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Need a packing list for an Alaskan cruise? Lucky you! Alaska is definitely a beautiful bucket-list destination where you’ll make memories to last a lifetime. In order to enjoy your vacation to the fullest from embarkation day on, you’ll want to be prepared. It’s never too early to start making a packing list for your cruise vacation. Read on for our tips on what to pack for your Alaskan cruise.

Viewing glaciers from ship

NOTE: Postcard Jar is a reader-supported blog; we don’t clog our page with annoying advertising. However, we do have an Amazon storefront as well as Amazon links. As Amazon influencers, we earn from qualifying purchases. 

Consider the weather when packing for Alaska

It’s impossible to know the exact forecast for your cruise more than a few days out, but we do know typical weather patterns. Summers in Alaska have average highs ranging from 55°-65°F and lows from 38°-51°F. Alaska can be rainy (or misty) and you should expect some moisture during your trip. Typically about half the days see rain in the summer. May is the driest month and July is the wettest.

Steve on glacier

Pack for an Alaskan cruise strategically

Our list of things to pack might seem like a lot. But if you plan ahead, your clothes can pull double duty. For instance, you might want a cardigan sweater that you can wear on the plane, over a sleeveless dress at dinner, or as a layer while out on an excursion.

Neutral pants that can be worn with a variety of tops are a good idea, as well. We also suggest choosing a few complimentary colors for your clothes so you can create a number of outfits by mixing and matching pieces. Finally, pack shoes that can be used with multiple outfits. Make sure at least one pair of shoes or boots is waterproof (not just water resistant). 

Pack for Alaskan cruise clothing for women

Pack for an Alaskan cruise efficiently

Some items, like jackets, are bulky. We recommend packing these items in space saver vacuum storage bags. You can increase the space in your suitcase by up to 80% when using these bags. Just be mindful of the weight of your bag, as well. We like the ones that come with a vacuum pump you can bring along so you can repack for the trip home.

You might also want to consider purchasing packing cubes or a Pack-It folder from Eagle Creek to help keep things organized. These are Steve’s favorite packing tools and he uses them on every trip we take. See the video below to see how easy it is to use.

Other essentials to pack for an Alaskan cruise

Finally, there are a number of non-clothing items you might want to pack for your Alaskan cruise. Some, like magnets, are a good idea for any cruise. (Your cabin’s walls are made of metal. Using magnetic hooks and clips allows you to hang hats, swimsuits, papers, and more.)  Others items, like a dry bag, might only be needed if you have an excursion like rafting or fishing where you or your belongings could get wet.

Packing for Alaskan cruise essentials

To help you find items you might want but don’t have (or even know you want), we put together an Amazon list of things you might need. You can also sign up to receive our FREE Alaskan cruise packing list printable below.


Clothing to pack for a cruise to Alaska

For excursions –

Temperatures will vary throughout the day, so plan to wear layers. When going on an excursion, you might want:

  • T-shirt or tank top
  • Long-sleeved t-shirt
  • Vest
  • Lightweight fitted jacket
  • Warm jacket/light coat
  • WaterPROOF rain jacket
  • WaterPROOF pants (depending on your excursion)
  • Scarf/hat/gloves. Consider gloves with touch feature so you can use phones/electronics
  • Waterproof boots
  • Wool/wicking socks

Pro-tip: Bring Ziplock bags with you so that if you take a layer off, you can compress it in the bag, keep it dry, and remove the air. By doing this, it’s easier to store items in your day bag or backpack.

Pack for Alaskan cruise clothing men

Around the ship during the day –

  • T-shirts
  • Lounge clothes like yoga or sweat pants
  • Jeans
  • Leggings
  • A cozy hoodie
  • Flannel or button-down shirt
  • Slippers for going out on your balcony
  • Tennis shoes
  • Swimsuit/cover-up (there are hot tubs and an indoor pool)

Evening wear to pack for your Alaskan cruise –

  • Nice pants
  • Collared shirt
  • Dress
  • Blouse/skirt
  • Dress shoes that you can wear with multiple outfits
  • Accessories like jewelry, handbags, etc.

Here are a couple examples of what we typically wear on smart casual nights in the dining room. Ann usually wears a dress or nice pants and a blouse. Steve wears a button down shirt and dress pants or khakis.

And here’s an example of what we wear for evening chic nights. Since we typically work from home in sweats, it’s fun for us to get dressed up on cruises. If that’s not your thing, no worries. Just be sure to review your cruise line’s dress codes before you go.

Celebrity Cruises evening chic attire

Other clothing to bring –

  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Bras
  • Pajamas
  • Workout clothes
  • Hat or ball cap


What to pack for Alaskan cruise

More essentials to pack for an Alaskan cruise 

You can find many of the items listed below on our Amazon storefront.

  • Passport
  • Camera or smart phone
  • Sunscreen
  • Insect repellent
  • Binoculars (optional but the ones in your cabin are pretty low-end)
  • Magnets/hooks for walls
  • Toiletries
  • Curling iron
  • Medicines/first aid supplies
  • Sunglasses (polarized are recommended)
  • Small bills for tips (optional)
  • Thank you cards in case you want to recognize specific crew members
  • Outlet adapter with USB ports
  • Charging cords
  • External battery for your phone
  • Eye mask if you need absolute darkness to sleep as there are 16-17 hours of daylight
  • Water-resistant/proof cross body bag
  • Dry bag if going on water-based excursions
  • Cell phone dry bag
  • Water bottle

What NOT to pack for an Alaskan cruise

  • Hairdryer (they have one on the ship)
  • Steamer/iron (prohibited)
  • Surge protector
  • Alcohol (wine may be allowed–see your cruise line’s rules)
  • Marijuana is prohibited at all times on board
  • Weapons (prohibited)

Alaskan cruises are magnificent, but you do need some things you wouldn’t need on a typical Caribbean cruise. As long as you have the right things with you, it will be smooth sailing.

Have you taken an Alaskan cruise? What were the things you were glad you had with you (or you wish you’d brought)? Let us know in the comments below.

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