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7 Best Day Bags for Cruises

  • You may have the ultimate suitcase for your upcoming cruise, but don't forget about another all-important piece of luggage: the day bag. What bag you'll need for a day in port depends on a few factors: what type of shore excursions you've booked, if you're lugging camera equipment along or if you're the Sherpa for your entire family and their stuff.

    We've picked these day bags to suit a variety of cruise adventures ashore. With the right bag for a destination, you'll feel equipped to explore your cruise port in confidence.

    Photo: Maridav/Shutterstock

  • 1

    Jemma overnight bag

    As cruise ships increase overnight calls in port, you might find yourself needing a bag that will hold everything to last you until the following day. The Birdie bag by Jemma has enough room for a change of clothes, but also compartments for your phone, laptop, a bottle of water -- even a ventilated pocket for a pair of shoes. Families will enjoy the organized space to hold a little of everything for a day in port. All bags are made with Italian nylon and come with a separate accessory case and laundry bag. 

  • 2


    There's almost no better bag for an active day in port than a good ol' backpack. This Stowaway backpack by Eddie Bauer is lightweight, stuffable and can be easily consolidated into a smaller front-zip pocket or rolled into a suitcase. A hands-free pack is equally useful exploring glaciers in Alaska or climbing the stairs of a cathedral in Europe.

  • 3

    Camera bag

    For cruisers who can't be without their DSLR, this camera backpack by Beaspire is perfect for storing lenses and gear, with room for everyday essentials. A padded, pull-out compartment protects the camera, while a zippered main compartment contains a laptop sleeve and plenty of space for guidebooks and a spare sweater. Straps on the bottom can even hold a tripod. Prepare to take spectacular shots of every port of call with this bag in tow.

  • 4


    Drawstring bags are a low-maintenance way to store your stuff for an afternoon ashore. A sack like this drawstring bag by Adidas fits everything, takes little to no space in luggage and as an added perk -- it's difficult to pickpocket. It's a day bag that even your teenage son will be willing to carry off the cruise ship.

  • 5

    Fashion backpack

    Not every backpack has to be sporty, and this trendy bag by Fjallraven proves its Scandinavian style is not just fashionable, but also functional. Inspired by the school bags of Sweden, the Kanken day bag is water- and stain-resistant, has handles as well as ergonomic straps and a large main compartment. It's the perfect bag to blend right in during your Northern Europe cruise.

  • 6

    Cross-body bag

    Sometimes you just need the essentials -- not 20 pounds of paraphernalia -- to accompany you ashore. This cross-body bag by Travelon is a roomy purse that doubles as a travel pack with anti-theft features. Side pockets hold a bottle of water or an umbrella, the front pockets lock and there's a key clip with an LED flashlight for locating exactly what you need -- even in low light.

  • 7

    Beach tote

    Perhaps the most iconic cruise bag of all is the beach tote. We love this tote by Forever Cultivate for its multitude of fun patterns and its top zipper closure to keep out the sand. Lightweight with durable straps and made with a waterproof polyester, this bag will turn heads while protecting your belongings for a perfect beach day in port.

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