What should you wear on the ship? What about for excursions? And what about attire at different occasions throughout your voyage? Well, keep reading… Because you will find out laundry on viking ocean cruises, What to wear on viking ocean cruise and viking ocean cruise problems. When you’re on vacation, you want to feel like you’re in a world of your own. But if you’re going on a Viking Ocean Cruise, that might be easier said than done. Viking is known for its small ships and intimate atmosphere, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some things to keep in mind when packing for your trip. Here are our top five tips for what to wear when you board your Viking cruise ship:

What to Wear on Viking Ocean Cruise

Yes, you heard right! Viking Ocean Cruises is bringing new ships to the world of ocean cruising. The Viking Sea and Viking Sky are coming this fall and winter, respectively, and they’re going to bring a whole new level of luxury to the experience.

If you’ve ever thought about taking an ocean cruise but weren’t sure about the cost or if it would be worth it, these new ships might be just what you’re looking for. There are plenty of reasons to book your next vacation on one of these vessels:

For first-timers, our advice on packing for a Viking Ocean Cruise…

Preparing for any trip involves planning—as well as careful pruning:

Not only do you need to figure out what to take but you need to determine what NOT to take.

To do a good job, don’t wait until the last minute. Try to think through where you’ll be, what you’ll be doing, and make lists as reminders to guide your packing.

The perils of overpacking
Cramming too much in your suitcase increases the odds of incurring additional airline fees for oversized or overweight checked bags. Heavy bags are tricky to manage, too. As we age, carrying and lifting suitcases can exact a toll on back and shoulder muscles.

Once onboard, it can be difficult to easily stow an overpacked bag under your bed. Although there is ample storage space onboard Viking Ocean Cruises, bringing too much stuff only makes it harder to sift through your belongings to find what you want. So master the art of packing light!

Oops…I left it home
Of course, there is a downside to extreme minimalism or sloppy packing. Perhaps, you’ll leave your sunglasses or swimsuit home, or will forget to bring a sweater for chilly evenings.

A few years ago, we were on a shoulder season cruise in the Mediterranean. I could have kicked myself for leaving my swimsuit at home when the weather unexpectedly turned warm and sunny! It was impossible to find one to my liking in the department store in Marseille—although I tried.

Packing too little means you may have to do without, or pay the price of purchasing (and finding) replacements while traveling for things you already have at home.

Packing for a Viking Ocean Cruise: What NOT to pack
Here is our advice on 6 things you should definitely NOT take:

1) NO formal evening attire

There are no formal nights on Viking so there’s no need for long dresses for women or dinner jackets for men (even neckties are discretionary). Instead, the dress code is “elegant casual,” which can mean anything from a sundress in the Caribbean—to slacks and a blouse for women cruising in colder climates.

In fact, there are few hard-fast rules for evening dress except to limit shorts and workout attire to daytime use only. Male passengers generally opt for trousers and a collared shirt (short or long-sleeved) in the evening, generally without a sports jacket or tie. A black colored polo shirt is always a great look for men.

I also rarely take precious jewelry on any cruise. It’s something to worry about losing and fanciful costume jewelry is just as much fun!

2) NO hairdryer

Every ocean (or rivership) we’ve ever been on has had a hairdryer tucked in a drawer or closet (although you often have to search for them). I loved the Braun Satin Hair model in my Viking Ocean stateroom so much that I would like to purchase a similar model for home use.

Straightening or curling irons are another story. Neither hotels nor cruise ships have caught up with the popularity of these hair tools. So if you depend on them, bring your own. The only exception to the no-adapter rule below: Make sure you bring European-style adapters for the plugs, and that the hair tools can run on 220V current (for use near the makeup table in your cabin).

3) No adapters

Electrical outlets in Viking Ocean staterooms run on either 110V and 220V so when packing for a Viking Ocean Cruise, there is no need to bring other adapters—even though you’ll be visiting different countries.

In each cabin, there are two 110V sockets above the desk and one on each side of the bed. There are also USB ports to charge your cellphone or tablet so all you need to bring are the cables.

4) No shampoo or conditioner

Shampoo and conditioner have to be packed extra carefully when you’re flying because these liquids can easily leak onto your belongings and are subject to TSA 3-1-1 rules if you bring them in a carryon.

Unless you are wed to a particular product, there is no need to bring shampoo or conditioner onboard with you. Viking Ocean Cruises provides lovely Freyja shampoo and conditioner (designed exclusively for Viking) in nice, easy-to-handle sizes (rather than mini-bottles). Also note: They come with large print labeling so those over 40 don’t need to take their peepers into the shower.

Leave the body lotion, shower gel and shower cap at home as well; they are also provided by the cruise line and replenished as needed.

More to come below but also read my list of essential Cruise Hacks, for both sea and ocean voyages:

5) No snacks

No need to bring any foodstuffs because you’ll never be hungry. Aside from three meals a day, snacks are always accessible– whether you miss a meal, wake up late, or simply have a craving between meal hours.

Mamsen’s is a small Norwegian-style counter tucked in the beautiful Explorer’s Lounge on Deck 7, serving small plates with dishes like smoked salmon, steak tartare and shrimp salad and Norwegian waffles. The Pool Grill serves up burgers, hotdogs and salads throughout the afternoon. The Viking Bar on Deck 1 has sweets and savories available through midnight. And there’s an extensive Room Service menu available at no extra charge 24 hours a day.

6) No umbrella
Viking has thought of that, too. You’ll find two large red umbrellas in your stateroom that you can use if the weather is inclement.

Viking River Cruises is a popular way to explore Europe. You can choose from multiple itineraries and embark on a cruise that will take you to the most beautiful cities in Europe, including London, Paris, Amsterdam, Budapest, and more.

If you’re thinking about booking your first river cruise or want to learn more about what it’s like on board a Viking ship, here are some things to know before booking your trip.

  1. Wearing layers is key! Bring a pair of jeans and a t-shirt, which you can easily layer over your button-down shirt.
  2. Don’t forget your raincoat! You’ll need it for the boat ride, but also for when you’re exploring the cities.
  3. Your passport is essential for visiting any new country, so make sure it’s handy at all times.

There are no formal nights on Viking so there’s no need for long dresses for women or dinner jackets for men (even neckties are discretionary). Instead, the dress code is “elegant casual,” which can mean anything from a sundress in the Caribbean—to slacks and a blouse for women cruising in colder climates.

Viking River Cruise Packing List and Cruise Packing Tips

A common question for first-time river cruisers is how to pack for a cruise?

Having sailed on a number of Viking River Cruises and Viking Ocean Cruises, we realise packing for a river cruise differs from what you would pack for a cruise on one of the bigger cruise lines.

With this in mind, we’ve put together this Viking River Cruise packing list, loaded with helpful cruise packing tips to help you get ready for your river cruise or even your first Viking Ocean Cruise.

You will find an example 7-10 day packing list at the end of the article to use as a starting point for your packing.

A viking river cruises ship sits docked at night lit up with christmas lights. You can expect beautiful scenes like this on Viking Christmas cruises thanks to the shorter days.

River cruise cabins may not be as spacious as a hotel room or on an ocean-going vessel, so you don’t want to clutter it with unnecessary stuff.

Also, if you’re planning a pre or post-cruise extension trip, you don’t want to be burdened with heavy luggage.

Storage on Board a River Cruise Vessel
One thing we love about Viking River Cruise vessels is the ample storage in the cabins. While the cabin itself may not be that spacious, there is plenty of drawer and cupboard space to stow your things. Empty suitcases or bags slide easily under the beds to minimise clutter.

A stateroom on a Viking river cruise showin the bed, window and dresser. Wondering what to pack for a cruise? Remember there is limited space inside these cabins and you want your bulky luggage to fit under the bed.
Pack Your Cruise Carry On Bag Wisely
We always recommend packing a change of clothes (or two), some basic toiletries, and important medications and documents in your carry-on luggage when you travel.

If you are taking a fly-cruise package and your luggage is lost by the airline, it could take time for your luggage to be found and may even have to be delivered to the ship at the next port of call.

Also, it would be rare on a river ship, but if there were delays in delivering your bags to your room, you can still freshen up and explore the ship without waiting for your bags.

Reading and games area on a viking river cruise with shelves of books and a view of the ships atrium in the background. How should you dress for a viking cruise. Smart casual is the answer, remember you are on holiday and want to look good and be comfortable.
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When considering how you should dress for a Viking river cruise, depending on the cruise you have chosen, first, think about the season and what weather you may expect.

In Europe, many people choose to take a river cruise in the shoulder seasons of spring and autumn which can mean changeable conditions.

Even the summer months in some parts of Europe can be unpredictable. Whereas, in the summer months in parts of Asia, you can expect a lot of rain.

Colourful cathedral in St Petersburg with light snow falling. You may ask what should I pack for a european river cruise. The cruise packing tip here is to always be prepared for changes in the weather. You never know when it may snow.
Light snowfall in spring in St Petersburg Russia during a Russian river cruise. Even though it is the best time to take a River Cruise, weather can change quickly in the shoulder seasons.
How Long is Your Cruise
Most river cruises are between 7 to 15 days. You will need to plan for how long you are away taking into consideration clothing, medications and toiletries.

Are there Laundry Facilities on Board
There is a laundry service onboard the Viking river cruises. Expect prices between $2.00 – $8.00 USD per item.

If sailing on Viking ocean cruises, there are numerous guest laundries available to use free of charge on each deck.

Review the Shore Excursions
When reviewing the river cruise itinerary, look carefully at any excursions you may want to take or have already booked.

Depending on the type of excursion, you may want to pack specific clothing such as comfortable, versatile hiking/walking shoes for optional easy hikes.

There may be swimming or bathing opportunities, such as the traditional Russian Banya or the therapeutic spas in Budapest, which will require a swimsuit.

Reviewing the shore excursions is particularly important when considering what to pack for a river cruise in Europe, as most cruise itineraries offer a range of cultural evening excursions such as the opera or ballet.

If you choose one of the evening excursions, you may want to pack something a little dressier.

People sitting in the thermal baths in Budapest. a horse shoe shaped sitting area in the pool with the old baths building in the background. How do you pack for a river cruise, well you pack mostly to the conditions you are expecting and types of shore excursions you decide to go on. Don’t forget our anti theft bags you want to be safe on our cruise.
Visiting one of Budapest’s iconic thermal spa’s is a highlight on the Danube Waltz Cruise – Passau to Budapest
Best Luggage for a Cruise
What kind of luggage is best for a cruise? The best luggage for a river cruise is sturdy, easy to manoeuvre through airports and easy to stow under the bed once you have unpacked on board.

We prefer a soft duffle style bag with wheels and a telescopic handle. They are easy to pack, easy to carry and pack flat when not in use. They also are more forgiving if you do overpack a little or pick up one too many souvenirs on your trip.

Is a Hard Suitcase OK?

A hard suitcase is ok; just make sure it is not so big you have trouble sliding it under the bed as there is limited space inside the cabin.

Ladies, forget your fabulously bulky shoulder tote bag that looks great in any season. Think practical anti-theft crossbody purses that can’t be overfilled (for comfort), don’t stand out yet still look good.

You will be doing a lot of walking around towns and cities on a river cruise. You want to be comfortable and don’t want to fall victim to pickpockets.

Anti Theft Fanny Packs
If you want a lightweight in-between bag for day excursions or even for days onboard – you’ll be pleased to know fanny packs are back in fashion. We have reviewed some of the best and most stylish fanny packs for travel here, but these are a few of our favourites. Some even transition beautifully from day to evening.

Daypacks for Cruise Excursions
If you prefer a daypack for travel, then the best backpack for a cruise is something that has hidden pockets, secure zips, sits firmly on your back and can be comfortably worn to the front in crowded situations.

Too often we see people in tour groups sightseeing with their bag or daypack hanging loosely from one shoulder with zips or drawer string closures gaping wide open. While this is an open invitation to pickpockets, it is also how people often lose phones, wallets and other personal items when travelling. If you prefer a sling bag, we’ve got the best selection of Sling Backpacks for men & women here.

Best Cruise Purse for Evening Excursions and Onboard
If you want to bring an additional purse for evening excursions or for evenings on board, consider a handbag for travel that comes with a small anti-theft wristlet or clutch for evenings. Or, pack a separate anti-theft clutch that won’t take up much room in your bag.

Perfect for carrying your phone, lipstick, room card and money without having to pack an extra purse.

What to Wear on a River Cruise
How Should I Dress for a Viking Cruise?
Viking has a well-earned reputation for delivering an upscale river cruise experience. While this is undoubtedly true, many equate this with the need to dress up during the cruise.

Happily, for the most part, this is not the case. While a certain level of dress is expected, and always appreciated, on a Viking River Cruise, you will not find the need for formal wear as you might on a big cruise line. To help you with the dress code on a river cruise, we give you some ideas for day and evening wear.

Pack with Mix and Match in Mind
To avoid overpacking for your cruise choose clothing that will work for multiple combinations so you can mix and match outfits.

Start with a predominantly neutral colour scheme -black, white, beige, tan and grey. You can highlight this with one or two pastels or brighter accent colours depending on your style.

See our top five best women’s travel pants that are stylish, comfortable and versatile – perfect for river cruising.


Allow for one heavier, windproof jacket, although leave overly bulky or heavy clothing at home. They can become cumbersome when on the move. You can find our top-rated women’s travel jackets here and men’s travel jackets with hidden pockets here.


Pack some long-sleeved sweaters or cardigans as well as short and long-sleeved tops and shirts. This way you can be warm in the cooler mornings and evenings and shed easy to carry layers as required during the day.

Scarves and Shawls

A nice scarf or pashmina is the perfect travel accessory for layering when it gets a little cool. It can also dress up an outfit for evenings.

A lightweight scarf also makes great layering for sun protection and as a shoulder and head cover for entering places of worship.

Cruise Day Wear
True to the ethos of destination-focused cruising, you will have plenty of time ashore exploring independently or on one of the many included and optional shore excursions. So comfortable, casual wear will make up the majority of your wardrobe.

Comfortable trousers or jeans are best, or if the weather calls for it, shorts or skirts are also appropriate.
Lightweight, breathable tops. Both long and short-sleeved.
A lightweight jacket or sweater for cooler weather. (a packable down puffy jacket is good for cold or winter weather)
Comfortable walking shoes.
Hat and sunglasses
Consider any places of worship you may be visiting where respectful dress is required. You may be denied entry if you are considered to be inappropriately dressed.

Another good reason to always carry a lightweight travel scarf.

Looking for practical and stylish travel wear?

We’ve put together a collection of the most stylish anti-theft hidden pocket clothing for travel for both men and women.

Viking river cruise packing list and cruise packing tips. Smart casual dress is best for day wear on a cruise. Just make sure your clothing and footwear are comfortable like these people on a cruise excursion in Norway.
Cruise Evening Wear
Except for a few evening experiences such as the ballet, an evening at the orchestra or opera, most evenings will be spent dining on board.

While the restaurants offer a fine dining experience, the dress code is optional. Of course, you may choose to dress up, but many passengers will opt for “elegant casual”. There are no “formal nights” on a river cruise.

For ladies – Dresses, skirts or pants with a blouse or sweater are appropriate.

For men – Trousers and collared shirts are acceptable. Ties and jackets are a personal choice.

A river cruise schedule can be quite busy. So much so, some days will barely allow time to change before dinner.

Think about your mix and match. A smart dress shirt or polo can quickly dress up a casual look for men, and a lovely shawl and change of shoes can quickly transform a casual outfit for ladies.

There is no need to bring any fancy jewellery. It will only be something for you to worry about on the cruise.

If you are cruising in the shoulder seasons or taking a winter river cruise such as a Christmas market river cruise, you may want to prepare for cold and wet weather.

A pair of lightweight gloves and hat that can slip easily into your daypack or handbag.
A scarf or shawl is great for layering in minor changes in weather and a must if cruising in the winter months.
A lightweight rain jacket or quality rain poncho. Consider a jacket that can double as your day to day jacket for cooler days or choose a waterproof jacket that will fold down for easy storage and carrying.
All river cruises offer complimentary umbrellas on board as just one of the thoughtful cruise accessories on offer. However, they are quite large so not always ideal for taking out for a full day of sightseeing. A small, quality travel umbrella is perfect for keeping in your daypack or handbag and then you always have it in case of an unexpected downpour.

Sun and Hot Weather

If cruising in the warmer months don’t get caught without sun protection. There is nothing worse than a sunburn on your holiday.

Too many people forget about sun protection when sightseeing around cities and local attractions. Even in the shoulder seasons the sun can be very harmful so always be prepared with at least the basics.

Sunscreen, hat and sunglasses – no matter the season.
Lightweight long sleeved shirts are perfect for hot sunny days. Collared shirts are always better.
A travel umbrella works equally as well as a sun parasol.
A lightweight travel scarf is great for additional sun protection on the neck and shoulders and comes in very handy when visiting places of worship. They are also good if visiting dusty areas for covering your face.
Foldable and Packable Sun Hats for Travel

Best Shoes for a River Cruise
Shoes take up the most room in our luggage and can sometimes add the most weight. Especially when considering some men’s shoes. In saying that, consider carefully what shoes you will pack for a river cruise.

Comfortable Walking Shoes

While many consider cruising to be quite a relaxed or even sedentary way to travel, river cruises are quite the opposite. At each port, you will have numerous shore activities and excursions to choose from including lots of free walking tours.

You will be doing a considerable amount of walking and even some easy to moderate hikes on some excursions. Comfortable walking shoes will be very important. Also, choose shoes with a good grip. Walking around Europe on the cobblestones can be perilous at times, especially in the wet.

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