What to wear on viking ocean cruise

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.

laundry on viking ocean cruises

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
Photo credit: Pixabay

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
Braun Hair Dryer on Viking Star (Photo credit: Jerome Levine)
Braun Hair Dryer on Viking Star (Photo credit: Jerome Levine)

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
Bedside outlets on Viking Star
Bedside outlets on Viking Star (Credit: Jerome Levine)

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
Packing for a Viking Ocean Cruise: Freyja Toiletries are stocked on Viking Ocean Cruises
Freyja Toiletries on Viking Ocean Cruises (Credit: Jerome Levine)

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
Norwegian Waffle at Mamsen’s (Credit: Jerome Levine)
Norwegian Waffle at Mamsen’s (Credit: Jerome Levine)

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.

What to wear on viking river cruise

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
By: AuthorKate O’Malley

Posted onLast updated: August 12, 2022

Home >> Travel Tips >> Cruises >> Viking River Cruise Packing List and Cruise Packing Tips

Disclaimer: Our articles may contain affiliate links. See end of article for more details.

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.

Table of Contents
How to Pack for a River Cruise
Pack Light
One of the great advantages of a river cruise is being able to unpack once and relax for the rest of your cruise. However, even with all the great packing hacks we mention here, the secret to packing for a cruise is still to pack light.

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.

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Related: 10 Travel Safety Tips to Put in Place Before You Go

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.

Related: Avoid lost luggage issues. We’ve rounded up the Best Luggage Trackers and Smart Tags to help you find lost luggage fast.

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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Consider Your Cruise Itinerary
What Season Are You Cruising In
Most people associate river cruising with Europe but you may have chosen a river cruise in China, Vietnam or even Egypt.

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.

Related: Take a Look on Board Viking Ocean Cruises Viking Sea

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.

Samsonite Wheeled Duffel

Samsonite Ripstop Wheeled Rolling Duffel Bag, Blue, 26-Inch
Samsonite Ripstop Wheeled Rolling Duffel Bag, Blue, 26-Inch
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We like the Samsonite wheeled duffel bags because they are lightweight, easy to carry and with changeable packing options, are so easy to pack. They also come in different sizes depending on your requirement. Perfect for cruises.

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.

Cruise Luggage Tips

If you are travelling as a couple, we recommend taking one large suitcase or bag between you for a cruise and one carry on bag each.
You maximise the room in your cabin this way and only have to worry about one case while you are travelling.
With this in mind, consider baggage weight allowances if your river cruise includes domestic flights within the country.
Best Bags for Cruise Excursions
The best bag for a shore excursion is one that is not too bulky, comfortable to wear, practical and has good anti-theft features.

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.

Read Our Guide to the Best Crossbody Bags for Travel

Crossbody Bags for Travel
Travelon Anti-Theft Heritage Hobo Bag, Indigo, 11.5 X 9.5 X 3
Travelon Anti-theft Heritage Bag

Lewis N. Clark Women’s RFID Blocking Technology, Slash Resistant Material Adjustable Shoulder Strap, Lake
Lewis N. Clark Anti-theft Cross Body Bag

Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Crossbody Bag, Midnight, One Size
Travelon Anti-Theft Cross Body Bag

Read Our Guide to the Best Anti Theft Handbags and Purses for Travel

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.

Travelon Addison-Anti-Theft-Convertible Crossbody/Belt Bag-Midnight Floral, One Size
Travelon Addison-Anti-Theft-Convertible Crossbody/Belt Bag

Travelon Origin-Anti-Theft-Hip Pack Waistpack/Crossbody-SILVADUR Treated, Driftwood, One Size
Travelon Origin Anti-Theft Waistpack/Sling Bag treated with Silvadur antimicrobial technology

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.

Travelon: Anti-Theft Signature Nylon Slim Backpack – Ocean
Travelon Anti-theft Signature Slim Backpack

Pacsafe Slingsafe LX400 Anti-Theft Backpack with Detachable Pocket, Chili Red
Pacsafe Anti-Theft Backpack with Detachable Pocket

Travelon Anti Theft Classic Backpack, Midnight
Travelon Anti Theft Classic Backpack

Read Our Complete Guide to Buying an Anti-Theft Backpack

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.

Baggallini womens Horizon Travel Crossbody cross body handbags, Pacific, One Size US
Baggallini womens Horizon Travel Crossbody cross body handbag

Baggallini Women’s Cross Over Crossbody, Pewter Zebra
Baggallini Women’s Cross Over Bag with Wristlet

Travelon: Anti-Theft Boho Clutch Crossbody Bag – Black
Travelon Anti-Theft Boho Clutch Crossbody Bag

Related: A Complete Guide to the Best Anti-theft Travel Gear

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.

Lady modelling a pair of navy travel pants with red shoes and red T shirt.
Anatomie Skyler Travel Pant (use code GET15OFF for 15% off your order)

Cashmeren Crewneck Cardigan Sweater 100% Cashmere Button Front Long Sleeve Pullover for Women (Heather Grey, X-Small)
Cashmere Classic Cardigan

Women’s Long Sleeve Striped T-Shirt Tee Shirt Tops Slim Fit Blouses (Medium, Black White)
Round Neck Stripe T

Lady standing by a window wearing a blue T shirt and slate chino pants.
Bluffworks Travel Palma Chino Pants

Cruise Packing Tips

How Much to Pack

If you are creating a packing list for a seven day cruise, select five to seven tops to compliment three to four bottoms.
A brightly coloured scarf, shawl or jacket will give you additional options for each combination and can be used to dress up any outfit.
You may wish to choose one additional dressier outfit or elegant top to dress up one of your mix and match combinations.
You may want to increase this accordingly for each additional week you are travelling.
See the end of the article for a complete example river cruise packing list.

man sittin on a window sill wearing chino pants and a check shirt.
Bluffworks Ascender 5 Pocket Travel Pants

Amazon Brand – Goodthreads Men’s “The Perfect Oxford Shirt
Goodthreads Men’s Long-Sleeve Solid Oxford Shirt

Nautica Men’s Classic Fit Short Sleeve Solid Soft Polo Shirt, Sunbaked Red Solid, Large
Nautica Men’s Classic Fit Polo Shirt

Levi’s Men’s Carrier Cargo Short, Cougar/Ripstop, 28
Levi’s Men’s Cargo Short

Always keep comfort in mind when choosing clothing for a cruise. Easy care, wrinkle-free, breathable fabrics are best.

Layer Your Outfits
Depending on the season and destination, the weather could be changeable from port to port. Layering is the best way to combat changeable conditions when travelling even from morning to night or when transiting in airports.


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.

Woman wearing a blue scarf with a phone pocket.
Bluffworks Lightweight Travel Utility Scarf

Dalle Piane Cashmere – Stole 100% cashmere – Made in Italy, Color: Light blue, One size
Dalle Piane Cashmere Stole

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?

Read our Buying Guide to the Best Pickpocket Proof Clothing for Travel.

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.

Look for easy-care, wrinkle-free dress shirts you can wash and not worry about ironing like this travel range from Bluffworks.

Woman sitting on a stool wearing a white blouse.
Bluffworks Wrinkle Free Azores Blouse

man in a blue dress shirt leaning against a wall.
Bluffworks Wrinkle-Free Travel Zenith Dress Shirt

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.

Pack for the Conditions
Cold and Wet Weather

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.
Our favourite travel accessories for wet weather.

totes Women’s Reversible Rain Poncho, Black, One Size
Totes Women’s Reversible, Packable Travel Rain Poncho

The North Face Venture Jacket Men LG TNF Black
The North Face Venture Rain Jacket

totes Women’s Bucket Rain Hat, Nordic Status, One Size
totes Women’s Bucket Rain Hat

Hoke 8-Rib Mini Compact Pocket Umbrella. Windproof & Lightweight Travel Umbrella. UV Protection Parasol. (Yellow)
Windproof & Lightweight Folding Travel Umbrella.

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

SunLily Women’s Roll-n-Go Sun Hat, Tan, One Size
SunLily Women’s Roll-n-Go Sun Hat

Scala Women’s Cotton Hat with Inner Drawstring and Upf 50+ Rating,Banana,One Size
Scala Women’s Packable Cotton Hat

Ultrafino Fedora Packable Foldable Panama Straw Hat Classic 7 1/4
Foldable & Packable Fedora Panama Straw Hat

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.

Forsake Phil Chukka – Men’s Casual Leather Mid-Top (8 M US, Walnut)
Forsake Phil Chukka – Men’s Casual Leather Mid-Top

Forsake Range Low – Men’s Waterproof Leather Approach Sneaker (10.5 D(M), Olive/Grey)
Forsake Men’s Waterproof Leather Sneaker

Johnston & Murphy Men’s McGuffey Woven Slip On Denim Tumbled Nubuck 8.5 M US
Johnston & Murphy Woven Slip-on Sneaker Shoe

Thankfully today, you can find some very stylish, practical and more importantly, lightweight walking shoes on the market.


Break in your walking shoes before you leave on your cruise

ECCO Women’s Crepetray Tie Oxford, Muted Clay/Powder, 11-11.5
ECCO Women’s Crepetray Tie Oxford Walking Shoe

Skechers Performance Women’s Go Walk 4 Kindle Slip-On Walking Shoe,Navy/White,6 M US
Skechers Women’s Walking Shoe

UGG Women’s Adley Perforated Fashion Sneaker, Black, 10 M US
UGG Women’s Adley Perforated Fashion Sneaker

Additional Day and Evening Shoes

You may like to take a second pair of day shoes for around the ship that can transition to evening and one pair of dressier shoes for evening excursions.

We always like to take a pair of flip-flops or a similar comfortable sandal for relaxing in the cabin or making those quick trips to the snack and coffee station.

The bar on a viking river cruise. The bar is lines with fancy glasses and high end booze. 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.

Fly – Cruise Tip

If taking a fly-cruise package and you have a long haul flight before your cruise, consider wearing compression socks on the flight over. Swollen feet from flying is bad at the best of times.

On a river cruise, you will be launching straight into tours and excursions; there would be nothing worse than trying to squeeze swollen feet into shoes for a walking tour.

Personal Items, Adapters & Chargers
Toiletries and Personal Products
Another bonus of river cruising is the ample time spent ashore means you can easily pick up any necessary toiletries along the way. There is also a small shop on board should you require something urgently.

On Viking River Cruises, there is no need to bring basic toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, soap, or body lotion. Unless of course, you need a specific product. These are things that weigh your bags down and are most likely to leak in your luggage.

Viking has a beautiful premium range of products designed exclusively for them by Freyja. Best of all, they are in good sized bottles (not those tiny hotel-style bottles) and are replenished daily or as you need.


There is no need to bring a hairdryer. Save the space in your bag. Viking provides good quality, powerful hairdryers in each cabin. Not the low power dryers permanently attached to the wall as you find in many hotels.

If you use a straightener or curler, you will need to bring this.


Don’t forget any medicines you might need for the duration of your cruise plus additional just in case of any delays.

Tip for Travelling with Medications

Check any travel advice for the countries you will be travelling to regarding prohibited medications lists. If your medication appears on a banned medications list for that country, ensure you have the appropriate paperwork and approvals before leaving home.

Additional Handy Toiletries We Recommend
Don’t forget to carry some hand sanitiser with you. We find the ones that clip to your bag are the best as you never leave them behind and they are easy to access when you need them.

PURELL Advanced Hand Sanitizer Variety Pack, Naturals and Refreshing Gel, 1 Fl Oz Travel Size Flip-Cap Bottle with Jelly Wrap Carrier (Pack of 8) – 3900-09-ECSC
Hand Sanitizer Travel Sized Pump Bottle

One of the less desirable aspects of travel is having to use public conveniences, something you will often do on a river cruise. We always keep some of these handy wipes in our bag. Whether at an airport or on a shore excursion, throw a few in your bag, and you will never get caught out.

Stall Mates: Flushable, individually wrapped wipes for travel. Unscented with Vitamin-E & Aloe, 100% Biodegradable (30 on-the-go singles)
Flushable, individually wrapped wipes for travel.

Adapters and Chargers
Travel Adapters

Viking longships have 110 / 220-volt outlets and USB ports in every cabin so you shouldn’t need a power adapter unless you have hotel stays included in your cruise itinerary or either side of the cruise. (Not every cruise company will have this so you should check in advance if cruising with a different company)

You will find power points next to the bed and near the desk which will more than likely be ample power points for most travellers.

If you find you need more charging space for camera’s, phones or even a laptop, we recommend bringing a power strip from your home country. We always travel with one just in case.

Cruise Excursion Tip

Bring your headphones – I find the earpieces issued with the audio devices for tours very uncomfortable and difficult to attach to my ear.

I have found the headphones you would typically use with your smartphone are compatible with the audio devices on board. They are much more comfortable to wear for long periods and produce better sound.

viking ocean cruise problems

【2 Pack】 ZDAGO Aux Earbuds/Earphones, 3.5mm Wired Headphones Noise Isolating Earphones Volume Control & Built-in Microphone Compatible with iPhone/Android/MP3/MP4/Pad.
Generic Premium Earbuds/Headphones with Stereo Mic & Remote Control for Smartphones

Charging Bank

A quality, fast charging bank is great for travel days, essential for full-day shore excursions, especially for anyone who uses their phone as their primary camera. They are not expensive and can be a lifesaver when you really need that bit of extra battery.

DANDELION Travel Adapter Outlet Adapter Traveler Accessory Universal Wall Charger 2 USB Ports (UK, USA, AU, Europe, Asia) International Power Plug Adaptor for Multiple Socket Type C, A, I, G (Gold)
Dandelion Travel Adapter with 2 USB Ports

Belkin 3-Outlet USB Surge Protector, Rotating Plug (918 Joules)
Power strip with 3 AC Outlets, 2 USB Ports

Anker PowerCore 10000 Portable Charger, One of The Smallest and Lightest 10000mAh Power Bank, Ultra-Compact Battery Pack, High-Speed Charging Technology Phone Charger for iPhone, Samsung and More.
The Smallest and Lightest High-Speed Power Bank

Do You Have All Your Chargers and Cords?

Always do a final check of all your devices, cameras and electronic equipment to make sure you have all the right cords, batteries and chargers. You may not be able to get a replacement should you forget one.

People walking down a shopping esplanade with a church steeple in the background and diners eating alfresco along the way. You may ask what should I pack for a european river cruise. The cruise packing tips here is to always be prepared for changes in the weather. You never know when it may be sunny and warm even in winter.
Example Viking River Cruise Packing List
This cruise packing list is for a seven to ten-day cruise. You may want to increase some clothing items depending on the type and duration of the cruise.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
For us, travel insurance is the first thing we buy as soon as we book a trip. Aside from possible cancellations, we like to know we are covered, especially in medical emergencies.

Find out what World Nomads cover if Covid 19 affects your travel plans.

We have used World Nomads Travel Insurance since we started travelling full time over six years ago. We have made a couple of reasonably big claims, both of which involved medical assistance while travelling. Each time it was straightforward with access to support 24 hours a day.

We love that you can buy and claim online, even after you’ve left home. Perfect if you need to extend your coverage while you’re still travelling. Travel insurance from WorldNomads.com is available to people from 140 countries with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.

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