Thursday, April 18, 2024

What To Wear On An Alaskan Cruise

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Tips and what to wear for an Alaska cruise!

Our Alaska Packing Playlist features packing and planning videos for your cruise to Alaska. From clothing, outerwear, and gear, to packing carry-on only , weve gotcha covered.

You can also shop our , specificifally curated for Alaska, OR shop our latest packing video to have you safe and comfortable on your cruise and flight!

See more packing tips here.

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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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Clothes To Pack For Alaska Cruise

Alaskan cruises are by nature more casual than youll find many other cruise destinations.

Youll want to consult your cruise itinerary to find out more about clothing recommendations and if there are formal nights during your cruise. While formal nights are generally optional, they are a great deal of fun!

Daytime Dress in Layers Everyone told me to plan to dress in layers, but it took a bit for me to understand what this truly meant. In Alaska, weather can change rather rapidly. It can go from sunny and warm to rain and cold in seconds.

For our September cruise, I wore a layer of light silk thermals topped with either jeans or leggings on the bottom and a t-shirt and sweater or pullover on top.

Over that when we went out, I would wear a waterproof, hooded jacket. Since we were later in the year and I am cold natured, I wore an insulated waterproof hooded coat.

If you prefer though, a lighter version would work if you have warm layers underneath. I dont recommend an umbrella as a hooded rain jacket or coat is much more convenient.

I also recommend a casual fleece jacket, pullover, or a lined field jacket like I wore above for another layer. Youll wear this a lot during the day!

I also had a scarf and gloves with me at all times in my bag just in case.

Evenings Again, consult your cruise itinerary for information on the evening schedule during your cruise.

Its pretty chilly on the deck on September evenings, so pack those layers and cold weather necessities!

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What To Pack For Your Trip To Ketchikan Alaskaan Alaska Cruise Packing List

Ketchikan Alaska is a wonderful place to visit and I am often asked about what to pack for your visit! The best advice I can give you is to bring options with you!! This is one vacation where you won’t go wrong bringing more than less.

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What To Wear On Your Days At Sea On An Alaskan Cruise

What to Wear on an Alaskan Cruise: Your Complete Packing ...

If you board out of Seattle, its impossible to say what the weather will be like. Seattle can be cold and rainy or warm and sunny. You may not know until a few days before travel. Either way, definitely plan to bring a bathing suit.

Skip the colorful bikinis, just a good one-piece or something comfortable is fine. Youll mostly be using it for the hot tubs on the rest of the trip, not to sunbathe in. Oh, and a pair of slip-resistant flip flops youll thank me later!

This cover-up was perfect for my cruise! It still looks cute and kept me warm enough to get from the hot tub to my room. Even appropriate enough to wear to the buffet.

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Daves Alaskan Cruise Packing List

  • 1 dark suit
  • 3 dress shirts for under suits.
  • 4 ties
  • 4 smart shirts for dinners
  • 1 pair trekking pants
  • 1 set of work out clothes
  • 2 pair shorts

What Dave Would Have Changed

Should have brought:

Would have left at home

  • Bulky Down jacket
  • 1 dress shirt
  • 2 ties
  • 1 pair casual shoes
  • 1 suit
  • 1 trekking shirt. Didnt need two as the excursions are short and not strenuous.

An Alaskan Cruise requires a little more planning than a Caribbean or even European river cruise when it comes to packing. You need many more layers and a lot more luggage.

What To Pack For An Alaska Cruise Plus Packing List

Whether your Alaska cruise is on a small ship adventure cruise like Alaskan Dream Cruises or UnCruise Adventures or like most first-timers, on a larger cruise ship like Holland Americas Eurodam, heres what to pack for an Alaska cruise. At the end of the article youll find my Alaska cruise packing list ready to print.

In This Post

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What You Wont Need Or Cant Pack For An Alaskan Cruise

Sometimes packing for a cruise isnt just about what to bring, but also what not to bring. On the ship there are a number of rules about what you cant bring and there are also a number of things that you dont need because the ship provides them already.

Hair DryerYes, you can bring a hair dryer if you want to, but its not needed. Every cabin has a built-in hair dryer, similar to a hotel room. So if youre the type that has a fancy hair dryer that you cant live without, then you can bring it but most people will be perfectly fine leaving it at home.

TowelsOf course, your cabin will have towels in the room but many people wonder about larger beach towels for hanging out by the pool or hot tub on their cruise. Were happy to say that these are provided on the cruise ship as well, so no need to bring them from home. Best of all, you are free to take these towels off the ship with you onto shore .

Alcohol/BeerYes, you can bring wine or champagne in small quantities on your Alaskan cruise, but nothing else alcoholic is allowed aboard. That means leave the liquor and beer at home youll have to purchase it on the ship if you want a drink. You can buy bottles in port, but they will be held until the end of the cruise and returned the night before you arrive home.

What To Wear On An Alaskan Cruise

Alaskan Cruise! What I packed vs. What I wore | Packing for Alaska!

Alaska tends to be wet and rainy in the summer and temperatures along the southern coast, home to many cruise ports, can range from the 40s to the 60s. All of these variants make it tricky to figure out what to wear on an Alaskan cruise. Particularly when you need to balance the chilly, wet outdoors with the climate-controlled ships interior.

My recommendations on what to wear on an Alaska cruise are based on our trip on the Norwegian Bliss in August. On our journey we stopped in ports in Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, and Victoria, B.C.

Of course what you wear is also dependent on what excursions you choose. If you are visiting Alaska, Ill assume that you are doing more than just shopping in the cruise port or staying on the boat, and therefore need to be properly outfitted for excursions.

Alaska cruise excursions usually include activities such as hiking, kayaking, glacier hikes, visiting dog musher camps, and wildlife viewing. On our cruise we did a mix of activities on and off the boat including:

  • Sea kayaking
  • Running at the fitness center
  • Soaking at the spa

Luckily, an Alaskan cruise is a bit more casual than other cruises. Our cruise on the Norwegian Bliss did not include a formal night, but Im pretty sure other ships like Princess Cruises and others do have at least an optional formal night.

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Cute Alaskan Cruise Outfits

Lets start with clothing for your Alaskan excursions! This can also be tough to pack for because the weather in Alaska is really unpredictable . One day it was 80 degrees and sunny and the next day it was COLD and windy.

So when you hear people say dress in layersdress in layers! Or at least bring your backpack to the towns with you to hold extra clothing.

Here are some great suggestions for looking cute during your Alaskan Cruise Excursions.

Pink Pom Winter Hat Bring a girly side to Alaska with this cute but warm winter hat

Pink Cozy Sweater Great for chilly days around Alaska. Wear it by itself or with a jacket for added warmth.

White Down Jacket Its always a good idea to bring a warm jacket on an Alaskan Cruise. This white down coat adds a feminine touch with the faux fur collar and gold details.

Pink Touch Screen Gloves These gloves are slim and warm and allow you to still use your phone so you can take pictures while keeping your hands warm.

Mom jeans I LOVE mom jeans. They are super cute and since they are a little baggy, you can layer leggings under them if you get really cold.

Sorel Boots Always a good investment. Sorel boots are really warm, come in tons of colors and very comfortable to walk around all day in.

Samsonite luggage Lightweight so you can pack more and stay under the 50 lb weight limit!

What Should I Pack

As the Rockies & Alaska Cruise Extravaganza Holiday heads to so many different places you can expect to experience lots of different climates and that makes it harder to decide what you need to pack.

It can be really easy to over pack, but here we try to give you a helping hand by advising you the essentials to pack, things for the train and the Alaska cruise.

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Wondering Just How To Pack For An Alaska Cruise

If youre like me, you think of Alaska and instantly envision snow-capped mountain peaks, raincoats, and cozy boots. But packing for a cruise to Alaska is nuanced, and somewhat difficult to plan for. Why? Because the weather varies GREATLY from month to month, even hour to hour. So, its best to be prepared for the changing weather by packing a wide range of clothing and gear. But, dont worry! This doesnt have to mean packing HUGE suitcases full of boots, jackets & bulk! In fact, you CAN pack light to Alaska if youd like.

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It Can Be Very Cold In Alaska Or Sometimes It Can Be Very Warm

What to Wear on an Alaskan Cruise: Your Complete Packing ...

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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Other Alaska Cruise Packing Tips

Before you grab your bag and head out the door, here are some final tips on what to pack for a cruise to Alaska:

  • Your Alaska cruise packing list should vary based on the season youre cruising. The weather in Alaska varies a lot between spring, summer, and autumn the three seasons you can do an Alaska cruise. Be sure to check the forecast before your trip so you pack enough layers, and adjust what you need to stay comfortable and dry.
  • If youre struggling to choose excursions in each port, check out my Alaskas Best Cruise Excursions eBook it wont take any space in your bag! Its 100 pages and ranked-order lists of the best excursions in all the major Alaska cruise ports and terminals. Grab your copy for $9.99.
  • Bring an extra guidebook if you need one.Lonely Planet is my favorite guidebook company , and they have a whole guidebook for Cruise Ports Alaska its also available for free with a 30-day trial of Kindle Unlimited. If youve never used a guidebook before, check out my helpful post on how to use guidebooks!
  • Have any other questions about what to pack for an Alaska cruise? Let me know in the commentsor !

    Keep Planning Your Alaska Cruise!

    My eBook, Alaskas Best Cruise Excursions, will help you wade through all the excursions in each port to make the best choice for each stop on your Alaska cruise itinerary.

    Get your copy for just $9.99!

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    Alaska Cruise: What To Wear On Your Alaskan Cruise


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    Its definitely a place of beauty and grandeur!

    With that natural beauty comes weather and temperatures that vary from day to day. Thats why its so important to pack accordingly with the right clothes and travel essentials. And on a cruise like the memorable one I took with Princess Cruises this fall, you definitely want to take clothes for wearing on the ship too!

    Since Alaska is a temperate rain forest, the weather is vastly different from that here in Georgia and much of the lower 48 of the United States. I knew the average weather conditions for the time of year for our cruise and consulted friends and family who had previously cruised in Alaska for their advice.

    The number one recommendation that I received was:

    Pack so that you can dress in layers.

    While that sounds easy enough, I didnt exactly know what that meant when it came right down to making my packing list. So, I knew that once I returned, I would share with you tips on what to pack for your Alaska cruise!

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    What Boots Are Best For Alaskan Cruise Excursions

    Boots! No matter where you go in Alaska, you need a good pair of boots. I highly highly recommend Hunter Boots. They are SUPER comfortable and obviously waterproof.

    Pair your Hunter Boots with some wool socks and they kept my feet warm and dry even on the coldest days. I loved having a pair of rain boots because they worked everywhere we went whether it be snow or rain or lakes or streams.

    They also have a great tread on them and made hiking easy. My Hunter boots were hands down my best pick for an Alaskan Cruise!

    When we visited the Mendenhall Glacier, everyone was standing on the solid ground and I was the only one walking around and splashing through the water because I had on my rain boots!

    I was worried these wouldnt be comfortable enough to walk around all day in but after wearing them 2 days in a row my feet never hurt.

    You will also need a good pair of winter boots. I love these boots by Sorel. They are warm, waterproof and easy to walk around in. These boots are definitely a must if its really snowy or you walk on a glacier.

    If you choose to go hiking, youll need a good pair of hiking shoes. Something water-resistant is best as most of southern Alaska is a rainforest and very wet.

    I loved these hiking shoes, they kept me dry and were great to hike in. I also purchased a pair of these pants for my hiking trips. They are flexible, lightweight, and perfect for outdoor adventures. Not to mention the camo ones are super cute!

    Enjoy Your Alaskan Cruise

    First time cruise tips: Alaska Cruise What I Wore – OOTD

    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!

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