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If you are taking a cruise to Norway in the winter you might be wondering what to pack.
It can be particularly tricky if you aren’t from a cold climate but it’s very important that you get it right.
I’ve just got back from a Norwegian Coastal Cruise with Havila and this post includes everything that I bought with me, including a few things I’d never cruise without.
Snow Boots – Waterproof and Warm
The first thing that you should think about packing is a good pair of snow boots. They don’t need to be expensive but they do need to be waterproof and to have good grip.
The boots don’t have to be as high up as mine but sometimes the snow was almost as high as my boots and I was very grateful for them!
I took a similar cruise last year where I didn’t have these boots and just had regular walking boots, the difference was immediately obvious.
I never had cold feed in these no matter how long I stood outside.
The bottom part is one big piece, it’s almost like wearing rollerblades without the wheels!
I didn’t get any blisters despite wearing them all day every day and the fluff at the top stopped the snow from dripping in.
Shoe Spikes – A MUST!
Walking around in snow is relatively easy but walking around on ice is very difficult. It isn’t worth risking falling over and breaking something during your cruise.
There were a couple of times during our cruise that we decided to add our snow spikes (cleats) to our shoes.
We saw lots of other people doing this too.
It is amazing how much easier these make it to walk. It’s like having superpowers!
They are very easy to take on and to put on which is important as many places like hotels and shops will have signs that ask you to remove them.
That makes sense, of course, they are wires which would damage the floors.
There are also versions that are spikes instead of wires but I’ve always found these work best for me.
A THICK Hat – Your Ears Will Thank Me!
There were many days on our cruise when the snow was almost coming sideways, having a hat that I could pull down over my eyebrows was fantastic.
I never went outside without my hat on.
The hat that I have is a heat holder hat which kept me very warm.
There are lots of different types available of course and a hat is of course personal preference. I like the grey as it goes with anything else that I might be wearing.
This hat is also lined with fleece which is great to wear.
Cold Hands Aren’t Fun – Bring Good Gloves!
On our cruise, the weather ranged from 0c to -15c. Having your hands out in this temperature for more than a few seconds is painful.
I did take off my glove a couple of times to film and take photos and the difference now between my left and right hand is crazy. It’s almost like my right hand has had some windburn!
I can’t imagine what it would be like if I didn’t have good gloves.
I have Thinsulate 3m gloves, they’re designed to be warm but also not too thick.
I love how there is a cuff at the wrist meaning that no snow could get in.
The gloves have touchscreen fingers although I did normally take them off to use my phone.
It works okay for the odd button press but when you’re out in the snow your hands will be wet and phones don’t like being poked by wet fingers!
Waterproof Fleece-Lined Trousers
A good pair of waterproof comfortable trousers are a must.
On our trip we had multiple ports per day so didn’t have time to get wet and dry off.
I was cruising for 5 days and only bought one pair.
These were my most waterproof trousers and I’d wear them when I would be walking through deep snow. For the rest of the time on the ship I would wear leggings or cargo trousers.
They are fleece-lined and have pockets which I appreciate since lots of my trousers don’t!
The material is waterproof and warm.
My only criticism is that because they are waterproof they do make a woosh woosh noise when you walk.
When wearing these I was always wearing a coat which would do the same so it wasn’t a problem. Plus with the big hat on, nobody could hear a thing!
For Coats, Think Layers!
It’s far better to have a good coat that is wind and waterproof rather than one that is thick and heavy.
A coat doesn’t have to be expensive to be good.
Mine is a random brand I’ve never heard of called ‘Brave Soul’ which I bought from M&M Direct. It doesn’t matter as long as the coat is good! They don’t sell mine anymore.
I’m pretty sure mine is a pretend version of a similar Superdry coat…
Coats marked as ski clothing are usually pretty good, the main thing you want is wind resistance.
T-Shirts, Trousers and Jumpers/Sweatshirts
Under my coat, gloves and hat I’d usually just be wearing a normal t-shirt. I did bring long-sleeved shirts and that was a good idea but there wasn’t anything particularly special about the rest of my clothes.
I bought a couple of jumpers/sweatshirts to wear but on the ship, I found that it was warm.
I’d often be sat around in just a t-shirt and leggings which did feel strange when looking at the snow outside!
A friend of mine David who writes for Life in Norway told me that wool underwear was the way to go, I did buy some and I think that it worked!
Other Cabin Essentials
Our cabin had quite a few plugs and I bought the below adapter. It’s important to be aware that batteries run out faster in cold weather so you might be charging things more than normal!
This goes for portable battery packs and batteries in cameras too.
Don’t Forget This!
There is one thing that is even more important than anything else on this list, it’s even more important than packing a coat and that is… travel insurance!
Never EVER cruise without travel insurance. You’ll find my guide on how to get it here.
In summary below are the clothes recommended in this post: