What To Pack For Cruise To Alaska

So, you’ve decided to embark on a thrilling cruise to Alaska, but now comes the daunting task of figuring out what to pack. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! In this article, we’ll provide you with all the essential items you’ll need to make the most of your Alaskan adventure. From warm layers to sturdy footwear, we’ll ensure you’re well-prepared for the stunning landscapes, breathtaking glaciers, and unforgettable wildlife encounters that await you on this unforgettable journey. So, grab your suitcase and let’s start packing for the cruise of a lifetime!

What To Pack For Cruise To Alaska



When packing for your cruise to Alaska, it’s essential to consider the unpredictable weather conditions you may encounter. Layering your clothing is the key to staying comfortable throughout your trip. Be sure to pack a variety of lightweight, moisture-wicking base layers, such as long-sleeved shirts and leggings, which will help regulate your body temperature and keep you dry. Additionally, pack sweaters or fleece jackets to provide warmth during cooler days and evenings. Layering allows you to adjust your outfit easily, ensuring you are ready for any weather that comes your way.

Warm Outerwear

Alaska’s climate may surprise you with its chilly temperatures, especially when you’re out on the deck of a cruise ship. It is crucial to pack warm outerwear to protect yourself from the cold winds and low temperatures. Consider bringing a waterproof and windproof jacket or parka that is insulated to keep you cozy even in the coldest conditions. Look for one with a hood to shield your head from rain or snow. A high-quality outer layer will enable you to enjoy the scenic views comfortably without worrying about the chilly weather.

Rain Gear

Just like any other coastal region, Alaska is also known for its rain. Therefore, packing rain gear is of utmost importance to keep you dry and protected. A lightweight, waterproof raincoat with a hood is an essential item for your cruise. Look for a raincoat that is breathable and has sealed seams to prevent water from seeping in. Pair it with waterproof pants or rain boots to ensure you stay dry from head to toe, even during the heaviest downpours. With the right rain gear, you can embrace the beauty of Alaska’s rainy days without feeling damp and uncomfortable.

Formal Attire

While Alaska is known for its casual and laid-back atmosphere, there may be occasions during your cruise where formal attire is required. Be sure to pack at least one or two outfits suitable for formal evenings, such as a dress or a suit. These occasions often include special events like captain’s dinners or cocktail parties. Packing formal attire ensures that you are prepared to make the most of these glamorous and memorable moments on your cruise. Don’t forget to also pack appropriate shoes and accessories to complete your formal look.


Comfortable Walking Shoes

Exploring the various ports of call and participating in shore excursions are undoubtedly some of the highlights of an Alaskan cruise. To fully enjoy these activities, it is crucial to bring a pair of comfortable walking shoes. Look for shoes that provide excellent arch support, cushioning, and grip. Opt for closed-toe shoes to protect your feet from any potential hazards. These shoes should be versatile enough to take you from walking tours in ports to casual dinners on the ship. Investing in comfortable walking shoes will ensure that you can explore Alaska’s breathtaking landscapes with ease.

Hiking Boots

For those planning to embark on more adventurous hikes and nature walks, packing a pair of hiking boots is a must. Look for boots that provide ankle support, traction, and waterproof capabilities. Alaska offers numerous opportunities for hiking through its lush forests and rugged terrains. Having the right footwear will not only enhance your comfort but also offer protection and stability during your outdoor adventures. Don’t forget to break-in your hiking boots before your trip to avoid any discomfort or blisters along the way.

Waterproof Boots

In addition to your comfortable walking shoes and hiking boots, it is wise to pack a pair of waterproof boots for exploring wetter environments. These boots can come in handy during rainy days or when walking on rocky beaches or marshy areas. Look for boots that are waterproof, have durable soles, and offer good ankle support. With waterproof boots, you can confidently venture out on various excursions, knowing that your feet will stay dry and protected, no matter what the weather brings.


While exploring Alaska’s magnificent landscapes and participating in exciting activities, it’s also important to indulge in relaxation and comfort inside your cabin or suite. Packing a pair of cozy slippers will provide your tired feet with a well-deserved break after a day of adventure. Slippers are also perfect for keeping your feet warm in the colder months or when walking on cold cabin floors. Slip into your slippers, unwind, and embrace the cozy atmosphere of your cruise ship as you prepare for another exciting day in Alaska.

What To Pack For Cruise To Alaska



Protecting yourself from the sun’s rays is crucial, even in Alaska. Packing a hat is essential to shield your face and scalp from harmful UV rays. A wide-brimmed hat made of lightweight and breathable material is ideal for protecting your face, ears, and the back of your neck from sunburn. Additionally, a hat can also provide some relief from the rain or drizzle that Alaska is known for. Choose a hat that is packable, so you can easily stow it away in your bag when not in use. A hat will not only protect you but also add a stylish touch to your cruise outfits.


Alaska’s weather can be chilly, even during the summer months. Packing a pair of gloves is essential to keep your hands warm and protected from the cold winds. Look for gloves that are insulation-lined, waterproof, and have touchscreen compatibility, so you can easily use your smartphone or camera without removing them. Gloves are particularly handy if you plan on participating in outdoor activities like dog sledding or glacier hiking, where cold temperatures are more prominent. Keep your hands cozy, functional, and ready for anything Alaska has in store for you.


Alaska’s breathtaking landscapes are best enjoyed with clear and unobstructed vision. Packing a pair of sunglasses will not only shield your eyes from the sun’s glare but also protect them from harmful UV rays. Look for sunglasses that provide 100% UV protection and have polarized lenses for optimal clarity. Consider bringing a sturdy case to protect your sunglasses when they’re not in use. Whether you’re gazing at the glaciers or marvelling at the wildlife, sunglasses will enhance your visual experience while ensuring the safety of your eyes.


A versatile accessory that should not be overlooked when packing for your Alaska cruise is a scarf. Scarves offer both fashion and functionality, making them an essential item to bring along. They can be used to keep your neck warm during chilly days or evenings, providing an extra layer of insulation. Additionally, scarves can also be used as a stylish accessory to elevate your cruise outfits. Choose a scarf made of lightweight material that can be easily folded or rolled up to save space in your luggage. With a scarf in your bag, you’ll be prepared for changing temperatures and add a touch of flair to your ensemble.



Even though Alaska may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking about sunburn, protecting your skin from harmful UV rays is still crucial. The sun’s reflection off glaciers and water can intensify its effects, making sunscreen a necessary item to pack. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF to provide optimal protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Remember to apply sunscreen generously and reapply throughout the day, especially if you’re engaging in outdoor activities. Protecting your skin from the sun will ensure a pleasant and sunburn-free experience during your Alaskan adventure.

Insect Repellent

When exploring Alaska’s nature and hiking trails, it is essential to protect yourself from annoying mosquito and insect bites. Packing a reliable insect repellent will keep these pesky creatures at bay, allowing you to fully enjoy your outdoor adventures. Look for a repellent that contains DEET or other effective active ingredients. Apply it to exposed areas of skin and clothing, following the instructions on the product’s label. This way, you can minimize the risk of itchy bites and focus on immersing yourself in Alaska’s beautiful wilderness without interruption.


It’s crucial to pack any necessary medications when going on a cruise to Alaska, as access to specific medications may be limited during your trip. If you take prescription medications, ensure that you have an ample supply to last you for the duration of your cruise. It’s also wise to bring a small travel pharmacy with over-the-counter medications for minor ailments such as pain relievers, antacids, and motion sickness medication (if you are prone to it). Having all your necessary medications readily available will provide peace of mind and ensure a more comfortable journey.

Personal Care Items

While most cruise ships provide basic toiletries, it’s always a good idea to bring your preferred personal care items to ensure you have everything you need. This might include items such as shampoo, conditioner, body wash, toothpaste, and a toothbrush. If you have specific preferences or skin sensitivities, bringing your own products will ensure you stay comfortable throughout your trip. Remember to pack these items in travel-sized containers to comply with airline regulations if you’re flying to your embarkation port. Having your preferred personal care items on hand will make you feel at home even when you’re miles away.

What To Pack For Cruise To Alaska



Capturing the breathtaking beauty of Alaska is a must during your cruise, and having a reliable camera is essential. Whether you prefer a professional DSLR camera or a compact point-and-shoot, choose one that suits your photography needs and experience level. Additionally, consider packing extra memory cards and batteries to ensure you never miss a shot. With your camera in hand, you can document the stunning landscapes, wildlife encounters, and unforgettable moments that you’ll cherish for years to come.


In today’s digital age, it’s essential to pack the necessary chargers for your electronic devices. Don’t forget to pack chargers for your camera, smartphone, tablet, and any other devices you plan on using during your cruise. Many cruise ships have electrical outlets available in cabins, so you’ll be able to charge your devices conveniently. However, it’s worth noting that cruise ships often have different outlet types, so consider bringing a universal travel adapter to ensure compatibility. Keeping your devices fully charged will allow you to stay connected and capture Alaska’s beauty through your lens.


As mentioned before, cruise ships often have different types of electrical outlets than what you may be accustomed to. Carrying a universal travel adapter is essential to ensure that you can plug your devices into the available outlets. Choose an adapter that is compatible with the outlet types found on your specific cruise ship. By having the right adapters on hand, you won’t have to worry about being unable to charge your devices or use them to their full potential during your cruise to Alaska.

Portable Power Bank

During your excursions and day trips, it’s not always possible to find a power source to charge your electronic devices. Packing a portable power bank will come to your rescue, ensuring that you can charge your phone, camera, or other devices on the go. Look for a power bank with enough capacity to charge your devices multiple times. Remember to charge your power bank before leaving your cabin, so it’s ready to provide you with a reliable power source throughout your adventures. With a portable power bank, you’ll never have to worry about missing out on capturing that perfect photo or staying connected with your loved ones.



A valid passport is an absolute necessity when traveling to Alaska on a cruise. Make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your intended departure date. Check that all the information on your passport matches your official identification and cruise booking. Additionally, keep copies of your passport, both digitally and in print, in case of any unforeseen circumstances, such as theft or loss. Your passport is your key to unlocking the wonders of Alaska, so having it in order and easily accessible is crucial.


While citizens of many countries do not require a visa for visiting Alaska, it’s essential to check the specific visa requirements for your nationality. If you do require a visa, make sure to apply well in advance of your travel dates. Research and understand the visa application process and gather all necessary documents to ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience. Be mindful of any entry requirements or restrictions imposed by the country you’ll be departing from or returning to, as these can affect your travel plans. Obtaining the necessary visa will ensure that you can board your cruise ship and enjoy your Alaskan adventure.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is a crucial aspect of any trip, including a cruise to Alaska. It provides protection and peace of mind in case of unexpected circumstances such as trip cancellations, medical emergencies, or lost luggage. Before setting sail, carefully review your travel insurance options and consider purchasing a policy that covers all aspects of your trip, including medical expenses, evacuation costs, and trip interruption or cancellation. Ensure that the policy you choose aligns with your specific needs and provides adequate coverage for the duration of your cruise. Having travel insurance in place will allow you to relax and enjoy your Alaskan cruise knowing that you are protected.


Apart from your passport, it’s essential to carry additional forms of identification during your Alaskan cruise. This can include a driver’s license, a national ID card, or any other official identification document that is recognized internationally. Having secondary forms of identification is helpful when exploring the ports of call or if you need to present identification for any reason. Keep your identification documents in a safe place, separate from your passport, but easily accessible when needed. Carrying multiple forms of identification ensures that you can navigate through Alaska’s various stops without any unnecessary complications.

What To Pack For Cruise To Alaska

Safety Items

First Aid Kit

While cruise ships are generally equipped with medical facilities and staff, having a basic first aid kit is always a good idea when traveling to remote or unfamiliar destinations like Alaska. Include items such as band-aids, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, adhesive tape, and any necessary prescription medications. Having a first aid kit on hand allows you to address minor injuries or ailments quickly, giving you peace of mind throughout your journey. Always ensure that your first aid kit is easily accessible, and be familiar with its contents, so that you can provide immediate assistance if needed.

Hand Sanitizer

Maintaining good hygiene is crucial during travel, and a hand sanitizer is a convenient and effective way to keep your hands clean and germ-free. Pack a travel-sized hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol and use it regularly, especially in situations where soap and water are not readily available. Alaska’s rugged landscapes and outdoor activities may expose you to various elements, so having hand sanitizer readily available will help prevent the spread of germs and keep you feeling fresh and clean throughout your adventures.

Motion Sickness Medication

While cruising along Alaska’s stunning coastline can be an incredible experience, it’s essential to be prepared for the possibility of motion sickness, particularly if you are prone to it. Packing motion sickness medication, such as over-the-counter pills or patches, can help alleviate symptoms and allow you to enjoy your cruise comfortably. Consult with your doctor or pharmacist to determine the best option for you. Taking these precautions will ensure that you can fully immerse yourself in the beauty of Alaska, even if you are susceptible to motion sickness.

Emergency Contact Information

Accidents or emergencies can happen even during the most well-planned and enjoyable vacations. It’s crucial to have a list of emergency contact information easily accessible. This includes the contact details of your travel insurance provider, the cruise line, and any emergency contacts you have designated. Store this information in your phone, on a physical notepad, and keep copies in multiple locations, such as your luggage and cabin. By having this information readily available, you can take prompt action in case of any unforeseen circumstances and receive the necessary assistance or support when needed.



Regardless of the countless activities offered on a cruise, it’s always a good idea to have a book or two on hand for moments of relaxation and downtime. Choose books that align with your interests or explore works that highlight the rich history and natural beauty of Alaska. Whether you prefer fiction or non-fiction, a good book can transport you to another world during your cruise, providing moments of tranquility while enjoying the stunning surroundings.

Board Games

Playing board games with family or new friends can be a delightful way to pass the time while on a cruise. Consider packing a compact and travel-friendly board game to enjoy with your travel companions. Classic games like Scrabble, Chess, or Monopoly can provide hours of entertainment and friendly competition. Before packing a game, ensure it is compatible with the number of players and the available space in your cabin or designated game areas on the cruise ship. Having board games on hand can create unforgettable moments and foster connections with your fellow travelers.

Deck of Cards

A deck of cards is a versatile and lightweight entertainment option to have with you during your Alaska cruise. Card games can be enjoyed in various settings, such as your cabin, outdoor decks, or communal areas. Whether you prefer a game of Poker, Euchre, or Solitaire, a deck of cards can offer endless hours of fun and camaraderie. Gather with your travel companions or join fellow cruisers for a friendly game, and create memories while embracing the scenic surroundings of Alaska.


Alaska’s vast landscapes are home to remarkable wildlife and breathtaking scenery. Packing a pair of binoculars will allow you to take a closer look at the beautiful wildlife and awe-inspiring glaciers from the comfort of your cruise ship or during shore excursions. Look for binoculars that are lightweight and compact, making them easy to carry and store when not in use. With binoculars in hand, you’ll be able to witness Alaska’s wonders up close, spotting wildlife such as whales, eagles, and seals, and capturing unforgettable moments from afar.

What To Pack For Cruise To Alaska


Reusable Water Bottle

Staying hydrated is crucial during your cruise to Alaska, as traveling and exploring can be physically demanding. Packing a reusable water bottle ensures that you have access to fresh water at all times. Many cruise ships have water stations where you can refill your bottle conveniently. Drinking enough water is essential for maintaining your energy levels, preventing dehydration, and enjoying your Alaskan adventure to the fullest. Reduce waste and stay eco-friendly by opting for a reusable water bottle throughout your cruise.

Tote Bag

Having a versatile tote bag with you is invaluable for various situations during your Alaska cruise. Whether you’re heading out for a day trip or exploring the ports of call, a tote bag can accommodate your essentials such as water bottles, snacks, sunscreen, and an extra layer of clothing. Look for a tote bag that is lightweight, durable, and preferably waterproof, to protect your belongings from any unforeseen rain showers. The convenience and functionality of a tote bag make it an essential item for any cruise traveler.

Laundry Bag

Maintaining cleanliness and organization during your cruise is made easier with a dedicated laundry bag. Having a separate bag for storing your used or soiled clothes will help keep your cabin tidy and prevent mixing clean and dirty items. Choose a lightweight and breathable bag with a drawstring closure that allows for easy transportation to the ship’s laundry facilities or back home. With a laundry bag, you can easily manage your clothing and ensure that your space remains clutter-free throughout your cruise.


While cruise ships typically offer a wide array of dining options and delicious meals, having some snacks on hand can come in handy during breaks or excursions. Packing non-perishable snacks like granola bars, nuts, dried fruit, or crackers ensures that you have a quick and convenient source of energy when needed. Keep a small stash of snacks in your cabin or daypack, and grab them as you head out for a day of adventure. Snacks are also useful for curbing hunger pangs between meals, especially during longer shore excursions or outdoor activities.

Tips and Tricks

Packing Cubes

Utilizing packing cubes is a game-changer when it comes to staying organized and maximizing space in your luggage. These lightweight fabric containers can help compartmentalize your clothing and belongings, making it easier to locate specific items during your cruise. Pack each clothing category or type into separate packing cubes, such as one for tops, another for bottoms, and a separate cube for accessories. This system not only keeps everything tidy but also saves time when getting ready each day. Plus, if you need to find something specific, you won’t need to sift through your entire suitcase.

Rolling Clothes

When it comes to packing clothing efficiently, rolling your clothes instead of folding them can save valuable space in your luggage. By tightly rolling each garment, you can optimize every inch of your suitcase, making room for more essentials. Rolling clothes also minimizes wrinkles and allows for easy visibility and access to each item. Start by laying your garments flat, then tightly roll them from bottom to top. Group similar items together, such as shirts or pants, and place them side by side in your luggage. You’ll be amazed at how much you can fit without sacrificing organization.

Sample Sizes

When it comes to toiletries and personal care items, consider opting for sample-sized or travel-sized products. These smaller versions take up less space in your luggage and are often TSA-approved for carry-on bags if you’re flying to your cruise embarkation port. If you’re unsure about availability or access to certain products during your trip, having travel-sized options ensures that you have your preferred essentials on hand. You can purchase sample-sized toiletries or transfer your preferred products into reusable travel bottles for a more eco-friendly approach.

Check the Weather Forecast

Alaska’s weather can be highly unpredictable, even during the summer months. Before you embark on your cruise, it’s essential to check the weather forecast for the duration of your trip. This will help you pack the appropriate clothing and gear, ensuring your comfort throughout your journey. Keep in mind that Alaska’s weather can vary significantly between regions, so consider the specific areas you’ll be visiting and their respective forecasts. By consulting the weather forecast, you can make informed decisions about what to pack and adjust your plans accordingly to maximize your enjoyment of Alaska’s natural wonders.

In conclusion, packing for a cruise to Alaska requires careful consideration of the varying weather conditions, outdoor activities, and potential formal events. By layering your clothing, packing warm outerwear, rain gear, and formal attire, you’ll be prepared for any weather or occasion that arises. Comfortable walking shoes, hiking boots, waterproof boots, and slippers will ensure you have the right footwear for different activities and onboard relaxation. Accessories like a hat, gloves, sunglasses, and a scarf provide protection and comfort. In terms of toiletries, bring sunscreen, insect repellent, medications, and personal care items to stay healthy and comfortable throughout your trip.

Electronics such as a camera, chargers, adapters, and a portable power bank will allow you to capture and enjoy the beauty of Alaska without missing a moment. Don’t forget important travel documents like your passport, visa, travel insurance, and identification. Safety items like a first aid kit, hand sanitizer, motion sickness medication, and emergency contact information provide peace of mind in unexpected situations. Entertainment items like books, board games, a deck of cards, and binoculars offer enjoyment during downtime and enhance your cruise experience. Lastly, miscellaneous items such as a reusable water bottle, tote bag, laundry bag, and snacks add convenience and comfort during your journey.

When it comes to packing, using packing cubes, rolling clothes, opting for sample sizes, and checking the weather forecast are useful tips and tricks to maximize space, organization, and preparedness. By following these comprehensive guidelines, you’ll be ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure to Alaska, fully equipped to embrace its stunning landscapes, wildlife encounters, and captivating experiences.