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15 Items That Should Be on Your Alaska Cruise Packing List, According to an Expert

Repeat after me: waterproof layers.

Over the last decade of my career as a cruise journalist, I’ve set sail on more than 50 cruises — so you could say I know how to pack a suitcase for any voyage. But of all those sailings, one destination stands out among the rest: Alaska.

I’ve cruised to the Last Frontier multiple times, including on big ships like Norwegian Encore. It’s one of my favorite destinations in the world and one of the top cruise itinerary recommendations I make when people ask me where to sail. There’s a freshness in the air, a staggering amount of wildlife to watch, and as for the beer and seafood... let’s just say it’s worth making the journey. But with an Alaska cruise comes unique packing challenges. While Alaska cruise season is primarily during the summer months (from late May through early September), visions of glaciers and icebergs might have you wondering how to make sense of the weather — which can range from an average of 55 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit in summer, with temps dipping into the 40s at night.

Wondering what on Earth to pack? There are just two things you must keep in mind to succeed: Waterproof. Layers. Repeat after me. The common thread in this packing list is staying dry no matter the forecast, and layering up or down depending on how many seasons the 49th State will try to squeeze into a single day. Of course, you might want to toss in a few nicer things for dinner onboard, but casual cruisers will luxuriate in the laidback atmosphere of an Alaska voyage, where it’s not unusual to wear casual pants, your Merrell hiking boots, and a fleece to the dining room.

I’m positive that the majestic, untamed beauty of Alaska will fill you with wonder and awe quite unlike any place you’ve been before. Here is a list of how to fill your suitcase so you can spend every last moment soaking up the memories — and not the weather — of your Alaska cruise.

Finish reading the full article here.

LAST UPDATED

October 20, 2023

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Lauren Breedlove

Lauren Breedlove is a New York-based travel writer, photographer, and content creator who focuses on off-the-beaten-path outdoor adventures. Her work has been featured in Afar, Time magazine, TravelPulse, Popsugar, Travel + Leisure, Elite Daily, and Thrillist.

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