • Skirts (one long one recommended)
  • T-shirts (not too many – you will buy many along the way)
  • Collared shirts (if that’s your style)
  • Sweater/Hoody
  • Jacket (light/medium weight)
  • Rain gear
  • Sunglasses
  • Watch
  • Hat(s)/Visor(s)
  • Swimwear
  • Formal wear for the Ambassador’s Ball


Because individuals have varied preferences and the supply of specific brands onboard and on shore is limited, bring necessary toiletries with you to the ship. Consider the potential for air travel within countries; bringing travel sized items may be beneficial for both convenience and for air travel regulations.

  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush(es)
  • Mouthwash (if you use it)
  • Deodorant
  • Razor(s)
  • Shaving cream/gel
  • Liquid body soap
  • Scrub sponge
  • Comb/brush
  • Hair products
  • Contact lens supplies (if applicable)
  • Prescription eyeglasses
  • Any prescription medication
  • Over the counter meds
  • Gender specific toiletries


If you are bringing personal electronic devices (laptop computer, iPod, digital camera, etc.), we recommend bringing an additional power supply (e.g., batteries, charger). If you are using digital cameras, bring extra memory cards – you will take more pictures than you think!

  • Credit/Debit cards
  • Cash (a supply of small bills is always convenient)
  • Travel alarm clock
  • Camera
  • Memory cards/film
  • Flash drive
  • School supplies (pens/pencils, notebooks, looseleaf paper, etc.)
  • Batteries
  • Laptop (if you are bringing one)
  • Magnets (tape is prohibited in cabins and walls are magnetic)
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray with DEET (non-aerosol)
  • Journal

The lists above are intended as a suggestion only. Please use your personal judgment and discretion when packing. The lists will serve you best if you use them as a guide in your planning.

Prohibited Items

In accordance with the United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS), the following items are prohibited on the MV Explorer and will be confiscated by ship’s security. Note that this list is not intended to be all-inclusive and is updated as necessary. To ensure the safety of all participants, SAS may determine that an item not listed below is prohibited or that a permitted item is dangerous and cannot be allowed on the vessel.
Note: Prohibited items are confiscated and destroyed

  • Alcohol and any empty bottles or cans of alcohol even if they are for souvenirs.
  • Disabling chemicals or other dangerous items (mace, pepper spray, tear gas, spray paint, liquid bleach, fire extinguishers)
  • Drug paraphernalia (pipes, water pipes/hookahs) even if they are replicas or souvenirs.
  • Due to storage limitations, large items are prohibited (oversized suitcases, steamer trunks, large musical instruments, exercise equipment, surfboards, bicycles, scuba gear, large souvenirs)
  • Explosive materials (fireworks, flares)
  • Flammable items (cooking fuels, flammable liquid fuel, gasoline, lighter fluid, gas torches, torch lighters, flammable paints, paint thinner)
  • Guns and firearms (ammunition, BB guns, compressed air guns, flare guns, pellet guns, paint ball guns, starter pistols, realistic replicas of firearms, flare guns)
  • Items that produce an open flame (incense, candles, oil lamps)
  • Items with a heating element or hot element (clothes iron, hot pot, coffee pot, halogen lamps). Exceptions to above: a curling iron or hair straightener (with automatic shut-off) and a personal hair dryer (for independent travel/field trips only—not for use on the ship; a hard-wired hair dryer is provided in each cabin for personal use)
  • Items that compromise the safety of the power grid (power strips, extension cords, octopus plugs)
  • Live plants
  • Martial arts/self-defense items (billy clubs, black jacks, brass knuckles, kubatons, night sticks, nunchakus, stun guns/shocking devices, throwing stars)
  • Pets or live animals
  • Taxidermy of any kind or size
  • Select sporting goods (baseball bats, darts, bow and arrows, spear guns)
  • Select tools (crowbar, saws, hammers, axes/hatchets)
  • Sharp items (box cutters/utility knives, ice axes/picks, knives, meat cleavers, sabers, swords)
  • Unsealed fresh or dry food
  • Sealed fresh food, that is not packaged in individual portions and cannot be consumed at one time
  • All beverage containers with twist-off caps (bottles of water, soda, sports/energy drinks)
  • Adhesive tape (duct, sticky, double sided)
  • Over-sized fossils (stones) – usually acquired near volcanic sites
  • Decorative blow guns – with or without darts
  • Jerky of any kind (beef, turkey, pork, etc.)