You’ve been on many cruises before and think you have mastered packing. So did I! But, deciding what to pack for an Alaskan cruise is altogether different than what you would typically pack for a Caribbean cruise.

For our September 2014 Celebrity Solstice cruise to Alaska, I didn’t know where to begin when it came to packing.

What to Pack for an Alaskan CruiseWhat to Pack for an Alaskan Cruise

Of course, I scoured the internet and message boards for advice, but a million different people give a million different opinions. So, I took all the advice into consideration and came up with my own complete guide: What to Pack for an Alaskan Cruise. Now, I do tend to be a bit of an over-packer, so I wanted to document my extensive packing list then report back to you which items were used and which ones came home untouched. Hopefully, this will help you condense your packing list and reduce extra luggage fees from your airline.

Keep in mind that the Alaskan cruise season runs from May to September with variations in temperature and precipitation. Our cruise, being in September, was the end of the travel season so may have been a bit cooler than if you traveled during the peak times of July and August, although we did have an unseasonably warm and dry week.

What to Pack for an Alaskan CruiseWhat to Pack for an Alaskan Cruise

The Complete Guide: What to Pack for an Alaskan Cruise

What to Pack for an Alaskan Cruise: The Basics

Starting in familiar territory, there are essential travel documents that you should always make sure to pack whether it is an Alaskan Cruise, Caribbean Cruise, or any travel abroad.

Travel Documents
·         Passports
·         Reservations/confirmations for all pre-bookings (e.g., hotel, tours, transportation)
·         Airplane boarding passes

Depending on your travel preferences, you may not wish to bring along as many toiletries as we do, so feel free to pick and choose from this list as desired. If you are okay with the provided soaps and shampoos onboard, then that can save you some space (and weight) in your luggage. Also, be sure to bring all medications, both over the counter and prescribed. Note: you will not need a hairdryer as one is provided in stateroom cabins.

·         Shampoo (his and hers)
·         Conditioner
·         Body wash (his and hers)
·         Bath sponge (his and hers)
·         Face wash
·         Razor (his and hers)
·         Q-tips
·         Body lotion
·         Face lotion w/ SPF
·         Deodorant (his and hers)
·         Makeup
·         Hair straightener (or curling iron)
·         Desktop mirror
·         hairspray/pomade/gel
·         Hair brushes/comb
·         Tylenol
·         Band-aids
·         Antacid
·         Shave gel
·         Toothpaste
·         Tooth brush (his and hers)
·         Floss
·         Mouth wash
·         Suntan lotion
·         Bug spray
·         Perfume/cologne
·         Body splash
·         Hand sanitizer

When deciding what to pack for an Alaskan cruise, you may not wish to pack as many electronics as we do, but this is our complete list to make sure we capture everything for our blog! I would say that digital cameras, binoculars, and associated charging equipment are essential. We also really like the Belkin power curve surge protector for extra outlet space, as outlets are limited on a cruise ship.

·         Camera and charger
·         Belkin power surge protector
·         Ipad and charger
·         Laptop and charger
·         Go pro and charger
·         Phone charger
·         Earbuds
·         Binoculars

Our travel accessories are pretty standard for any cruise vacation. Some of them are off our list of commonly over-looked household items that will come in handy on your next cruise. So, be sure to check that post out for our reasoning behind packing such items.

·         Travel luggage scale
·         Day pack
·         Highlighter
·         Ziploc bags
·         Lint brush
·         Gum
·         Vitamin C drops
·         Downy wrinkle release
·         Trash bags or laundry bag

Detailed below is a complete list of clothing packed for our Alaskan cruise. When we pack, we typically pick out outfits and place them into separate daytime or nighttime categories regardless of travel destination. Our footwear and outerwear lists were definitely more extensive when packing for an Alaskan cruise versus a Caribbean cruise. When it comes to footwear, I did wear the Ugg boots for our glacier excursion, but they were not necessary as the excursion company supplied glacier walking shoe covers. A waterproof pair of shoes and warm socks would have been more than acceptable. In terms of outerwear, the rain coat and 3-in-1 coat were essential. The gloves and earmuffs/hats were only used 1 morning during our cruise, but we would definitely recommend still packing a pair as the temperatures can fluctuate as much as 30 degrees (F) in a given day.

Below, I have outlined how many of each article I packed, and put how many of each item I did not end up using in parentheses. So, if you do the math, you can get a better sense of what is probably more realistic and save yourself some space (and weight) in your luggage.

Her Clothing:
·         2 jean capris (1 unused)
·         2 jeans
·         1 thermal shirt (1 unused)
·         4 casual ¾ sleeve shirts (2 unused)
·         3 casual shirts (1 unused)
·         2 t-shirts
·         2 light sweaters (1 unused)
·         1 heavy sweater
·         4 bras
·         16 pairs of underwear (4 unused)
·         6 pairs of socks (3 unused)
·         2 pairs of dress pants
·         6 dress tops (2 unused)
·         1 dressy pair of jeans
·         2 formal dresses
·         2 matching cardigans
·         Packable rain coat
·         2 pairs of gloves (1 unused)
·         2 scarves (2 unused)
·         2 hoodies
·         North Face medium thickness fleece (1 unused)
·         3-in-1 Columbia Jacket
·         1 pair of earmuffs
·         2 pairs of ballet flats
·         4 pairs of flip flops (2 unused)
·         1 pair of Sperry’s
·         1 pair of Ugg boots
·         1 pair of Hunter rain boots
·         2 pairs of heels
Other Accessories
·         1 bathing suit (1 unused)
·         1 cover up (1 unused)
·         3 pajama sets
·         1 beach tote
·         3 wristlets
·         1 shoulder bag
·         jewelry

DB used to complain about my over the top packing, but now he packs just as much, if not more, than me. For this cruise, he definitely came home with several unused articles of clothing. Depending on the weather during your cruise, it is good to have some extra layers, but with that being said, he STILL packed too much. When helping your hubby organize what to pack for an Alaskan Cruise, you might want to reference this list below. Again, we have listed all articles of clothing packed, and placed the unused items in parentheses. Just because we did not use our bathing suits, does not mean that you shouldn’t pack yours. There are hot tubs and indoor pools onboard of which you might want to make use.

His Clothing:
·         2 pairs of weatherproof trek pants ( 1 unused)
·         2 long sleeve rugby shirts ( 1 unused)
·         2 long sleeve button shirts
·         3 short sleeve button shirts (1 unused)
·         2 thermal shirts
·         1 pair of shorts
·         2 pairs of jeans
·         3 t-shirts (1 unused)
·         16 pairs of boxer shorts (4 unused)
·         16 under shirts (4 unused)
·         16 pairs of socks (6 unused)
·         1 pair of dress pants
·         2 pairs of khakis( 1 unused)
·         1 pair of dress jeans
·         6 button shirts (2 unused)
·         2 dress shirts
·         2 ties
·         1 suit
·         1 hoodie
·         1 packable rain coat
·         3-in-1 Columbia jacket
·         2 pairs of gloves (1 unused)
·         1 hat
·         1 earmuffs (1 unused)
·         1 Merrell waterproof hiking shoe
·         1 pair of waterproof sneakers
·         2 pairs of flip flops (1 unused)
·         2 dress shoes
Other Accessories
·         1 bathing suit (1 unused)
·         1 pair of pajamas
·         2 belts
·         Cuff links
·         2 work out outfits (1 unused)

Packing for a vacation shouldn’t be stressful. So, feel free to print up a copy and use this as a check list while packing for your Alaskan Cruise. Happy Travels, way up north to Alaska!


Have you traveled to Alaska? Are there any items on your packing list that we have forgotten? Let us know what items you think are essential to help fellow cruisers pack for their Alaskan Cruise.

What to Pack for an Alaskan Cruise



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About the Author

DB & The Princess

Welcome Aboard! We are Don and Heidi, the husband and wife travel team behind We took our first cruise vacation together 10 years ago and have been hooked ever since. Follow along as we share our travel tips, cruise reviews, information on ports of call, and the latest cruise news to help you plan the ultimate cruise vacation. Are you ready to embark on your journey to “sea the world, one port at a time”? Read More...

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