When it comes to packing for a cruise, many people are at a loss as to what they should bring with them. After all, you want to make sure that you have everything you need, but you don’t want to pack so much that you’re struggling to carry your luggage around. Here is a suggested Alaska cruise packing list for those going on an Alaskan cruise in the summer months. This list assumes that you will be aboard a cruise ship and touring the area by boat or bus. It also assumes that the weather will be mild with some warm days and occasional rain showers. But for an Alaskan cruise, you do have to prepare for sunny days, rainy days, and cold weather, so you need to bring quite the variety of clothing to suit all of these weather conditions.
First and foremost, you’ll need to pack some base layers. These include items like long sleeve shirts, pants, and leggings. You’ll also want to make sure you have a few sweaters or other warm outer layers in case the temperature fluctuates. It’s always a good idea to pack a rain jacket as well, just in case you get caught in a rain shower.
Next, you’ll want to think about what you’ll need for shore excursions. If you’re planning on a shore excursion to Denali National Park, for example, you’ll want to make sure you have comfortable walking shoes and layers that can be removed as needed. Insect repellent is also a good idea, as is lip balm to protect your lips from the sun and wind.
When you are on a cruise, there are many opportunities to enjoy the hot tubs on board the ship. However, it is important to choose the right bathing suit to wear in order to avoid offending other passengers. In general, it is best to err on the side of modesty and choose a suit that covers more of your body. This means avoiding string bikinis or other suits that leave little to the imagination. Instead, opt for a bikini with more coverage or one-piece suit. You should also avoid wearing clothes in the hot tub.
For formal nights on the cruise ship, you’ll need to pack a nice dress or suit. Men should also pack a tie. For women, a little black dress is always classy. Remember to check the dress code for your particular cruise line before packing.
Of course, you’ll also need the basics like toiletries and a change of clothes. And don’t forget your cell phone and charger, as well as any memory cards or extra batteries you might need. It’s also a good idea to bring a small first aid kit in case of minor injuries.
Finally, make sure you have your passport and any other required documents, as well as your tour operator information and credit card. And don’t forget to pack a sense of adventure!
The ideal Alaska cruise packing list PDF:
- Waterproof jacket
- Fleece jacket
- Formal wear (dress pants and blazer, dress shirt, tie, cocktail dresses)
- Warm hat
- Pair of jeans
- Shirt with long sleeves
- Thin layers, for example, made of merino wool for warmth
- Wool socks
- Waterproof gloves
- Bathing suit
- Casual Shirts – How many you need will depend on whether there are laundry services on the ship or not.
- Tank Tops
- Laundry bag for dirty clothes
- Make-Up Bag
- Hair Products
- Comb or Brush
- Prescription Glasses
- Nail clipper
- Lip Balm with SPF
- Tooth Brush
- Tooth Paste
- Dental floss
- Prescription medication
- Ear plugs
- Eye mask
- Day bag – It is important to have a day pack so that you have something to carry your small items with you when you go for a walk on shore
- Dry bag – A dry bag is a waterproof bag used to keep things dry, often while participating in water-based activities such as kayaking, canoeing, rafting, and surfing. Dry bags come in a variety of sizes, with the most common being 1-2 liters (0.3-0.6 gallons). They are typically made from PVC or another type of waterproof fabric, and have a watertight closure such as a zip or roll top. Many dry bags also come with a shoulder strap or other means of attachment, making them easy to carry while keeping your hands free. While not totally invulnerable to water, dry bags offer a high level of protection against wetness and are an essential piece of gear for anyone spending time on or near the water. So if you have a shore excursion that is on the water, like fishing or kayaking, you should bring a dry bag.
- Water bottle
- Cell phone
- Cell phone charger
- Zoom lens
- Travel documents
- Covid vaccine card (if required)
Alaskan Cruise Season
Alaska is a vast and beautiful state, offering a wide range of cruise options for travelers. However, with the limited cruising season, it’s important to know all the ins and outs of Alaska cruising so you can choose the best time to sail. The typical cruise season is quite short, May – September. One thing to keep in mind is that the weather in Alaska can be unpredictable, even during the summer months. That means that you might run into some rough seas or bad weather if you’re sailing in July or August. Another thing to consider is the length of your cruise. If you’re looking for a longer cruise, you’ll need to sail earlier in the season, as most cruises end in mid-September. Finally, keep in mind that Alaska is a popular destination, so booking early is essential if you want to get the best cabin rates and itineraries. By doing your research and knowing all the ins and outs of Alaska cruising, you can ensure that you choose the perfect time to sail.
Crossing the Arctic Circle
Not all Alaskan cruises cross the Arctic circle. Many of the shorter cruises, like the Disney Cruise starting from Vancouver, does not. Instead, you need to find a cruise like from Global Journeys, which goes to Fairbanks and then has a flight to the arctic circle.
Tips for First Time Cruisers
For many people, taking a cruise is the vacation of a lifetime. But if you’ve never been on a cruise before, the whole experience can seem a bit daunting.
Here are a few tips to help you make the most of your first cruise:
- Choose the right ship. There are hundreds of different cruise ships out there, so it’s important to pick one that’s right for you. Consider the size of the ship, the type of itinerary you’re looking for, and the amenities that are important to you.
- Book early. Cruises often sell out months in advance, so it’s important to book your trip as soon as you can. Not only will this give you the best chance of getting your preferred stateroom and itinerary, but it will also allow you to take advantage of early booking discounts and promotions.
- Get travel insurance. While most cruise lines offer some form of travel protection, it’s always a good idea to purchase your own independent policy. This will give you extra peace of mind in case of any unforeseen events or delays.
- Be flexible. With thousands of people on board, things can sometimes go wrong on a cruise ship. If something doesn’t go according to plan, don’t get upset – just go with the flow and enjoy the ride
- Bring formal wear. Even if you’re not planning on going to any formal nights, it’s always a good idea to pack a nice dress or suit. You never know when you might need it, and it’s better to be safe than sorry.
- Pack for the weather. Alaska is known for its unpredictable weather, so it’s important to be prepared for anything. Pack layers that you can easily add or remove, and make sure to pack a rain jacket and waterproof shoes.
- Prepare for the unexpected. No matter how well you plan, there’s always a chance that something will go wrong on your cruise. Be sure to pack a first aid kit and any medications you might need, just in case.
- What’s the best time to cruise to Alaska? The best time to cruise to Alaska is in the summer, from May to September. However, keep in mind that the weather can be unpredictable and that you might run into some bad weather if you sail in July or August.
- What’s the best way to see Alaska? There are many ways to see Alaska, but the best way is by cruise ship. Cruise ships offer a variety of activities, shore excursions, and amenities that you can’t find anywhere else. Plus, they’re a great way to see the state’s stunning scenery.
- What should I pack for an Alaskan cruise? To make the most of your Alaskan cruise, you should pack a few essential items. These include a day pack, dry bag, water bottle, cell phone, camera, and sunscreen. You should also dress in layers to account for the state’s unpredictable weather.
- What is there to do on an Alaskan cruise? Alaska cruises offer a variety of activities and shore excursions. These can include hiking, biking, kayaking, fishing, and sightseeing. You can also enjoy the state’s stunning scenery from the comfort of your cruise ship.
- Is an Alaskan cruise worth it? An Alaskan cruise is definitely worth it. Not only will you get to see some of the most beautiful places in the world, but you’ll also have access to a variety of activities and amenities that you can’t find anywhere else. Plus, cruises are a great way to relax and unwind.
- What are the best Alaskan cruises? The best Alaskan cruises offer a variety of activities, shore excursions, and amenities. Some of the best cruises include the Disney Cruise, Holland America Line’s Alaska cruises, and Royal Caribbean’s Alaska cruises.
- Do I need a passport for an Alaskan cruise? Yes, you will need a passport to take an Alaskan cruise.
- Can I use my cell phone on an Alaskan cruise? Yes, you can use your cell phone on an Alaskan cruise, but you should be aware of the state’s limited coverage.
- What is the dress code on an Alaskan cruise? The dress code on an Alaskan cruise is casual during the day and more formal in the evening. However, keep in mind that the state’s weather can be unpredictable, so you should pack accordingly.
- What are the best shore excursions in Alaska? Some of the best shore excursions in Alaska include Denali National Park, Glacier Bay National Park, and Kenai Fjords National Park.
- Can I take a river cruise in Alaska? Yes, you can take a river cruise in Alaska. However, keep in mind that the state’s weather can be unpredictable, so you should pack accordingly.
- What is the best way to see wildlife in Alaska? One of the best ways to see wildlife in Alaska is by taking a wildlife tour. These tours typically last between two and four hours and take place in areas where you’re likely to see a variety of animals, including bears, moose, and eagles.
- What is the weather like in Alaska? The weather in Alaska can be unpredictable. The state experiences a wide range of temperatures, from warm summers to cold winters. You should dress in layers to account for the state’s temperature fluctuations.
- What is the best time to see the northern lights in Alaska? The best time to see the northern lights in Alaska is from September to April (not when cruises are running).
- Is there a dress code for formal nights on an Alaskan cruise? Yes, there is a dress code for formal nights on an Alaskan cruise. Men are typically required to wear a suit or tuxedo, and women are typically required to wear a cocktail dress or evening gown.
- What is the best way to see Alaska? There is no one “best” way to see Alaska. The state is so vast and diverse that it can be explored in a variety of ways. Some people prefer to take an Alaskan cruise, while others prefer to drive or fly into the state and explore it on their own.
- What are the best tour operators in Alaska? Some of the best tour operators in Alaska include Salmon Berry Travel % Tours, Kenai Fjords Tours, Alaska Travel Source, K2 Aviation, and Talkeetna Air Taxi.
- Can I use my credit card in Alaska? Yes, you can use your credit card in Alaska. However, keep in mind that the state’s limited coverage may mean that you’ll need to use cash in some areas.
- What should I do if I lose my passport on an Alaskan cruise? If you lose your passport on an Alaskan cruise, you should contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. You will need to provide proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate or naturalization certificate, in order to obtain a new passport.
- What is the best way to take pictures in Alaska? The best way to take pictures in Alaska is with a digital camera. This will allow you to take advantage of the state’s beautiful scenery and wildlife. You should also pack extra memory cards so that you can store all of your photos.
- What is the best time to travel to Alaska? The best time to travel to Alaska depends on what you want to see and do. The state experiences a wide range of temperatures, from warm summers to cold winters. You should dress accordingly for the state’s temperature fluctuations. The best time for cruising and outdoor activities is May – September, and the best time to see the Northern Lights is September to April.
- Will you see polar bears on an Alaskan cruise? No, this is highly unlikely. Alaskan cruises do not typically go far enough north.
- Can you get to Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve from an Alaskan cruise? Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve is an American national park that protects portions of the Brooks Range in northern Alaska. The park is the northernmost national park in the United States, situated entirely north of the Arctic Circle. Gates of the Arctic is one of the most remote and untouched wildernesses in North America. It is also home to some of the most spectacular scenery on the planet. The mountains, valleys, rivers and lakes of Gates of the Arctic National Park are a true paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. You will need to book a tour starting from Fairbanks, so if this is something you’re interested in, you should book a cruise that ends in Fairbanks, then book a tour to Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve from Fairbanks.
Alaska is a beautiful and diverse state that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for an adventure-packed cruise or a relaxing river rafting trip, you’ll be sure to find it in Alaska. With a little planning and preparation, you can make the most of your trip and create memories that will last a lifetime.
For more travel ideas, here are 40 best vacation destinations for nature lovers.
Have you travelled to Alaska before? Where did you go? Let me know in the comments!