When it comes to choosing what to wear on a cruise around the islands and into the glamorous port cities of the Mediterranean Sea, an age-old adage applies: Less is definitely more.
Three rules of thumb: Think of every outfit as “smart casual,” dress in layers for the hot semi-arid climate, and stick to one color palette to maximize mixing and matching. Keep in mind that Europe can get extremely hot during the summer.
Couple on the deck of a cruise liner in the sea
Under the Sun
For daytime, your packing list should include short-sleeved tops with collars and shorts or loose pants, all in leisurewear fabrics, so that you’re comfortable hiking and touring castles, but will also look equally great for lunch on a patio. Hit it like you’re going for a round of golf at an exclusive club, keeping cotton to a minimum.
Pack long-sleeved tops for hot afternoons if the sun is not your friend or the bugs are bad. Two swimsuits and two coverups will do for the beach and the cruise ship pool deck.
You'll see all kinds of "sailing" resort wear – navy and white striped tops, red shorts, and white pants – so bring those along if you feel the need.
Young beautiful couple on the deck of a cruise liner in the sea
Under the Stars
For evening cocktail parties on a castle terrace and dinners portside or on the ship, pack as much linen as your suitcase can hold – this is the fabric of the Mediterranean. Sport neutral colors that work with everything, remembering the one-color-scheme rule. A little black dress and an oatmeal shift will both go a long way, as you will simply dress them up with punches of color – pashminas, clutch purses, or statement necklaces.
Keep in mind that there will be dancing, but also that nights in some regions of the Mediterranean may be cooler. And keep jewelry to a minimum, leaving any pieces you can’t afford to replace securely at home.
Santorini island, Greece
Add the Accoutrements
Go with rubber soles or simple espadrilles on board. This is not really a place for flip-flops, high heels, or even kitten heels. Flat sandals or a low wedge heel will lend more stability to sailing and to cobblestone streets. Walking shoes and/or sneakers are de rigor; always make sure at least one pair is waterproof.
Bring along an assortment of visors and brimmed hats that are comfortable enough for the day but chic enough for the pool. Add in a rain jacket and gym wear for working out or cycling, and you’re all set for smooth sailing.