Alaska Cruise Packing List Must Haves

Alaska cruise packing list

Knowing what to pack on a cruise is essential. Since cruise experiences vary widely, there isn’t one universal cruise packing list to cover any and all itineraries. For example, if you’re sailing to the great, wild expanse that is the 49th state, you’ll want to bring a completely different set of clothing and accessories than you would on a Caribbean cruise, where tropical weather makes flip flips and shorts the norm. Not sure what your Alaska cruise packing list should include? Read on for our tips on what to bring when you’re sailing to Alaska.

Bring Layers

The weather is highly variable in Alaska, especially in summer, when most cruises whisk passengers to the Last Frontier. Though daytime temperatures can reach the high 60s or low 70s, that can change at a moment’s notice depending on weather and time of day — temperatures drop significantly in the nighttime. One minute you may be enjoying the sun’s warmth on your skin; the next, a cold chill can set in that has you reaching for a jacket.

Adding plenty of layers to your Alaska cruise packing list will ensure you have what you need for every moment, come what may. We suggest wearing a base layer, an insulating later, and an outer layer. And don’t be too proud to bring a hat and gloves, just in case!

Invest in Some Waterproof Clothing

It’s no secret that it rains a lot in Alaska, so expect to encounter precipitation in all its forms: light drizzle, heavy downpours, fog and mist, etc. It’s part of the wild charm of this untamed state, so don’t let a little wet weather ruin your fun when you’re out on an excursion. With waterproof clothing, you can stay warm and dry as you enjoy wildlife tours, glacier tours, hiking, etc. Leave plenty of room on your Alaska cruise packing list for a rain jacket, rain boots, and waterproof pants. You’ll be so glad you did!

Don’t Forget a Camera and Binoculars

For many people, an Alaska cruise is a once-in-a-lifetime trip, so it pays to be ready to take in all the sights. Don’t miss out on the spectacular scenery and the chance to capture those special memories!

With a pair of binoculars, you’ll be better able to see wildlife off in the distance, from whales breaching to bears lumbering through the wilderness. And you’ll definitely want to have a camera on hand—don’t be the only one unprepared for all the amazing shots you can share with your friends and family back home. There’s so much to capture here. Aside from wildlife, you’ll get photos of wildflowers, mountain peaks, shimmering lakes, massive glaciers, and if you’re lucky, the northern lights dancing across the night’s sky.

Load up on Sunscreen & Inspect Repellant

The main draw of an Alaska cruise is to get out and get fully immersed in the great outdoors. Being prepared for the sun and any pesky insects will make your adventures much more comfortable and carefree. Even when it’s not very hot, the sun can do damage to your skin, so make sure to bring sunblock with an appropriate SPF level. This is especially important in the land of the midnight sun! A hat and sunglasses are recommended as well.

Mosquitos are an unavoidable nuisance when you’re in Alaska, especially on hikes deep in the woods. Bring heavy-duty insect repellant or try to cover as much of your skin as you can.

Bring Proper Dinner Attire

Though you’ll want to be comfortable when you’re getting out and about in the Alaskan wilderness, you’ll also want to be properly dressed for dinner, especially if your cruise has formal nights. Some cruise lines have dress codes that call for smart casual attire, which means you’ll want to be a bit more polished than you would be for your day in port. In some cases, ladies will be asked to wear dresses or a skirt, or even a nice pair of slacks. Men can usually get away with a shirt and tie, though tuxedos aren’t uncommon.

Check with your cruise line if you’re unclear about how to dress for formal night, as you’ll want to be sure you’ve added the proper attire to your Alaska cruise packing list. Things loosen up a bit for informal nights, though you may be restricted from wearing shorts or denim.

Ready to start packing? Download this Alaska cruise packing list to serve as your guide. And if you haven’t booked your Alaska cruise yet, get in touch with the travel experts at, who have the experience and knowledge to help you cruise the smart way! We give you our exclusive bonus offers, plus all qualifying cruise line offers, plus all of the cruise line loyalty program benefits. Book online at or call 800-288-6006 today.

Related: Alaska Cruise – Experience All Alaska Offers

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