What to Wear on a Cool Weather Cruise (with photos & links)

What to Wear on a Cool Weather Cruise

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If you’re used to Caribbean and other tropical weather cruises, packing and choosing what to wear on a cool weather cruise can be a challenge!

Whether you’re doing an Alaska, Canada & New England, or Norwegian Fjords cruise, you’ll need cruise outfits that are practical and warm enough for your cool weather cruise.

I recently did a Fall cruise in the Canada New England region, where weather can be cool and rainy one day, and sunny and warm the next. I definitely have some cruise packing tips to share!

In this post I share some ideas of what to wear on a cooler weather cruise (September, October, November…). I also share several cruise outfit photos and links to the cruise wear when possible.

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Cruise Wear for a Cool Weather Cruise

Keeping it casual on a Canada New England Fall cruise

Before I share the cruise outfits I wore during the day and evening for a cool weather cruise, here’s a list of basic clothing to pack.

Basic Cruise Packing List – Cool Weather Cruise

Cruise ships in Saint John, Canada in the Fall

Remember, that dressing in layers works best for days in ports and on shore excursions. It’s likely that the morning may be cooler, and you’ll need a sweater or light jacket. However, by afternoon a t-shirt may be perfect!

  • T-shirts
  • Sweatshirts or sweaters
  • Pants or Jeans
  • Pair of shorts (optional)
  • Socks (bring extra in case it rains)
  • Casual evening wear
  • Dressy clothing (formal nights or chic evenings)
  • Rain jacket
  • Warm jacket (check weather)
  • Sneakers

Tip: Check the weather forecasts a few days before your cruise, and adjust your clothing list as needed. You can pack light on a cruise by wearing pants and tops a second time.


Cool Weather Cruise Outfits

These are the outfits that I wore on my cruise. While we didn’t have a “formal night” on Norwegian, we did dress up a bit for dinner most nights. Daytime we had some warmer weather, but were prepared for cold and rainy too!

Long Sleeve Dress

Ilana wearing faux wrap dress with sleeves

If you’re looking for a longer sleeve dress to wear in the evening, this knee length dress is perfect. The faux wrap dress style with a 3/4 length sleeve is flattering (and hides a tummy).

The best part is that it’s both comfortable and doesn’t need ironing! Truthfully, it’s a keeper that I’ll likely wear on many cruises to come.

Recommended: Faux wrap dress (check price & color options on Amazon here)

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Short Sleeve Tie Waist Dress

ilana wearing short sleeve dress on a cooler weather cruise
Short sleeve dresses are great for evenings on cool weather cruises

This short sleeve dress was really comfortable and easy to wear. In fact, I think it could be worn on a Bahamas cruise or Bermuda cruise in the evening as well.

I chose the blue color, but it’s available in many other colors too.

Recommended: Tie waist t-shirt dress (check price & Amazon reviews here)

Little Black Dress (with sleeves)

I like to wear dresses, and this one packed easily without wrinkling! The medium length sleeve was perfect for the chillier evenings on our cruise.

Smart casual cruise outfits for evening on a cruise

Long Sleeve Top

Yes, you can wear jeans in the evening on a cruise

It’s a good idea to pack a pair of dark jeans and/or a pair of nice black pants that can go with a couple of different 3/4 length blouses. I brought a leopard print top and wore it with jeans on casual nights on my cruise.

A solid color loose top is perfect to wear with a nice pair or pants or skirt.

Recommended: Ladies 3/4 length sleeve top (very flattering)

Short Sleeve Dress

I probably have a light sweater tucked in my handbag 😉

While most of my dresses and tops had longer sleeves, I did still wear some shorter and even sleeveless cruise outfits. If you ever see me on a cruise, you’ll see I’m almost never without a light sweater or shawl.

Zip Up Hoodie Sweatshirt

Sweatshirts on Ilana and Frank at Hopewell Rocks, Saint John Canada cruise
Visiting Hopewell Rocks in Saint John, Canada

Make sure to bring comfortable clothing that you can layer, especially on active shore excursions. A fleece zip up sweatshirt is perfect (make sure it has a hood for rain and wind).

Recommended: Fleece zip up hoodie (check price & colors on Amazon here)

Related: 27 Cruise Packing Tips All Cruisers Need to Know

Yoga Pants

You’ll likely want to wear yoga pants, leggings, joggers or comfortable pants when sightseeing or doing active excursions.

Recommended: High waisted yoga pants (pockets for cell phone)

What to Wear on a cool weather cruise (Ilana and Frank) Pinterest size
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Jean Jacket

A jean jacket is a great layer to wear over a simple white t-shirt, cute top, or dress.

Recommended: Jean jacket (check price & 2000+ Amazon reviews here)

Shawl or Poncho

A wrap shawl is the ultimate ladies travel accessory! You can wear in on the plane, on excursions on cooler days, as well as over a dress or blouse in the evening on a cruise.

Recommended: Warm pashmina wrap (check price & colors on Amazon here)

Rain Jacket with Hood

Ilana and Frank wearing rain jackets for cool weather cruise
We needed our rain jackets on embarkation day for our September cruise

A rain jacket is great to bring on a cruise, for any itinerary. However if you’re doing a British Isles cruise, Canada or Alaska cruise, it’s a must!

This Columbia rain jacket is light, water-proof and comfortable to wear over a t-shirt or sweatshirt.

Recommended: Ladies rain jacket (check price & over 12,000 4.5* Amazon reviews here)

Looking a a men’s cruise packing list? Cruise Wear for Men: Men’s Packing List for a Cruise

Related & Popular Posts:

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Final Thoughts on What to Wear on a Cool Weather Cruise

Cooler weather cruises call for comfortable and versatile cruise outfits. If you pack with layers in mind, you’ll be fine both on the cruise ship and the days visiting on land.

Where’s your next cruise? Please let me know in the comments below.

Happy Cruising!


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  1. Lorraine Halstead
    September 28, 2022 / 6:59 am

    We are going on our first cruise next Thursday, to Norway.
    Thank you for your Facebook information, such as what to wear on a cool weather cruise, your ultimate cruise planner and some if the youtube video clips.
    I have learned do much.
    My to-do lists are ticked.
    My magnetic hooks and highlighter are ready.
    My packing is done
    My ‘layers of clothes’ are ready.
    Our trips and our spa sessions are booked.
    Roll on Thursday 6th!!!!
    Thank you

    • September 30, 2022 / 4:20 pm

      Have an amazing cruise Lorraine! You sound super ready & I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful trip!

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