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What do I pack for Alaska?

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Alaska cruise season is quickly approaching.  Many people are wondering “WHAT DO I PACK!”.  After cruising to Alaska 10 times, I think I may have figured this out. 🙂


First off remember….it’s summer!  Just because you are heading to the great northern region of Alaska, that does not mean it will be snowing and cold.   Sure, it will most likely rain (and therefore be a tad chilly) and you may get chilled while sailing into the glaciers.  BUT….once the ship stops, if the sun is shining, it can be very warm.  I have been to both Hubbard Glacier and Glacier Bay and gotten sunburned.  I’ve also been there, and Tracy Arm Fjord, with rain….so be prepared!  I’ve also been to Juneau with temperatures in the 80’s!

The most useful suggestion I have is layers, layers, layers!  Bring a lightweight waterproof jacket….heavy down coats are NOT required!  Neither are UGGS!  I can’t tell you the number of times I have watched people walk off the ships looking like Nano of the north, only to be lugging all that gear back to the ships later…sweating!  Seriously, light weight layers is the answer.

The above photos are from Glacier Bay….a little overcast, but VERY warm!  The trip into Glacier Bay was a tad chilly…but hey!…the ship was moving, creating a slight wind. 🙂

If you plan to do any type of strenuous activity, bring the proper gear.  Waterproof shoes are always a good idea.

Here is what I have compiled after my years of Alaska sailing:

Alaska Packing List

2 pair jeans (in case one gets wet)

3-4 shirts to wear with jeans

one pair capris to wear onboard (sea days)

1 nice dress for formal nights

1 or 2 skirts and/or nice pants and shirts/sweaters to wear with them

1 hooded sweatshirt

1 0r 2 zip up sweatshirt-like jackets or sweaters

1 light waterproof jacket or warm vest… or poncho

scarf, hat and gloves

1 or 2 pair dress shoes/sandals

1 pair sandals for pool deck

swimsuit and coverup

2 pair good walking shoes

good sunglasses

socks and underwear

workout clothes

small backpack (easier than carrying a purse)

sunscreen (glare off boat can be strong)

Of course, this is a female list…just make the necessary adjustments for males.

Many are probably thinking…seriously? a bathing suit?  Yes!  The ship’s pools will be heated and the hot tubs will be running….enjoy them!

Hope this list helps.  Check back and let me know if this was useful for you.  Or if you have any suggestions!  And please share this site with others.  I love to share my passion for travel!



  1. Frank says:

    That is a wonderful list and very helpful! You Rock!! Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. limarobin1 says:

    Thank You! Leaving for our first Alaska cruise next week. This was very helpful.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Brenda says:

    Thank you for the helpful list. We’ve been on many Caribbean cruises but our first Alaska cruise is in 4 weeks. I figure that anyone wearing BSU apparel must know what they are talking about (we live in Boise). Go Broncos! 🙂


  4. Bingobunny14 says:

    thank you for a great list..Its’ our first Alaska trip…leave July 29th…can’t wait

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Ranae says:

    Would you change anything for a 14 day Alaskan cruise?


    • zest4travel says:

      Not really. Plan on doing laundry once onboard. I find it easier to lighter. If you find you need another outer layer, there are inexpensive jackets and sweatshirts in every port. Plus they make a great souvenir. Have a great cruise 🚢


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