What to Pack for an Alaska Cruise: Complete Packing List

What to pack for an Alaska cruise, especially for first-timers, can be a little challenging. Maybe your Alaska cruise is on a small ship adventure cruise like Alaskan Dream Cruises or UnCruise Adventures. Or maybe you prefer a larger cruise ship like Holland America’s Eurodam, or Royal Caribbean’s Radiance of the Seas.

Here is what you should pack for an Alaska cruise. It’s also what I pack for every Alaska cruise. Plus, I lived in Alaska for almost two years and own everything on this list. 

Also in this article is a printable packing list to get you on your way to the Last Frontier. 

These cruisers knew what to pack for an Alaska cruise including hats or parkas with hoods
Everyone was outside for a view of Marjerie Glacier. Brilliant sunshine but chilly. Luckily, most people knew to pack hats, gloves and dress in layers.

What to Pack for an Alaska Cruise 

When figuring what to pack for a cruise to Alaska, it’s all about knowing what you plan to do on your incredible adventure to the 49th state. 

Will you spend time pre- or post-cruise in Alaska, Seattle or Vancouver? What sort of shore excursions do you plan to do? 

And of course, the month you choose to cruise Alaska can be significant to determine what you’ll pack.

My point is, most likely you’ll need to pack cruise clothes and land clothes. And hopefully fit it all into one suitcase. 

Plus a carry-on and/or backpack for electronics, toiletries, documents and meds. It only took me two cruises to Alaska to figure out what I should have packed…or left at home.

I’ve cruised Alaska up and down the Inside Passage at least a dozen times plus four cross-Gulf voyages. My cruises to Alaska happened in every month of the cruise season. How to pack for an Alaska cruise in still-chilly May, in hot and buggy mid-July or possibly rainy September, all follow my basic packing guidelines. 

I hope my Alaska cruise packing list and tips help you to be prepared for one of the most incredible cruise and land experiences of a life time. 

Your Alaska Cruise Itinerary Can Determine What to Pack

Inside Passage Cruise 

The overwhelming majority of ships for seven-night round-trip cruises to Alaska depart from either Seattle or Vancouver, Canada. A one-week Alaska cruise spends two days northbound and the same back plus three or four Alaska cruise ports, all in the Inside Passage. 

On any seven-night round-trip Inside Passage cruise from the Lower 48, you won’t have the opportunity to spend a couple of days in Alaska before or after your cruise.

On the other hand, choose a small ship adventure cruise and your ship will probably embark and disembark in either Juneau or Sitka. In this case, you can easily spend a couple of days on land before or after your cruise.

Alaska Cross-Gulf Cruise

These Alaska cruises can also be seven nights with departures northbound from Vancouver and Seattle or southbound from Seward and Whittier, Alaska. A cross-Gulf cruise will give you the time to spend in Alaska’s interior before or after your cruise.

The clothes you’ll need can vary, too. Especially if you cruise early or late in the season in May or September.

My Alaska packing list covers everything you’ll need to pack for a 7-day Alaska cruise, like my Holland America Eurodam Inside Passage cruise. If your cruise is longer or you’ve chosen a cruise and tour, I also include how and what to pack. 

Basically, you would pack the same but plan on either sending out a load of laundry on the ship, doing a sink wash or hauling it into a town to a laundromat. But there’s more to know. 

Land Tour Plus Cruise (Cruise-Tour)

If you plan a cross-Gulf of Alaska cruise with a few days in Denali, Fairbanks or Anchorage (or all of them!) you’re probably going to need to pack a little differently than for just an Inside Passage cruise. 

For one thing, it can get fairly hot in the summer in Fairbanks and very drizzly and damp in Denali. That’s the thing about Alaska; the weather is unpredictable. 

Moose in Denali National Park
Cold and drizzle in Denali doesn’t keep the wildlife from appearing out of nowhere.

Whatever Alaska cruise itinerary you choose, I’ve covered all of it in my Alaska packing list. I’ve also included a list of those incidental items that you might otherwise forget.

Read next: 21 Best Things to do in Sitka, Alaska

Let’s begin with the basics. What goes in your suitcase and why.

This post may contain affiliate links which won’t change your price but will share some commission.

Best Clothes to Pack for an Alaska Cruise

It’s really important to remember that it is can be very chilly out on deck, especially at night. Then there’s the cold wind off the water and glacier visits. Brrr.

Even though your cruise ship will still have two formal nights, unless you’re on a luxury cruise, typical “formal” isn’t over the top on an Alaska cruise. Think dressy- or nice casual.

What Type of Pants Should You Pack?

Both men and women should pack at least one or two comfortable (but not torn) denim jeans. I also bring a pair of nice unfaded black jeans that can double as dress pants on formal nights. There should be enough room in your denim jean’s legs if you need to put on a pair of silk or silk-like long “underwear” underneath.

I have two pairs of these Long John’s sets, in black and beige. 

Silk Long John’s for Women

Last year, I also picked up a pair of stretchy black fleece-lined yoga/leggings pull-on pants at, of all places, Walgreens. They’re super comfortable, loose in the waist and look good enough to wear around the ship with a long tunic.

Those Walgreen’s leggings can also get you through a workout in the gym or walks around the deck. And they’re easy to wash in the sink. 

One pair of shorts is sufficient in case of a few warm days. Good and bad news about shorts. You’ll be comfortable on a warm day but a good target for those pesky Alaska mosquitoes, A.K.A the National Bird. Make sure they have pockets. Guys might want those longer cargo-type shorts. 

A pair of capri pants would still keep you cool and offer less real estate for mosquitoes to land. Just sayin’.

Formal Night Dinners on an Alaska Cruise

On formal nights in the main dining room or an upscale specialty restaurant, men can pair dark pants with a sport coat, shirt and and maybe a tie. A guy could even get away with wearing a nice pull-over sweater and maybe a collar peeking out over the neckline. Alaska cruises really are relaxed when it comes to dress-up nights. 

You’d be surprised how many people choose to eat at the Lido buffet on an Alaska cruise, especially on formal night. 

Note:  If the buffet is your preference, be prepared for a queue. Once you get the timing for when the buffet is the least crowded, it’ll be a nicer experience. 


Bring a swimsuit and cover-up, though you can use your bathrobe from your stateroom if there is one. If there isn’t a robe, your room attendant may be able to get one for you to use. 

If your ship doesn’t have a sliding glass dome over the pool, you may not need to pack a swimsuit at all. Then again, if you’re a spa person, bring one anyway. Sandals or these thin, easy to pack flip-flops are always good for the pool and don’t take up much space.

Old Navy Flip-Flops

Though the sun was shining and there was a warm breeze, it was still too cold for most passengers to get into the pool. This cruise was in August.

Eurodam swimming pool in Glacier Bay Alaska
The Eurodam pool was open in August…but a little too chilly to jump in.

Should I Pack a Dress for Formal Night on an Alaska Cruise?

If you’re simply more comfortable wearing a dress on formal night, by all means pack a dress. If so, you might want to bring a pair of stockings or tights for a bit of warmth on your stroll around the deck.

Again, if you’re on one of the mainstream cruise lines like Carnival, Royal Caribbean or NCL, then if past experience holds well, there were not men in tuxedos or women in formal gowns.

However, some people still love to dress up on formal night. But like I said earlier, it’s less common on Alaska cruises. Long days spent touring, abundant daylight and getting your body clock adjusted all lean towards casual. 

Bring a couple of dressy lightweight scarves to spruce up and change up your look, especially if you’re only bringing one black dress. Or buy a neutral shade pashmina if your dress is sleeveless. I use mine as an evening wrap as well as my outdoor scarf. You can roll it up, and it won’t take up much room in the suitcase.

Pasmina Shawl Wrap Scarf

Tops for Layering

I’m sure you’ve heard this before about packing for Alaska: It’s all about wearing layers. Here’s where I have the most fun.

Comfy T-Shirts. Definitely bring two or three. I wear them under sweaters, to sleep in and to the gym. Multi-use items for sure. 

Or, if you think you’ll buy one in Alaska, only pack one from home. Who doesn’t go all the way to Alaska and not buy a T-shirt!

If it’s a chilly, damp or drizzly day, instead of a T-shirt under my sweater or sweatshirt I wear my long-sleeve silk-like top. They’re amazingly insulating. 

Similar to the one above with the Long John’s, this is a mock turtleneck top for when I need something to keep my neck warmer. I bought one in black (and it works for dressier evenings with the pashmina) and one in purple, not expensive at all). 

They’re thin enough so I can still bend my elbows when wearing under a sweater. Both this mock turtle and the scoop neck silk tops are handy to have and won’t break your budget.

Mock Turtleneck Top

Same goes for silk leggings (Long John’s) to wear under jeans. You’ll forget you’re wearing them. They’re great to keep you warm, especially if you choose one of the helicopter tours to a glacier…in early or late season.

What I Wear in Alaska on a Shore Excursion

Here’s what I might wear on a shore excursion in the Inside Passage, especially to Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau. Up close at Mendenhall Glacier may not only be icy-chilly but there’s also spray off the water.

First, I layer a silk or silk-like top underneath a crew neck or turtleneck sweater or sweatshirt (not too heavy). Then…

Over the lightweight sweater or sweatshirt, I’ll either wear a thin, loose-fitting waterproof rain jacket or my usual water repellent puffy jacket with hood, depending on if it’s a sunny or rainy day.

Then I either wear or bring along a sleeveless puffy vest with a zipper.

Amazon Essentials Women’s Lightweight Water-Resistant Packable Puffer Vest

This is almost a must-have item to pack. It comes with its own little carrying bag to squish the vest into for travel. You can also loop the little satchel around your carry-on bag handle. 

Plus, puffy vests are great to toss on in the morning to go to the Lido buffet or for a summer’s morning walk around the deck with a cup of coffee.

Make sure that it has outside zip pockets and maybe an inside pocket or two. You can put your room card in the zippered pocket and not worry about it falling out when you sit down for breakfast, too. 

Tunic Tops

These are great for a multitude of reasons. You can wear them over anything and at any time. Get tunic tops for Alaska with enough room in the arms so you can wear a layer or two underneath. That’s another reason why I love my tunic crew-neck tops – they’re great for layering. 

This is the tunic top I bought for my Alaska cruises. Actually, I bought two of them, one in navy and the other the black and white buffalo plaid.
The tunic neckline isn’t stifling and has plenty of room for the mock or turtleneck top underneath without feeling constricted.

Long Sleeve, Side Slit Tunic Top

In the evening, you can dress up a dark colored tunic with a signature necklace (costume jewelry only, please) or a scarf and those nice black jeans. It’s Alaska! No need to get decked out to the nines. Unless of course you want to and your suitcase agrees.


I have two cozy turtleneck sweaters that I really love but are way too bulky so they stay home. Even putting them into plastic bags and squishing out the excess air, I won’t bring them with me.

Instead, I found and will bring two lighter-weight knit crew neck sweaters. They were on sale at Old Navy for $18. I’ll almost always wear the silky mock turtleneck underneath. When my neck gets cold, the rest of me freezes. Plus a scarf.

And I’m sure I’ll end up buying a flannel shirt or a knit sweater somewhere along the way. Pack less – buy more.


In addition to my usual one or two pashminas, I always pack a warm scarf. On days when a heavier weight scarf would be overkill, I’ll just wear a high-neck top and then if the weather suddenly gets warm, I can open my jacket and be comfortable.

So in addition to one or two thinner dressy scarves, bring that neutral colored pashmina. I’ve even used it to cover my legs on a particularly cold and windy whale watching tour.

Accessories to Pack for an Alaska cruise

You know…those extras that are sometimes forgotten…until you absolutely need them. So I’ve added these essentials to the packing list.


Don’t leave home without at least one. The easiest and most packable is a knitted ski cap (beanie) or a floppy 100% wool beret. They can scrunch up and fit into your pocket if you get too warm.

Also, for both men and women, a good ol’ baseball cap comes in handy. I usually buy this on the ship or in Alaska and have a souvenir at the same time.

Don’t worry if your hat is not waterproof. Your jacket (see below) will have a rainproof hood to pop over it.


YES! A necessity. And…so you don’t have to constantly take them on and off to take photos with your iPhone or Android, I really suggest device-enabled gloves.

When you’re out on deck or on a tour, putting your gloves on and off to take a photo is a real pain. Easy to lose a glove, too. To solve this problem, I ordered these gloves to use with my iPhone. I’ve always loved Isotoners so that’s why I went for the more expensive gloves with device-touch enabled finger tips.

isotoner Women’s Stretch Fleece Smart-Touch Gloves


You’ll need socks. I bought two pairs of colorful striped Smartwool socks. I’ve never had a pair of wool socks and expected them to be totally itchy. They’re not itchy at all! I love my Smartwool socks. Very soft and cozy. And colorful!

Smartwool Hiking Socks

I also bought a 3-pack of black socks, once again at Walgreens. Black tights I bought at Target. I have a pair of sheer stockings/tights for dress-up to wear with the one black dress that I always bring along. I call it my cruise uniform. 


This is the toughest part of my packing dilemma. I’ve already mentioned sandals/flipflops. What about formal night? 

In an emergency last year, I found a great-fitting pair of 2″ suede-like black dress shoes at Old Navy. They’ve become a new part of my cruise uniform. They work with my black jeans or dress on formal night.

Next, you really should bring already-broken-in hiking shoes with a tread. First, I bought Merrells. They weren’t comfortable for me in the arch so back they went.

Then I bought this pair of Keen hiking shoes – with “Alaska Blue” trim! I love love love these – they’re like wearing comfy slippers. Plus, they’re waterproof leather.

KEEN Women’s Hiking Boots with Alaska Blue trim, of course. 

Also pack one pair of sneakers or super-comfortable walking shoes. If you can get by with one, pick the sneakers. Just make sure they’re broken in, have tread and not totally mesh.

Boots for Alaska

Rubber boots. Or as they’re called up north, Alaska sneakers! Actually, they’re Xtratufs. Those brown rubber boots with the light colored trim on the edges. You’ll probably see people on the airplane wearing them when returning to Alaska. 

Pack for Alaska and visit Fortress of the Bear in Sitka
At Fortress of the Bear in Sitka with my Xtratufs and my daughter.

My Xtratuf boots


If you don’t mind missing a couple of hours exploring Alaska, wait until your first port on your Alaska cruise to buy boots. Head straightaway to the nearest shop where XtraTufs are sold. Google it when your ship docks. 

I bought my first pair of Xtratufs (the ones above) at Murray Pacific Hardware Store on Water Street in Ketchikan – a 15 minute walk from the downtown dock.

For women, be sure to buy the Women’s Size and definitely add a wooly liner to the boot. The salesperson will know which liner to choose. 

I wear a 9 1/2 shoe. My XtraTufs are a Women’s 10 plus the liner. Or you can save time and buy your boots now before you leave home. If you wear them on Alaska Air, you’ll fit right in with the locals!

Not only will you be able to slosh through mud puddles and step through little streams and squishy bogs, you’ll get comments from the locals, who will immediately assume you’re Alaskan. Or in my case, a Laskin. Sorry. Worst pun in the world.


I take a belt. Why I don’t know. Only my jeans have belt loops.

Outerwear for Alaska’s Unpredictable Weather

Rainproof Pants

This is a biggie. Last year my daughter, who happens to love hiking and the outdoors, joined me on one of my Alaska cruises. She brought her Gore-tex rain pants.

I chuckled when I saw those baggie bottoms, not realizing how essential they’d be on a hike in the rain.

Bottom-line:  She stayed warm and dry while my jeans, from the bottom of my jacket to my shoes were soaked. As soon as I returned to Florida, I ordered these waterproof rain pants for my next Alaska cruise. 

Columbia Waterproof Rain Pants

Rainproof Lined Windbreaker with Hood

This is the best and least expensive of my Alaska-wear. I have this waterproof rain jacket. It’s basic, loose-fitting with room to layer underneath. 

Waterproof Windbreaker Rain Jacket. Yes it really is waterproof.

Not lined, it sits just below my hip and has a hood, a waist with a draw-cord and a protected zipper. And totally waterproof zip pockets, too. I can wear my silk undershirt plus a medium-weight sweater underneath. And…still bend my elbows. But on my next cruise to Alaska, I’ll pack those rain pants, too.

Down- or Synthetic-filled Hip-Length Jacket with Hood

A must. I’m on my third down-filled puffy jacket. I’m just fussy and I like this one best. It has a visible hood and two inside pockets as well as two outside with zippers. It’s super light-weight jacket and has its own little carry-sack.

My favorite puffy jacket…with plenty of pockets and a hood.

If it’s warm when I travel, I put it into a freezer ziplock bag and squish the air out of it. It takes up even less room that way. And it sits at mid-hip length. It’s also water resistant (not waterproof) and a windbreaker.

Miscellaneous Stuff to Pack for Alaska

Small Folding Umbrella

Southeast Alaska and the Inside Passage is in a rainforest, did you know that? It’s the 17-million acre Tongass National Forest. The Tongass is part of the largest temperate rainforest on earth.

While the temperatures in Southeast Alaska stay fairly moderate, the average amount of rainfall days is in excess of 230 days per year. A small folding, windproof umbrella can be your best friend.

Repel Small Folding and Windproof Travel Umbrella

On the other hand, rain in Alaska comes with wind. Horizontal rain is common and can quickly turn your umbrella inside out. That said, when there’s a constant drizzle, a small umbrella like this one comes in handy. And pack those waterproof rain pants and jacket if it’s windy.


You don’t have to spend a fortune but a decent pair of binoculars will really enhance your chances to see wildlife. Get small ones that you can stuff into a sneaker when you pack or into a little corner of your suitcase. I travel with Nikon’s small, folding waterproof binoculars. It fits in your hand, weighs less than a pound and can easily fit into a backpack.

Nikon Trailblazer Waterproof Binoculars


For me for Alaska, a regular backpack to haul on a day trip is too heavy and bulky. I bought two of these Bago Daypacks…one in hot pink for the Caribbean and a black and grey one for Alaska. It folds up into itself for packing.


Bago Packable Backpack

Don’t Leave Home Without These


Whether or not your Alaska cruise begins or ends in San Francisco or Seattle, you’re going to need a passport if you want to leave the ship for a tour in Vancouver or Victoria, British Columbia, CA, usually a required service call when there’s not a pandemic.

Or if you or your companion become ill…you might need to fly home from Vancouver. You’ll need a passport to fly back to the USA.

Make a color copy of your passport and keep in a separate place, in case you lose the original.

Plus, if your Alaska cruise begins or ends in Vancouver, you’re going to need a passport for Vancouver.

Read More:  Why You Should Have a Passport for an Alaska Cruise


Always bring a few days’ extra pills and keep with you in your handbag or carry-on. Do not pack any medications in your checked luggage.

Insect repellent

Not my favorite item. For the entire six-weeks I spent in Alaska last August and September, I didn’t get one mosquito bite. I was warned that they’re nicknamed the state bird, but I guess was lucky. 

I was told anything with DEET is what you need. Personally, I’d rather wear long sleeves and pants than use bug spray. But I’ll pack bug spray on my next cruise to Alaska. Actually, for a Caribbean cruise nowadays, too. Dengue fever, you know.


A must. And if you’re doing any really active excursions, think about attaching a sunglass strap so you don’t lose them.


Another product that I’m not thrilled to use, but a necessary one, especially on a glacier hike or trail walk.

Electronics to Pack for an Alaska Cruise

Bring a Camera

If you don’t have a camera or the one you have is really old, this cruise is a good time to invest in a new one. An Alaska cruise is really an unforgettable experience and you will want to preserve those precious memories. 

Don’t wait until the day before you leave to buy it and learn how to use it. Allow a few weeks to play with the camera. 

Take photos in your home and outside and get used to different lighting conditions. Get a feel for your new camera. Be sure to pack the manual, too.

I’ve been using my trusty Nikon 5600 for three years and I’m really happy with the results. The 5600 came with two kit lenses, 18-55 and 70-300mm. 

I used the 70-300mm lens with this Joby Gorilla travel-size tripod for a DSLR camera, to capture the Northern Lights on an Inside Passage cruise. Here are the results.

Pack for an Alaska Cruise and bring your camera for the Northern Lights
Unusual mid-August Northern Lights cruising Stephens Passage. I took this with my Nikon 5600, set at 3.5 f/, ISO 2,000 for 8 seconds.

Camera Battery Charger and a Second Battery

Plus, bring along some spare regular AA batteries. You never know.

Camera Lenses

If you already have a camera, think about bringing a zoom lens. If you don’t have one and can afford it, buy one. Why? To capture close-up images of the glaciers, wildlife foraging along the shore and on and on. 

l love my iPhone and take thousands of photos on every trip. But I grab my “real” camera with the zoom already attached, whenever someone yells, “whale/eagle/bear at 2:00 o’clock!”

When you are out and about on a shore excursion, toss a zip-lock plastic bag that can fit the camera into your day pack. You never know when you’ll get caught in the rain. 

So that you aren’t lugging a case full of lens, you could just bring an 18mm-300mm and use only that one for your entire trip. If that seems a bit too cumbersome for a walking around lens, you could bring two lenses: an 18mm-55mm and a 70mm-300mm. That’s what I do. 


Get one that can adapt to use with your smart phone and a camera. I always travel with my Joby Gorilla Pod for tabletop use that I mentioned above. 

I will also bring my lightweight Manfrotto travel tripod to set up on deck or to take on a nature walk shore excursion. Be sure to buy a smartphone adapter, too.

Memory Cards

Do not scrimp on a memory card. Get a brand name like Sandisk or Lexar. I’d suggest two or three higher grade cards. I bought two Sandisk Extreme Pro – 32 GB cards. One card might be enough for most cruisers, though. Just be sure to back up your photos at least every other night. Speaking of which…

Photo Storage

Don’t take a chance of losing those amazing Alaska memories. Whether you travel with a laptop or external drive, get in the habit of transferring and backing-up your day’s photos before you go to bed. Make sure you bring their cables, too.

I’m on my third external portable drive, the LaCie 4TB Rugged Portable External Hard Drive. I like it because, like the name says, it’s rugged. I also bought a travel case for it. Plus, the travel case has convenient slots for your memory cards.

LaCie 4T Rugged External Hard Drive

Emergency Charger

My go-to favorite portable charger is this one by Mophie. It has three charging ports and a tough case.
Mophie Power Station


Extras to Bring on an Alaska Cruise

Coffee Mug

Yes, there are a lot of these out there. I’ve become a fan of Hydro Flask. Why? Their coffee mug (with the lid on) keeps hot beverages hotter longer than Yeti, and cold beverages colder for just a little longer, too. Plus, the company is wonderful to deal with if you need a replacement or have any questions.

Using my Hydro Flask Coffee Mug for my Eurodam room service breakfast
The shallow coffee cups on ships doesn’t keep coffee hot. So now I cruise with my Hydro Flask mug.

Why pack a mug for an Alaska cruise? I love to have my morning (or afternoon) coffee on deck, breathe in the crisp Alaska air, watch the steam rise from the mug and search the shoreline for wildlife. 

Coffee or tea in a cruise ship’s coffee mug just doesn’t hold the heat and doesn’t have a lid. So I pack my trusty Hydro Flask coffee mug on every cruise.

Just do everyone onboard a favor:  when filling your mug at the coffee station, keep it away from the spigot. Or fill up a ship’s coffee cup and then transfer it to yours.

Freezer Bags

Always bring three or four zip-lock freezer bags. I bring two of the large size so, as I mentioned, I can pop my camera into one in case of rain. There’s always a use for small sandwich-sized bags, too.

Travel Alarm Clock

I know my iPhone has a clock and an alarm. But recently I started to always pack this basic, super-simple folding small travel alarm clock with me. 


All it has is an alarm and a digital clock face. There’s a disable switch so the alarm won’t accidentally ring if it gets bumped in your suitcase. Now I don’t have to double-check that my iPhone alarm is set every day or that I’ll hear it if the phone volume is off (yes you will).


I usually sleep with the stateroom bathroom light on and the door closed. Just enough light is emitted around the crack under the door. But it’s so darn bright when you walk in during the night. So I bought this little plug-in night light, one for home and one for travel. It stays on all the time and doesn’t blind you when you walk into a dark bathroom at 4am.

There you have it. Everything you need to pack for an Alaska cruise. I hope my Alaska packing tips are helpful! 

Have a wonderful time! If I’ve missed something, please leave a note in the comments below.

Here’s your Printable Alaska Cruise Packing List 

More Alaska Travel Ideas and Inspiration! Check Out These Articles…

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  1. Hi Kathy,
    Thank you so much for reading on Transatlantic and repositioning articles. I’m glad they were helpful. As far as predicting rough seas etc. the only place that is familiar to me is off of Ensenada, MX. I apologize for not being more knowledgeable about Pacific Ocean currents. On previous Panama Canal cruises, going north along the Pacific Mexican coast was very pleasant. On my trip from Ft. Lauderdale to Manaus, Brazil, there are a lot of different currents and we had a couple of days of being a bit tossed.

    Personally, I wouldn’t worry about the Humboldt Current. I have been told that going from Australia to Ushuaia has some pretty rough seas, but that’s the Tasmania Sea. It’s like taking an Antarctic cruise and crossing the Straits of Magellan. Some days it’s a millpond and other days, well, you’ll see videos of the trip on YouTube!

    Have a wonderful 18-day cruise and try not to worry ahead of time, if possible. Thank you again for taking the time to write!

  2. Hi Sherry,
    I really value your advice, read all your posts on Trans-Atlantic Repositioning cruises!

    We sail Dec 1 on a Sapphire Princess Pacific Reposition Cruise from Los Angeles going South one-way to Santiago Chile, 18 days.

    Are there bad high seas in the Pacific SOUTH of the Equator, if we’re sailing south against the Humboldt Current, which flows north toward the Equator along the coast of Chile and Peru?

    I know from experience the Pacific current north of the Equator flowing toward the Equator is so strong it’s miserable to sail against it even on a ship the size of Ruby Princess.

    BUT: is it true that Humboldt in Southern Hemisphere is a much weaker current? So we can sail South against Humbolt for 18 days without being tossed around a lot?

  3. All that outerwear takes up space. The pack of magnetic hooks that strongly attach to most walls were invaluable. The two foldable backpacks were used on every excursion as well

  4. Hi Lisa,

    Sorry for the delay…I was traveling without wifi for the most part. Yes, that is the name brand of the rain jacket. It used to or sometimes has “Amazon Essentials” as a highlight. But that’s my jacket. Thanks for confirming and using my packing list. Have a wonderful time in Alaska.

  5. Thank you for your quick and friendly reply. Just one question, you refer to the rain jacket as an “Amazon Essentials”, but when you click on the jacket in the picture, it is an “Avoogue“…. is it the same thing? Thank you again!

  6. Hi Lisa,
    Thank you so much for reading my Alaska packing article and taking the time to ask your question. I absolutely love this rain jacket (the Amazon Essentials navy rain jacket). I bought mine three years ago now (pre-pandemic) for my first trip to Alaska. The last time I wore it was just a few weeks ago during Hurricane Ian when I had to walk my dog. It positively is waterproof…even the front zipper and pocket zippers are made to not let rain get through the teeth. I bought a Medium and in Alaska I was able to layer underneath with a turtleneck cotton top and a medium-weight pullover sweater. If it’s really raining hard, I’ll wear a “baseball” cap and pull the hood up and over it. It’s absolutely my favorite go-to jacket even in light rain so I don’t need an umbrella (hard to manage with a dog, too!)

    I also love that little Bago Day Pack. I have it in pink (for Caribbean cruises!) and black for Alaska.

    I hope you have a wonderful cruise. Alaska is simply other-worldly and you can’t imaging it til you’re there. Thank you again for taking my advice for what to pack. Not only have I cruised there, been in the interior, I also lived there during the height of the pandemic and I own and use everything that is on the list.

    Thank you again for reading my blog and taking the time to write. It’s very much appreciated. Enjoy Alaska!

  7. Good day! My husband & I are recently retired this year and are excited to be planning our first Alaska cruise for July 23-30, 2023. In researching for the trip, I came across your site and am using your specific recommendations for what to wear & bring. My question is about the very cute lightweight windbreaker rain jacket. Some of the Amazon reviews said it wasn’t waterproof, and I am wondering about your specific experience wearing it in a light rain, as well as a heavy rain? Or would you maybe recommend something else? Thank you in advance for your reply & opinion, and for all this very helpful info!

  8. Hi Anita,
    Thank you for your kind words and reading my article. You have a wonderful cruise ahead of you! Regarding what to pack for Vancouver…It’s very casual there, as in most places. The nicer restaurants are business casual but you really don’t need a separate wardrobe for those three days.

    Comfortable walking shoes are a must for both Alaska and Vancouver. It might actually be warm there, as it could unexpectedly be warm in S.E. Alaska, too. You never know. That’s why I stress layers of thinner clothing, just in case. It looks like it will be a little cooler next week so a light jacket could come in handy. And then you can use it in Alaska, too.

    I’m really happy to know that you found my list to be helpful and for ordering the raincoat. I’ve had mine since 2018 and it’s fabulous. On really crummy weather days in Alaska, there was room for my puffy jacket or vest underneath.

    Have a wonderful stay in Vancouver and a fabulous Alaska cruise! Thank you again for reading my article and taking the time for your question. Now onto your next one!

  9. I just sent another post, but forgot to ask if you could possibly recommend a nice pair of comfortable shoes for me to purchase for the dressier nights on my cruise in Alaska? Possibly, preferably through Amazon since we have prime and I could get them in time for our trip. We are leaving on Tuesday. I appreciate any help you can give me. I have nothing currently that I can wear. Thank you so much!

  10. Thank you so much for your article, super good advice, and links to items to purchase. The best I’ve read. I have been fretting about packing for our upcoming trip/cruise. We leave Tuesday with 3 full days in Vancouver prior to boarding on September 3rd the Holland America Koningsdam for a 7 night Alaskan inside passage cruise. I am working my way through all of your suggestions to help with my packing, but please let me know if you have any further specific advise for me. Also if you have any suggestions regarding what I should pack for the time in Vancouver? I feel like I’m having to pack for 2 separate trips. Thank you so much! I just purchased your raincoat.

  11. Hi Sherri,
    WOW! Thank you SO much for your kind words and taking the time to return to my site and packing page to leave your comment! I am so happy that my suggestions were taken and actually used! Funny about the locals commenting on your xtratufs! It’s kind of funny – when I wear them and it’s really rainy or puddly, having them on give me such a sense of freedom. I want to splash in every puddle!

    Sorry your excursion in Skagway was canceled but maybe next time! It’s so hard to predict the weather in Alaska. My favorite time to go is May, June and September…but this year May wasn’t like it’s been in the past…you just never know.

    I’m in Florida and I still wear that windbreaker raincoat when walking my dog. It’s the only thing that works when it’s windy and rainy.

    I’m so glad to know that you loved the cruise, too. It’s funny how your suitcase just made it under the 50lb limit…and wearing the heaviest shoes helped for sure. Thank you also for purchasing my recommended items. I only earn a few pennies on the dollar but everything helps and gives me the incentive to continue assessing and reviewing the right items for different travel destinations and venues.

    Thank you again for coming back to leave such a nice comment and relate your successes! Much appreciated! Happy travels!


  12. Hi Sherry,
    I commented here back in April. Your blog and packing list were the best that I found. It was so helpful, I did buy many of the things on your list. My husband loved his coffee mug, I used mine for tea. I love my xtratuf boots! I wore them quite a bit and did get more than a few comments from locals. They are so comfortable and I know that I will continue to wear them. Layering was the way to go! The weather was chilly but not cold. We had rain in Skagway so our excursion was canceled due to the wind. I wore my xtratuf boots and we explored the town instead.
    My favorite items of yours in addition to the mug and boots were: the windbreaker raincoat, puffy vest, tunic top, mock turtleneck. I wore all of these multiple times. I did buy the puffy jacket but did not need it, love that it fits into its own pouch.
    Packing was a challenge, my suitcase came in just under 47 pounds. I wore my keen hiking shoes on the plane.
    Thank you for your help, you made packing for my cruise so much easier! Loved the cruise and cannot wait to go back.


  13. Hi Karen,
    Thank you for reading my article and taking the time to write your comment. My two pashminas have seen more inclement weather than formal dinners on ships! They’re great for keeping your neck warm. Also nice for sitting on deck and using as a throw if it’s a little chilly outside.

    Congratulations on your upcoming 25th anniversary! Terrific milestone celebration cruise! You’re correct…late August can get chilly. But I’ve been in SE Alaska in September in shorts…so you never know!

    You may want to get one more memory card and don’t forget the battery charger!! Also, I strongly recommend backing up each day’s photos either onto a flash drive via your computer or external drive and store it in the stateroom safe.

    Have a wonderful cruise to Alaska! Happy Anniversary, too! Thank you again.

  14. Thanks for a wonderful article. The idea of using a pashmina not only as a wrap for formal nights, but also us a scarf hadn’t occurred to me. Hubby and I will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary onboard Celebrity Eclipse in late August and from what I can gather is to expect the same unpredictable weather as we experience here in southern Ontario in April and May(35-80F or 2-30C). One thing that is certain is that no matter what the weather we will never forget this once in a lifetime trip. I don’t know if the two 128GB memory cards I am taking and three extra batteries will be enough!!

  15. Hi Rick,
    Wow! Thank you so much for reading my Alaska packing article! Sitka is an absolute gem (or I wouldn’t have lived there for 1 1/2 years til the pandemic hit!). I love having my own coffee mug with lid for early morning on deck. And there will be some early mornings! I’m not sure if I mentioned it in the article, but bring a couple of chip clips or the ones you use to clamp papers together. The sun will be out til midnight and rise again around 3:30am…the chip clips will make sure that your curtains stay closed!

    I just checked your Bliss itinerary. Please read my Icy Strait Point article, too. It might give you some additional ideas for your day: https://cruisemaven.com/best-things-to-do-icy-strait-point-alaska/

    Have a fabulous time on your Alaska cruise next week! Thank you again for your kind comment and for reading my Alaska packing and Sitka articles! Much appreciated.


  16. Heading to Alaska on NCL, Bliss on 6/25/22. The coffee idea is excellent. I hate tepid coffee and like the crisp air around 7:00 AM. Sitka is the first stop. We were ho-hum about that stop, but after reading your 21 places to visit we’re excited as all get-out! Hadn’t thought about rain pants but now I have a very packable lightweight pair. Pulled out my Arctic Cat beanie to keep my head warm. I even picked up a 1 GB Scandisc IXpand flash drive for my IPhone 12 Pro. It takes great pics and I’m sure I’ll probably fill up all the internal phone memory before the end of the trip. And I’ll bring my Nicon Binoculars which I hadn’t originally considered. My first trip and your tips are invaluable. Yup, now I have a solid plan to layer my clothing and just today I put my second coating of waterproofing on my North Face hiking shoes. I’m ready to go!!

  17. Oh my gosh…Kathi! Thank you SO much for following up after your cruise. I am absolutely thrilled to bits that you had great weather in Alaska. That’s very rare for an entire cruise. And thank you so much again for your kind words that my article was helpful for your packing. I love the early season in Alaska, especially when going so far north! Everything is waking up and it’s just beautiful.

    Again, I really appreciate it that you sent this after-the-cruise comment. It really made my day! I hope your next cruise is as wonderful, no matter where you sail!

  18. I just wanted to follow up with you! I wrote you in January about your wonderful article. It was very helpful!!
    We were able to make a comprehensive list of things to take/wear/use for our 7 day trip on May 2nd from Vancouver to Seward. We stayed warm and dry….it did not rain 1 day of our cruise!! We had the right clothes, the right electronics, the right cameras. Your article was absolutely wonderful and I wanted you to know how much it helped make our very first cruise and first time to Alaska a complete success!!!
    Thank you!

  19. Hi Dalia,
    Thank you so much for reading my Alaska packing article. Yes, your friend is correct; Regent cruisers do tend to dress up a bit more…but it’s also Alaska…so I would suspect more like resort-dressy than formal evening wear, if that makes sense. Yes, I think a nice pair or two of dressy evening pants is a great idea.

    I looked up your itinerary and it’s a cross-Gulf cruise, right? Expect Skagway and Icy Strait to be chilly at night, especially when the ship is traveling. The wind on the Lynn Canal can feel pretty cold. During the days at sea, especially when you enter Hubbard Glacier, chances are you’ll want to be dressed warm, with hat, scarf and gloves.

    If you want to bring dresses, I would suggest bringing a warm wrap…maybe a black or neutral print pashmina/shawl. This can also double as a scarf if needed. Regent passengers tend to dress well, country club elegant but not glitzy, based on my past experiences.

    My experience with Skagway and Anchorage in June was warmer weather than I expected but it’s not guaranteed. I still wore my puffy jacket on the White Pass and Yukon Railroad.

    Weather in Alaska is unpredictable. June can be frigid or comfortably warm. The further north you go, especially on sea days, the chillier it could feel.

    Thank you again for reading my article and sending your questions. I hope my answers were helpful. Have a wonderful cruise!

  20. Hi Saundra, thank you so much for your kind words and taking the time to comment. Keep in mind that it will be chilly in Alaska in September, with an occasional “warm” day possible. I don’t know your itinerary, but if your seven-day cruise is going cross-Gulf and not an inside passage cruise, it WILL be colder.

    Your question is terrific! So you don’t roast or look “odd” leaving south Georgia dressed for polar climes, pack all your puffy clothing (vest, jacket, long Johns, gloves, hats etc) as they will weigh the lightest. For me, the heaviest items are always shoes, jeans, electronics, toiletries etc. I’d put the heaviest stuff into your carry-on bag, wear your boots or heavy hiking shoes. And pack the minimal amount you can. People on Alaska cruises tend to dress more casually…though there will always be cruisers who want to dress up, too. Is it worth the suitcase space to pack high heels or dressy shoes? That’s a personal decision. Princess is sort of in the middle…but on my several Holland America Alaska cruises (also considered a “premium” cruise line), the only time people dressed up was for the top specialty restaurants.

    Thank you so much for purchasing your Alaska cruise items through my links. I have bought all of the items that I mention. On occasion, an item may be out of stock and Amazon suggests something similar, but I try to test my links periodically to be sure they are still valid.

    You will have a wonderful cruise and don’t give up on seeing the Northern Lights. You can even tell someone at the Front Desk to give you a wake up call, should the Northern Lights be visible! The only problem really would be finding a dark location on the outer decks from where you can view the sky without all the glaring ship lights. But I would bet that if the Lights are visible, the ship will have a dedicated location that’s dark. Be sure to ask at the Front Desk.

    I’m excited for you! Have a wonderful cruise and enjoy the experience! There’s really nothing else to compare with Alaska. Thank you again for reading my article and taking the time for your comment…it’s much appreciated! Bon Voyage!

  21. Great article. thank you. I am going on the Regent Seven seas, Mariner cruise to Alaska on June 1. Out of Vancouver. I am still stumped on what to wear for dinner? The other couple we are traveling with said people really dress up for dinner. Do I wear dresses and if so, will I be warm enough? Or do I invest in dressy evening pants for most nights? And what to wear on ship during day when ship is at sea? The other couple we are going with said others have told her people really get dressed up for dinner?

  22. Best article I’ve read to-date….and I’ve read many! We are sailing on Dicovery Princess in September. This will be our first Alaska trip. I am probably over-thinking everything….my husband….not so much! The northern lights are on my bucket list, but because there will be a full moon, we may have to make another trip in the future. As far as packing,, I am trying to only check one bag. Not sure if I’m going to make the 50 pounds or less. That is the challenge for me. We will be flying out of Savannah, Ga. I’m going to look pretty funny on a hot, humid September day in south Georgia wearing jeans, boots, and layers under a puff hoodie-coat…and maybe a hat. Any suggestions for a 7 day cruise on keeping the suitcase light? Thank you for sharing so many helpful tips. Going to order most of the items you shared links for because they had such great reviews! Thanks again!

  23. Hi Heather, thank you for reading my packing article. I have purchased every one of the items mentioned (within the last couple of years or sooner). All I can do is to recommend what I have bought and are happy with the product. Reviews are also subjective. But thank you again for taking the time to read the article and comment. Have a wonderful Alaska cruise.

  24. Hello! I am going on an Alaskan Cruise with our family of six on June 3rd and leaving from Vancouver. I was able to use your list as suggestions but wanted to let you know that all of the Amazon suggestions you made have very bad reviews once you read them. I’m all about posting links but would rather them be better quality items.

  25. Hi Sherri! Thank you for reading my Alaska packing article. I am really happy that you found it to be helpful. You will love your Xtratufs. I suggest getting the liners for them, too. Funny, I wore them here in Florida during a really bad thunderstorm (I also wore that Amazon Basic waterproof rainjacket!) when I had to walk my dog! I probably looked ridiculous but I was nice and dry, lol.

    It’s really tough to try to cram everything for an Alaska cruise into a carry on bag. But if you’re not bringing a laptop, DSLR camera, etc. and you sound like you’ve perfected the art of packing small, you might be able to do it. You’ll probably have to wear a little extra of your clothing, though.

    I always bring my carry-on that has a front compartment for my laptop (it’s a Delsey) and then a matching Delsey 26″ spinner suitcase that I’ll use baggage check on Amtrak (I don’t fly!). I also put my purse into my backpack and stuff all the bits and parts that didn’t fit, into that one. I seem to overpack. I think if you stuff your hats, gloves, scarf etc into shoes, the layering clothes aren’t bulky. You can hang your puffy jacket in its own pouch onto any handle or strap. If you wear your heaviest shoes, that will help. If you’re not planning to get dressed up (there’s really only Le Bistro that’s semi-dressy on NCL, in my opinion), leave the high heels or dressy shoes at home.

    Give yourself a few days of pre-packing and maybe it’s possible! If you can do it, you win a medal!

    Thank you so much for your kind words about my article. I really appreciate your comments. Have a wonderful cruise to my former home! Alaska is breathtakingly gorgeous.


  26. My husband and I are taking our first Alaskan cruise this August with Norwegian. I have enjoyed reading your article and I love all the suggestions! Thanks for all the links which are very helpful. I love the xtratuf boots!
    My question is how big of a suitcase do you usually bring? I usually try to only travel with my carry on size but I don’t think so this will all fit. Shoes can take up so much room 😄

    Thanks again! Sherri

  27. Hi Denise, Thank you so much for reading my article – I’m so glad it has some useful info for your cruise.

    What I would suggest for a specialty restaurant on an Alaska cruise (and I don’t know what ship/cruise line you chose) is to wear one of your dark tops (or pack one dressy top) with a pretty scarf or a statement necklace. Bring a pair of black slacks (I bring a pair of “dressy” black pants – sort of looser-fitting jeggings – that can double for a shore excursion if all else fails) and you have a nice outfit.

    For shoes, I’d suggest either a dressy low-ish heeled shoe that you can wear in the evenings. High heels are fine too as long as it’s not a cross-gulf cruise where the water can get a little rough for about 12-18 hours in the evening. You may not wear them as much as versatile black shoes.

    I hope this makes sense. I understand that you don’t want to look like you just completed a dog sled adventure when you go to a nice specialty restaurant!. I wouldn’t either!
    Have a wonderful cruise to Alaska. I almost guarantee you’ll want to return!

  28. I’m taking my first Alaskan cruise in September. What to pack for the changeable weather is a quandary. I’m a notorious over packer (per my husband). Your article will “lighten the load” so to speak. What would you suggest for this young at heart 60 year old to wear to a specialty restaurant that’s a little more dressy than everyday casual? Shoes are always a dilemma too (or maybe I worry too much). Any ideas are greatly appreciated by this Alaska cruise newbie. Thanks!

  29. Hi Nan,
    Thank you for taking the time to read my long Alaska packing article. After a half-dozen Alaska cruises and living in Sitka for 18 months, I feel very confident about my packing suggestions. If space is an issue for your suitcases, just be sure to have enough thinner items to layer. May can be pretty chilly, especially up in Skagway. Then again, if you are lucky enough for a blue sky sunny day, even in the 40s the sun feels really hot.

    You may not need waterproof boots like my Xtra-Tufs, but be sure to pack some kind of at least water-resistant sturdy hiking/walking shoes. The horizontal rain can really soak a pair of sneakers in a couple of minutes. Plus, if you take any glacier tours, you’ll want a sturdy shoe. If you’re flying to Alaska, or the lower 48 to board your ship, I’ll be there are others who will wear their “big” shoes too, rather than pack them.

    Just be prepared for a chill and with layers, you’re always prepared. Hat and gloves too. The wind in the Lynn Canal can feel pretty icy. Pack a down or synthetic puffy jacket that fits into its own little bag and it can be attached to your carry-on luggage handle.

    Have a wonderful cruise! May is absolutely a gorgeous time to visit Alaska. Everything is “waking up” just about then and there’s a good chance you’ll see some of Alaska’s Big 5 creatures! Bring binoculars and watch the shoreline. Humpbacks are beginning their return to Alaska – it’s also the beginning of herring season and whales love herring!

    Thank you again for your question and reading my article.

  30. Your article was informative and I loved it! My husband and I are going on an Alaskan cruise May 9, 2023-May 16, 2023. We’re leaving from Seattle and cruising through Skagway, Juneau, etc. Should I pack everything you mentioned in the article?

  31. Hi Mary, Thank you for reading my packing article for Alaska. If you can find (I’ll try, too) a poly-filled jacket that’s packable (comes with its own little pouch) that also covers you when you sit down, it would come in very handy. Remember, you can always wear layers. The coat/jacket doesn’t have to be like the Michelin Man puffy. Early-mid June can still be somewhat cold if it’s not a sunny day as well as when the ship is moving. But you’re right…so many of the puffy/puffer jackets are usually 90% down-filled. I was surprised.
    Have a wonderful time in Alaska! Thank you again for taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it! Happy Cruising!

  32. Thank you for such a detailed packing article. I especially like the links to Amazon. I’m still uncertain as to how heavy a jacket I’ll need for a cruise tour in early-mid-June. Unfortunately, I’m allergic to feathers, so down is out.

  33. Hi Karen,
    Thank you very much for reading my article and taking the time to write such a nice comment. I’m excited for you to be going on not only your first cruise but to Alaska for a first cruise! Good choice. Everything I recommended in the article is something that I have and use in Alaska. Remember…layers! Princess does an excellent job on their Alaska itineraries, too. Have a wonderful cruise and thank you again.

  34. I am going on my first cruise ever this August. I picked Alaska, because it is where I have always wanted to go. We are cruising on the Princess cruise line, and we (hubby and myself) will be with my cousin and his wife who have taken many cruises, including Alaska. They are planning everything, which helps us, but I enjoyed reading what to take and pack. That’s what I really needed information about. I don’t like it when I travel somewhere I have never been and am not prepared for the unpredictable weather (and I live in a warm state!). Your tips and packing list are exactly what I needed!

  35. Hi Paula,
    Thank you for reading the article. I checked but I don’t see a September 26 Seattle departure for Solstice. There is a Sept 2 departure that has your itinerary.
    The shore excursion booklet that you should receive in your stateroom or on Celebrity’s website, will show an icon as to the ease or difficulty for each shore excursion.
    For Skagway, I would suggest the White Pass & Yukon Rail tour. No walking involved except from your ship to the train. Then you can walk and explore the town either before or after your train ride.

    Victoria, BC is an evening service call. There is usually a tour into downtown but not too much else to do at night. There’s a little shopping right at the port, nothing special. Maybe the Gardens will have evening tours, easy to walk.

    For Juneau, a tour of Mendenhall Glacier is a must, and you can walk at your own pace. Maybe sign up for a whale watching tour from Auke Bay with not much walking involved. The only exception is if it’s low tide, then the walk either up or down the gangway to the whale watching ship is steep, but there are handrails and it’s a short-ish walk to board.

    Juneau also offers a visit to a mushing camp across the water on Douglas Island. Not much walking involved and the buggy ride pulled by the sled dogs is fun, though pretty bouncy!

    Ketchikan is also an at-your-own-pace walking. A lot of Alaska tours involve helicopters to glaciers, dog sledding and hiking. I don’t do those (except for maybe a scenic, easy hike/walk.).

    Any questions that you might have about a particular shore excursion can be answered at the shore excursion desk. What’s easy for a 30-year old may be out of the question for the over-65 gang! I would hope that the shore excursion person would be honest and not try to sell you a tour that would not fit your abilities. If you don’t like the first answer, ask another person at the Tour desk.
    If nothing else, every town you visit is walkable, has great restaurants, quirky shops and attractions (Creek Street in Ketchikan is also a must-see) and good shopping (look for Made in Alaska). Also, look for end of the season sales in many stores…it’s a great time to pick up winter clothing items if you live where there’s cold weather or for holiday gifts.
    Have a wonderful cruise! Thank you again for reading my packing article.

  36. Hi Kathi,
    Thank you so much for reading through this long article. I’m in the process of reviewing and updating this article but really, not much has changed…except for maybe more unpredictable weather! For a May cruise, if you’re going cross-Gulf as I did in 2019, it will be really cold on the water at night. Same for the Lynn Canal if you’re headed to Skagway and Haines.
    On the other hand, the animals have woken up so be sure to bring binoculars to scope out the shoreline. If you’re heading inland to say, Fairbanks, the weather should be warmer than Seward or Whittier…but then again who knows! If you’re doing an Inside Passage cruise, you’ll most likely see all sort of ‘bergs in the glacier bays and it’s pretty exciting. The store owners in Ketchikan, Juneau, Sitka and Haines/Skagway will be SO glad to see you, too.
    Early May you’ll have plenty of snow on the mountains and the scenery will be spectacular. If it’s within your budget, opt for the small tours in Glacier Bay or Hubbard Bay. These are the smaller boats and can get up much closer to the glacier walls. Worth every penny, in my opinion.
    I’m totally jealous and wish you a fabulous cruise to Alaska. Any questions, please just ask. Thank you again…your comments made my day!

  37. Thank you so much for such a comprehensive list!! We are taking our first cruise, to Alaska, in early May. This list is really good, especially the links.
    Thank you so much for the tips on traveling to Alaska included in your article. It has been very helpful to us trying to plan our first trip!!
    I realize this article is 2 years old and wondered if you would add/subtract anything?

  38. This is my first cruise to Alaska departing September 26 on Celebrity Solstice. Departing Seattle. Ketchikan, Endicott Arm & Dawes, Alaska Inside passage, Victoria. What are good execurisions for people in their 70’s that can’t do long walks or climbing.?

  39. Hi Dianne,
    Wow! Thank you SO much for your kind words! I am really glad to know that my list was helpful. Be sure to pack enough warm clothes because it will be cold when you get to Skagway, especially going through the canal to get there. And there will be snow on the mountains by then too. I can’t ever remember a ship cruising Alaska in October so this should be something special. As far as worrying about rain and getting wet…I would suggest buying a waterproof rain jacket with a hood and even think about rain pants. You may not need them so if unused and the tags are still on, you could return the pants as they are expensive.

    And who knows..maybe it’ll be sunny at times, too. It will get dark early, too, and you might even see the Northern Lights. I don’t know if you read it in one of my Alaska articles but sometimes you can let the front desk know that you’d like a wake-up call if the Northern Lights are visible.

    If you have any other questions, please let me know. I’m excited for your cruise and a bit jealous…I’d love to hop on Ovation at the end of the season. Great shopping, too, with end-of-season discounts on in port and on the ship. Have a fabulous time! And thank you very much again for reading my article and taking the time to write such a nice note.

  40. Absolutely the best travel column I’ve ever read. You answered all my questions about what to bring, what to wear, how far the ship is from town, how to get there……even though I usually draw out my wardrobe with an iPen on my iPad, to more easily visualize it…I also just printed your packing list..we are cruising on Ovation Oct 1& my biggest worry was getting wet…! I bought Scotchguard spray n sprayed my sneaker, hats, hoods etc just in case….multi use everything in similar colors but several colorful scarves ..thanks a million..from another travelbug..

  41. Hi Laura,
    Thank you SO much for your kind comment. I’m really happy to know that it’s been a help for you for your Alaska cruise. Everything I listed is what I bought for my cruises to Alaska as well as my 18 months living in Sitka. Have a wonderful cruise! And thank you again for reading my Alaska packing article and taking the time (away from packing!) to write your comment.

  42. Thank you for taking time to write this great list! It’s whet my whistle to be well-prepared for my trip! Its a week from today so I better get cracking!

  43. Hi Becky, Thank you very much for taking the time to read through my Alaska packing article. Today in Sitka it was in the 50s and 60s which means Juneau isn’t much different. The further north you go, the chillier it gets. That said, there were September days in the 80s and full sun. You didn’t mention the cruise ship that you will be on but…I do know that sometimes (as on Holland America Eurodam) you can tell the front desk that you’d like to be awakened if the aurora borealis begins. I do hope you get to see the lights. We were very lucky for August. Have a wonderful, fabulous Alaska cruise! And thank you again for writing your note! I’m glad you found the packing list to be helpful.

  44. I just wanted to let you know this packing information is great help for my upcoming Alaskan trip. The photos were helpful too as they gave me a better idea of how cold it will be. I hoe we gay as lucky to see a rare August aurora!

  45. Hi Stephanie,
    Thank you very much for your kind comments and for reading my article about Alaska. Disney to Alaska, especially for your first time, sounds wonderful! Be sure and set aside some extra funds for shore excursions. Have a great trip and thank you again.

  46. Great tips! Loved reading this, we just booked our first cruise to Alaska on the Disney Wonder. We have done Disney before but the Mexican Riviera and Caribbean. This will be our first venture to Alaska. And at a loss as what was essential. Love the links you posted, helpful.

  47. Hi Rochelle,
    Thanks for stopping by and reading my Alaska packing guide. I have not cruised to Alaska aboard the Bliss, but I have cruised the Inside Passage on a few other cruise lines. I’ve written an article about 21 Things to do in Sitka if you happen to go there. I’m also working on what to do in several other ports as well as the interior plus more Alaska travel tips. Please check back or subscribe to my newsletter so you don’t miss anything. Thanks again!

  48. Hi, I just found your blog and there’s a lot of good info! Wondering if you have been on the Norwegian Bliss Alaskan cruise? If so, any tips? Excursion suggestions? Thanks!

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