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Norway Cruise Packing List: What to Pack (Including PDF)

Are you considering taking your family on a cruise to Norway this summer? Let me guess; you expect frigid winters, glaciers, and snow-capped mountains.

If that’s your perception about a Norwegian cruise, you’re in for a surprise. While the cruise will definitely fulfill your expectations, you will also experience gorgeous beaches, hiking trails teeming with wildlife, the famous fjords, and small villages around Oslo and Bergen. 

If you were about to pack plenty of layers and warm clothes, you’ll have to change your plan. Remember, a cruise in Norway can be pretty unpredictable, and you’ll need to prepare well, as every pound you carry will cost you money. 

If you’re confused about adding or excluding your packing list for the Norwegian cruise, this guide is for you. I have included everything about what to pack for a cruise to and through Norway. I have also included some product preferences and interesting anecdotes regarding my cruise experiences to help you. So let’s dive in. 

Getting Started with Packing

Norway Cruise Ship

If you sit down to write a list of items to pack for a cruise, you’ll find endless things to include in your luggage. Taking everything you own while cruising the ocean is impossible, even if you’ll be at sea for two or three months. That’s why it is essential to get all the necessary information about your trip, including:

  • The weather you’ll experience
  • The activities you will indulge in
  • The overall duration
  • The availability of miscellaneous items on board and during stopovers

Knowing these aspects before your cruise can help you decide which things to pack and which you can leave behind. This leads us to the booking formalities of your cruise. 

Before you start creating a cruise packing list, you will have to book the cruise you like. Only after that will you have the essential information required to list items you want to pack in your baggage. 

To make things easier for you, I have included details about booking your Norwegian cruise and things to remember while making the reservations. This way, packing your bags will become highly economical and accessible. 

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Travel Tips to Keep In Mind While Booking Your Cruise

Cruise Ship in Norway

Remember, the ultimate cruise packing list cannot be a one-size-fits-all guideline simply because no two cruise plans or ships are identical. That’s why I have made a list of things you should look out for and take note of while booking your cruise.

This will eventually influence the cruise carry-on packing list you jot down.

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Check Your Ship Details

Spectacular view of Geiranger Fjord and mountains with snow, waterfalls, moored cruise ships and tender boats carrying tourists
scandamerican / Adobe Stock

Even if you’re exploring Norwegian cruise options from a single company, it is bound to have a diverse fleet with multiple customization options. This makes it essential for you to check the specifics of each ship before booking your cruise. 

Most companies quickly disclose everything offered on each ship, so passengers can decide what to bring beforehand. Naturally, smaller vessels are typically intended for short cruises to allow baggage accordingly per person. 

Similarly, these ships have lesser entertainment options onboard, so you’ll have to disembark at every station and pack for some outdoor excursions.

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Thoroughly Research Your Cruise Schedule

Cruise ships stand in the harbor of the Geiranger fjord, Norway
Sergey Bogomyako / Adobe Stock

Another aspect that will significantly affect your Norwegian cruise packing list is your cruise schedule. Along with the time of the year you’re traveling, you should check the various stopovers and trips planned for passengers while booking the cruise ship. 

Firstly, this will help you decide how many days you’re packing for exactly. Next, check the laundry and dry cleaning options available onboard as well. This way, you can choose whether those options are affordable or whether you should carry enough clothes to last your entire cruise duration. 

Secondly, conducting research will help you identify the expected weather and landscapes you’ll experience. 

For example, if hiking trips are possible, you should take your hiking boots and gear along. Similarly, if you can plan watersports or snow sports, you must take clothes and equipment accordingly. 

Some cruise ships offer necessary gear and other items for passengers willing to participate in such activities. Make sure to check these details beforehand to avoid over-packing.

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Check Out Deals and Travel Hacks

Cruise ship in Tromso harbor
Lasse Johansson / Shutterstock

If you’re interested in making your vacation affordable, you shouldn’t miss out on checking deals and travel hacks while booking your cruise. Start by checking offers on credit cards that give you points for bonus miles

Moreover, avoiding booking your cruise more than three months before departure is a great hack. Instead, make your booking last minute to avail of any price drops in the duration. 

Additionally, you can set price drop alerts from multiple cruise agencies to get the best deals when you finally book your cruise. I know what you’re thinking; how will that affect your cruise packing list? 

It is simple, the more you save up on your cruise booking, the more you can spend on extra luggage and avoid laundry or dry-cleaning expenses. On the other hand, some cruise deals may ask you to go light on your baggage, so you’ll have to chop your list down to bare essentials. 

Similarly, the deals you choose will determine whether you can take your kids along or not or if you can afford extra activities during the cruise.

This way, check all the deals available while booking to get a clear idea about your travel specifications before creating your Norwegian cruise packing list.

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Get Your Trip Insured

Big cruising ship at beautiful norwegian fjord with steep shores. Geiranger fjord, Norway
Nikiforov Alexander / Shutterstock

I cannot understate the importance of buying travel insurance before going on a Norwegian cruise trip. However, you don’t need to worry if you’re concerned about paying high premiums to insure your trip. 

Look at it this way, the insurance deal you choose will probably only cost a fraction of your cruise price. In addition to that, the insurance policy will cover all aspects of your trip, including cancellations, delays, injury, and, most importantly, lost baggage. 

You can refer to reliable travel insurance platforms like Travelinsurance.com, Travelex, and SafetyWing if you’re looking for affordable insurance deals.

These websites have multiple insurance plans with detailed policies and extensive coverage. All you have to do is log into their websites and choose the right option. Besides that, websites like TravelInsurance.com help you compare multiple policies to pick the best one for your needs. 

Once you buy travel insurance for your Norwegian cruise trip, you can safely decide whether you want to pack your valuables along with you. For instance, you can take your expensive camera to capture memories or your laptop to keep track of work proceedings without worrying about it getting lost or stolen. 

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Pack According to Seasons 

Cruise ship in Norway Fjiord
Lsantilli / Adobe Stock

Now that you know what to consider while booking your cruise to construct the correct Norwegian packing list for yourself, it is time to discuss other important factors. 

Apart from your cruise schedule, duration, and trip insurance, the weather you’re traveling for plays a vital role in compiling the correct cruise must-haves packing list. 

You see, the season you travel in determines lots of aspects that can influence your packing list. For instance, it helps you decide whether to pack for warm or cold weather and determine which activities you’ll participate in. 

However, when it comes to weather, packing for a cruise in Norway can get tricky. Unlike other cruises where the temperature remains consistent throughout the cruise, a Norwegian getaway can be highly unpredictable. 

Not only will the weather change from morning to night, but it will also vary as you cruise from destination to destination. Mainly, the cruise season in Norway usually begins in early spring and ends in early fall. That’s because the peak winter season is too harsh for cruise trips. 

Considering the time frame you travel within, here’s an overview of what you should include in your cruise packing list.

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Tips for Packing Based on Season

Travel Packing

Packing for a Spring-Time Norwegian Cruise

If you plan your Norwegian cruise in May or June, you will experience sunny, calm weather and long daylight hours. The average temperature will vary from 40-60 degrees Fahrenheit with no chance of rain. 

In this period, you should pack light, arid clothing items along with a warm jacket and pajamas in case the weather gets chilly during the night. Besides that, you should carry polarized sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun’s harsh rays. You’ll want to spend most of your time alongside the pool, so pack plenty of swimming gear to keep yourself entertained.

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Packing for a Norwegian Summer Cruise

If you’re traveling during July, you will experience some of the hottest temperatures during your Norwegian cruise. It is important to pack lots of shorts, vests, and waterproof clothing items to stay comfortable throughout your trips. 

You might need some long-sleeved tees for outdoor excursions, but ensure you have enough short-sleeved t-shirts for casual wear.

Additionally, you will experience rainy days during your cruise, so take along rain protection items like umbrellas, extra towels, raincoats, and waterproof boots.

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Packing for a Norwegian Cruise During Late Summer

Traveling during August, when the hot weather has almost subsided, is a great idea if you prefer to take your cruise line after the peak summer months. However, during this season, you can encounter heavy rainfall in most destinations, so pack all your rain gear. 

For casual wear, carry short-sleeved t-shirts, travel shorts, and potentially flip-flops to help combat the humid weather. On the other hand, the weather can get cold at night and even during the day in some areas. It is a good idea to carry warm clothing such as sweaters, jackets, scarves, and socks. 

You might even get a chance to experience snow sports at specific destinations. Try to carry warm hats, gloves, and waterproof boots to ensure a safe trip.

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Packing for a Norwegian Cruise During Early Winter

Those traveling from late August to September will likely experience the advent of winter. This means temperatures won’t exceed 50 degrees on the hottest days and might go as low as 20 degrees on some destinations, so you must pack warm clothes.

In this case, you should carry long-sleeved clothing for casual wear and stock up on heavier layers to prepare for the cold weather. Your packing list should include thick sweaters and jackets, warm socks, hats, winter boots, and gloves. 

Nevertheless, don’t let the winter intimidate you, as it is one of the most attractive cruise periods for wildlife lovers. Most exotic animals migrate during winter hibernation, so that you might spot them during hiking trips. 

If you’re interested in such outdoor excursions, pack your waterproof hiking gear for off-board trips.  Keep in mind that most cruise lines have formal nights in the main dining rooms, so you should

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Norway Cruise Packing List

In the section above, I walked you through all the essential information you need to know in packing for the Norway cruise. After you figure out all the details about your cruise, including:

  • The cruise schedule
  • The type of ship
  • The inclusive and exclusives of your cruise
  • Your trip insurance coverage details 
  • The weather you’re traveling in

You can use all this information to jot down the perfect packing list. Below, I have listed all the essential items you should carry along. If you have the essential information, you can customize this list according to your needs and pack it efficiently.

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Clothing Items

Clothing items are undoubtedly the first thing we consider before packing for any destination. But, as I mentioned, a cruise can take you through various unpredictable weather changes. The Norwegian coast is significantly different than inland Norway.

This means, no matter which season you’re traveling in, carry a balanced mix of clothing items. Before jotting down a list of basic clothing essentials, let’s talk about the ideal everyday wear on a cruise in Norway. 

Yes, you’ll most likely wear your finest at formal dinners and casino evenings, but during the day, you should go for something more comfortable. Remember if there is a dress code aboard when packing your comfort items.

That’s why, in my opinion, whether you’re staying on board or hopping off for an adventure, a short-sleeved polo shirt is a go-to option. If the weather is chilly, pair it with a light fleece jacket or a warm hat if it gets too cold.

On the bottom, you should carry long pants for outdoor excursions to protect your legs and wear shorts while on board. This minimalist outfit will keep you comfortable and allow you to participate in most outdoor activities. 

Of course, you can customize your outfit if you plan a trip during a stopover. Apart from these primary articles, you should add other clothing essentials to your Norwegian cruise packing list.

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Woolen Socks

Most people think they’ll be reclining on the deck throughout their cruise, but that’s not the case. Instead, a cruise takes you through multiple destinations where you’ll have to walk for extensive periods. 

DG Hill 3 Pairs 80% Merino Wool Socks for Men and Women

That’s why investing in 2-3 pairs of comfortable woolen socks is vital. Not only will they keep your feet warm during cold, but they also protect against moisture and blisters during hot weather.  Choose good-quality woolen materials that don’t make you feel scratchy and uncomfortable during your trip.

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Lightweight Winter Jacket

Pack a lightweight, breathable jacket for days when it’s not too hot but a little chilly outside. Rather than stocking up on thick, warm jackets, these will work well with layers if the weather is cold and also keep you sweat-free during warm weather.

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Waterproof Jacket

You can face rainfall or slight showers during any phase of your Norwegian cruise. That’s why it is essential to take a waterproof jacket or raincoat along with you. 

Columbia Men's EvaPOURation Jacket

Make sure the jackets you choose are lightweight and easy to roll up. This way, even if the weather changes within hours and you need to take it off, you can easily store it in your backpack.

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Functional Pants

If you’re planning on taking multiple outdoor excursions during your cruise, make sure to pack some comfortable nylon pants. These will protect you from the elements during extensive hiking trips and keep you dry even if you sweat during long walking sessions. 

Another great idea is to invest in convertible zip pants. You can easily convert them into shorts while swimming or reclining on the deck.

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Waterproof Footwear

Waterproof footwear is the most versatile and essential item on my Norwegian cruise packing list. 

Columbia Men's Newton Ridge Plus Ii Waterproof Hiking Boot Shoe

You can wear them on board and keep your feet safe or use them for kayaking, hiking, fishing, or ziplining trips.

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Swimsuit

You probably can’t imagine going on a cruise without your swimsuit. The cruise ships have fantastic water entertainment options like jacuzzis, heated pools, spas, and hot tubs where your suit might come in handy.

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Sunglasses

You must protect your eyes more than anything on an ocean cruise trip. Invest in high-quality polarized sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun’s glare.

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Formal Clothing

A luxury cruise does not solely consist of outdoor adventures and trips. Instead, you’ll dine in exclusive restaurants and attend fascinating casinos with your friends and family. 

That’s why you should pack some formal clothes for evening wear. Men will need formal dress shirts with blazers and pants, while women will need cocktail dresses and jewelry.

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Non-Clothing Items

Your Norweigan packing list should not solely consist of clothing items. Instead, there are many other essentials, including toiletries and convenience items, that you’ll have to carry with you on your trip. 

An important thing to note is that you won’t always have your large suitcase on your cruise. When you check your luggage in, you will not receive it until later in the evening.  That’s why you should keep a smaller bag with necessary personal items with you at all times. These items include:

  • Essential travel documents (Id, passport, booking, etc.)
  • Universal adapter
  • Wallet
  • Medicines
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses
  • Camera and smartphone
  • Chargers and adapters
  • A change of clothes 
  • Toiletries
  • Sleep mask
  • Walking shoes

This way, even if you receive your suitcase a little later than expected, you have everything you need.  You’ll also need miscellaneous items throughout your trip, so you should add them to your Norway cruise packing list.

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Camera

There’s no point in traveling if you can’t make memories. So make sure you pack a high-quality camera to document every moment of your cruise in Norway to cherish the memories once you get home. 

Also, pack along with all the essentials like batteries, memory cards, and a camera case to maintain your gadget.

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Binoculars

When on a Norwegian cruise, you can’t get enough of the breathtaking sights. 

Zeiss ED Binoculars

Packing a pair of high-resolution binoculars can help you spot exotic wildlife and night-time auroras easily, even if you’re at a distance.

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Waterproof Backpack

Whether you’re planning to go kayaking, fishing, or hiking, a waterproof backpack is an essential item to carry on your cruise. 

Venture Pal 40L Lightweight Packable Travel Hiking Backpack Daypack

You can simply store all your essentials, such as your wallet, phone, and documents without worrying about damaging them on your trip.

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Sunscreen

Most people think sunscreen isn’t necessary on a cruise trip as you won’t spend much time on beaches. That’s not true; you will require protection from the sun during outdoor trips and even while reclining on the deck.

Make sure to pack along a high SPF sunscreen lotion to protect your skin throughout the trip.

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Insect Repellant

Even though the weather won’t be hot, it will be humid enough to attract mosquitos and other pests. That’s why you should keep a skin-friendly insect repellant or bug spray handy to avoid any inconveniences.

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Portable Charger

Imagine you’re about to capture a snap of beautiful humpback whales, and your phone or camera battery runs out. To avoid such a situation, make sure you carry a portable charger with a USB cord at all times on your trip. 

Portable Charger

Cruise ships don’t offer charging ports at every corner; even if they do, they are mostly taken. In this case, you should take matters into your own hands to extend your battery life whenever you need it.

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Reusable Water bottle

You can’t expect to enjoy yourself while you’re trekking outdoors if you’re dehydrated. So try to carry a reusable water bottle with you everywhere you go. 

Water Bottle

This way, you will always stay fresh and replenished and save money buying bottled water at your destination.

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Sleep Mask

If you have a habit of sleeping in complete darkness, you should carry a sleep mask to ensure a comfortable night’s sleep on board.

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Sour Chews

Even if you’re not seasick, you never know when pangs of nausea can strike during a cruise and spoil your day. So keep some sour chews or medication handy to ease your nerves when onboard the ship. 

A Norwegian cruise can be unpredictable, with multiple destinations and varying weather conditions, especially for first-time vacationers. However, you can make your experience worth it by picking the right items to take along on your trip. 

This ebook gives you the ultimate Norwegian cruise packing list so you don’t overpack for your cruise trip or miss out on essential items. Unlike other cruise packing lists that solely provide a list of products and essentials, this guide goes a mile further to give you all the information you need. 

It takes you from the initial process of planning your packing list to personalizing it according to your own needs. After that, it includes a complete list along with product recommendations to help make trip preparations easier for you. 

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Free Printable Packing Checklist PDF

There are two basic aspects you must keep in mind while planning your vacation to create the ideal packing list for yourself. Firstly, you should be aware of the specifications, duration, and inclusions in your cruise package while completing the booking process. 

Most websites specify the duration of your cruise, the destinations you will visit, and the off-board trips included in the package. By conducting thorough research regarding these factors, you can decide which items you should take along or cross out from the cruise packing list provided below.

Secondly, another important factor is the season you’ll be traveling in. This guide explains the weather fluctuations and conditions you will likely face based on the month you travel. Furthermore, it also explains how this information can help you construct the ideal cruise packing list

The list preparation section also includes details about factors like travel insurance and travel hacking that can influence the items you’ll need on your trip. 

The ultimate Norwegian cruise packing list follows this detailed section. The list divides the essential items into clothing and non-clothing objects, including toiletries, medicines, and other convenience products, to ensure a flawless trip. 

While this ultimate Norwegian cruise packing list aims to include all important articles to make packing a breeze for you, there is always room for customization which you can easily conduct after reading this comprehensive guide. 

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Final Words

That concludes my travel tips for a cruise to Norway. While this list covers all the essential items, you can easily customize them by adding or excluding items according to your needs. 

Remember to check all the inclusions provided on your cruise ships, such as toiletries and lodging essentials, so you don’t end up overpacking. Similarly, keep track of changes in your itinerary to avoid carrying heavy gear for canceled trips or destinations. 

The trick to packing all the essential items is to outline your needs beforehand and conduct the required research. Happy cruising!

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What should I pack for a cruise to Norway?

Pack light coats, jackets, sweaters for the Norwegian winter, and a raincoat or umbrella. An icy wind in January and February may chill you to the bone when it blows over the fjords.

Snowcoats are also worth packing since snow can cover Norwegian roads in March and April, making them impassable in some places.

Sneakers with good grip and waterproof hiking boots will ensure you can explore Norway’s mountainous areas year-round. At the same time, winter sports enthusiasts will want ski gear for exploring on skis or snowshoes during winter months.

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