What to Wear on A Holland America Cruise

Knowing what to wear on a cruise holiday can be one of the trickiest things you need to sort out before you go. If you’ve never been on a cruise before then you might be completely unsure on what to pack but I have a few tips for those sailing with Holland America.

So, here’s my guide to what to wear on a Holland America cruise…

Daytime Wear

What you should wear on a Holland America cruise during the day is pretty much what you would wear in any holiday resort. Swimsuits, shorts and sundresses are all perfect for a sunny day at sea and if you’re going sightseeing in a port of call then comfort is definitely key.

A pair of trousers and a top,  a sundress or shorts and a tee are all perfect in warm weather. In cooler weather you should pack lots of layers to keep warm, basically the same as you would for any other holiday.


Perfect daytime outfit

The main thing to keep in mind for daytime is if you’re doing a lot of walking exploring new places then you should have something comfortable on your feet. Personally I find flat sandals really comfortable so I live in these during the daytime on warm weather cruises.

Evening Wear

Most cruise lines have specific suggested dress codes that you should try to adhere to when you’re on board. Holland America’s dress code consists of ‘formal’ or ‘smart casual’ evenings and your cruise tickets will tell you exactly how many formal nights you’ll have during your cruise. We had three formal nights on our 12 night cruise and I thought this was just the right amount.

Formal nights are the nights ladies get to really dress up in cocktail dresses or full length gowns. If you’re not really a dress type of girl then a smart trouser suit or skirt and jacket would definitely also be acceptable. A formal night on a cruise is a night where you can go all out and where your most beautiful dress, your highest heels and your favourite jewellery because it’s not often you get to really dress up at home unless you’re going to a wedding!


All dressed up for formal evening…

On formal evenings gentlemen are expected to wear dark suits with ties or a tuxedo. If guys don’t have a jacket on formal evenings then they may be restricted from eating in the main dining room as the dress code is expected to be adhered to in here.

On smart casual evenings the dress code is far more relaxed and I’d recommend wearing what you’d wear when going out for a nice dinner or night out at home. I usually wear a dress in the evenings (living in Scotland I don’t get too many chances to wear dresses because of the weather!) but trousers or jeans and a pretty top are definitely also okay.

My partner wore trousers and a shirt or polo shirt on smart casual evenings and this seemed to be the same for the rest of the guys on board.

…and there you have it! Do you have any tips to share on what to wear on a Holland America Cruise? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below.