A fish swimming under water

How to Pack for a Cold-Weather Cruise

If you're looking for information on how to pack for a cruise, you'll probably find more pieces about how many bathing suits and sundresses you need than any discussing which material is best for warm socks.

On a fall or winter Norway cruise, or one to another cold destination for that matter, you'll need to pay attention to what you need to stay warm if you want to have a good time without shivering. Let's have a look at the ideal packing list for a voyage to the chilly destination of your choice:

Inner layers first

Before you start thinking about just how puffy your coat should be, get your first layers squared away. The base for your cold-weather outfits will make or break your ability to stay on deck and enjoy your excursion. A good base layer shirt or pair of pants will be quite light – you can find clothing made for athletes in the winter if you like, which will keep you warm nicely. If you're looking for the best of the best, seek out merino wool base layers. As far as socks go, you'll want wool too. Find an athletic or specialty brand that makes hiking or winter sport socks from wool, as these will be thinner and easier to wear and to pack. Part of what you want to do with inner layers is avoid too much bulk, so think thin for inner layers and socks.

Day-to-day wear

On cruise travel to cold destinations, you'll want to have plenty of outfits that will keep you warm. This might mean bringing along flannel-lined jeans, or pants loose enough to wear over your base layer. It also means sweaters, but be careful not to pack so many that there's no room for anything else. Besides, if you're going to Norway, there's a pretty good chance you will pick up a souvenir sweater there, so leave room for that as well.

What about the coat?

Your best bet in finding a coat that can withstand severe cold is to stop by your local outdoor retailer, tell them you're planning a trip to Norway and how cold it's likely to be. From there, you can discuss how much you'll be in the elements and which coat would meet your needs best. You'll want to look for something as light as possible that's still warm enough, and that's precisely what outdoors stores can help you find.

While you're shopping for a coat, get your hands on gloves, a scarf and a hat at least. Ask for the versions of these goods most appropriate for your destination's climate.