River cruise dress codes: What to pack?

Dress codes can vary depending on your cruise line, time of day and even where you sail.

Suitcase space is limited so we have compiled a guide on our river cruise lines and their dress codes to make it easy for you to plan your outfits!


Wine tasting on-board AmaWaterways - River cruise

The AmaWaterways dress code suggests country club casual on-board their ships, such as cotton or linen clothes. This could include trousers and shirt for men – without the need for a tie or jacket – and dresses or trousers with a blouse for women. During the Captain’s Dinner, guests are advised to dress up a little more in suits and cocktail dresses.


Group on-board Amadeus ship - River cruise

Guests on-board Amadeus are made to feel comfortable, with no specific dress code on-board. For dinner and special occasions, Amadeus are advised to wear elegant clothing.

Recommended items of clothing include comfortable walking shoes, sturdy sandals, a lightweight waterproof jacket and long sleeve shirts as some ports and excursions are over uneven terrain and can be quite cool.

Avalon Waterways

Avalon river cruise ship

The dress code on-board Avalon Waterways is casual and comfortable, with the cruise line looking to make you feel at home on-board. However, during occasions such as the Captain’s Reception and the Farewell Dinner some guests prefer to dress up a little more.

The only specifications are as follows:

  • Guests are not permitted to wear shorts in the Dining Room or Panorama Lounge in the evenings
  • Bathing suits are worn only on the Sky Deck


CroisiEurope - Dining room

CroisiEurope advises for guests to don a casual outfit during the day, recommending light suits and swimwear for warm weather and a sweater or jacket for cooler weather.

For dinners, cocktails and galas, CroisiEurope advises guests to dress up a little more with gentlemen wearing a jacket and tie.

Crystal Cruises

Couple on-board Crystal River cruise

On-board a Crystal river cruise, guests are advised to wear comfortable and casual wear during the day. This includes the dining room, however, swimswuits, cover-ups, robes and baseball caps are not appropriate in the dining room during the day.

In the evenings, the dress code is Crystal Casual which is a dressed-up version of daytime dress code. Crystal Casual includes:

  • Women – Blouse, sweater, dress slacks, skirt and dresses
  • Men – Open-collar shirt, collared polo shirt, button-down shirt, dress shirt, dress pants and smart trousers. Sports coats are optional and no tie is required

Emerald Waterways

Couple on-board Emerald Waterways

On-board Emerald Waterways guests are advised to follow a relaxed and comfortable dress code. In the evenings, the cruise line operates a smart-casual dress code including open-neck shirts with slacks and dresses. Guests can wear ties and jackets if they desire, but this is not required.

Emerald Waterways also hosts a Captain’s Reception, where guests may want to don their finery – though this is more cocktail dresses than ball gowns.


Couple on-board boat for a river cruise shore excursion

On-board APT river cruises the dress code is smart casual, though the cruise line advises on comfortable footwear for all tours and light, casual clothing for adventure tours.

Riviera Travel

River cruise ship - Riviera Travel

Riviera Travel also carries a relaxed dress code, with comfortable and casual clothing alongside walking shoes for the day. In the evenings, guests can dress a little smarter – though this is not required.

On every cruise there’s a Captain’s Welcome Drink and Farewell Dinner, for these most guests dress up a little more though there’s no need for black tie or ball gowns.

Scenic River

Couple on the bikes - Scenic River

Guests are free to wear what they wish during their time on-board Scenic River. However, it’s worth packing for the weather on your cruise depending on the regions you’re visiting.

Daytime dress codes are comfortable and casual, with a dress or two for the formal evening occasions.

Scenic advises guests to pack a comfortable pair of shoes for excursions and sandals for if the weather is warm. During specific Freechoice or Enrich events, bring a pair of smart shoes or heels.


Krems, Austria - River cruise tour

Shearing has no dress codes throughout your journey, though you are travelling via coach and river cruise ship so we would suggest comfortable and casual clothes for the day, with something a little smarter for the evenings.


Bulgaria, Europe - River cruise

Tauck does not have a strict dress code and advises guests to pack comfortable and convenient clothes for both day and night. A slightly dressy outfit for certain evenings including the following:

  • Men – A blazer or sports coat, chinos and polo shirt
  • Women – Skirt, dressy top or simple dress


Group on bikes - Uniworld River Cruise

Uniworld advises guests to pack for a range of weather conditions, though there is no strict dress code on-board. Both onshore and on-board the cruise line recommends comfortable, smart-casual clothing including sturdy walking shows for shore excursions.

When dining ashore, attending special events or concerts men may want to bring a sports jacket and women a cocktail dress or pantsuit – ties are optional. On-board, the only advisories are that shorts are not allowed at dinner.

U by Uniworld

Guests on-board U by Uniworld

U by Uniworld’s dress code is straight and simple. They simply require guests to come as you are, with no requirements for dining or excursions.

Viking River

Viking River - Guests enjoying dinner on-board

Dress is casual on-board Viking River, with shorts, slacks or jeans advised. Swimsuits, brief shorts, cover-ups and exercise attire should be reserved for the Fitness Centre, pool areas and Sports Deck.

Though there are no formal nights on-board Viking River cruises, evening dress is elegant casual across all dining venues, performances and special events. This includes:

  • Women – Dress, skirt or slacks with a sweater or blouse
  • Men – Trousers and collared shirt with a tie and jacket being optional

Jeans are not permitted at this time and evening dress excludes World Cafe where the dress remains casual after 6pm.

Book your river cruise with RiverVoyages.com

Dining on-board Scenic - River cruise

Look forward to picking your outfits for your next river cruise and book yourself on-board with RiverVoyages.com. Take your pick from our top selection of river cruises and browse our best deals by clicking the button below.

If you have any questions, or would like to know more, call our Cruise Concierge team on 0800 197 0854 for expert advice and award-winning service with your booking.

Have you cruised with any of the above river cruise lines before? What advice would you give about the dress codes? Let us know in the comments below!

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About Emma Smith

Emma has more than seven years' experience as a writer and has been in the travel industry for nearly five years. She loves learning about new places and cruise ships coming to market, as well as discovering fun and exciting activities to do while you sail. She has cruised with Princess Cruises, Cunard, Celebrity Cruises, Virgin Voyages, Avalon Waterways and Royal Caribbean and is looking to get something in her diary for 2024! Her favourite things to see on a ship include excellent entertainment, a delicious cocktail menu and extraordinary dining venues.

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