How to pack for an Alaskan cruise

How to pack for an alaskan cruise

If you’re planning on doing an Alaskan cruise but just don’t know where to start when it comes to what to pack, then you’re in the right place. Doing a cruise in Alaska means you have to plan for a whole variety of travel and social occasions, that you might not have otherwise thought about. But rest assured, after reading this list you’ll know exactly what to pack and won’t feel like you’ve jumped aboard forgetting something.

Read more: Tips for first-time cruisers from the Travel at 60 community


Everyone always says to make sure your pack your layers when preparing for a cruise to Alaska. But what exactly does that mean? It means you have to be prepared for all different weather patterns and activities, all with one outfit. So, that means a pair of jeans, a comfortable shirt, a warm jumper, a jacket and then a waterproof jacket, all at once. With that in mind, choose layers that are going to breathe and that are going to be comfortable paired with other items.

Carry on

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The difference between doing a tour of Alaska and going on an Alaskan cruise is that on your very first day of your cruise your luggage will be checked away on board and you might not have access to it until later that evening. For that reason, it really pays to have a carry-on piece of luggage that has at least your toothbrush and a change of clothing in it. That way if there is a delay in receiving your luggage, at least you can use whatever is in your carry-on bag.

Comfortable formal wear

As with most cruises, there is likely to be a formal evening, when guests are expected to get all dressed up. After spending the day trekking and sightseeing, the last thing you might feel like doing is getting all dressed up in a ball gown. But it is fun to get into the festive vibe, so pack something that is glitzy and glamorous but also comfortable. Also, don’t forget to bring a small clutch or handbag so you can at least carry your lippy and your room keys.


It rains a heck of a lot in Alaska so prepare for some wet weather while you’re there. It pays to invest in a really good raincoat that is windproof and waterproof so you stay dry and warm while you’re taking in the incredible sites.

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Comfortable pants

Now, this goes for what you wear during your day trips as well as what you’ll be wearing around the ship. Stay comfortable after a long day and be sure to pack some comfy trackies to wear around the cruise, too.


If your neck and head are warm, then usually the rest of your body stays warm, too. So, rug up with a wooly scarf while you’re out and about enjoying the sights.

Here are some more items that you might not have thought of to pack for an Alaskan cruise.

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  • Beanie: Same goes for the top of your head. Stay warm and pack a beanie.
  • Swimmers: If there’s a pool on board, then you’ll definitely want to bring your siwmmers so you can go for a dip.
  • Walking shoes: Make sure they’re sturdy shoes, great for walking in all different weather conditions.
  • Fleece jumpers: You can never keep too warm in Alaska.
  • Warm socks: Best to keep those toes warm, too.

Read more: 7 Things to do in Alaska for travellers over 60


  • Binoculars: To get an up close and personal look at all the wildlife.
  • Camera: Make sure you bring a camera to capture all those magic moments.
  • Camera accessories: Don’t forget your battery charger, a tripod and extra SD cards.
  • Day bag: Great for putting a snack and water into during day trips.
  • Refillable water bottle: Stay hydrated!
  • Pack of cards: For those moments when you want to pass the time with a bit of fun.
  • A book: Just in case you want to spent a quick moment on the deck with a good read.
  • Motion sickness tablets: You don’t want to be put out of action because of a nasty case of motion sickness.
  • Moisturiser and lip gloss: The crisp cool air of Alaska can make for dry skin, so keep it hydrated with moisturiser and lip gloss.
  • Cold and flu tablets: It always happens, you go on holiday and immediately fall ill. Make sure that doesn’t happen with a couple of packets of cold and flu tablets.
  • Medication: If you do need to bring any medication, make sure it’s clearly labelled.
  • Sunglasses: All that snow can make for nasty glare, so avoid going outside without a pair of shades.
  • Gloves: Especially great if you’re sensitive to the cold.

Are there any other things you can think of to pack for an Alaskan cruise? Let us know in the comments section below.

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