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Europe river cruise
Europe river cruise

What Clothing Is Appropriate for a Europe River Cruise?

A Europe river cruise offers a unique experience that calls for stylish outfits. Get ready to sail in style with our helpful tips on what to wear.

By Cruise Booking Team

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A river cruise through Europe is one of the most luxurious and exciting ways to explore the beauty of the continent. While it may seem daunting to pack for such a trip, there are a few key things to remember when planning your wardrobe.

How Should I Dress for a River Cruise in Europe?

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what to wear on a Europe River cruise, from the clothes you will need for daytime activities to the dress code for events.

Daytime attire

The first thing to consider when packing for a river cruise in Europe is the daytime activity/activities that you will be participating in. These can include everything — from walking tours and excursions to exploring local markets and historical sites. Regarding daytime attire, it’s important to remember comfort and practicality. This means choosing lightweight, breathable clothes and being easy to move around in.

  • For women, a few key items to pack include comfortable walking shoes or sneakers, lightweight pants or shorts, and breathable tops. A lightweight, packable rain jacket is also a good idea, as the weather in Europe can sometimes be unpredictable. Don’t forget to bring a hat and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun and a small backpack or cross-body bag to carry essentials like a water bottle, camera, and sunscreen.
  • For men, comfortable walking shoes or sneakers are a must, as are lightweight pants or shorts and breathable tops. A lightweight jacket or sweater is also a good idea, as temperatures can vary throughout the day. Don’t forget to pack a hat and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun and a small backpack or messenger bag to carry essentials.

Evening attire

While daytime attire on a river cruise is about convenience and comfort, the evenings are more formal. Many river cruises have a dress code for dinner, ranging from “smart casual” to “formal.” It is important to check with your cruise line to see the dress code, as it can vary depending on the company and itinerary.

  • For women, “smart casual” attire typically means a dress or skirt and blouse, while “formal” attire may require a cocktail or evening dress. Heels or dressy sandals are appropriate for both dress codes: statement jewelry and a clutch or small purse. Packing a light sweater or shawl in case the evening gets chilly is also a good idea.
  • For men, “smart casual” attire typically means dress pants and a collared shirt, while “formal” attire may require a suit and tie. Dress shoes are appropriate for both dress codes, and a belt and dress socks. Packing a jacket or blazer in case the evening gets cold is also a good idea.
  • It is worth noting that some river cruises may have themed events or dinners, such as a “gala” or “black and white” night. If this is the case, be sure to pack accordingly and bring any accessories or clothing items that will fit the theme.

Also Read: How much does a river cruise cost per person?


In addition to daytime activities and evening events, many river cruises offer excursions to local attractions and landmarks. Depending on the excursion, you may need to dress differently than you would for a typical day on the ship.

For example, if you visit a cathedral or other religious site, it is important to dress conservatively and cover your shoulders and knees. This means wearing a long skirt or pants and a blouse or button-down shirt. You may also need to remove your shoes before entering the site, so be sure to wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off. If you are going on a hiking or outdoor excursion, wearing appropriate clothing and footwear is important.

The final word

When packing for a Europe river cruise, it is important to consider the activities and excursions you will be participating in and the climate and cultural norms of the regions you visit. Generally, it is recommended to bring comfortable, casual clothing for daytime activities and dressier attire for evening events. Layers are also important to accommodate changes in temperature and weather. It is also important to consider convenient and essential items such as comfortable walking shoes and rain gear. Ultimately, the key is to pack smart and be prepared for a range of activities and experiences.

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