What To Wear On A Boat Cruise: The Best Guide For 2024

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Deciding what to wear on a boat cruise can be both exciting and challenging, especially for first-time cruisers. We understand how important it is to feel comfortable and stylish on your vacation, while also dressing appropriately for the various activities and events you’ll be participating in.

To help you with this task, we’ve compiled some tips and guidelines on what to wear on a cruise based on various factors such as destination, cruise line dress codes, and onboard activities. By the end of this article, you’ll be well-equipped to choose the perfect outfit for your cruising adventure that will ensure you feel confident and ready to enjoy all your voyage has to offer.

Understanding Cruise Dress Codes

Wondering what to wear for a boat cruise? It’s essential to understand cruise dress codes, which vary depending on the time of day and the specific cruise line. We’ll help you navigate these dress codes and provide some tips for both daytime and evening cruise wear.

Cruise dress codes, whether casual or formal, set the tone for your voyage. Casual nights are relaxed, while formal evenings require elegance. Know your cruise line’s guidelines to pack appropriately and enjoy every moment at sea. Understanding dress codes ensures you’re ready for any onboard occasion.

Daytime Cruise Wear

Daytime Cruise Wear

During the day, cruise dress codes are typically more relaxed and casual. Light-weight and comfortable clothing is key. For casual daytime wear, consider the following options:

  • Men: Shorts, t-shirts, polos, and casual button-down shirts
  • Women: Sundresses, skirts, shorts, summer tops, and lightweight pants or capris

Don’t forget essentials like swimwear and cover-ups if you plan to lounge by the pool or participate in water activities. Also, pack comfortable walking shoes or sandals for exploring ports and onshore excursions.

Evening Cruise Wear

Evening Cruise Wear

As the sun sets, cruise attire transitions from casual to a more refined style. Most cruise lines have designated evenings with specific dress codes, such as casual elegance, smart casual, or formal dress codes.

Casual elegance: This dress code is a step up from daytime wear but still allows for a relaxed style. Men can wear jeans or khakis with button-down shirts, while women can opt for casual dresses, skirts, or pants outfits.

Smart casual: For a smart casual dress code, men should wear dress pants or slacks with collared shirts or sport coats. Women can dress in summer or casual dresses, skirts, or pants paired with elegant tops.

Formal nights: Some cruise lines have formal nights, where passengers have the opportunity to showcase their finest outfits. Men can wear suits or tuxedos, while women can opt for formal gowns or cocktail dresses.

Keep in mind that each cruise line has its own cruise line dress codes, so always check with your specific cruise line for detailed guidelines on what to wear. Now you’re all set to enjoy your boat cruise in style!

Ready For Theme Nights?

Cruise Theme Nights

When it comes to deciding what to wear for a boat cruise, we understand that it can be a bit overwhelming, especially when there are theme nights involved. But fear not! We’re here to help you get dressed to impress for those popular theme nights like the White Hot Party, Pirate Night, and more.

The White Hot Party is all about embracing your inner glow by sporting white attire. For this event, you’ll want to opt for a white dress, pants, or skirt paired with a stylish white top. Don’t forget to accessorize with white shoes or sandals and perhaps some white or silver jewelry to complete your angelic look. Feel free to get creative and add some fun touches like glow sticks or LED accessories.

Pirate Night is a time to channel your inner swashbuckler and show off your best pirate ensemble. To get the look, think about pairing a striped shirt with black pants or a skirt. Add a pirate hat, bandana, or headscarf to top it off. Don’t be shy about accessorizing with gold jewelry and perhaps an eye patch or toy sword for an authentic touch.

For other theme nights that might be featured on your boat cruise, it’s essential to plan ahead by researching the specific themes and preparing outfits accordingly. For example, a 70s-themed disco party could involve wearing retro bell-bottom pants, platform shoes, and a headband, while a black-tie event might require a sophisticated dress or suit.

Check your cruise itinerary or event descriptions to make sure you’re prepared for any themed events on your trip.

With these tips in mind, you’re now ready to step aboard your boat cruise in style and take on those theme nights with confidence. We hope you have a fantastic time dressing up and immersing yourself in the exhilarating world of themed events on your cruise.

As we’re figuring out what to wear for a boat cruise, it’s essential to choose the right footwear for different scenarios. In this section, we’ll discuss various types of shoes suitable for various activities and situations during a boat cruise.

Footwear For Different Scenarios


When it comes to enjoying a boat cruise, comfort and functionality are key. For casual daytime activities onboard or exploring the shore, it’s wise to pack sandals and sneakers that offer both comfort and support for walking.

Sandals are perfect for those hot days when you want to stay as cool as possible, while sneakers will keep your feet comfortable during long walks and excursions.

Treat your feet to some comfortable flats as well. Flats are a versatile choice for when you need something a little dressier than sandals but still want to prioritize comfort. They’re perfect for attending onboard events, exploring the cruise ship, or even wearing during a fancy dinner.

For evenings and more formal events, it’s necessary to pack a pair of dress shoes that will complement your outfit. There’s no need to sacrifice style for comfort, as many stylish dress shoes are available that provide the support needed for a night of dancing and enjoyment.

Boat shoes are another footwear option, designed specifically for boating activities. Made from materials that resist water and provide excellent traction on wet surfaces, boat shoes are an ideal choice for those spending a significant amount of time on the ship’s deck or participating in water-related excursions.

TOMS shoes are a popular and comfortable option that can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion. versatile and lightweight, these shoes are an excellent option for various activities throughout the cruise, from strolling around the ship to attending both casual and semi-formal events.

Finally, depending on the climate and your planned activities, you might need a pair of waterproof boots. Boots can protect your feet during rain or keep them warm in colder weather, making them an essential addition to your cruise attire if you’re venturing into a cooler or wetter destination.

Choosing the right shoes for a boat cruise can make a significant difference in your overall experience. By considering the activities and events you’ll participate in and making sure to pack footwear that suits each situation, you can ensure a comfortable and stylish boat cruise adventure.

Choosing Accessories

Choosing Accessories

When planning what to wear for a boat cruise, it’s essential to consider the accessories that can enhance your experience and keep you comfortable. In this section, we’ll cover some of the must-have accessories, including jewelry, sunglasses, sun protection, and more.

A great way to add some flair to your boat cruise outfit is by incorporating stylish yet functional jewelry. Opt for pieces that won’t easily get tangled or damaged by water, such as waterproof watches, minimalistic necklaces, and bracelets.

You may also want to consider wearing a tunic or lightweight cover-up as an additional layer to protect your skin from the sun while still looking fashionable.

Sun protection is crucial when spending time on a boat. Be sure to pack a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses, as they can shield your face and eyes from harmful UV rays.

Don’t forget to apply sunscreen with a high SPF to protect your skin from sunburn and potential long-term damage. Reapply throughout the day to ensure continuous protection, especially after swimming or sweating.

Besides these must-have accessories, you may want to bring along some extras that can come in handy on a boat cruise. For instance, a waterproof bag can be useful for keeping your personal items safe from splashes and rain; comfortable, non-slip shoes are essential for activities on the deck; and binoculars can offer a better view of scenic landscapes or wildlife sightings.

In summary, choosing the right accessories can make a significant difference in your boat cruise experience. By packing versatile jewelry, a tunic or cover-up, sun protection essentials like sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat, and considering other functional extras, you’ll be well-prepared to fully enjoy your time on the water.

Dressing For Cooler Weather

Dressing for Cold Weather

When planning what to wear for a boat cruise during cooler weather, it’s essential to stay comfortable and warm while still looking stylish. In this section, we’ll cover some clothing items and accessories that can help you enjoy your cruise without feeling too cold.

Jackets and blazers are crucial for staying warm on a cooler weather cruise. Opt for a versatile, insulated jacket that can be easily layered over other clothing. A stylish blazer can also provide extra warmth and elevate your outfit, perfect for formal dining events on the cruise.

Don’t forget a lightweight, waterproof jacket or windbreaker for unpredictable weather with potential rain and wind.

Sundresses might not be the first thing that comes to mind for cooler weather, but they can still work with the right layers. Pair your favorite sundress with tights or leggings, a cozy sweater or cardigan, and a stylish jacket to create a comfortable yet fashionable outfit.

Loungewear is a great option for casual days on the boat, especially when paired with warmer pieces. Consider wearing comfy sweats or leggings with a thermal shirt or a cozy hoodie to stay warm while still being able to relax.

Don’t forget to have a pair of comfortable shoes for walking around the ship and taking part in various activities.

For cooler weather cruises, accessories are your best friend. Invest in a warm scarf, hat, and gloves to protect yourself from the wind and keep you cozy throughout your trip.

In conclusion, knowing what to wear for a boat cruise during cooler weather is all about mixing comfort and style. Layer up with jackets, blazers, and warmer loungewear, while incorporating versatile pieces like sundresses and accessories for a truly enjoyable cruise experience.

Our Opinion On What To Wear For A Boat Cruise

What to Wear on a Boat Cruise

Ahoy, fashion-conscious sailors! Deciding on what to wear for a boat cruise can be quite challenging, but we’re here to help you navigate through the sea of options. Just sit back, relax, and let us guide you on picking the perfect outfit that’s comfortable, stylish, and cruise-ready!

First and foremost, consider the climate and weather conditions you’ll be sailing in. For a summer boat trip, a simple and casual look with a cute top, hot jeans, or shorts might be just the ticket. Opt for fresh hues like pastel blue, white, or cream to set the mood right.

Complement your attire with comfortable, non-slip footwear, as boat surfaces may become slick when wet. Enhance your yacht casual look with a fashionable sunhat and sunglasses to shield yourself from the sun and perfect your outfit.

For evening wear, women can opt for casual dresses, skirts, pants, capris, blouses, and knit tops. Men can choose collared golf and polo shirts, shorts, and pants. A sport coat can elevate your style, but it’s optional.

On cruise elegant evenings, passengers don a range of attire, from slacks and stylish shirts to tuxedos and ball gowns. However, the majority opt for outfits that strike a balance in between.

As a final tip, pack versatile pieces that can be easily mixed and matched to create various outfit combinations. This way, you can save luggage space and avoid overpacking.

Remember, comfort is key, so choose clothing that allows you to freely move and enjoy all the cruise activities you have planned.

Now that you have our take on what to wear for a boat cruise, you’re all set to sail away in style and enjoy a fabulous voyage. Bon voyage, happy cruisers!


What do people wear on a boat cruise?

On a boat cruise, people usually wear comfortable and casual clothing suitable for the weather and activities they’ll be participating in. For warm-weather cruises, loungewear and beachwear are common choices, with T-shirts, tank tops, and easy-to-match clothing being popular. Cooler weather cruises may require warmer clothes like jackets and waterproof wear.

What do you wear on a casual boat cruise?

For a casual boat cruise, think about comfortable clothing that suits the weather and destination. Men often opt for khaki pants or shorts with short-sleeve button-down shirts or plain T-shirts, while women might choose khaki shorts, palazzo pants, a nice top, or a sundress. In most cases, nice jeans (dark wash, without holes) are also acceptable.

What do you wear on a small boat cruise?

On a small boat cruise, the attire can be more relaxed. Stick to comfortable clothes in breathable fabrics that protect you from the sun, wind, and water. A cute top and shorts in fresh hues like pastel blue, white, or cream can be a great choice. Don’t forget a hat, sunglasses, and a light jacket in case the weather changes.

What should I wear on my first day of cruise?

On your first day, wear comfortable and casual clothing that’s easy to move around in, as you’ll likely be exploring the ship and participating in onboard activities. It’s also a good idea to have your swimsuit and a change of clothes handy in case you want to take a dip in the pool or attend an impromptu event before your luggage arrives at your cabin.

What can you not wear on a boat cruise?

Certain clothing items are generally not recommended or allowed on boat cruises, particularly during dinner or special events. Avoid overly revealing clothes, offensive slogans or graphics, and ripped or torn clothing. Some cruise lines have specific dress code requirements, so be sure to check with your cruise line ahead of time to ensure your attire meets their guidelines.

Planning your wardrobe for a boat cruise and wondering what to wear for boat cruise? We’ve got you covered with our friendly FAQ section. Here you’ll find quick answers to some commonly asked questions about boat cruise attire. What’s Your Favorite Outfit to Wear on a Boat Cruise? Let us now in the Comments!

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Malte Golinske
Articles: 146

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