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Discovering Alaska: What To Pack For an Alaska Cruise

Updated: May 7

Imagine gliding through icy blue waters, towering glaciers on the horizon, and witnessing wildlife that looks like it stepped right out of a nature documentary. This isn't just any vacation; it's an Alaska cruise that promises to be as majestic as it is memorable. But you need to pack before you can sip that steaming cup of cocoa on the deck. And not just throw a few clothes into a suitcase—packing smart is crucial for enjoying the Last Frontier! This blog answers your questions about "What to Pack for an Alaska Cruise!"

Packing for an Alaska cruise is part of the adventure. It's about preparing to meet the grandeur of nature with respect and excitement. With your bags packed with the right gear, you're all set to embark on a journey that's...beyond your doorstep, armed with the essentials and ready for what the wilderness offers. As you cruise along Alaska’s shores, each item in your suitcase will serve a purpose, enhancing your experience and ensuring you focus on the beauty around you rather than what you might have forgotten. (You can find all the items mentioned and more HERE.)

Dressing Smart: Clothing Essentials for Your Alaska Cruise

Alaska's weather is as unpredictable as a plot twist in your favorite mystery novel. One minute it's sunny, the next it's drizzling, or you might even find yourself amidst a cool fog. Layering is your best friend here:

  • Base Layers: Start with something that wicks away moisture like a superhero. A good thermal underwear set keeps you dry and cozy, whether you're whale watching or enjoying a breezy evening on deck.

  • Mid Layers: Add a fleece or a lightweight down vest. It's like bringing a warm hug that fits right in your luggage.

  • Outer Layers: A waterproof and windproof jacket will be your shield against the elements. It’s not just about staying dry; it's about embracing the adventure, rain or shine!

  • Sunglasses: To protect your eyes from glare, especially off the water and snow.

Sturdy Footwear: You’ll need boots that can handle both the deck's slick surface and the rugged terrain of Alaskan excursions.

Accessorize Wisely: Remember your hat, gloves, and scarf. And yes, sunglasses are a must—the Alaskan sun reflected off glaciers is brilliant but blinding.

Tech and Gadgets: Capturing Memories and Staying Powered

Your Alaska cruise will be full of "must-capture" moments, so come prepared:

  • High-Capacity Memory Cards: Because running out of space as a humpback whale breaches is not an option.

  • Portable Power Bank: Keep your devices charged during those long excursions; you wouldn’t want to miss snapping a photo of an Alaskan sunset.

  • Binoculars: Essential for wildlife viewing and scenic vistas from the deck.

From keeping your room fresh and tidy to avoiding luggage mishaps, these small additions make a big difference:

  • Poo-Pourri or Lysol: Keep your cabin fresh, no matter the cabin size.

  • Packing Cubes: Maximize your suitcase space and minimize your packing stress.

  • Magnetic Hooks: Cabin walls are often metallic. Magnetic hooks can be a game-changer for hanging jackets, wet clothes, or organizing accessories without taking up precious floor or drawer space.

  • Over-the-Door Organizer: Utilize every inch of space. An over-the-door organizer can store shoes, toiletries, or small items, keeping them accessible but out of the way.

  • Night Light: If your cabin lacks a window, a night light can help you orient yourself during the dark northern nights, especially inside cabins where it's difficult to differentiate day from night.

For Your Comfort and Health

Don't let minor discomforts distract you from the breathtaking views:

  • Travel First Aid Kit: Because it's better to have it and not need it, especially when exploring remote locales.

  • Bug Repellent: Essential during summer months in Alaska to protect against mosquitoes.

  • Motion Sickness Medication: The waters off Alaska can sometimes be rough. If you're prone to seasickness, consider bringing medication or natural remedies like ginger chews or acupressure bands.

  • Sun Protection: The sun in Alaska, especially near the water, can be intense due to reflection. Always apply broad-spectrum sunscreen, wear a hat, and use UV-protective sunglasses.

Embracing the Alaskan Environment Responsibly

Finally, remember to pack with the environment in mind:

  • Reusable Water Bottles and Shopping Bags: Every little bit helps keep our planet—and Alaska—beautiful.

Cultural Respect and Environmental Awareness


Understanding and respecting the local culture and environment is crucial. Many areas in Alaska are sacred to indigenous communities, and local wildlife is protected by various regulations.


Cultural Tips:

Learn Before You Go: Read about the native Alaskan cultures, such as the Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian. Knowing these communities' history and current issues can enrich your interaction and ensure respectful engagement.

Support Local: Whenever possible, buy local products and services to support the communities you visit. This not only provides economic benefits but also reduces the environmental impact of your travel.


Bon Voyage!

Now, with your packing complete, step aboard, breathe in the crisp air, and prepare for the unforgettable sights and adventures that await in Alaska’s grand landscapes. Happy cruising!

For assistance with planning your journey, consider visiting my travel website at

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