What Type Of Clothing To Take On A Cruise To Alaska In July

Planning a cruise to Alaska in July? Wondering what type of clothing to pack for the trip? Look no further! In this article, we will guide you through the essentials to ensure you are comfortable and well-prepared for the ever-changing weather conditions in the stunning Alaskan landscape. From layering techniques to must-have accessories, we’ve got you covered every step of the way. So, grab your suitcase and get ready to embark on a memorable adventure.

What Type Of Clothing To Take On A Cruise To Alaska In July

Layering is Essential

Bring a Variety of Clothes

When packing for a cruise to Alaska in July, one of the most important things to keep in mind is the unpredictability of the weather. Layering is essential to ensure comfort and adaptability. Bringing a variety of clothes will allow you to adjust accordingly as the temperature fluctuates throughout the day. From chilly mornings to warmer afternoons and cool evenings, having different layers at your disposal will be your best friend.

Lightweight Base Layers

Lightweight base layers are a crucial component of your clothing ensemble. These garments, typically made of moisture-wicking materials, will help regulate your body temperature, keeping you dry and comfortable throughout the day. Consider packing a few pairs of lightweight base layers such as long-sleeve tops and leggings to wear underneath your clothing. These versatile pieces will provide an extra layer of warmth on those colder days.

Insulating Mid Layers

To ensure you stay warm in the variable Alaskan climate, don’t forget to pack insulating mid layers. Opt for items like sweaters, fleece jackets, or down-filled vests that can be easily added or removed as needed. These mid layers trap the warmth generated by your body, providing an effective barrier against the cold temperatures that can arise even in the summer months. Layering a cozy sweater over your base layer is an excellent choice for cooler days or when venturing into higher elevations.

Waterproof Outer Layers

As the saying goes, “there’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable clothing.” This rings especially true in Alaska, where rain showers can surprise you at any moment. Be sure to include waterproof outer layers in your suitcase, such as a durable rain jacket or a waterproof shell. These outer layers will protect you from both rain and wind, keeping you dry and comfortable throughout your adventures. Remember to choose outerwear that is breathable, as this will help prevent overheating while still providing protection from the elements.

Don’t Forget Your Accessories


When it comes to protecting yourself from the elements, don’t forget about your head. Alaska’s weather can be quite unpredictable, and having the appropriate headgear is essential for both warmth and sun protection. Pack a warm beanie or a fleece-lined hat to keep your head cozy in cooler temperatures. Additionally, consider bringing a wide-brimmed hat or a baseball cap to shield yourself from the sun’s rays during sunny days.


Your hands are one of the most exposed areas to the cold, so be sure to pack a pair of gloves. Look for gloves that offer both warmth and dexterity, allowing you to comfortably handle objects while keeping your hands protected. Consider investing in waterproof gloves for those rainy days or activities that involve contact with water, such as kayaking or fishing.


Proper footwear is crucial on any cruise, but don’t overlook the importance of high-quality socks. Pack several pairs of thick, moisture-wicking socks to keep your feet dry and warm. Merino wool socks are an excellent choice as they provide insulation while also wicking away moisture. Additionally, consider packing a few pairs of lightweight, breathable socks for warmer days or more active excursions.

What Type Of Clothing To Take On A Cruise To Alaska In July

Footwear for Comfort and Protection

Hiking Boots

Alaska’s rugged landscapes and diverse terrain make sturdy footwear a necessity. When it comes to hiking or exploring nature trails, a pair of reliable hiking boots is a must. Look for boots with good ankle support, a sturdy sole for traction, and waterproof features to keep your feet protected from wet conditions. Remember to break in your hiking boots before your trip to avoid any discomfort or blisters during your adventures.

Waterproof Shoes

In addition to hiking boots, it’s also a good idea to pack a pair of waterproof shoes for days when you’ll be near water or encountering wet conditions. Waterproof sneakers or trail shoes are a versatile option for activities that require less rugged footwear, such as scenic walks, city explorations, or casual excursions. These shoes will keep your feet dry and comfortable while providing adequate support for easy-going adventures.

Slip-Resistant Sandals

For those days when you want to venture out without the need for socks or closed-toe shoes, slip-resistant sandals can be a fantastic alternative. Whether you’re exploring the ship’s amenities or strolling along the beach, having a pair of comfortable sandals is essential. Look for sandals with adjustable straps, a cushioned footbed, and slip-resistant soles for optimal support and safety.

Essential Tops to Pack

Long-Sleeve Shirts

When packing for your Alaskan cruise in July, be sure to include a selection of long-sleeve shirts. These versatile tops will serve you well in various weather conditions. Opt for lightweight, breathable materials that offer moisture-wicking properties, ensuring comfort even on warmer days. Long-sleeve shirts can be worn as base layers, combined with mid layers for extra warmth, or worn on their own during mild weather.

Short-Sleeve Tops

Short-sleeve tops are a must-have for your cruise wardrobe, especially for days when the temperatures rise or when engaging in more active excursions. Look for shirts made of lightweight, breathable fabrics like cotton or moisture-wicking synthetics. These tops will provide comfort and allow for easy movement while keeping you cool and dry.

Sweaters or Cardigans

To stay cozy during cooler evenings or when venturing into higher elevations, pack a few sweaters or cardigans. These versatile pieces can be paired with both your long-sleeve and short-sleeve tops to provide an extra layer of warmth. Opt for lightweight options that can be easily carried in your bag or tied around your waist during the day.

What Type Of Clothing To Take On A Cruise To Alaska In July

Bottoms for Various Activities


Pants are a staple when it comes to packing for an Alaskan cruise in July. Choose pants that are comfortable, practical, and versatile. Opt for lightweight, quick-drying materials that offer ease of movement. Convertible pants with removable lower legs are an excellent option as they can be transformed into shorts when the temperatures rise.


Despite Alaska’s reputation for cool weather, summer days can still bring warmth, especially in some of the more southern regions. Be prepared for these warmer temperatures by packing a few pairs of shorts. Look for shorts that are made of lightweight, breathable fabrics and offer freedom of movement. Shorts are perfect for casual explorations or more active excursions that require less coverage and more ventilation.

Skirts or Dresses

For those who prefer a more feminine touch to their cruise wardrobe, including skirts or dresses can add variety to your outfits. Opt for lightweight, flowy skirts or dresses that provide comfort and breathability. Maxi dresses or midi skirts are great options as they provide coverage while still allowing for ease of movement.

Undergarments and Swimwear


Don’t forget to pack an ample supply of comfortable underwear for your cruise. Consider the length of your trip and pack accordingly. Choose breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics that will keep you dry and comfortable throughout the day. It’s always a good idea to pack a few extra pairs, just in case.


We’ve already discussed the importance of packing high-quality socks, but it’s worth emphasizing the significance of having enough pairs for your cruise. Make sure to pack a sufficient number of both thick, moisture-wicking socks for outdoor excursions, as well as lightweight, breathable socks for everyday wear or warmer days.


If your cruise includes access to swimming pools or hot tubs, be sure to pack your swimsuit. Whether you prefer a classic one-piece or a trendy bikini, having a swimsuit on hand will allow you to take advantage of any aquatic opportunities that arise during your cruise. Additionally, consider packing a cover-up or a lightweight beach towel for added convenience.

What Type Of Clothing To Take On A Cruise To Alaska In July

Additional Must-Have Items

Rain Gear

Being prepared for unexpected rain showers is vital when cruising in Alaska. Ensure you pack adequate rain gear, such as a waterproof raincoat or a poncho. Additionally, consider bringing a small, portable umbrella that can fit into your bag or backpack. Having these items readily available will prevent you from being caught off guard and allow you to continue enjoying your activities even in wet weather.

Hat for Sun Protection

While Alaska may not be the first destination that comes to mind when thinking about sun protection, it’s important to remember that the sun’s rays can still be strong, especially during the summer months. Be sure to pack a hat that provides sufficient coverage for your face, neck, and ears. Look for hats made with UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) materials to ensure maximum sun protection.

Buff or Scarf

A versatile accessory that should not be overlooked is a buff or scarf. These lightweight, multi-functional items can be used in various ways to protect yourself from the elements. Use it as a neck warmer, a headband, or even as a makeshift face mask when needed. Buffs or scarves can provide added warmth on cooler days or shield your face from wind and dust during outdoor activities.

Dress Code for Formal Nights

Cocktail Dresses or Evening Gowns

Most cruise lines have designated formal nights where passengers have the opportunity to dress up for special events or evening meals. For these occasions, pack a cocktail dress or an elegant evening gown. Choose a style that makes you feel confident and comfortable, ensuring a memorable and enjoyable evening. Accessories such as statement jewelry or a clutch purse can also elevate your formal attire.

Dress Shirts and Trousers

For men, dress shirts and trousers are the go-to options for formal nights on a cruise. Opt for well-fitted, high-quality shirts and pair them with creased trousers. Complete the look with a stylish blazer or a suit jacket, and don’t forget to polish your dress shoes for a polished and sophisticated appearance. Adding a tie or bowtie can further elevate your ensemble.

What Type Of Clothing To Take On A Cruise To Alaska In July

Casual Attire for Everyday Activities

Comfortable Jeans or Khakis

For everyday activities and casual outings on your cruise, comfortable jeans or khakis are essential. Choose a pair that fits well and allows freedom of movement. Both jeans and khakis can be easily paired with a variety of tops, making them a versatile and practical choice.

T-Shirts or Polo Shirts

Pack a selection of t-shirts or polo shirts to wear during your everyday activities. These comfortable and breathable tops are perfect for exploring the ship, engaging in casual excursions, or simply relaxing on the deck. Choose colors and patterns that reflect your personal style and opt for moisture-wicking fabrics for added comfort.

Athletic Wear for Exercise

If you plan to take advantage of onboard fitness facilities or engage in active excursions, be sure to pack appropriate athletic wear. High-quality leggings, athletic shorts, or workout tops will provide the necessary comfort and flexibility for exercise. Don’t forget to include a supportive sports bra and comfortable athletic shoes to complete your workout ensemble.

Consider Your Port Excursions

Active Outdoor Activities

Alaska offers a vast array of active outdoor activities, such as hiking, kayaking, or cycling. When planning for these excursions, choose clothing that allows for ease of movement. Lightweight, moisture-wicking materials are ideal, as they will keep you comfortable and dry during physical activities. Remember to layer your clothing to adapt to changing temperatures and weather conditions.

Wildlife Viewing

Alaska is renowned for its incredible wildlife, and if you’re lucky, you may encounter bears, whales, or eagles during your cruise. For wildlife viewing excursions, opt for neutral-colored clothing that blends in with the surroundings. Avoid bright colors that might startle or disturb the animals. Additionally, pack binoculars and a quality camera to capture those memorable wildlife moments.

Cultural Exploration

Alaska is rich in indigenous culture and history, so be sure to plan for excursions that allow you to immerse yourself in these experiences. When visiting cultural sites or attending cultural events, it’s respectful to dress modestly and appropriately. Choose clothing that is comfortable yet respectful, and avoid clothing that may be deemed disrespectful or offensive. A light, breathable dress or a shirt and trousers combination can be a suitable choice for such occasions.

In conclusion, when packing for a cruise to Alaska in July, it’s essential to come prepared for the variable weather conditions. Layering is the key to staying comfortable throughout your trip, so be sure to bring a variety of clothes, including lightweight base layers, insulating mid layers, and waterproof outer layers. Don’t forget to pack essential accessories like headgear, gloves, and socks to protect yourself from the elements. Choose footwear that offers comfort and protection, such as hiking boots, waterproof shoes, and slip-resistant sandals. Pack a mix of tops like long-sleeve shirts, short-sleeve tops, and sweaters to suit various activities and temperatures. Don’t overlook undergarments and swimwear, as well as must-have items like rain gear, sun protection hats, and buffs or scarves. Consider the dress code for formal nights and pack cocktail dresses, evening gowns, dress shirts, and trousers accordingly. For everyday activities, opt for casual attire like jeans or khakis, t-shirts or polo shirts, and athletic wear for exercise. Lastly, plan for your port excursions and choose appropriate clothing for active outdoor activities, wildlife viewing, and cultural exploration. With these tips in mind, you’ll be well-prepared for a fantastic Alaskan cruise adventure.