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What to pack for a Scandinavian cruise

Cruise to Denmark

How to make sure you enjoy every second

What’s the first thing that springs to mind when you hear the word “Scandinavia”? Chances are, you’ll think of snowy mountains and icy winds. 

In fairness, that might be a decent description of Scandinavia in the winter. In summer, expect green hills and balmy temperatures (possibly up to 25 °C in July/August). You’re really only likely to experience a freeze between November and March. As for wind - storms come about as often as anywhere else in Europe.

So if you’re planning a Scandinavian cruise from the UK and are wondering what to pack, the season is your first reference point. Second, think about how you’ll be spending your cruise. If you’ll be leaning on the railings soaking up the sights, dress seasonably for the outdoors. If you’re more of a restaurant, bar and cabin type, scale back the outdoor wear. 

For shore tours, study the climate for the part of Scandinavia you’re visiting, and dress accordingly. Don’t forget, it can rain at any time of the year, so layers and a raincoat, warm jacket or umbrella are recommended. 

Luggage allowances

Fred. Olsen’s luggage allowance is a generous 90 kg (200 lbs) per person. We ask that no single item of luggage weighs more than 20 kg, though. Note that if you’re on a fly cruise, your maximum baggage weight and size will be determined by the airline.

Clothing to pack

Open suitcase with summer clothes

When you’re working out what to pack, clothing will take up most of the weight. The main thing to consider is how long your cruise will be. A grand voyage demands more clothing than a 5-night city break.

Remember that our ships have on board laundries. There are self-service and crew-service laundries, which means you can cycle your clothing to save on luggage over a long trip.

Everyday cruising

The whole point of cruising is to relax and enjoy yourself, so dress how you would on a day out back home.  We do have a dress code, but it’s nothing too restrictive – appropriate dress is all we ask. You’re fine wearing smart jeans and shirts, a skirt or dress,  in the restaurants. Shorts are very comfy, too, and are most welcome on deck. 

A good idea is to pick a complementary colour scheme and make sure everything goes well together. That way, you can mix and match.

Bearing in mind you can launder on board, you’ll need about four sets of bottoms and six sets of tops for a 1 to 2 week cruise.

If you’re planning to spend a lot of time on deck, make sure you bring an appropriate dress for the season. In winter, bring plenty of thick layers, as well as a good raincoat and a woolly hat. In the summer, don’t forget your sunhat. Sunglasses are useful all year. Do keep in mind though that even in the summer it can get chilly on deck so ensure your bring a sweatshirt or cardigan in case you start to feel the cold.

For footwear, trainers and deck shoes will be great. You will also want to bring a more formal pair of shoes for evening meals in the restaurant.

Once your fun-filled day is over, it’s time for bed. Bring your nightgown or pyjamas, as well as slippers and a dressing gown to relax in.

Swimming and gym
What to pack for the gym on a cruise

If you’re taking advantage of the pools and Jacuzzis, pack your swim costumes, whether that’s swimsuits, bikinis, trunks or shorts. If you want to do a spot of sunbathing on your summer Scandinavian cruise, swimwear is perfect.

Don’t forget to bring your flip-flops or sandals. The deck can get slippery around the pool, and quite hot underfoot in the summer. A cover-up or sarong is handy for when the breeze or the sunshine picks up.

If you don’t want your cruise to get in the way of your fitness regime, bring several changes of gym wear. That includes your trainers or gym shoes. You’re welcome to bring your own towels, but your bath and pool/spa towels will be provided in your cabin.

Evening wear

Evenings are for entertainment, fine dining and having a cosy drink with old or new friends. The dress code for most evenings on board is smart casual, so dresses, skirts, a pair of trousers, dark jeans, or chinos, paired with a blouse, shirt, or polo shirt will be perfect. It's up to you whether or not to wear a jacket and tie, the choice is yours.

We do have formal evenings, so if you’re coming along, pack your best evening wear. It’s all about glamour, smart looks and dressing to impress. Heels, polished dress shoes, suits, blazers, fine evening gowns, jewellery, shirts and ties are the order of the night.

Shore Tours

Guests on tour, Kayaking, Eidfjord, Norway

Don’t pack special clothing for city excursions. You can just wear your regular deck clothing, and it’ll already be appropriate for the season. Not all Shore Tours are into cities, though – you might be heading into the mountains or exploring a fjord. Some sturdier footwear might be in order if that’s part of your plan. 

If you’re likely to be buying souvenirs, remember to take secure bags and money pouches.

Any specific details for your shore tours will be provided in your tour description, or our friendly Destinations Team on board will be delighted to answer any questions you may have. 

Everyday essentials

Pretty much everything you need will be available from the shop. However, you’re probably best bringing your preferred hair and dental products, soaps, shower gels, cosmetics and deodorants.

Bring enough of any medication you need to last for the duration of the cruise. If your medication needs to be refrigerated, you can store it in your cabin fridge. It’s best to also bring a travel cool pack for when you’re boarding, and possibly for when you’re exploring after disembarking.

The full experience

Cruise to Denmark

Modern phones have excellent cameras for stills and videos, so many people don’t bring a separate camera. You will need a charger though. Our ships have different socket styles, so bring a socket adapter to be safe.

If you want to capture the majesty of every mountain, town, fjord and sunset, you can’t beat a dedicated camera and proper equipment. And you’ll never regret bringing binoculars as you enjoy a scenic cruise on the Scandinavian coastline.

To lose yourself in music or listen to an audiobook, your headphones should be in your bag. Traditionalists might prefer an actual book or two to read – they’re perfect for spending lazy hours on the waves.

Prohibited items

Please note that there are some items that we do not allow you to bring. These include drones and blades, as well as various illegal items like drugs and firearms. You cannot bring your own alcohol onto the ship, either.

Be prepared to pack a lot in

Your baggage will be as full as your itinerary when you go on a Fred. Olsen cruise. From mountainous coastlines to memorable excursions, every second will be packed with memories. Let us help you find your perfect cruise today.

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