What to Wear on a River Cruise in Europe or Anywhere

Captains Farewell Dinner

This is not an example of how to dress on a river cruise.  Apparently he was in the whirlpool on the sun deck and came downstairs to the bar.

Dress code on a river cruise

If you’re used to ocean cruising, then you may be surprised to know there are no traditional formal nights on a river cruise.  Casual is the key for what to wear on a river cruise. Days are spent ashore so you’ll want to bring comfortable clothing and very comfortable shoes. Most evenings on board are also casual, but not jeans and t-shirt casual.  At dinner, men usually wear a collared shirt and maybe a sport coat. Some women wear nice slacks and a nice blouse or top or maybe a casual skirt or dress.  Dining rooms may be cold when you first sit down, so it makes sense to bring a light sweater to dinner, just in case.

The only time anyone gets close to dressing up is at the Welcome Aboard or Farewell Dinner.  Unlike ocean cruise ships, there aren’t any “formal nights” on river cruises just a couple of dressier nights.  Men usually wear a shirt with a tie or a sport coat.  Women tend to wear sparkly tops with pants or nicer dresses and maybe mid-high heeled shoes.

For more complete details on what to pack for a Europe river cruise, click here.

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