A Local’s Guide: Your 2024 Ultimate Alaska Cruise Packing List

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A cruise along the Alaskan coastline is one of the most comfortable and picturesque ways of visiting the Last Frontier.

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Alaska’s jugged landscape is full of glaciers, deep valleys, river canyons, and a very long coastal stretch. This is your ultimate Alaskan cruise packing list.

Here's your comprehensive packing list for everything you need for your Alaska vacation.

On an Alaska Cruise tour, you can explore all of these natural wonders at one go while also enjoying the convenience of luxurious cruise ships.

With a smart Alaska Cruise packing list, you will be perfectly prepared for cold weather conditions or any emergency, regardless of whether you’re traveling in May, June, or July.

What to pack for an Alaska Cruise

Clothing

Lightweight clothes:

While packing for Alaska, the first thing that comes to your mind is that you will need a lot of warm clothes. You are right. After living in Alaska for several years, I’m still not entirely used to the cold.

Even during the summer months of May and June, you can expect to wear a light sweater in the morning and at night.

And on a cruise, a thick sweater, windbreaker, and/or fleece-lined top will be your best friend.

Dokotoo Solid Turtleneck High Neck Balloon Long Sleeve Sweaters
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  • Loose Fit/Turtleneck/Cable Knit/Batwing Sleeve/Raglan Long Sleeve/No Pockets/Not Lined/Soft & Stretchy/Lightweight...
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Last update on 2024-06-20 at 18:31 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Why? The open sea exposes you to potentially strong winds and colder-than-usual arctic conditions. A windbreaker or rain jacket (during late July and August) is essential for protecting against the colder weather.

These extra layers will be useful when you want to be on the deck and enjoy the magnificence of the scenery and glacier. I suggest getting waterproof layers to make sure.

While an umbrella is not a must-have for me, you might be happy to have one onshore.

34+ must-have things to pack for an amazing Alaskan cruise from waterproof boots and insulated pants, to beanie, mitten, and base layers.

Beanies, gloves, sweaters, and boots rank high on the list of recommended items. I always dress in layers and recommend you do the same while on your Alaska cruise. Each layer is easier to remove or put on than wearing a single thick fabric.

Since you are on a cruise, prepare for evening entertainment and cocktail events. That means you should probably dress smartly or casually.

Men should pack a full suit and tie, while women might want to pack a lovely dress. Your cruise company might have recommendations on the best attire to pack.

It sounds too far-fetched, but you can swim during your Alaska trip. So yes, pack a swimsuit or two if suitcase space allows. We are talking about the indoor swimming pools and hot tubs with cocktail bars next to them.

Another pleasant surprise is many cruise ships onboard gyms and fitness centers. If you feel up to it, you can join different fitness classes. So, you need your workout clothes.

Regarding clothing, click here for my top recommendations on pieces I own and love.

You've seen it all and heard it all about the Orolay thickened down jacket. Is this 90% down winter coat is good as they say? I put it to test in Alaska!

Hiking shoes: 

Although a significant part of your trip will be on a cruise ship, there is a lot of walking involved in the vessel. Plus, there is more walking to sights/activities when the ship docks at certain points.

A good pair of hiking boots or boots with great traction will save you a lot of trouble.

It will be advantageous if your shoes are waterproof, as some hiking options and rain can get them wet. This sturdy pair of waterproof hiking boots is a great option to keep your feet dry and warm.

Sperry Women's Saltwater Core Boots
  • Boot opening measures approximately 6.75" around
  • Combat cold, wet weather with the waterproof Saltwater boot from Sperry
  • Duck-inspired waterproof boot
  • Leather upper with a waterproof rubber foot
  • Rawhide lacing with rust proof eyelets for secure fit

Last update on 2024-06-19 at 15:31 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Sunscreen

Believe it or not, Alaska gets sunny days, too. Spring starts in early May and remains chilly through sometime in July. As a result of the latitude of Alaska, we have short summer months.

Regardless, protecting your skin from harmful UV light is a great idea. Not sure what to get? This SPF 40 sunscreen has raving reviews.

Ready to have the time of your life on your Alaska cruise? This Alaska cruise packing list is everything you need.

Tech & Gear

Power adapter

Like the rest of the US, Alaska cruises use power plugs and type A and B sockets. The standard voltage is 120 V, and the standard frequency is 60 Hz.

Buying a combined power plug adapter/voltage converter is the most convenient option if you are not a US citizen.

Portable charger

The convenience of portable chargers (power banks) cannot be overemphasized. These gadgets are always useful when at a tourist activity and away from any plug.

Bringing one will help you get the most out of your trip as you explore the Last Frontier’s coastal cities without worrying about your cellphone battery. My all-time favorite is this Anker power bank.

Anker Ultra-Compact Portable Charger Power Bank
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Last update on 2024-06-19 at 15:31 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Binoculars

A trip to Alaska means spending an enviable amount of time on the deck, taking in the beautiful scenery, seeing whales, bald eagles, otters, and more.

Don’t forget to bring a pair of binoculars; otherwise, you might miss out on close-up looks at these amazing creatures.

Toiletries

Although cruise companies will equip the rooms with all the essentials, such as shower gel, shampoo, and soap, I’d rather have a surplus than be stuck with shower products I’m not excited to use.

For convenience and organization, I use a toiletry bag.

34+ must-have things to pack for an amazing Alaskan cruise from waterproof boots and insulated pants, to beanie, mitten, and base layers.

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Documents

Travel insurance:

Are you visiting from outside the US? As an international traveler, you might need travel insurance that covers the duration of your trip.

Your travel insurance should cover any emergency during your trips, such as injuries or illness.

Ultimate Alaska Cruise Packing List

Passport & Visa:

This is also an important consideration for international travelers on an Alaskan cruise. You need a passport that is valid for at least six months after the end date of your cruise to Alaska.

Unless you are a citizen of the US or Canada, you need a B2 tourist visa, which you can apply for in your home country.

Medications

First-Aid kit:

Regarding first aid, there is a long list of items you can bring along.

Although you can purchase some of them at the onboard stores, it will probably be much cheaper if you bring them from home.

first aid kit for Alaska trip

Seasickness, stomach issues, pain, and sunburn can sneak up on you. To be on the safe side, make sure to bring medication to deal with nausea and other symptoms. Some of these medications are only available with a valid prescription.

One thing many travelers neglect is the aftermath of strenuous hikes. After many hikes, long walks, and glacier explorations, you might feel exhausted at the end of the day.

A first aid kit would be nice if you have minor cuts or bruises.

Other Commonly Forgotten Items for a Trip to Alaska on a Cruise


What Do People Wear in an Alaskan Cruise Ship?

Besides essential items such as rain jackets and hiking boots, it is important to bring elegant outfits like cocktail dresses for special occasions.

On certain evenings, your cruise might have special events for guests. Here are a few affordable suggestions for your cruise.

For leisure sightseeing, you will need comfortable walking shoes, outer layers, chic gloves, and wool socks if you’re sensitive to cold.

What NOT to bring to an Alaskan Cruise Trip

Household Appliances

Many household appliances, from coffee machines to irons and kettles, are deemed dangerous for the low-voltage sockets in your cruise ship, so they may not be allowed on board.

 Alcohol

Although it is cheaper to bring your alcohol rather than buy it on board, maritime regulations in the US state that you are not allowed to bring alcohol from outside.

alcohol prohibition on Alaskan trip

These drinks will be confiscated and not returned to you if found during embarkation.

Drones

Wouldn’t bringing your drone on board and taking so many cool shots be amazing?

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but items that pose a risk of being launched off, such as drones and segway, are strictly prohibited.

Wondering about what to pack for your Alaska cruise? I live in Alaska and I've covered everything you need for your vacation and things to take on a cruise to Alaska.

Alaska Cruise: Important Packing Tips

  1. We don’t recommend bringing many books, as many cruise ship companies have bookstores or libraries with extensive collections. Audible audiobooks and Kindles will save you the extra baggage.
  2. Just because Alaska is in the north doesn’t mean you are safe from annoying mosquitoes while onshore. Bring your repellent! From personal experience, summer mosquitoes can be ferocious. I liked using this repellent.
  3. If you forget an item, you might find it much cheaper at any port where the ship will dock. Instead of buying on-board, wait until you reach any port along the way unless it is urgent.

Conclusion

An Alaska cruise tour is surely one of the most exhilarating trips you will ever have. Use this Alaska cruise packing list to ensure you have everything you need for the time of your life on your cruise. And most importantly, have fun!

Alaskan cruise trip

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Wondering about what to pack for your Alaska cruise? I live in Alaska and I've covered everything you need for your vacation and things to take on a cruise to Alaska.

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