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Congratulations on selecting my favorite cruise – Alaska. Now that you are getting ready to pack for your adventure, you are probably looking for a little advice on what to bring.

First, every day has a casual dress code so no need for anything fancy – no suits for men, no cocktail dresses for the ladies are needed. If you do feel like dressing up, just bring a nicer shirt or blouse. Second, you can experience four seasons in a day, so layers are essential.

On your cruise, you will want to spend a lot of time outside – on deck and during shore excursions. One of my essential items is a hat. For clothing, layers are best. Start with a thin layer of a t-shirt, and pack both long sleeved and short sleeved. Natural fibers will wick moisture away from your body. Next, pack a fleece jacket to provide a layer of insulation. Last, bring a lightweight waterproof/windproof jacket to keep heat in and rain out. The ship has a good supply of umbrellas so there is no need to bring your own.

For pants, either jeans or casual slacks are all you need. It rarely gets extremely cold during the months we are in Alaska. If you are planning to raft or kayak, you might want to bring a lightweight pair of waterproof pants in case it rains while out on the water.

Shoes with good traction are recommended. Many of our shore excursions are on boardwalks, gravel, or uneven paths. I bring a lightweight low-top pair of hiking shoes for shore trips and tennis shoes/casual shoes for on board. If you plan to do any hiking, I recommend bringing hiking poles. They improve your balance and add energy to your pace.

A neck scarf is nice to have and either gloves or mittens are important to have. I am a photographer so one of my pairs of mittens has no fingertips so I can keep my hands warm but have my fingers free to control my camera.

On board our ship, we have a complimentary laundry room with washers, dryers, and all the supplies you need. This will allow you to reduce the amount of clothing you will need to bring.

Alaska provides an incredible opportunity to capture your memories. Cell phones are great for recording the beautiful scenery and sharing on Facebook. As a professional photographer, I bring lenses with a reach of 500-600mm reach, mainly because I love photographing birds.

For searching for wildlife, you will find a good pair of binoculars is essential.

For personal items: The ship provides a hair dryer, shampoo, conditioner, and lotion. So, unless you prefer your own brands, there is no need to bring them. You will have some nice, sunny days and there is the potential to get sunburned. You can also encounter biting insects. So, sunscreen and insect repellent should be on your packing list. A refillable water bottle will help cut down waste.

The ship has a small library of books, games, and puzzles, but you may want to download a book or two to your tablet for reading while we sail between ports. Don’t forget the chargers/batteries that are necessary for all your electronics/phones/cameras.

On the ship you will find snacks, coffee, and sodas available 24/7. Add the fresh, warm cookies twice and day and hors d’oeuvres before dinner … you do not need to bring any extra food.

So, in conclusion, pack for layering as you can encounter a variety of temperature changes and weather conditions. Keep your personal comfort in mind especially in the choice of shoes you pack. Lastly, if you have them, bring those binoculars so you can enjoy everything we see along the way. 

Discover Alaska on one of our five different itineraries