What to Wear to a Corporate Dinner Aboard a Chartered Cruise

by Amy Nutt

If you’ve never attended a corporate dinner aboard a cruise ship, you are in for a treat. These special business events are usually held on small cruise ships or yachts that have been chartered specifically for the event, providing the opportunity for a lot of fun and a very unique business environment.

For many people who are about to attend their first cruise dinner, what to wear can be a bit of an issue. Obviously a cruise is a slightly different situation than a private dinner at an elegant restaurant and yet, it’s a corporate event, so many are confused as to how formal they need to be.

In general, chartered cruises are quite elite and elegant. Attending a business dinner on one usually calls for fairly formal clothing, but you will also need to be comfortable.

The Practicalities of Dressing for a Cruise Dinner

Most Toronto Boat cruises will request that you wear non-marking, soft soled shoes when you are aboard. For ladies, this means no high heels, which can cause you to lose your balance. Remember that this is a boat and as such, it will be rocking and moving with the water, even in relatively calm seas. Black sneakers or formal shoes with a good grip are often used by men, women will find there are a variety of low, comfortable shoes that will let them stay upright while walking on the deck.

Men will find that a nice suit is appropriate, though slightly less formal clothing is usually acceptable. Dress pants and a nice button down shirt is often the norm, particularly on hot evenings. Women can wear a cocktail dress, but may be more comfortable in slacks and a blouse, given the circumstances.

Women tend to find it easier to do their hair in a fairly simple style that can be redone easily if it’s mussed by the wind. Keep accessories to a minimum and you’ll have less to keep track of while enjoying the cruise.

What to Bring on the Cruise

Being on the water, things tend to cool down faster in the evening, so if you will be out after dark, it’s a good idea to bring a wrap or jacket with you. The wind tends to pick up on the water and can add to the coolness of the night. You’ll want to be comfortable so opt for a jacket even if you think it’s too warm during the day. After all, it’s not like you can simply run back to the car to pick it up.

If you are looking at a longer Toronto cruise, culminating in an elegant dinner, don’t forget to bring lip balm and a comb. The wind and sun tend to mess up the best of hairstyles and it’s a good idea to redo your hair before going to dinner. The lip balm will help protect your lips from chapping in the wind and sun.

The main purpose of a corporate dinner cruise is to provide an enjoyable environment to meet with those in your company. It can be a great way to lay the groundwork for a deal or merger, as well. Being comfortable in your clothing and at ease on the boat will help you deal easier with the actual cruise and hence more comfortable at dinner. Dress formally, but keep in mind where you will be and make sure that safety and comfort are also taken into account. If in doubt, go ahead and talk to the organizers about what they expect in the way of clothing.

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