What to Pack for Your Cruise to Alaska

The packing list for any cruise can be lengthy. But when you're heading for a place with weather as unpredictable as Alaska, the packing list can quickly become unwieldy and expensive. The baggage fees for extra luggage can break the budget for your entire trip. Use these tips to ensure that you cruise around Alaska with everything you need and nothing you don't.

Pack Long Pants

I don't care if you're cruising in August. The nights will be chilly and any day on deck can become brisk depending on the amount of cloud cover and wind gusts. Especially if you're catching one of the Alaska cruises from Seattle, you may want to pack a waterproof pair of pants to protect yourself from rain. Even in warmer temps, you'll likely catch a chill if your clothing gets soaked.

If you're concerned about warmth (and you should be on any Alaskan cruise) consider packing layers. Lightweight tights don't take up much room in a suitcase, and they can be worn under nearly any style of pants. Choose a fast-drying material and simply wash them out in the sink at night. 

Pack a Variety of Long-Sleeved Tops

Of course, if you're cruising in the colder months, you'll want to pack a winter coat. However, many folks cruise to Alaska during the milder seasons when wearing jackets is more appropriate. You may consider a waterproof jacket with a removable liner. That way, you're always protected from the rain, but you can vary the amount of insulation depending on the forecast.

If you collect shirts, you may want to forego packing a sweatshirt and purchase one along the way. These can be bulky and take up a lot of room. If you're worried that you may need something heavy before you find the perfect souvenir shirt, pack an old sweatshirt or one you don't like. To save space on the way home, toss it in a donation bin on your way to the airport. 

Pack Comfortable Shoes

If you love the nightlife that many cruises offer, you may want to include some fancy shoes in your suitcase. However, many people that choose to cruise to Alaska are focused on sightseeing and outdoor activities. If this is you, forego the fancy kicks for some comfortable shoes. 

The type of footwear you'll need to pack will depend on the types of excursions you've bundled into your trip. If hiking is your thing, you'll want to be comfortable in your favorite hiking boots or shoes. Again, consider waterproof footwear or coating your footwear with a waterproof spray. Nothing ruins a day quicker than wet, cold feet.

In general, no matter which excursions you choose, you'll want to pack a pair of comfortable walking shoes. Even strolling along the deck of the ship is more enjoyable in footwear that fits well and isn't going to leave you with blisters. You'll be surprised at how many steps you'll accumulate simply walking to the dining room or finding the best place along the rail to watch a sunset.

Pack a Digital Camera

Now that you're properly attired for your vacation, you'll want to consider the best way to capture and store your memories from the trip. While most cell phones feature amazing cameras, consider packing a digital camera. Using a digital camera allows you to stow your phone away or even leave it, and all its potential distractions, in your cabin. If you really want to get away from it all but still capture memories to share, a camera independent of a communication device is the way to go.

Be prepared to take a lot of pictures. Pack extra batteries for your camera and plenty of memory cards. If you do plan to use your phone to take pictures, clear out your internal storage before you leave. No matter how you decided to capture the views, be prepared to capture and store a lot of them.

An Alaskan cruise offers a tremendous variety of sightseeing options, excursion choices, and potential weather interruptions. By packing layers that are comfortable and waterproof, you can enjoy your adventure regardless of whether the forecast is stormy or clear. And if you prepare ahead of time to capture and save a lot of photos, you'll be able to enjoy the memories of your trip for years to come.

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