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Alaskan Cruise Packing Tips

Updated: Feb 27

Planning for an Alaskan cruise adds a new layer to your packing game, even if you're a seasoned cruiser. Forget the usual Caribbean cruise checklist – Alaska demands a different approach. From your wardrobe to toiletries, I've got you covered with tips to ease your pre-cruise worries. 

Understanding the Basics

Alaska operates as a seasonal cruise port, restricting your journey to specific months of the year, typically from late April/early May to September/October. During this period, be ready for varying temperatures, precipitation, and encounters with wildlife. Your cruise month and chosen excursions will influence what makes it onto your Alaska cruise packing list. The key essentials? Layers and rain gear – non-negotiable.


Ensure you pack all necessary medications, both over-the-counter and prescribed. Don't let the Alaskan setting fool you – sunscreen and sunglasses are must-haves, given the intense reflection of the sun off the snow and ice. To keep your clothes looking sharp, consider bringing Downy wrinkle release; cruise ships don't allow irons or steamers. And in today's world, prioritize hygiene with an ample supply of hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, and Lysol spray to safeguard against germs.


Ditch the conventional categorization of day and night outfits; instead, think about versatility. For a typical 7-day cruise, plan eight outfits that can serve for both day and night. Embrace the power of layers to combat temperature fluctuations and unexpected rain showers.

Daytime attire should lean towards long pants, with a mix of short and long-sleeved shirts, and versatile sweaters or jackets. Pack capris or shorts for warmer days or ship lounging, but the emphasis should be on warmth and adaptability. Think about the excursions you have planned and account for any special clothing or equipment.

When it comes to nighttime outfits, opt for business casual – khakis and collared shirts for men, dress pants or casual dresses for women. While Alaskan cruises generally skew casual, some nights might call for formal or evening chic attire. Pack accordingly, including a cardigan or pashmina for cooler evenings on the ship. An easy way to jazz up your daytime outfit for dinner: add a statement necklace or beautiful scarf.

Footwear requires a bit more consideration than your typical Caribbean cruise. Casual shoes for the day, dressier options for the night, and essential sneakers or comfortable walking shoes are a must. Don't forget waterproof shoes or boots, and consider whether your excursions involve specific footwear requirements.

And yes, pack a bathing suit. Cruise ships come equipped with hot tubs, indoor pools, and spa facilities, providing unexpected opportunities for a dip, even in Alaska.

In essence, crafting your Alaska cruise packing list should be an enjoyable part of the journey, not a source of stress. Let these tips guide you in curating a seamless preparation for your upcoming Alaskan adventure.

Looking for the most phone-closing, memory-making, adventure-finding Alaskan cruise? I've got you, my friend! My ebook, "Sailing Through Alaska's Splendors: An In-Depth Cruise Adventure Guide", covers 7 amazing Alaskan ports of call, how to choose a cruise line, foods you’ve GOT to try, exciting excursions, unparalleled experiences, souvenirs to treasure, and choosing when to go. Snag your complimentary copy here!

Is it time to plan YOUR Alaska cruise? Let’s talk! Click here to schedule a quick hello call with me.

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