Going on an Alaskan cruise can be life-changing. From the majestic snow-capped mountain vistas to the cold icy waters, this picture-perfect experience should be top of any adventurer’s bucket list. It was certainly on mine. 

My cruise ship was called the Wilderness Explorer, and that’s precisely what we did. Because of the size of the ship, on the smaller size, we were able to get up close and personal with nature. The wildlife, flora, and fauna add the invigorating freshness in the air – it was a treat for body and soul. Literally introducing me to all things Alaska. Along the coast, we saw black and brown bears, thanks to my binoculars I could actually see their faces.

On my Cruise, with Uncruise I realized Alaska is a place of extremes. From warm summers, to really cold winters, it makes for an interesting climate as well as some unusual packing challenges.  

What to pack for Alaska Cruise

Taking a trip like this will likely experience changing weather conditions, you may want to prepare for all scenarios.  

So, what’s my No. 1 Tip?  Layers! Using multiple moisture wicking lightweight layers under your outerwear will allow you to pack light and stay warm.  

Here’s a list of what to Pack for Alaska Cruise. 

Clothing

Your specific cruise would dictate if you need any special occasion clothing. Most have a casual dress code. As far as general packing goes, you want to pack a lot of layers and use multi-purpose pieces.

Convertible Hiking Pants

Since the climate on and off the cruise ship can vary, packing multi-purpose articles of clothing is key. One of my favourites is a convertible-hiking pant. They will take you from chilly mornings, to warm afternoons in a quick zip. Grab the lightweight version because they pack well.

What to pack for Alaska Cruise

Quick Dry/ Moisture Wicking Layers

Packing fabrics that wick moisture and dry quickly is essential with Alaska’s cold, wet climate. If you intend on taking part in any of the many excursions layer these pieces and remove or add as necessary.

Footwear & Outerwear

Wellington Boots (Wellies)

Rubber boots are key in Alaska. Pack a pair of wellies or other waterproof boots. Then you’re ready to tackle any of the elements that Alaska can throw at you (and believe me, you’ll encounter most when off the boat if you plan on taking advantage of this rugged playground). 

Hiking Boots

You may also want to pack a pair of waterproof hiking boots. Your wellies could double for hiking boots in a pinch, but the support of a good hiking boot is second to none.

Socks

Packing well-made socks for walking and hiking will go a long way; keeping your feet warm while providing good ventilation. Birds on a Wire Crew Light Cushion Darn Tough socks fit the bill nicely. 

Gel or Memory Foam Insoles

If you plan on walking (or hiking), grab an extra pair of gel or memory foam insoles. After a long day, your feet will thank you, as mine did for my Superfeet insoles.   

Gloves

Even if you’re heading to Alaska in spring or summer, you still want to pack a lightweight pair of gloves. Temperatures on the water can be chilly and you may need them on one of the many outdoor excursions. 

Waterproof Jacket

A waterproof jacket is a must. Find one that’s lightweight and easy to pack. You can always layer underneath it to create warmth. If you’re going in the colder months, you will definitely want to make sure you have something rated for the cold. Check the temperatures and bring them accordingly. 

Packable Down Jacket

For days when it’s cool, a down jacket will come in handy when hiking or exploring in Alaska.

What to pack for Alaska Cruise

Fleece Jacket

Packing a moisture-wicking lightweight fleece jacket in your bag will keep you warm on chilly mornings. MEC lightweight fleece jacket works well and you can tie it around your waist or throw in your daypack if the weather warms up. 

Sun Protection 

Sunscreen

Sometimes the chilly temperatures and clouds can be deceiving, and sunburn is lurking around the corner. Pack sunscreen in stick form for an easy swipe over face and body when needed. 

Face Hydration

In addition to sunscreen, I like to pack the Mineral89 product line by Vichy.  Mineral89 Eyes formula smooths fine lines while providing 24-hour hydration and decreasing the look of dark circles.  Mineral89 booster provides ongoing hydration before you add moisturizer.

Additional Tips On What to Pack 

Hats

Pack a beanie for chilly days and lighter hat for sun protection.  Sunday Afternoons offers everything you might need along these lines. I packed the Sunday Afternoon Milky Way Beanie and the Sun Tripper cap.  

What to pack for Alaska Cruise

Water Bottles

Save the planet and pack a non-plastic reusable water bottle.  My go-to water bottle is Hydroflask. It’s lightweight and made of professional-grade stainless steel and TempShieldTM insulation that keeps cold water refreshingly cold up to 24 hours. 

Snacks

Only bring what you need for travelling because Uncruise Alaskan Cruise provides plenty of snacks for the daily excursions, keeping you well fuelled. 

Camera

Don’t forget your camera! Sure, your iPhone will take great pictures, but having a camera like a DSLR will enable action shots as well as distance photos. You may spot some amazing wildlife while cruising by; you won’t be able to get close so having that zoom lens is key in grabbing great shots to share with friends and family. A zoom lens can also serve as binoculars. 

What to pack for Alaska Cruise

These are a few suggested items to pack for your amazing Alaskan Cruise!

Have you been to Alaska? What would you add to this list?

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What to pack for Alaska Cruise

Product reviews and Hiking Guide

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Photo Credit: Hydroflash, Sunday Afternoons, Superfeet and Darn Tough Socks courtesy of Htdesigns.