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What to Pack for an Alaska Cruise – Plus Free Packing List!

Packing for an Alaska cruise is so different from packing for most other cruises, no matter which month you’ve chosen to cruise. Here’s what to pack for a cruise to Alaska any time of year

Alaska is one of my very favorite places to cruise. I know that packing for an Alaska cruise can present some challenges—especially if your cruise is very early or very late in the season.

Many people think that Alaska is always cold, but the temperature and weather in the state can really vary.

Whether you’re wondering what to pack for your cruise in Alaska at the beginning of the season in April, the height of summer, or at the tail end of the season in late September, here’s everything you’ll need to be comfortable and prepared for your Alaskan adventure.

As a bonus, at the end of this post I’ll give you a printable packing list for your Alaska cruise, absolutely free!

Things to think about before packing for your cruise to Alaska

When you’re going on an Alaska cruise, there are a few things you’ll need to think about before you start packing your bags.

1. What kind of cruise are you taking?

Most first-time Alaska cruisers choose a traditional cruise line, like Holland America or Princess, both of which are well-known for their Alaska cruises.

But adventure-seekers and people who’ve already done a traditional Alaska cruise often go back and try an expedition cruise to get closer to nature on their vacation.

Taking an expedition cruise in Alaska is very different than sailing on a mainstream or luxury cruise line. Most expedition cruise lines will send you a list of recommended items, so check your email for their specific recommendations.

Expedition cruisers will want to pack more performance or active clothing—you’ll have an outdoor adventure to experience each day. Traditional cruisers can pack more basic outfits, depending on the types of shore excursions you’re planning.

Continue reading Carrie Ann's Alaska Cruise packing suggestions here

LAST UPDATED

May 19, 2022

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Carrie Ann 'Should be Cruising'

Media Mentions from Carrie Ann 'Should be Cruising'

Carrie Ann shares cruise tips and things to do in port to help cruisers learn how to get the most out of a vacation. If you're planning your first cruise, you're in the right place!

MEDIA MENTIONS

While DEET products may be more familiar by name and their chemical smell, sprays with 20 percent picaridin, like Sawyer Products, offer comparable protection without the harsh odor and oily feeling on your skin.

Kevin Brouillard
Travel & Leisure

MEDIA MENTIONS

The Sawyer Squeeze was (by far) the most common Pacific Crest Trail water filter this year – for the fifth year in a row. It’s a $39, 3 oz / 85 g hollow fiber filter that rids your drinking water of protozoa and bacteria (and floaties). It can be used with Sawyer bags (included with the filter) or with compatible water bottles (Smartwater is the bottle of choice for many hikers).

Halfway Anywhere
Media Mentions from Halfway Anywhere

MEDIA MENTIONS

SAWYER MINI WATER FILTER, $22 This has been my water filter of choice for years now. The bags can be iffy — I have had a few break – so carry a couple. However, the filter itself is reliable, light and inexpensive. -Logan

Bikepacking Team