Get Cruise Ready With These Tips On What To Wear On An Alaskan Cruise
Congratulations! Usually, if you are thinking about what to pack for an Alaskan Cruise, chances are you have already booked your trip and are getting super excited about it. If you havent booked yetwell then what are you waiting for?
Alaskan cruises are one of those things you hear about all the time. And you think Yeah, that sounds nice. But when you start really looking into it and planning, the excitement will hit you like a ton of bricks!
With that planning comes the most important question you will ask yourself what should I wear on my Alaskan cruise?
Its true that an Alaskan cruise is a vacation like no other. And packing can be really tough. You go to different cities and you will probably go on different kinds of adventures.
You also have time on the ship, both relaxing and for dressier times like formal night.
Before you know it, you have 10 suitcases worth of stuff you want to bring. Not to mention those big coats and boots take up a ton of room in your suitcase!
But relax! You came to the right place.
Youll find all the information here about what you REALLY need to bring on your Alaskan Cruise and what you dont. So you can concentrate on other things.
Check out the review of my 7-day cruise to Alaska with Princess Cruise Line HERE!
What To Wear When Outside
The best advice for deciding what to pack is to think in terms of variety. Alaska’s climate in May, as previously shown, is varied. In your suitcase, pack clothes suitable for all temperatures. In case of a warm day, pack a lightweight pair of pants with either a t-shirt or a thin, long sleeved shirt. Windbreakers are important items to bring on a cruise to Alaska. The thin jacket provides warmth in moderate temperature, and helps to keep wind from penetrating your clothes. Bringing several pairs of warm pants is important as when on port calls you need to stay warm while traversing some of Alaska’s major ports. Layering shirts are important as they provide extra warmth in cold temperatures. For entering the frigid parts of Alaska, pack a winter coat, gloves, and a wool hat. You may not be able to remain outside for long in the North Arctic Zone, but having these warm clothes and accessories will provide you with warmth during your time out in the below freezing temperatures. Because the Southeastern Zone receives so much rainfall, packing a raincoat and umbrella is highly advised.
What Clothing Should I Bring On An Alaskan Cruise
Cruises to Alaska pass snow-capped mountains and fjords.
Alaska’s rugged topography wows visitors with glacier-studded mountains, dramatic fjords and mist-shrouded rainforests. Cruises along the coastline have made the Last Frontier accessible to a wider range of travelers. However, even cruise passengers should consider their activities when packing, as you may need formal wear for dinner and rain gear or winter wear for activities on solid ground.
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Evening Wear For A Cruise To Alaska
Long sleeves are a good choice on an Alaskan cruise.
Hopefully, you didnt book an Alaskan cruise expecting sultry days and warm nights. Even in the height of summer, temperatures in the Inside Passage rarely surpass the high 60s, and the air gets downright cold after the sun goes down. Luckily for travelers, sunset happens between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. in Alaska during the cruise season. Sunlight will help keep you comfortable in the beginning of the evening, but warm clothing is essential for travelers of all ages after dark.
How Should I Dress On An Alaskan Cruise
So what should you wear on an Alaskan cruise? That was something I stressed about a lot when planning an Alaskan cruise. After all, if you forget something you are kind of out of luck, at least until you get to the first port. If you are having similar worries, hopefully this guide will help.
I have also created a and guide to what to pack for Alaska.
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What To Wear On Nights At Sea
Many restaurants do have a no jeans or shorts policy in the evenings, although Im not sure how tightly enforced these are and most ships will have a more casual option. However, with the exception of the embarkation night, most people do dress a bit for dinner.
Expect to see a mix of dresses, dress pants, dress shirts, and blouses. Get as fancy as you would like, but to minimize your packing list, you can get away with just a couple of pairs of nice pants, a few nice tops/sweaters, and one pair of dress shoes that go with everything.
We found the restaurants to be chilly and it is a good idea to bring a sweater or wrap in the evenings. Keep in mind that the ship photographers are available to take family photos so you may want to coordinate one nice outfit for each.
Some cruises do have theme nights or themed dance parties. On our cruise, we werent aware of these in any of the pre-cruise information we received but those in the know on board came prepared.
There was a country and western night in the BBQ restaurant and bar one evening. I was surprised to see people decked out in cowboy boots, hats, and western gear. Even more surprised that they bothered to pack all of that just for one event. But if you love a good theme party, find out in advance what is happening during your sailing.
What to wear at night:
Warm Weather And Adventure Packing List
Note: Princess Cruises excursions take good care to keep you dry and warm.
However it was important to have good hiking boots. We had dry weather during our time in Alaska, if it were muddy you may want hiking boots over trainers.
It depends on whether you want the extra weight what outdoor shoes you decided to bring.
We could have easily gone without the boots and done all our hikes and adventures in running shoes.
But then again we are a very adventurous couple that has trekked through rainforests in flip flops. Comfort isnt always our number one priority.
- Down Jacket layers would have been enough
- Hiking Boots werent necessarily needed, trail running shoes would have been good enough.
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Alaska Cruise Packing List Extras
Hat Or Beanie
You lose the majority of your body heat through your head, so you will want to put a hat like this chunky beanie haton your Alaska cruise packing list.
When you are on a glacier calving or marine mammal sighting boat excursion when you are in port, you will be glad you thought to bring a hat to keep your head warm. Its much colder when you are on the water!
This unisex chunky slouch beanie is fashionable. It is lined to keep you warm!
If the weather is scheduled to be warmer, when you are packing for your Alaskan cruise, you can include this unisex breathable mesh quick-dry baseball sun cap.
Just about everyone in your family can wear this baseball cap, it comes in oodles of colors and is very affordable.
This wide-brimmed waterproof unisex hat would be great to protect you from the suns harmful rays. It is waterproof, packable, and comes in several colors. Not only that it is pretty cheap!
If your waterproof jacket has a comfortable hood, you might want to put ear mitts on your Alaska cruise packing list, instead of a hat. These earmuffs are affordable and come in a very wide variety of colors. Space is a premium when packing and these can substitute for a beanie.
These unisex foldable earmuffs are another option. They are affordable, adjustable and come in a variety of colors.
Even another additional item to consider to wear is a thermal headband.
Hand And Toe Warmers
Motion Sickness Options
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. Its a cruise vacation!
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What To Wear At Sea
Days at sea are fairly relaxed and you will want to be comfortable. Adults may want to use the spa or fitness center. Kids may enjoy the kids or teen club, lounge, game room, or, maybe it will be nice enough to use the pool or hot tubs.
Just keep in mind that it may take a few hours for your luggage to arrive so if you will want to change right away to enjoy the pool or other areas, be sure to pack what you need in a bag that you can carry on.
- Jeans / leggings / athletic wear
- Warm cover up or loose clothing to cover up
Alaska Cruise Formal Nights
Although Alan and I love dressing up for formal nights, we leave the dinner jacket and long gown at home when cruising to Alaska. In fact, wed do the same on any 7 to 14-day cruise. During port-intensive cruises, theres not enough time on ship to make bringing the formal wear worth it.
Ill pack a pair of dressy black pants, sparkly top and shoes, especially if Ive adhered to the two pants/five top/1 par of shoes list I mentioned for casual nights in the packing list that follows. If you really want to cut down on clothing, wear the black pants from elegant casual night in place of an additional pair of dressy pants.
For an Alaska formal night, Alan wears a sport coat and dress pants or khakis, perhaps without a tie as they are usually optional. Hell bring one, though, just in case he changes his mind.
No need to worry about formal nights on an expedition cruise because there arent any.
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Do Make Room In Your Suitcase For These
There are two accessories you wont want to forget at home. We strongly suggest a travel size set of binoculars& a great camera for your cruise to Alaska. For us, a great camera can mean the latest version of our phone . But, if there were ever a time to bust out that fancy lens or DSLR camera, Alaska is that time. GoPros can be great too, if youre willing to keep up with the firmware updates, and learn how to use them.
Wildlife spotting, distant waterfalls and glaciers also call for a nice, high quality set of binoculars. Travel size will do the trick, but if youre not worried about weight or bulk in your luggage, pack whatever you have on hand.
Outlet Adapter With Usb Ports
Cruise ship staterooms usually have a very limited number of outlets and theyre never enough to charge all of the cell phones, camera battery chargers, computers, tablets, and other tech equipment Alaska cruise guests bring with them. When youre considering what to bring on an Alaska cruise, make sure to pack a multi-outlet adapter with USB ports so you can easily charge everyones gear throughout the cruise.
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What To Wear On The Cruise Ship
When onboard, you usually won’t have to bundle up in heavy winter gear. For the time spent on the cruise ship, pack jeans, comfortable pants, and lightweight shirts. Bring some lightweight pajamas and thick winter oriented sleepwear. Cruise ships are known for having formal dinner parties and access to these parties is only permitted to guests dressed in cocktail attire. Men should pack a suit and tie with dress shoes. A tuxedo is not required but is an acceptable form of attire for cruise dinner parties. Women should pack a cocktail dress, dressy shoes, and formal, dinner party appropriate accessories.
About the Author
Nicholas Ramos was born in Washington, D.C. He is currently a journalism major in Georgia and plans to specialize in law. Ramos has been writing since 2009, specializing in fashion, travel and health.
The Ultimate Alaska Cruise Packing List
I recently wrote about what to wear on on Alaskan cruise, but then I realized that putting together an Alaska cruise packing list isnt just about what to wear, it is also what to bring along for the trip.
Even if you are a pro at packing for a Caribbean cruise, an Alaska cruise is a different experience and you may have trouble deciding what to pack. It starts with trading the shorts for rain pants and the sundresses for sweaters. But dont worry, this packing list includes everything you should need for an Alaskan cruise based on our experience aboard the Norwegian Bliss last summer.
Of course, some of what you pack will depend on which Alaska cruise excursions you choose, and your ports of call. It always pays to check the weather for your ports ahead of time, but the secret is to be prepared and this packing list will help!
The other thing to keep in mind is that the weather in Alaska can vary greatly day-by-day. We cruised in late August, and it was pretty cool, windy, and rainy the entire time. I have a friend that cruised a few weeks earlier and they had some days where it was warm enough to need shorts and t-shirts.
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Enjoy Your Alaskan Cruise
Read more about my 7-day Alaskan cruise on the Ruby Princess HERE! And Dont forget to check out my other posts on the best things to do while in:
And dont forget to download my super amazing 5-page cruise planner. Its absolutely FREE And easy to download and print out. Itll make planning your cruise a whole lot easier.
It includes pages to keep track of all your airfare, pre-stay hotel, and embarkation information. As well as pages to keep track of all your excursions and port information.
There is a LOT to keep track of when going on a cruise and this fun Cruise Planner makes your whole vacation more organized and stress-free! So you can sit back and enjoy those cruise cocktails!
Are you looking for outfits that are functional AND cute for your Alaskan Cruise? Check out my updated post with Cute Outfits For Your Alaskan Cruise!
Have any questions about my Alaskan Cruise?Whether its about the ship, the excursions, what to wear on an Alaskan Cruise or even the foodId love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or email me at
Head over to my updated post for more of my Alaskan Cruise Packing List and to see MORE of what I wore on my Alaskan Cruise!
It Can Be Very Cold In Alaska Or Sometimes It Can Be Very Warm
We had days at sea where we were on deck all day as we rotated in the bay watching the Marjorie Glacier. We needed to be prepared for everything.
We also wanted to be comfortable working out in the gym, hanging around the indoor swimming pool, sitting in the lounge enjoying coffee or a glass of wine and looking good when we go to see a Vegas style show.
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It seems almost impossible to pack light for such a trip.
It was a difficult task scaling down our bags to include 1 suitcase and 1 garment bag each.
But overall we were quite happy with our packing choices.
With just a few adjustments, you will have the perfect packing list for Alaska by learning from our experience.
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Short And Long Sleeved T
Since the weather can change drastically in the same day, especially during the Alaska cruise seasons summer months, bringing a mix of short and long-sleeved T-shirts will allow you to adapt to the days forecast easily. Those traveling during the shoulder seasons will want to bring a few more long-sleeved tees than short.
Dinner Or Smart Casual Clothes
Aside from the comfortable and sports clothing youll wear during the day and on excursions, youll also want to pack dressier attire, too. During dinner in the ships main restaurant, cruisers will dress according to Celebrity Cruises dress code.
Women can wear a smart dress, skirt, pants, or jeans with a casual top, and men can dress in pants or jeans with a short-sleeve sport shirt.
As for shoewear, the only rule is that flip flops are never allowed during evenings on the ship.
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What Is The Best Month To See Whales On An Alaskan Cruise
The cruise season in Alaska is from April to November, which is the best time to watch whales. The spring and summer months are the best time for whale watching in Alaska, when the days are long and the food is plentiful. The state is home to some whales that migrate year-round and others that migrate during the summer.