What To Pack For Alaska Cruise In Late May

Planning for an Alaska cruise in late May? Wondering what essentials to pack for your unforgettable journey? Look no further! This article provides a helpful guide on what to bring for your adventure, ensuring that you are well-prepared to embrace the stunning beauty of Alaska while enjoying a comfortable and enjoyable cruise experience. From warm clothing and footwear to essential accessories and gadgets, discover the must-haves to make your late May Alaska cruise truly memorable. So, let’s get packing and embark on an extraordinary voyage through the mesmerizing landscapes of Alaska!


Layering system

When packing for your Alaska cruise in late May, it’s important to keep in mind the fluctuating temperatures and unpredictable weather. The key to staying comfortable is to utilize a layering system. This means having multiple layers that you can add or remove depending on the temperature. Opt for lightweight, breathable fabrics that can easily be packed and won’t take up too much space in your luggage.

Base layers

Start with a good set of base layers, which are designed to keep you warm and comfortable close to your skin. Look for moisture-wicking materials that will help to regulate your body temperature and keep you dry. Long-sleeved tops and leggings are essential base layer items to pack.


Next, you’ll want to pack some mid-layers to provide insulation. Fleece jackets or sweaters are great options, as they are lightweight yet offer excellent warmth. Consider packing a few different thicknesses to adapt to the varying temperatures you may encounter.

Outer layers

For your outer layers, it’s important to have a waterproof and windproof jacket. Look for one that is breathable so that you don’t overheat when active. Additionally, packing a lightweight, packable down jacket is a good idea for extra warmth on colder days.

Rain gear

Alaska is known for its unpredictable weather, so it’s essential to pack rain gear. A high-quality rain jacket and waterproof pants will ensure that you stay dry even during heavy downpours. Don’t forget to pack a waterproof cover for your backpack as well.


When it comes to footwear, make sure to invest in a sturdy pair of hiking boots. Look for ones that are waterproof and provide good ankle support. You’ll also want to pack comfortable walking shoes for less strenuous activities and exploring cities during port stops.


Finally, don’t forget about the accessories. Packing a warm hat or cap, sunglasses, and gloves will help protect you from the elements. Consider bringing a buff or neck gaiter, as they can provide additional warmth and protect your face from windburn. Additionally, bring extra pairs of hiking socks to keep your feet dry and comfortable.

Essential Gear


Alaska is famous for its stunning wildlife and breathtaking scenery, so don’t forget to pack a pair of binoculars. They will allow you to get a closer look at the distant landscapes and spot wildlife such as whales, bears, and eagles.

Camera and lenses

Capture the awe-inspiring beauty of Alaska with a good quality camera and a variety of lenses. From glaciers to wildlife, you’ll want to have the right equipment to document your trip. Consider bringing a telephoto lens for capturing distant wildlife, a wide-angle lens for vast landscapes, and a macro lens for close-up shots.

Power adapters

To ensure that you can keep all your electronic devices charged, make sure to pack power adapters suitable for the outlets in Alaska. It’s always a good idea to bring a universal adapter to cover all your charging needs.

Backpack or daypack

A sturdy backpack or daypack will come in handy for storing your essential gear and any items you may need for day trips or excursions. Look for one with multiple compartments and comfortable shoulder straps for ease of use.

Reusable water bottle

Staying hydrated is crucial, especially in the Alaskan climate. Bring a reusable water bottle with a good capacity to ensure you always have access to fresh water. Some bottles even come with built-in filters, which can be useful if you’re unsure about the quality of the local water.

Insect repellent

While Alaska may not be known for its bugs, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Pack a good insect repellent to ward off any pesky mosquitoes or other insects you may encounter during outdoor activities.


Even though you may not associate Alaska with sunny weather, it’s important to protect your skin from the sun’s harmful rays. Pack a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF to shield your skin from potential sunburns. Make sure to apply it regularly, especially if you’re spending time outdoors or participating in activities like hiking or kayaking.

Prescription medications

If you require any prescription medications, make sure to bring an adequate supply for the duration of your trip. It’s a good idea to pack them in your carry-on luggage, along with a copy of your prescriptions, in case you need to refill or replace them while you’re away.

Documents and Identification

Passport and/or ID card

Ensure that you have a valid passport, preferably with at least six months’ validity remaining. If you don’t have a passport, or it’s expired, make sure to apply for a new one well in advance of your trip. Additionally, pack a copy of your passport or another form of government-issued identification as a backup.

Cruise itinerary and tickets

Keep your cruise itinerary and tickets easily accessible. These documents will provide you with important information about the ports you’ll be visiting, as well as any planned activities or excursions.

Travel insurance

It’s highly recommended to have travel insurance for your Alaska cruise. This will provide financial protection in case of unexpected events such as trip cancellation, medical emergencies, or lost luggage. Review your policy to ensure it covers the specific activities and destinations of your cruise.

Emergency contact information

Make a note of important emergency contact information, including the phone numbers for your cruise line, travel insurance provider, and any emergency services or local authorities at your various ports of call. Keep this information readily available in case of any unforeseen circumstances.

Tech and Entertainment

Cell phone and charger

Don’t forget to bring your cell phone and charger on your Alaska cruise. It’s advisable to check with your service provider about international roaming or consider purchasing a local SIM card for better coverage and affordable data plans.

Laptop or tablet

If you prefer to have a larger screen for watching movies, editing photos, or staying connected with loved ones, consider bringing a laptop or tablet. Just be mindful of the weight and size, as you’ll want to prioritize space and convenience in your luggage.

E-reader or books

For those who enjoy reading, packing an e-reader or physical books can be a great source of entertainment during downtime. Choose books that reflect the Alaskan theme, such as tales of exploration or wildlife encounters.


A pair of good quality headphones is essential for enjoying music, movies, or podcasts without disturbing others around you. Noise-canceling headphones are particularly useful in noisy environments or during long flights.

Power bank

To ensure you never run out of battery power for your electronic devices, bring a portable power bank. This way, you can easily recharge your phone, camera, or other devices while on the go.


Toothbrush and toothpaste

Maintain good oral hygiene by packing your toothbrush and toothpaste. Opt for travel-sized options to save space in your toiletry bag.

Shampoo and conditioner

Bring travel-sized bottles of shampoo and conditioner, or fill small reusable containers with your preferred brands. Consider using environmentally friendly options if available.

Soap or body wash

Pack a small bar of soap or a bottle of body wash to keep you feeling clean and refreshed throughout your trip. Alternatively, consider using travel-sized body wash sheets for added convenience.


Don’t forget your deodorant! Choose a travel-sized version or transfer your regular deodorant into a smaller container to save space.

Razor and shaving cream

If you prefer a clean-shaven look, pack a razor and shaving cream. Opt for disposable razors to avoid any potential issues with carrying sharp objects on the plane.

Hairbrush or comb

Maintain your hairstyle with a travel-sized hairbrush or comb. Look for compact, foldable options to save space in your luggage.

Feminine hygiene products

For those who require feminine hygiene products, make sure to pack an adequate supply for the duration of your trip. It’s a good idea to bring extras in case you have difficulty finding them at your various ports of call.

Prescription glasses or lenses

If you wear prescription glasses or contact lenses, don’t forget to pack them along with any necessary cleaning solution or spare pairs. It’s also wise to have a copy of your prescription on hand, just in case.

First Aid Kit


Accidents happen, so it’s always a good idea to have a supply of Band-Aids or adhesive bandages on hand. These can be used for minor cuts, blisters, or any other minor injuries.

Antiseptic wipes

To clean wounds or disinfect surfaces, include antiseptic wipes in your first aid kit. These can be especially handy when traveling in remote areas with limited access to medical facilities.

Pain relievers

Headaches, muscle aches, and other minor pains can put a damper on your cruise experience. Pack a small supply of pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen to keep discomfort at bay.

Motion sickness medication

If you’re prone to motion sickness or unsure about how your body will react to the rocking of the boat, consider packing motion sickness medication. These can come in pill or patch form and can help alleviate nausea and dizziness.

Cold and flu remedies

Traveling can sometimes expose you to new environments and people, increasing the chances of catching a cold or flu. Be prepared by packing some cold and flu remedies, such as cough drops, nasal sprays, or decongestants.

Allergy medication

If you suffer from allergies, be sure to bring your necessary medications, such as antihistamines or nasal sprays. This will help you manage any allergic reactions you may experience.

Prescription medications

If you take any prescription medications, ensure that you have an adequate supply for the duration of your trip. Pack them in a clearly labeled container, and if possible, carry a copy of the prescription or a doctor’s note in case of any issues with customs.

Outdoor Essentials

Hiking boots

For those planning to partake in hiking or outdoor activities, a sturdy pair of hiking boots is a must. Look for boots with good traction, ankle support, and waterproof capabilities to keep your feet comfortable and protected.

Hiking socks

To complement your hiking boots, pack several pairs of moisture-wicking hiking socks. These will help to keep your feet dry and prevent blisters during long hikes or excursions.

Hat or cap

Protect your head and face from the sun’s rays by packing a wide-brimmed hat or cap. Look for one with UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) to provide extra sun protection.


Don’t forget to bring a good pair of sunglasses to shield your eyes from the bright Alaskan sunshine. Look for sunglasses that offer UV protection and consider choosing polarized lenses for better glare reduction.


If you’ll be visiting Alaska during late May, you may encounter colder temperatures, especially in higher elevations or during early mornings and evenings. Pack a pair of lightweight gloves to keep your hands warm, especially if you plan on participating in outdoor activities.

Backpack rain cover

To protect your backpack and its contents from sudden downpours, pack a backpack rain cover. These waterproof covers are designed to fit over your backpack and keep everything dry.

Trekking poles

For those planning to go on longer hikes or tackling more challenging terrain, consider packing trekking poles. They can provide stability and reduce strain on your knees and hips, making your hiking experience more enjoyable.

Moleskin or blister pads

Prevent and treat blisters by packing moleskin or blister pads. These adhesive pads can provide relief and protection for any spots on your feet that may be prone to irritation or friction.


Cash and/or credit cards

Ensure that you have enough cash and/or working credit cards to cover your expenses throughout the trip. It’s a good idea to have some local currency for small purchases or places that may not accept cards.

Travel-sized laundry detergent

If you plan on doing laundry during your cruise or enjoy handwashing certain items, consider packing travel-sized laundry detergent. This will save you money on laundry services and allow you to freshen up your clothes as needed.

Snacks and energy bars

Keep hunger at bay by packing some snacks and energy bars. These are particularly useful during excursions or when exploring ports where food options may be limited or expensive.

Travel pillow

For added comfort during long flights or bus rides, bring a travel pillow. There are various types available, from inflatable pillows to memory foam ones that provide support for your neck and head.

Reusable bags

Packing a few reusable bags can be handy for carrying groceries or any items you may purchase along the way. They are also great for keeping your belongings organized within your luggage.

Ziplock bags

In addition to reusable bags, pack a few ziplock bags of various sizes. These can be used for storing wet clothes, keeping any leaky toiletries contained, or organizing smaller items within your luggage.

Travel adapter

To ensure that your electronic devices can be charged, pack a travel adapter suitable for the outlets used in Alaska. This will ensure that you can easily plug in your chargers without any issues.

Travel guidebook or map

While technology has made it easier to access information on the go, there’s often value in having a physical travel guidebook or map at your disposal. Consider packing one to help you navigate your way through ports of call or provide interesting insights about the regions you’re visiting.

Optional Extras


If you’re particularly interested in wildlife spotting, you may want to consider bringing an additional pair of binoculars. This way, you and your travel companions can enjoy the beauty of Alaska together without having to share one pair.

Rain cover for camera

For photography enthusiasts, a rain cover for your camera can be a worthwhile investment. It will protect your gear from unexpected rain showers and allow you to capture stunning shots even in challenging weather conditions.

Portable camping chair

If you plan on spending a lot of time outdoors, perhaps during hikes or picnics, a portable camping chair can provide a comfortable seating option. Look for lightweight and collapsible chairs that can easily be packed and carried with you.

Portable phone charger

To ensure that your phone always has enough battery power, consider packing a portable phone charger. This small device can be a lifesaver when you’re unable to access a power outlet but need to stay connected.

Inflatable travel pillow

For those who prefer an inflatable travel pillow over traditional ones, this can be a good option to save space in your luggage. Inflatable pillows offer customizable firmness and can be easily packed away.

Gorilla pod or mini tripod

If you enjoy taking self-portraits or want to ensure stability when capturing photos, a gorilla pod or mini tripod can be a useful addition to your camera gear. These compact tripods are lightweight and can be bent or wrapped around various surfaces for extra stability.

Dress Code

Casual attire

Most Alaska cruises have a casual dress code, especially during the day. Comfortable clothing such as jeans, shorts, t-shirts, and lightweight sweaters or jackets are appropriate for exploring the ship and onshore excursions. Don’t forget to pack comfortable walking shoes for those long days of sightseeing.

Formal nights

Some Alaska cruises may have formal nights where dressing up is encouraged. Plan to bring a few dressier outfits, such as cocktail dresses or suits, for these special occasions. However, it’s important to note that formal nights are typically optional, and you can still enjoy the dining and entertainment options in casual attire if you prefer. Check with your cruise line for specific dress code policies.

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