What to Pack for Alaska Cruise
Alaska cruise packing list can be one of the trickiest ones. We have recently written an article on the Caribbean cruise packing list. Packing for Alaska cruise cannot be straightforward as such.
You know why?
Alaska is different from the rest of the United States because it has glaciers. The weather in Alaska varies. It changes day by day. One day it’s warm and sunny. The other day it rains and chilly. The humidity rate is also high when it rains. And it rains a lot.
Nonetheless, Alaska is one of the most popular destinations of the United States of America. It’s the place the most booked cruise vacation for Americans in 2019. (source)
I met an American videographer on Golden Princess. It’s no secret, but Princess is one of the industry’s major cruise lines for Alaskan cruises. She told me that Alaska is her best favourite.
I agree with her. Alaska holds one of the most beautiful scenic landscapes in the world. If you haven’t visited yet, you need to add Alaska on top of your next cruise list. You can trust us. We are both visual experts. We have experienced countless cruises around the world.
The weather is the very reason why you need to get some information about what to pack for an Alaska cruise. No worries, and no need to get stressed. This is why we have written this article to help you out. Finding things to pack for a cruise is fun.
In this article, you will find the essential items you need to take for an Alaska cruise. We will break down the information about packing items and will make the list as easy as possible for you.
At the end of this article, you will find a printable cruise packing list for Alaska cruise. Get some ideas about the Alaska cruise packing list and make your cruise preparation as easy as possible!
Alaska Cruise Packing List
What to pack for a vacation and what to bring on a cruise? In selecting the essential items for cruising Alaska, there are three things you may consider:
On a crusie packing:
1. Your day activities at the ports
2. Your evening activities and formal nights
3. Weather in Alaska
This way you can get some ideas of what you need to pack for an Alaska cruise. For example:
- You will have two formal nights on a 7-night cruise. No worries. It is unnecessary to wear something strictly formal, but you can present yourself nicely. Everyone is casual at day time but get dressed up so well on formal nights. That’s quite impressive. You will be comfortable if you prepare for it in advance. Your man needs a bow tie. The cruise ship may not sell it. At least at Princess fleets, I could not find it.
So, what to wear on a cruise during the day?
- The popular excursions in Alaska are outdoor activities. You will get a train or a tour bus and go out for hiking. You may enjoy kayaking through the fjord or may join a zipline activity. You will wear something casual and may need sportswear for particular outdoor activities.
- You may be landing on the glaciers! Or at least you will get out and observe. You need to add something to protect yourself from the cold. You need it if you do not join shore excursions and explore by yourself. When the weather is not good, even in the summer, and often in the evening, it’s cold. It also rains. Waterproof wear and shoes will help you a lot.
Best Time to Go On an Alaskan Cruise
The season starts from May and ends in September. The best time to take an Alaskan cruise is in summer.
When is the best time to take an Alaskan cruise?
- One of the best time to take an Alaskan cruise is in June. Weather in Alaska in June and July are rather stable. July has good weather, but the cruise rates get higher due to the holiday season.
- August is the hottest. It’s summer in Alaska. Still, the weather varies on daily. This is the very reason why it’s not easy to make things to pack for a vacation, especially for Alaska.
What to Wear on an Alaskan Cruise: Excursion Outfit
In Alaska, dressing in layers is the key. That means you can wear tops, making air layers in between. This creates a specific effect to keep you warm. You do not need to wear a thick and heavy jacket. This way makes you more comfortable and relaxing. On top of the layers, put a waterproof jacket on. If you can add windproof effect, that can be the best. This way, even it’s rain, the jacket will keep you dry and protect you from the chilly wind.
lightweight windbreaker / Slicker
If you are looking for something for outdoor activities, a light-weight or thin slicker is handy. It keeps you warm. If it is hot, you can take it off and put it into your rucksack. If it’s waterproofed, it keeps you dry. You can make the layers inside and cover them by the slicker on top. This is the best to keep you warm and comfortable.
So what is best for the layers? Fleece can be the best item to make the mid-layer in Alaska. It’s just comfortable and light. It does not absorb water and keeps you dry. If it is sunny and in the mid-summer, you do not need a mid-weight waterproof jacket. Fleece is an alternative to a sweater but is light-weight and comfortable.
Keep warm. Thermal underwear is a must item. It’s a type of clothing you can put under a fleece. This is a special material to protect against the cold. The best fabric is merino wool or silk. It’s ultra-lightweight and flexible. You can make further layers by wearing one more thermal underwear.
When it gets cold, you can wear thermal leggings under the pants. Silk or merino wool fabric is gentle to your skin. The layers keep you warm and comfortable.
A pair of rain pants are handy. The weather in Alaska changes and somehow unpredictable. Even you could not predict rain, a sudden shower happens. But the rain does not bother you. Rain pants will protect you from being wet. It’s also ultra-light. You can put it in your rucksack.
Quick-Dry Hiking Pants
A pair of hiking pants is an alternative to jeans but is much more comfortable than jeans. It’s the best item for any outdoor activities. It’s flexible, lightweight and quick-drying.
How do you layer clothing for cold weather?
Your cold-weather layers include:
- Merino wool socks
- Merino wool thermal top and leggings
- Fleece jacket
- Hiking pants
- Waterproof jacket
- Add slicker and rain pants to a rucksack
What to Pack for Alaska Cruise: Excursions
Sunscreen – you may be surprised but sunscreens are must items. The air is so clean in Alaska and so that light is stronger than normal.
Sunglasses – as same as sunscreens, sunglasses are also must-have items when you get out of the ship and explore the port. Sunglasses will protect your eyes.
Insect Repellent – you may be surprised but insect repellent is a must item if you visit Alaska in summer. Mosquitoes are there.
Hat – when the weather is nice, you really need a hat to protect your face. This is the most items for hiking. The hut also helps you control the light you receive. The day time can be longer in summer. In that case, you can have a wide-brimmed hat.
Warm Hat – this is the item you must bring. It protects you when the weather gets colder.
Gloves – terramar thermasilk glove liner is my favourite. The fabric is silk. It is super warm. When you decide gloves, make sure mitts are not too tight with your fingers and are comfortable.
Water Bottle – Alaska is not hot like the Caribbean but you need to be hydrated. You will go out for hiking and will be delighted when you find this water bottle in your backpack.
Hiking Shoes – it is no surprise, but it rains a lot in Alaska. It’s not comfortable to wear wet shoes. Waterproof hiking shoes are best. If you do not bring them, then you need to add backup sneakers.
Amazon Hand Warmer – this is a magic item and for the glacier day. You can lip off the plastic bag, take a little bag up and shake it for a few times. The bag keeps your hands warm for 12 or 24 hours. I put the hand warmer in my pocket. The secret of the inside is iron sand. It’s safe. After the use, you can through it away into a rubbish bin. The best brand on Amazon is Kiribai from Japan.
What to Pack for an Alaskan cruise on Months
What to pack for an Alaskan cruise in late May – Alaska cruise starts from May. It’s still cold, and that’s why Alaska packing list can be heaviest. You can add extra thermal tops and leggings. And yet, it’s still fewer tourists around. The atmosphere gets less touristy.
What to pack for Alaska cruise in June – the best time for an Alaskan cruise can be June. It’s the driest month. June 21 is the summer solstice. It’s the longest day of the year. The weather is stable and is getting much warmer. It’s just before the summer holiday season and hence before the cruise prices get higher. Bring insect repellent if you plan hiking.
What to pack for Alaska cruise in July – it’s the best time of a year to cruise Alaska. It’s summer. July is the peak holiday season. It’s typically the warmest month of the summer. You do not need to add extra tops and leggings. Insect repellent and a hat are mus-items to take.
What to wear in Alaska in August – it’s summer, and the daylight is still long. It’s a beautiful month and is the hottest month. Waterproof jacket and shoes are the must item to bring with you. August tends to be the start of the rainy season.
Weather in Alaska in September for a cruise – it’s the end of summer and is getting colder as same as May. It is still a nice season because things are much less touristy. Add extra thermal tops and leggins.
What to Pack for Alaska: Travel Gear
Binoculars – if you have a small and lightweight binocular with you, it will change the way you cruise. It’s a must item to take to Alaska. Imagine you are watching the scenic landscapes with a binocular and having a glass of wine holding on the other from your balcony cabin. This is a real luxury. You can also feel the glaciers much closer to you from the ship’s open deck. Maximize your glacier-viewing experience with a binocular.
How can you watch wildlife animals without a binocular? The binocular can also be your friend not only at hiking but shows on the ship. A binocular is one of the most important items in what to pack for a cruise checklist pdf. You can find the list at the end of this article.
Camera – there is one more item you need to consider. it’s Alaska, and I do recommend you to bring not an iPhone camera but a proper camera! I bet you can have great opportunities for landscape photography. Photographs can be your best souvenir. The air is super clean and the lights for photography are just right! Anyone can be a good photographer immediately.
Other useful items for excursion:
- Collapsible hiking poles
- An umbrella and/or rain cover
Packing for Alaska Cruise: for the Cabin
One of the cruise must-haves is a cruise cabin power strip. Cruise ship cabins are different from the hotels you usually stay in. The differences are not only its size but the numbers of an electrical outlet for example. You may be surprised, but usually, one outlet is common. This cruise cabin power strip helps you to charge with multiple devices. Multiple USB chargers are also equipped.
Another electrical item you can add is a mobile power charger. You may forget to charge the iPhone at night because you were having a great time with your partner and new friends. This device helps you keep a battery always in good condition.
Magnet hooks are one of the must-have cruise items, especially for Alaska. It’s no secret, but all the cabin walls are built by steal. I am not sure, but you might not like to hang on towels and clothes on a hook. I don’t. But since Alaska rains a lot, and you need to dry clothes, the cabin magnet hooks will help you out.
It’s your holiday. I know that you do not need to get up early and go to the office. Cruising to Alaska is so dramatic. Staying on the ship is also unusual for anyone. Your mind tends to get excited. At night, you may not be able to sleep straight. An alarm clock will help you start your day early for excursions and sightseeing.
One of the important household items you can take from your kitchen is Ziploc Bag. You can put laundry in and zip it. The cruise cabin tends to be small. Keep your stateroom smell nice. I also put toiletries, contact lenses and pills into a Ziploc bag. It’s transparent. You can find what you need immediately with no delay!
What to Pack for Alaska: Toiletries
- Toothpaste & toothbrushes
- Lip balm
- Shampoo & conditioner
- Razors and shaving gel
- Upset stomach medication
Alaska Packing List: Other Helpful Items
What to Pack for a Cruise
Swimsuit – you may ask why you need a swimsuit if you are visiting Alaska. Here is the reason. As soon as you step into a ship, it’s possible that you can go upstairs with a swimsuit and enjoy swimming or jacuzzi. In that case, put your swimsuit not in your suitcase but in your carry on. This way, you do not need to wait for your suitcase’s arrival.
Flip flops – for walking on the poolside on the ship.
Seasickness bands – seasickness happens. Although you may not have it normally, when you get tired, it affects us. You can prevent it in advance. Seasickness bands can be a good remedy for you.
Sandals or high heels for formal nights
Jewellers and accessories
What to pack for a 7 day cruise
A typical Alaska Cruise is a 7 day cruise. 7 day cruise packing list for Alaska can be something the underwear and day and night clothing items for 8 days. That can be enough.
Why for 8 days? You can add a pre-cruise day. It is not recommended to arrange the embarkation day and your flight arrival day on the same day. I have seen cruisers who arrived at the airport in the morning and then joining the ship. It looked very stressful. Actually they told me so. Get away from stress. It’s a cruise vacation!
What to do If You Forget Something to Pack
If you need extra clothing items or forgot something like a hat or gloves, no worries. You can always purchase them at ports. In Alaska, there are many nice shops. I bought hand-made red leather boots, and which I really like. You can find many items on board, but you have fewer choices, and they are pricy.
Find out more details in packing list for a cruise checklist below (PDF).
How to Pack Efficiently for an Alaska Cruise
Packing cubes will change the way you pack. This is a real game-changer! They help you to organise your clothes, underwear, socks, accessories or whatever you would like to add in a solid manner.
Have you ever experienced that you packed everything but needed something to get back for use? Then you have to start packing and organising your luggage from the start. No need to do that. You can just pick up one packing cube and then put it back. Easy!
You may be interested in more articles on cruise packing lists:
Printable Cruise Packing List
Click HERE and get a cruise packing list PFD. We hope it will help you pack for Alaska Cruise. Let us know how your packing goes!
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