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What To Wear On A Viking River Cruise


by Lilias Unruh



Embarking on a Viking River Cruise is an exciting adventure, providing the opportunity to explore stunning destinations along beautiful waterways. As you plan for your upcoming cruise, one important consideration is what to wear. Dressing appropriately ensures that you are comfortable, stylish, and ready for any occasion that may arise.


Whether you are cruising through the enchanting castles of the Rhine or exploring the picturesque villages along the Danube, it is important to research the destination and be aware of any cultural norms or dress codes. In addition, understanding the dress code on board the Viking River Cruise ships will help you pack efficiently and ensure that you have the appropriate attire for each occasion.


While a Viking River Cruise offers a relaxed and casual atmosphere, there are still certain expectations when it comes to attire. During the daytime, you can enjoy a more laid-back and comfortable style, while the evenings call for a slightly more formal dress. It’s also important to consider the types of activities and excursions you will be participating in, as well as the weather conditions, when choosing your outfits.


In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on what to wear on a Viking River Cruise. From casual daytime attire to elegant evening wear, we will cover all the essentials to help you dress appropriately and feel confident during your cruise.


Researching the Destination

Before you embark on your Viking River Cruise, it’s essential to conduct some research on the destinations you will be visiting. Each location may have different cultural norms and expectations when it comes to attire, so it’s important to be aware of these and dress accordingly.


Start by researching the countries and cities you will be stopping at during your cruise. Consider the local customs, traditions, and any specific dress codes that may be in place. For example, if you will be visiting religious sites, such as cathedrals or mosques, it’s important to dress modestly and cover your shoulders and knees.


You can also check the weather forecast for each destination to ensure you pack appropriate clothing for the climate. For warmer destinations, lightweight and breathable fabrics are ideal, while colder regions may require warmer layers and accessories.


Additionally, consider the activities and excursions you have planned for each destination. Will you be hiking, visiting museums, or enjoying a wine tasting? Tailor your wardrobe to the specific activities to ensure you are comfortable and appropriately dressed.


By researching the destinations beforehand, you can pack a versatile wardrobe that is suitable for various cultural expectations, climate conditions, and activities, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the experiences offered on your Viking River Cruise.


Dress Code on Board

While Viking River Cruises offer a more relaxed and casual atmosphere compared to some other cruise lines, there is still a dress code to adhere to on board. The dress code is typically referred to as “Resort Casual,” striking a balance between comfort and style.


During the day, casual attire is perfectly acceptable. You can opt for comfortable and lightweight clothing, such as shorts, sundresses, jeans, or skirts. Pair them with t-shirts, blouses, or polo shirts for a relaxed yet put-together look. Don’t forget to bring a swimsuit and cover-up if you plan on taking a dip in the ship’s pool or enjoying some time at the onboard spa.


In the evenings, the dress code becomes slightly more formal. While formal gowns and tuxedos are not required, it is still encouraged to dress up a bit. Men can opt for dress pants or slacks with a collared shirt or a nice polo. Women can choose to wear a dress, skirt or dress pants with a blouse, or a stylish jumpsuit. Adding some accessories, such as statement jewelry or a scarf, can elevate your look.


It’s important to note that there may be some special evenings on board, such as a Captain’s Dinner or a themed event, where the dress code may be slightly more formal. You will be notified in advance about these occasions, so you can plan your outfits accordingly. However, it’s always a good idea to bring at least one dressier outfit for these special occasions.


One important consideration when it comes to the dress code on a Viking River Cruise is the limited luggage space. You don’t want to overpack and be burdened with excessive baggage. Therefore, it’s essential to choose versatile pieces that can be mixed and matched to create different outfits. This will help maximize your wardrobe options while keeping your luggage to a minimum.


By adhering to the dress code on board, you not only show respect for the cruise’s atmosphere but also enhance your overall experience by feeling stylish and comfortable throughout your journey.


Casual Daytime Attire

During your Viking River Cruise, you will spend a significant amount of time during the day exploring various destinations and participating in exciting activities. For these daytime adventures, it’s important to choose comfortable and casual attire that allows you to move freely and enjoy the experiences to the fullest.


Opt for lightweight and breathable fabrics, such as cotton or linen, for your daytime outfits. These materials help keep you cool and comfortable, especially in warmer climates. Shorts, capris, or lightweight pants are great options for both men and women. Pair them with t-shirts, blouses, or polo shirts in fun and vibrant colors to add a pop of style to your look.


Maxi dresses, sundresses, or skirts are excellent choices for women. They not only provide comfort but also allow for easy movement. Pair them with comfortable sandals or sneakers to complete your casual daytime ensemble.


For men, casual collared shirts, polo shirts, or t-shirts can be paired with shorts or lightweight pants. Consider bringing a lightweight sweater or jacket for cooler evenings or when there’s a slight breeze.


One essential item to bring for daytime activities is a comfortable pair of walking shoes. Whether you are exploring cobblestone streets, visiting a local market, or hiking through beautiful landscapes, supportive and comfortable shoes are a must. Opt for well-cushioned sneakers or walking shoes that provide stability and comfort throughout the day.


Lastly, don’t forget to protect yourself from the sun’s rays. Apply sunscreen regularly and consider bringing a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to shield yourself from the intense sunlight. It’s also a good idea to carry a light scarf or a cover-up to protect your shoulders and arms if needed.


By dressing appropriately for daytime excursions, you can fully enjoy the sights and activities without any discomfort. Comfort, functionality, and style are key when it comes to casual daytime attire on a Viking River Cruise.


Evening Attire

In the evenings aboard a Viking River Cruise, the dress code becomes slightly more formal. While there is no need for extravagant formal attire like gowns or tuxedos, it’s still important to dress up a bit and embrace the elegant atmosphere.


For men, a pair of dress pants or slacks paired with a collared shirt or a nice polo is a suitable choice. You can also add a blazer or sports coat for a more refined look. Avoid wearing jeans or overly casual attire in the evening, as it may not adhere to the dress code.


Women have a range of options for evening attire. A dress, either knee-length or maxi, is a popular choice. Opt for elegant fabrics like silk or chiffon, and consider styles with interesting details like lace or embroidery. Alternatively, you can pair dress pants or a skirt with a stylish blouse or top. Jumpsuits are also a fashionable and comfortable option for evening wear.


Adding accessories can elevate your evening look. For women, consider statement jewelry, like a bold necklace or chandelier earrings, to accentuate your outfit. A small clutch or an elegant handbag complements your ensemble. For men, a sleek watch or cufflinks can add a touch of sophistication.


It’s important to note that there may be some special evenings during your cruise, such as a Captain’s Dinner or a themed event. On these occasions, you may want to dress slightly more formally. A cocktail dress or a tailored suit is appropriate for these events.


Remember to pack versatile items that can be mixed and matched to create different outfits, especially since luggage space is limited on board. Choose clothing that is easy to care for and wrinkle-resistant, as it will make dressing up in the evening effortless.


By embracing the evening dress code, you contribute to the sophisticated ambiance of the Viking River Cruise and add a touch of elegance to your overall experience.



Choosing the right footwear is crucial for a comfortable and enjoyable Viking River Cruise. With a variety of activities and excursions, it’s important to have footwear that is versatile, supportive, and appropriate for different occasions.


During the daytime, opt for comfortable walking shoes or sneakers. These are ideal for exploring cities, wandering through historical sites, or strolling along the riverbanks. Look for shoes with good arch support and cushioning to ensure maximum comfort throughout the day. Breathable materials are also beneficial to keep your feet cool, especially in warmer climates.


If you plan on participating in any outdoor activities or excursions that involve hiking or walking on uneven terrain, it is advisable to bring a pair of sturdy hiking shoes or boots. These will provide the necessary grip and ankle support, ensuring your safety and enjoyment during these adventures.


In the evenings, when the dress code becomes slightly more formal, men can opt for dress shoes or loafers. These will complement their evening attire and add a sophisticated touch. For women, dressy flats, elegant sandals, or low-heeled shoes are suitable choices. These provide comfort while still maintaining a polished and stylish look.


It’s important to consider the weather conditions when choosing footwear. In case of rain or wet conditions, it is recommended to bring waterproof or water-resistant shoes. Additionally, packing a pair of flip-flops or sandals is useful for lounging by the pool or visiting spa facilities on board the ship.


Regardless of the type of footwear you choose, it’s important to break in your shoes before the cruise. This will help prevent blisters and discomfort during your journey. Consider wearing them around the house or on short walks to ensure a proper fit.


Lastly, it’s a good idea to bring a few pairs of socks or stockings to wear depending on the type of shoes and the occasion. Breathable and moisture-wicking socks are ideal for long days of walking and exploring.


By choosing the right footwear for your Viking River Cruise, you can ensure comfort and functionality throughout the day, while still maintaining a stylish appearance in the evenings.


Outerwear and Accessories

When packing for a Viking River Cruise, it’s important to consider the outerwear and accessories that will enhance your comfort and style during your journey. Depending on the season and destination, you may need various types of outerwear to protect yourself from different weather conditions.


If you’re traveling during colder months or visiting destinations with cooler climates, it’s essential to bring a warm jacket or coat. Opt for a versatile and lightweight option that provides insulation without adding too much bulk to your luggage. A waterproof or water-resistant jacket is also a good idea to protect yourself from rain or unexpected showers.


Accessories can add a finishing touch to your overall look while also providing functionality. Scarves not only add a pop of color and style, but also keep you warm on cooler days. Consider bringing a couple of different scarves to change up your outfits. A hat is also a useful accessory to protect yourself from the sun or keep your head warm in colder weather.


For sunnier destinations and warmer months, sunglasses are a must-have accessory to shield your eyes from the sun’s glare. Look for sunglasses with UV protection for optimal eye health. Additionally, don’t forget to pack sunscreen with a high SPF to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.


When it comes to bags, a small crossbody or shoulder bag is convenient for carrying essentials during daytime excursions. Look for one that is lightweight and has enough space for your phone, wallet, sunscreen, and other small items. This type of bag keeps your hands free and allows you to move about comfortably.


In the evenings, you may want to carry a slightly larger clutch or small handbag to complement your dressier attire. Choose a bag that matches the color and style of your evening outfit, adding a touch of elegance to your ensemble.


Accessorizing with jewelry can also elevate your overall look. Choose pieces that are versatile and can be worn with multiple outfits. A statement necklace or a pair of earrings can instantly elevate a simple dress or top, while a delicate bracelet or a watch adds a touch of sophistication to any ensemble.


By packing the right outerwear and accessories, you can be prepared for any weather conditions or special occasions that arise during your Viking River Cruise. Additionally, these items allow you to express your personal style and enhance your overall look.


Packing Tips

When it comes to packing for your Viking River Cruise, it’s important to strike a balance between having enough clothing options and not overpacking. Here are some helpful packing tips to ensure you have everything you need without exceeding your luggage allowance:

  1. Create a packing list: Before you start packing, make a list of all the essentials you’ll need during your cruise. This will help you stay organized and ensure you don’t forget any important items.
  2. Check the weather forecast: Take a look at the weather forecast for each destination you’ll be visiting. This will help you determine the kind of clothes and outerwear you’ll need to pack.
  3. Choose versatile clothing: Opt for clothing items that can be mixed and matched to create different outfits. This will give you more options while minimizing the number of items you need to bring.
  4. Roll your clothes: Rolling your clothes instead of folding them can help save space in your luggage and prevent wrinkles. It also allows for easy visibility and access to each item.
  5. Utilize packing cubes or compression bags: These handy travel accessories can help maximize the space in your luggage and keep your belongings organized. They can also help compress your clothes, allowing you to fit more into your suitcase.
  6. Limit your shoe selection: Shoes can take up a significant amount of space in your luggage. Try to limit the number of shoes you bring and choose versatile options that can be worn with multiple outfits.
  7. Bring travel-sized toiletries: To save space and comply with airline regulations, transfer your toiletries into travel-sized containers. Alternatively, you can purchase travel-sized versions of your favorite products.
  8. Don’t forget the essentials: Remember to pack items like sunscreen, medications, adapters for electronic devices, and any necessary travel documents. It’s also a good idea to have a small first aid kit on hand in case of minor injuries or ailments.
  9. Leave room for souvenirs: If you plan on doing some shopping during your cruise, make sure to leave some extra space in your luggage for souvenirs and new items you may acquire along the way.

Lastly, always double-check the luggage restrictions and guidelines provided by the cruise line to ensure you comply with their specific requirements. It’s also a good idea to weigh your luggage before leaving for the airport to avoid any surprises or excess baggage fees.


By following these packing tips, you’ll be well-prepared for your Viking River Cruise, with a thoughtfully curated and organized suitcase that meets all your needs.



When preparing for a Viking River Cruise, knowing what to wear is essential to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience. By researching the destinations, understanding the onboard dress code, and choosing the right attire, you can strike the perfect balance between style and practicality.


During the day, opt for casual and lightweight clothing that allows you to explore and partake in various activities. Comfortable walking shoes are a must for day excursions, while outerwear and accessories like hats and scarves provide protection from the elements.


In the evenings, embrace the slightly more formal dress code by opting for dressier attire. Choose elegant options that suit your personal style, and accessorize with statement jewelry or a sleek watch to add a touch of sophistication to your look.


When packing, consider versatile clothing items that can be mixed and matched, and use packing cubes or compression bags to save space. Be sure to include essential items like toiletries, medications, and travel documents, and leave room for souvenirs or new purchases.


By following these guidelines and packing tips, you can confidently embark on your Viking River Cruise, knowing that you have the appropriate attire for every occasion and destination. So, get ready to enjoy the beauty of the waterways, immerse yourself in the local cultures, and create unforgettable memories on your spectacular Viking River Cruise.