The Rhine River is one of the most famous rivers in the world, with over 1,000 miles of gorgeous scenery and a rich history. Whether you’re looking for relaxation or adventure, there’s no better way to see the Rhine than from the deck of one of our cruise ships. If you’re planning a trip and not sure what to wear, we’ve got you covered! Here are some tips on how to dress for your next Rhine River cruise: The Rhine River is one of the most iconic waterways in Europe, and it’s the perfect place to experience the best of what the continent has to offer. From vineyards to castles, from lush forests to historic cities, from quaint villages to bustling metropolises, there’s something for everyone here. But what should you wear? What do you need? Well, we’re about to tell you all about it!

What to Wear on Rhine River Cruise

If you’re planning a trip on the Rhine River, you’ll want to know what to wear. The Rhine is one of the most popular cruise routes in Europe, and it’s easy to see why: it winds through some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world.

The first thing you should do is pack your suitcase accordingly. You’ll need to dress for all weather conditions—both hot and cold—and be prepared for anything. Here are some things to consider when deciding what to pack:

-Clothes that can get wet and dry quickly

-A hat or scarf (to keep the sun off your face)

-A water bottle (to stay hydrated)

-Sunscreen (to protect your skin from harmful UV rays)

Once you’ve packed your bag, there are a few things you can do to make sure everything stays organized: place everything in separate compartments; roll up socks into balls; put small items like tissues, hand sanitizer and gum into ziplock bags; and use compression bags for bulky items like sweaters and jackets.

If you’re planning a Rhine cruise, you’re probably wondering what to wear.

Well, we’ve got some tips for you!

First things first: if you’re going on a Rhine cruise in the summer, it’s going to be hot. Like, really hot. So your best bet is to pack light clothes that are easy to throw on when it’s sunny out. Make sure you have enough pockets for all your stuff—you don’t want to be fumbling around with a purse while trying to enjoy the sights!

If you’re going on a Rhine cruise in winter, though? You want something warm! And waterproof! And not too bulky. So maybe think about getting some rain boots? Or just bringing along an umbrella. If it turns out that the rain isn’t too bad and your shoes are still dry after a day of walking around town (or whatever else!), then you’ll have saved yourself from having to carry around extra weight all day long.

And finally: no matter what time of year it is, make sure you’ve got comfortable clothes that will keep you warm or cool depending on what kind of weather conditions they’re expecting at any given moment during their daily forecasts

The Rhine river cruise is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that can’t be missed. The most important thing to know about your cruise is how to dress for it.

Your clothing choices are going to depend largely on the weather, which can vary from day to day and even from hour to hour. Most cruises take place between April and October, so you’ll want to pack clothes that can be layered.

Your suitcase should include at least one pair of jeans or pants that zip up at the ankle; these are useful if you plan on hiking or biking during your trip. You should also bring a lightweight jacket or sweater for when temperatures drop in the evening. A raincoat will protect you from unexpected showers along the way.

If you’re planning on doing any physical activity (such as biking), it’s important that your shoes have good traction and support in case things get wet or slippery underfoot during certain seasons (which could happen on any given day).

What to Wear on a River Cruise in Europe (+ Packing List!)
This post may contain affiliate or compensated links. Click here to read our disclaimer

Wondering what to pack for a river cruise? We’ll show you exactly what to wear on a river cruise in Europe with some great ideas on practical River cruise outfits. We’ve also included some clothing tips for Rhine river cruise travel across the seasons.

In addition to our guide on how to dress for a river cruise we’ve included some tips on how to pack for a European river cruise. Assuming you’re coming from the US, Canada, Australia or New Zealand and will be traveling a long way to Europe, you may want to travel a bit before or after your river cruise. Our tips for packing for river cruise trips will help you pack light for travel in the rest of Europe.

We’ve used the Viking river cruise dress code as a guide on what to wear on a Rhine river cruise but there are of course other companies that do European river cruises. For simplicity reasons we’re calling this our Viking river cruise packing list but you can of course use is it as a guide on what to wear on a river cruise in Europe on other cruise lines too.

What to Wear on a River Cruise in Europe
River cruises are more casual than ocean cruises. They’re more about experiencing the culture and sights of Europe and less about having a fun vacation on a big ship (like you would on a Caribbean cruise). When working out how to dress for a European river cruise you’ll need to think about comfort, packability, layering and European culture.

You’ll spend your days sightseeing around the streets of Europe so comfortable but relatively smart but casual clothes are ideal. Comfortable walking shoes are a must! Many of the excursions on European river cruises are walking tours. You’ll also likely visit churches and culturally significant sights that may require covered shoulders and knee length clothes. Pack a light scarf in summer to throw over your shoulders. Avoid short shorts & skirts and opt for capri pants & midi skirts instead.

Make sure you choose items that pack well. You won’t have an iron in your cabin so you’ll need to pack clothes with wrinkle resistant fabrics. A small travel-sized bottle of Downy Wrinkle Release can help with this too. It also gives clothes a quick refresh allowing you to wear items more than once.

Types of European River Cruise Outfits
Casual clothes for cruising – Comfortable but smart casual clothing is the go when cruising in Europe. A t-shirt or sleeveless vest with jeans, capris or a skirt is enough.
Comfortable shoes – Comfortable shoes are a must for European travel.

Non-formal evening wear – There often isn’t time or a need to change for dinner on a river cruise so don’t feel you have to. We usually prefer to change for dinner, even if that means a quick freshen up and changing from a t-shirt into a nicer top. Lightweight, chiffon evening tops are great to pack for evenings on cruises. Wear them over jeans or capris. They don’t take up much space but add a little oopmh to your outfit.
Formal evening wear – Most European river cruises do not have a formal night. If they do, you’ll find the dress code for river cruises isn’t as strict as for ocean cruises. There’s no need to go over the top on formal night on river cruises in Europe. You can wear black pants and dressier top or a simple black dress and pashmina. No need to bring heels, your sandals will do fine. Pop on a statement necklace and you’re good to go. Men can pack a sport coat if they like but a long sleeved shirt and pants will do.
Dressing for the Season
If you’re traveling outside the peak of summer weather can be quite changeable so clothes you can layer are ideal. Check the long range weather forecast on a site like Accuweather when planning out what to wear on a Viking river cruise to help.

We have noted different quantities for items based on season in our packing list below but here is a quick guide on what to wear on a river cruise in Winter, Spring, Summer and Fall:

River Cruising in Summer – Summer river cruise attire is pretty easy. Think light summer dresses, capris & vest tops, skirts and blouses. Make sure you pack at least one cardigan in case of chilly nights or the odd cooler day.
River Cruising in Spring – Spring in Europe can bring nice weather but it can also be changeable. Layering is key. Bring a couple of cardigans for over dresses and tees. Add in an extra pair of jeans. A light jacket like a denim jacket or utility jacket will also prove useful. April is notoriously wet in Europe so a waterproof jacket would be a good idea.

River Cruising in Fall – When packing for river cruise in Europe in the Fall, add in a few warmer layers like long sleeved tees, cardigans, leggings. A light waterproof layer like this is a must. In late Fall, a packable lightweight down jacket like this is also very useful to have in case of cold days. You’ll also want a pair of closed toe shoes like a comfortable ankle boot for walking in wet weather.
River Cruising in Winter – For winter river cruises in Europe, you’ll need a few more warmer layers, hat, gloves, scarf and ankle boots. Add in a packable down jacket and waterproof parka. Leave out the summer dresses and instead pack a few more jeans and jumpers. Merino layers like thisare useful for providing extra warmth in cold weather.

Tips on How to Pack for a River Cruise
Know you know what to wear on a scenic river cruise, let’s go over how to pack for a river cruise. When packing for a European river cruise, you need to account for how many travel days you have before and after your cruise, how long your trip to Europe is and how you’ll be getting around once in Europe pre and post-cruise.

Here are a few tips for packing for a river cruise:

Pack light for Europe – If you pack light and smart then you’ll be able to fit this packing list into a carry on sized suitcase. Travel with just a carry on sized suitcase if you can manage.
Pick a color scheme – It makes it easier to mix & match outfits if you stick to a color scheme. Choose a few base neutrals like black, tan, navy & white for your pants, capris, skirts and outerwear. Add in a pop of co-ordinating color or print with your tops, tees, blouses and dresses. It makes it so much easier to dress! when all your tops go with all your bottom

Go for carry on sized luggage – Even if you plan on checking your bag for convenience on travel days, we still recommend using a small cabin sized suitcase for your European river cruise. It’s so much easier to travel in Europe with a smaller suitcase! Space is limited in Europe and a smaller bag is easier for travel on trains in Europe, impossibly small hotel elevators, tiny hotel rooms and the ship’s cabin.
Pack with packing cubes – Using packing cubes helps you organize your luggage efficiently, makes it easier to pack & unpack and helps you pack less. Use a large packing cubes for jeans, shorts & outwear, a medium sized packing cube for tops and a small packing cube for underwear. You can get packing cubes here on Amazon.
Get a hanging toiletry bag – A hanging toiletry bag is so much easier for cruising. This one by eBags is ideal as it packs flat and is easy to lay across the top of your suitcase contents.
Use a lightweight backpack or cross body travel bag for excursions – A lightweight backpack like this is great for excursion days. You can fold it up and pack it away in your luggage when not in use. For city excursions in Europe, a cross body bag works very well. Travel cross body bags like this with built in security to prevent pickpocketing and bag slashing are ideal. You can also get small backpacks like this with built in antitheft technology too.

Viking River Cruise Packing List
Here’s a complete list of what to pack for a Viking river cruise. You can download and print this river cruise packing list in PDF form here. We recommend printing and laying out all your items for packing for European river cruise so you can check them off as you go.

River Cruise Clothes
Tees and tops for day x 5-7 – T-shirts, sleeveless vests, blouses for women and t-shirts, polos and shirts for men. Pack a mix of short and long sleeved depending on season.
Evening tops x 3-4
Cardigan or sweater – 1 for Summer travel, 2 in Spring and 3-4 for Fall/Winter travel
Jacket – A denim jacket or utility jacket for Spring/Fall/Winter
Shorts or capri pants – 1 for women, 2 for men
Jeans – 1 for Summer, 2 for Spring/Fall/Winter
Khakis / chinos – For men
Skirts x 1-2 – Midi length are ideal for Europe. Or coluttes are also great!
Sundress / casual dress x 2 – Linen or light cotton in summer and a tunic-style with leggings in winter make great river cruise dresses.

Leggings for women / Jogger for men – Great for the plane!

Dress or nice top & black pants / sport coat & shirt for men for formal night (optional) – Most European river cruises don’t have a formal night!
Workout clothes (optional) – Most ships do not have a gym however
Swimsuit – For onboard hot tubs or thermal baths on excursions in paces like Budapest
Waterproof parka
Packable down jacket (in Fall/Winter)
Hat and gloves (in Fall/Winter)
Pashmina – Great for the plane or cooler evenings
Light scarf (in Spring/Summer)
Warm scarf (in Fall/Winter)
Sleepwear x 2
Underwear x 10
Bras x 3 – 1 nude, 1 white and 1 black works great for travel!
Socks x 5-7
Sunhat
Sunglasses
Statement jewelry x 1-2 – Don’t bring any expensive jewelry!
Footwear
Sneakers – Comfortable walking shoes are essential for sightseeing in Europe. You’ll be walking a lot and often on cobblestones. We LOVE Sketchers Go Walk sneakers for travel. They’re lightweight and super comfortable!
Sandals (in Spring/Summer) – Something you can wear in the evening or around the ship. Aerosoles sandals (like these) are very comfortable for walking. As areVionic sandals (like these).
Mules or flats (in Spring/Fall/Winter) – Something you can wear in the evening or around the ship. Vionic do great, comfortable flats (like these).
Ankle boots (in Fall/Winter) – Good for walking in wetter, cooler weather. Lucky Brand Basel boots (like these) are a great choice.
Loafer or dressier shoes for men – Something you can wear in the evening or around the ship. Here’s a nice Vionic Men’s loafer.
Golf shoes (if required for your excursions)
River Cruise Essentials
Add these cruise and travel essentials to your packing list for river cruise in Europe!

Travel documents printed
Passport
Travel document wallet
Downy wrinkle release spray
Disinfectant spray / wipes – Spray or wipe down your cabin’s surfaces on arrival and use on your tray table & touch screen on the plane!
Hand sanitizer
Tide-to-go pen – For removing any stains on clothing
Travel laundry sheets – For handwashing any items you may want to re-wear
Tide pods – Put a couple of Tide pods in a Ziploc bag to use at the onboard as there is a laundry on Viking river cruise ships (or you can use a couple of the travel laundry sheets mentioned above!)
Travel umbrella
Compression socks for the long flight to Europe
Refillable water bottle
Travel coffee mug
Highlighter – For your daily cruise schedule
Toiletries
Viking ships with soap, shampoo, conditioner and body lotion so you don’t need to pack these. Choose travel size versions of your toiletries to help you pack light. Decant larger items into GoToobs or GoTubs if necessary.

Toothbrush
Toothpaste (travel size)
Deodorant
Facial moisturiser / skin care
Make up – Decant larger items into GoTubs or ask for sample sizes at Sephora
Make up remover wipes
Lip balm – Especially in winter
Hand cream – Plane travel, using hand sanitizer and winter weather can dry the skin
Sunscreen (travel size & suitable for face)
Razor
Shaving cream (travel size)
Pain relief
Cold medicine
Allergy medicine
Motion sickness medicine
Small first aid kit
Any medication you require
Contacts & solution if you require
Electronics
Remember to check all your electronics are dual voltage before traveling to Europe. Most electronics generally are but watch out for things like your hair styling tools!

iPad
Kindle
Headphones
Phone
Camera
All chargers
European plug adapter – Your stateroom may have universal plugs but an adapter is still useful for travel before and after your cruise
Powerstrip without surge protector for cruise ships
European data sim or mobile wifi device
Powerbank – For charging on the go
Travel curling iron or travel hair straightener – Make sure it is dual voltage! (No need to bring a hair dryer as they have them on the ship.)

Questions on what to pack for river cruise in Europe?
If you have questions about what to wear on European river cruise or our river cruise tips for packing, leave a comment below and we’ll be happy to help. You can also join our Cruise Packing Tips Group on Facebook to ask questions and share your own tips for packing for cruises. We’d love to hear your tips and questions on what to pack for a European river cruise.

What to Wear on River Cruise

There are many things to consider when planning a river cruise: the quality of the food, the number of available activities on board, and whether or not you’ll be able to get an upgrade from your room if you’re willing to pay extra.

But what about what you’re going to wear? I mean, it’s not like you don’t have enough to think about already… So let’s make this easy for you: just remember one thing: black tie is always appropriate.

River Cruises are all about the details. From the food to the service, from the entertainment to the accommodations, there are hundreds of small touches that go into making your time on a river cruise truly memorable. And it’s not just about what you see—it’s about what you feel. That’s why we here at [company name] have decided to dedicate this blog to helping our clients find the perfect outfit for every occasion.

From formal lunches and dinners to casual gatherings, we’ll be sharing tips and tricks on what to wear on a river cruise so that you look your best while enjoying all of your onboard experiences.

Packing for a river cruiseBring casual clothes that are comfortable – that’s your main priority. Unlike ocean cruises where guests often dine in ballgowns and tuxedos, the dress code on a river cruise is much more relaxed and informal.


From useful packing tips to what to wear on a cruise during the day and evening, our expert advice covers dining, excursions, relaxing and more.
Get the best from all-year cruising no matter the weather – what to pack and wear in summer and in winter when cruising to famous yuletide markets.
Wondering what to wear on a river cruise in Europe? You’re not alone. Many first-time cruisers face this dilemma. However, a river cruise is a relaxed affair, where the dress code is all about being comfortable and casual, so put any worries to the back of your mind and simply look forward to a fantastic holiday.

Packing For A River Cruise
Packing for a river cruise in Europe couldn’t be easier. Just think of your holiday as a city break on the water, one where you return to the same luxurious floating hotel every day. Much of the focus is on excursions and cultural experiences, exploring destinations with like-minded people, so when it comes to thinking about what to wear on a cruise, keep it simple. Bring casual clothes that are comfortable – that’s your main priority. Unlike ocean cruises where guests often dine in ballgowns and tuxedos, the dress code on a river cruise is much more relaxed and informal.

The duration of river cruises in Europe is typically eight days, so when choosing your holiday wardrobe, stick to one or two colour schemes. Keep basics such as trousers, shorts or skirts, dark, neutral or plain, as they’ll be easier to mix and match with striped polo shirts, colourful T-shirts or a patterned blouse.

What to wear on a river cruise excursion onshore
What To Wear On A Cruise During The Day
Whether you’re off on a Rhine river cruise, or one that takes you along the Rhône, Seine or Danube, daytime wear will be casual. Pack loose-fitting attire that’s suitable for sightseeing and excursions ashore. Many cruise guests choose to wear clothes they feel relaxed in such as jeans, chinos, Capri pants, skirts or shorts while on a tour around a medieval village or historic city.

Layers are a good idea too, and perfect to deal with any changeable weather – you’ll be thankful of a warm fleece or jumper if there’s a cool breeze, and a lightweight water-resistant jacket will be invaluable if the forecast is rain. Hopefully the sun will be shining though, so pack sunglasses and a sun hat, and also a light cover-up to protect your skin.

Regardless of the weather, a river cruise allows you to immerse yourself in the culture and history of new destinations, so the last thing you want to suffer from is sore feet. When thinking about what to wear on a cruise, choose comfortable, supportive shoes, perhaps your favourite pair of trainers, walking shoes or sandals to avoid any blisters. Guided excursions are at a leisurely pace, but they may involve a stroll along cobbled streets or an uphill climb – it’s best to be prepared.

What to wear on a river cruise excursion
What To Wear On A Cruise In The Evening
Back on your ship at night, most river cruise passengers will again opt to wear casual clothing for dinner and a drink in the bar. The dress code can be a little smarter in the evening, but only as far as perhaps trousers with a collared shirt or a sparkly top. There’s no need to bring along formal wear, such as a suit or tie or a selection of cocktail dresses. That said, anything goes and if you wish to dress up for Welcome Drinks and the Captain’s Dinner on your last night, it’s entirely your choice. Some guests may feel more comfortable wearing a blazer, others will decide it’s the perfect opportunity to don a floaty summer frock – it’s up to you.

More often than not though, you’ll see other guests simply wearing open-neck shirts and sweaters, with ladies choosing to glam up an outfit with a colourful scarf or some costume jewellery – a pashmina is also handy if you’re up on deck enjoying the passing scenery with a nightcap.

As for your all-important footwear, loafers or boat shoes with rubber soles are a popular choice. Women rarely wear high heels, opting instead for a comfy pair of sandals or flat shoes.

What To Wear On A Cruise At Different Times Of Year
It goes without saying that much of what you pack for your river cruise will depend on the destinations you are visiting and the time of year you embark on your trip. What to wear on a Rhine river cruise in the spring or autumn, for example, will differ from a summer holiday wardrobe. When the weather is unpredictable, or during seasons when it’s a little chillier in the mornings and evenings, layers will be essential, so pack a cosy cardigan or jumper, and a waterproof jacket as well – many cruise companies will provide umbrellas.

On a winter cruise, perhaps one visiting Yuletide markets along the Danube, be sure to bring a warm coat, along with a hat, scarf and gloves. Christmas shopping is much more enjoyable when you’re wrapped up.

What to wear on a river cruise winter yuletide markets
Good To Know
When considering what to wear on a river cruise in Europe, check out your cruise ship’s onboard facilities. Remember to pack swimwear so you can enjoy the onboard plunge pool, sauna or steam room – or pay a visit the thermal baths if stopping off in Budapest. Many ships also have a small gym or fitness room, therefore you’ll require sportswear too.

Don’t forget that on some excursions you will be visiting religious sites or places of worship. If hoping to go inside these buildings, be mindful to respect other cultures and their customs. This may involve you dressing modestly and covering up shoulders and knees – a shawl, light long-sleeved top and zip-off trousers could come in useful. You may also be asked to remove hats and footwear.

It’s worth noting that few river cruise ships will have a laundry service or ironing facilities. As a result, bring clothes that don’t crease easily, made from synthetics such as nylon, Lycra and polyester, or jersey and wool.

As for bringing a bag, ladies should leave large handbags at home. A lightweight crossover bag should be all you need while on excursions and is often preferable to a rucksack. Not only will you keep your belongings safe, your hands will be free so it’ll be easier to take those all-important holiday photos.

Looking to explore Europe on a river cruise? Our river cruises in Europe range from the stunning natural beauty of a Rhine cruise to iconic sights on the Danube. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

19 − ten =

Scroll to Top