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 U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and International Ship and Port Facility Security Code, the following items are prohibited aboard the ship.  Confiscated items cannot be returned and will be destroyed. This list is not intended to be all-inclusive and is updated as necessary.

  • Alcohol* (includes empty bottles/cans, souverniers, or gifts)
  • Illicit Drugs & Drug Paraphernalia (includes pipes, water pipes, hookas, souveniers or replicas)
  • Firearms/Ammunition (includes these guns: air, bb, pellet, flare, paint ball, starter, blow, and replicas)
  • Aerosol cans (fire hazard)
  • Sharp Items/Weapons (includes ice pick/axe, box cutter, utility knife, saber, swords, or look-alikes)
  • Martial Arts/Self Defense Items (includes billy clbus, black jacks, brass knuckles, kubatons, night sticks, nunchakus, throwing stars, stun guns/shcking devices)
  • Drones or Kites of any kind
  • Select Tools (includes hammer, crow bar, axe, saw, hatchet)
  • Disabling Chemicals (includes pepper spray, mace, tear gas)
  • Dangerous Materials (includes fire extinguishers, bleach, paint & thinner, fireworks, flares, all fuel)
  • Open Flames (to include candles, incense, oil lamps)
  • Items with Hot/Heating Elements (includes hot or coffee pots, halogen lamps, clothes iron)
  • Personal Hair Appliances
    • Curling irons and hair straighteners must be UL approved and have auto shut-off devices
    • Portable Hair Dryer for In-Country Use Only (Each cabin is equipped with a hair dryer)
  • Electrical Extension Devices (includes extension cords, octopus plugs, power strips)
  • Walkie-talkie and 2-way radios
  • Adhesive Tape (includes duct, electrical, double-sided)
  • Select Sporting Goods (includes darts, bats, bows & arrows, spear gun)
  • Oversized Items (includes surfboards, bikes, scuba gear, steamer trunks, x-large luggage, x-large musical instruments, x-large exercise equipment, x-large souvenirs, oversized fossils/stones)
  • Live Animals/Pets
  • Live Plants
  • Taxidermy (of any kind/size)
  • Select Food & Beverage Items:
    • Unsealed fresh or dry food and spices
    • Sealed fresh food (invidually-sealed portions OK; must be able to be consumed at one time)
    • Meet products i.e. jerky, salami, sausages (individually-sealed portions OK; must be able to be consumed at one time)
    • Cheese (individually-sealed portions OK; must be able to be consumed at one time)
    • Beverages with twist-off caps, either originally sealed or half used.

*Lifelong Learners, Faculty, Staff, and their legal-aged Dependents may bring aboard two bottles of alcohol per port (maximum size: 1 liter per bottle) for personal use in their cabin.