Complete Alaska Cruise Packing List (2024)

From toiletries, to outfits, and everything in between, we detail our Complete Alaska Cruise Packing List to help eliminate your stress.

Whether you’ve cruised before or your upcoming cruise to Alaska is your first cruise, packing for an Alaska cruise is altogether different than cruises in other regions like the Caribbean or Mediterranean. So, to help relieve some of your pre-cruise stress, we detail what you need to pack for your Alaska cruise and what you can leave at home in our Complete Alaska Cruise Packing List updated for 2024. Even if you are a veteran cruiser, you might find a few additional items that will be helpful for your cruise to the Last Frontier.

Admittedly, we do tend to be over-packers. But, having cruised to Alaska six times over the past ten years, we’ve learned a thing or two. We’ve refined our Alaska cruise packing list to include the essential toiletries, outfits, and everything in between. Hopefully, our list will help you figure out which items are essential for you that way you can avoid any extra luggage fees from your airline.

Alaska Cruise Packing Guide

Our Complete Alaska Cruise Packing List (2024)

Alaska Cruise Basics

Alaska is one of the top cruise destinations with more and more ships sailing the region every year on a variety of itineraries. You will find Alaska cruises sailing roundtrip routes form Seattle and Vancouver, along with one-way routes that venture further north to Seward or Whittier, Alaska.

However, Alaska is a seasonal cruise region. This means that you will only be able to cruise to Alaska during select months of the year. The Alaskan cruise season generally runs from late April/early May to Septembe/early October. During this timeframe, there will be variations in temperature, precipitation, abundance of wildlife, and crowds. Prices will also fluctuate.

You should consider what factors are the most important to you when determining the best time of year for your Alaskan cruise. Based on the average temperatures, rainfall amounts, hours of daylight, and wildlife sightings, the “best” time of year to go on an Alaskan Cruise is the month of July. However, with this optimal weather comes increased crowds and increased price. 

So, one of our expert Alaska cruise tips is to sail during shoulder season.

Best Alaska Cruises 2024

While the time of year you choose to cruise to Alaska will dictate to some degree what items you will need to include on your Alaska cruise packing list, many of the items remain the same.

The type of excursions you book should also factor into what you pack. If you are planning hikes, kayak adventures, or other more rugged activities, you’ll need to make sure you have the right gear.

In general though, layers and rain gear are the MOST essential things to pack for your Alaska cruise.

Scroll Down to Get Our Downloadable Alaska Cruise Packing List


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 our Alaska cruise packing list as desired. Many cruise lines do provide soaps and shampoos that can save you some space (and weight) in your luggage. However, we still choose to bring our own.

Do be sure to bring all medications, both over the counter and prescribed. If you are prone to seasickness, you’ll want to pack some motion sickness aids just in case.

Even though you are visiting Alaska, you will still want to pack sunscreen and sunglasses. The sun reflecting off the snow and ice can be quite strong. Bug spray is a good idea too as mosquitoes can be quite prevalent.

We also recommend Downy wrinkle release to help keep your clothes, especially evening attire, as wrinkle-free as possible. In case you are unaware, irons and steamers are NOT allowed on cruise ships.

  • Medications
  • Glasses/Contacts
  • Vitamins
  • Cold/Sinus Medicine
  • Shampoo/Conditioner
  • Body Wash/Soap
  • Bath Sponges
  • Face Wash
  • Razor/Shave Gel
  • Lotion
  • Deodorant
  • Hair Straigthener (or Curling Iron)
  • Hairspray/Pomade
  • Hairbrushes
  • Makeup
  • Tylenol
  • Band-aids
  • Antacids
  • Downy Wrinkle Release
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrushes
  • Floss
  • Mouthwash
  • Perfume/Cologne
  • Suntan Lotion
  • Bug Spray
  • Air Freshener
  • Hand Sanitizer/Wipes
  • Sanitary Products


Our Alaska cruise packing list outlines all the potential clothing items you will want to pack for your Alaska cruise vacation. Regardless of travel destination, we usually group outfits into daytime use and nighttime use. For a typical 7-day cruise with a pre-cruise hotel stay, we usually plan eight daytime and eight nighttime outfits, choosing items that can be re-purposed for a couple uses.

Alaska Cruise Packing Guide

When packing for Alaska, you want to remember LAYERS! These should be of varying thicknesses and easily packable in a day bag. Temperatures can fluctuate sometimes 30-40 degrees in a given day, so you’ll need to be prepared to put on/remove layers throughout the day.

However, you can probably leave your heavy sweaters and parka-type coats at home. Of course, you know your own temperature regulation best, but for most people they won’t be necessary.

Additionally, you will want to be prepared for rain. While we’ve gotten very lucky with weather during our trips to the region, it’s likely that fog and rain will roll in for at least part of the day during several days of your voyage.

When packing everything into your suitcases, we love packing cubes. They will help to keep your items organized, condensed, and make unpacking once on the cruise ship a breeze.

Daytime Outfits

For daytime outfits, you will want a combination of short sleeved and long sleeved shirts, perhaps a thermal base layer and preferably some moisture-wicking/weather proof materials. You will also want some combination of lightweight to medium weight sweaters, sweatshirts or fleece zip-ups, along with an outer layer vest and/or packable puffer jacket.

For pants, similar rules apply. Moisture-wicking or rain resistant style pants are best, along with a thermal base layer if you tend to get cold easily. Heavy ski pants are not necessary. If you are doing a water-based excursion, check with your tour provider before you overpack as waterproof gear is usually provided. Remember that the temperature inside the ship is controlled and you could even get an unseasonably warm 70’F day, so it wouldn’t hurt to pack a pair of capris or shorts either.

In terms of outerwear, a packable raincoat to layer over the above mentioned items or a 3-in-1 style coat are essential. While we generally don’t use our gloves and earmuffs/hats very often, we would recommend packing a pair just in case. You might need them for early morning glacier viewing.

Also, don’t forget to pack a bathing suit for your Alaska cruise. There are hot tubs and indoor pools onboard the ship, as well as the spa and thermal suites on many cruise lines. You might even get lucky enough with the weather to enjoy the outdoor pools!

Nighttime Outfits

For nighttime outfits, you will want to pack business casual type outfits. Think khakis and collared shirts for men and dress pants, dressy jeans, or casual dresses for woman. Alaskan cruises are more casual overall.

However, many cruise lines do still have “formal” or “evening chic” nights where you can feel fancy if you choose. We like to participate, so we always pack a dress with heels and a suit (or sports coat) with a shirt and tie.

Women should also pack a cardigan or pashmina as you may get a bit cool at night on the ship.

Now, given that you will only wear these outfits for a fraction of the day, it helps to pack versatile items. This way you can mix and match for a couple different outfits during the course of the week.

Of course, these are the items that we usually pack, but if you plan to eat at the buffet most nights then you can certainly get away with more casual attire.


For our first few Alaska cruises, our footwear collection was way more extensive than we needed. You won’t need big, heavy winter boots; instead, go with a few pairs of thick wool socks. Further, if you are planning an excursion like a glacier walk, the tour company will provide “boots” that go over your shoes.

Generally speaking, you will want casual shoes for daytime use that are comfortable and preferably waterproof. A pair of sneakers is essential for the nicer days and more casual excursions, while you’ll want something along the lines of Sperry duck boots or Merrell hiking shoes for rainy days and more active adventures. You might also want a pair of flip flops or slippers to wear around your cabin and the ship.

For nighttime use, plan on a dressier pair of sandals, flats, heels or whatever you are comfortable walking in around the ship for dinner and evening entertainment. Men will want to pack at least one pair of shoes for the evening as well.

  • Her Packing List:
  • Daytime Outfits
  • Bathing Suit/Cover Up
  • Nighttime Outfits
  • “Formal Night” Outfit
  • Pajamas
  • Cardigan
  • Bras
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • Gym Outfit
  • Sneakers
  • Waterproof Boots/Shoes
  • Additional Casual Shoes
  • Evening Shoes
  • Rain Coat
  • Outwear
  • Gloves, Hat, Scarf
  • His Packing List:
  • Daytime Outfits
  • Bathing Suit
  • Nighttime Outfits
  • “Formal Night” Outfit
  • Pajamas
  • Belt
  • T-Shirts
  • Under Shorts
  • Socks
  • Gym Outfit
  • Sneakers
  • Waterproof Boots/Shoes
  • Evening Shoes
  • Rain Coat
  • Outwear
  • Gloves, Hat, Scarf

Other Useful Items

While you may have read that Alaska is one of the places you can cruise without a passport, we always recommend you travel with one. So, besides the necessary travel documents, we have accumulated a list over the years of “other” items that we find essential for a cruise to any destination. Many of these products can be purchased fairly inexpensively on Amazon or at your local Target or Walmart.

Given that cruise ship cabins are small, you will want to maximize the space. Magnets come in handy for hanging hats, day bags, wet jackets, and other items in your cruise cabin. Additionally, we use an over the door shoe organizer, not for shoes, but rather to store toiletries and other small items to free up counter space.

Norwegian Encore Cruise Review

A luggage scale will help ensure you are not over your airline’s weight limit on the return trip home. And a packable duffle bag might be a good idea too if you plan to purchase a lot of souvenirs.

Further, a Yeti water bottle will help to keep a cold drink cold or a hot drink hot for hours. This will definitely be useful to keep your coffee or hot chocolate warm on those early Alaskan mornings. And don’t forget some binoculars for scouting wildlife.

Cruise luggage tags are great items to protect those paper cruise tags on your suitcases, as lanyards or a cell phone pocket are equally as important to store and carry your room key card. Likewise, ziploc bags are great for spill-proofing or water protection, while a laundry bag (or trash bag) is handy to store dirty laundry over the course of the week.

  • Travel Documents
  • Passports
  • Small Bills for Tipping
  • Binoculars
  • Magnets
  • Over-the-Door Organizer
  • Luggage Tag Holders
  • Ziploc Bags
  • Laundry Bag
  • Day Bags
  • Sunglasses
  • Jewelry
  • Luggage Scale
  • Lanyard or Phone Pocket
  • Night Light
  • Yeti Water Bottle
  • Gum
  • Travel Game/Cards
  • Packable duffle bag for souvenirs
  • Umbrella


Admittedly, we pack much more in this category than most cruisers. So, our suggestion is to pick and choose your essential devices whether they are cellphones, laptops, tablets, or cameras. Once you decide which gadgets you plan to take, you will find one of these cord organizers very helpful to keep all the chargers in one convenient location.

Speaking of all these electronics, a mobile power strip is essential as outlets are limited in most cruise cabins. You might also want to consider a portable power bank to keep your devices charged when going ashore.

Bear viewing in Ketchikan, Alaska on a Cruise

Finally, we suggest considering more than just your smartphone for photos and videos of the trip. While the technology has come a long way in recent years, it won’t do the scenery and wildlife justice.

Even if you don’t own a camera or fancy zoom lenses, there are websites where you can rent this equipment relatively inexpensively. You should also consider an action camera that is waterproof for excursions, like a GoPro or 360 camera. After all, you want to capture memories that will last a lifetime.

  • Phones and Chargers
  • Cameras and Chargers
  • Laptop/Tablets and Chargers
  • Mobile Power Strip
  • Portable Power Banks
  • Cord Organizer
  • Headphones/AirPods
  • Smart Watch Chargers

Packing for a vacation shouldn’t be stressful. So, feel free to download a copy of our complete Alaska cruise packing list to use as your check list while packing for your Alaska Cruise.


Have you traveled to Alaska? Are there any items on your packing list that we have forgotten? Let us know what items are on the top of your Alaska Cruise Packing List.

Heidi is a physical therapist by profession, cruise enthusiast at heart, and Princess all the time! She is a self-confessed thrill seeker, obsessive planner, and over-packer. She is always looking for the latest and greatest adventures onboard and ashore, enjoys researching top things to do in ports of call, and loves dressing up for formal nights.
Heidi Bucolo
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  1. Great packing suggestions! Hopefully someday we can take an Alaskan cruise and will keep this packing list handy!

      It’s a ridiculous packing list. You can easily take one third of what is listed and be perfectly acceptable. Who the hey packs 16 pairs of underwear? Trust me, not even astronauts going to Space Station. Pack no more than 4 and wash them with regular soap every day when you shower – dry them in the closet on a hanger if you are shy about leaving them in the bathroom to dry. Who packs 2 pairs of gloves for each person??? CRAZY. If you live in cold weather, you’d know only one pair is perfectly fine. 3 pajamas? WHY? 11 pairs of shoes? DUMB. Rick Steves would kick her out of his tour group. Seriously, don’t follow this list. It’s ridiculous.

        I was tempted to disagree with you Mayra until I read that they packed 4 suitcases with 170 lbs of luggage. That seems a little excessive for a party of two. We will be sailing to Alaska in a week and plan on taking one larger suitcase for our two children and two carry ons for me and DH. Three suitcases total. Doesn’t leave a lot of room for all those shows that’s for sure!

          Depending on the age and size of your children they may fit better in two suitcases. When we put our kids in one suitcase to transport them easier they complained too loudly at luggage checkin.


          By you saying, “no need to set the angry tone”, you do realize that by posting in all caps is pretty angry and aggressive. Oh, and chill with the caps lock sis.

        I take 15 pair of underwear for 1 week trip. They don’t take that much room. A pair of pajamas for every 3 or 4 nights. Clean socks and shirt every day. Who wants to hand wash clothes and wear stiff clothes. I would rather take am extra suitcase and have plenty of clean clothes and not scrimp. As a single person on a cruise I take 2 check in bags a carry on and a personal item unless I am flying overseas with higher lbaggage fees

    I have never been on a cruise much less one to Alaska! Those are good recommendations to take and what you will not need. Might as well save some of that overweight luggage fee to spend on stiff to bring home as gifts or mementos.

      We are going to on our Alaska cruise in 3 days, can’t wait. I’ve packed close to your list. We’ll see how it goes!!!

    I would love to go on an Alaskan cruise, I bet it would be so beautiful to see the landscapes of Alaska from both ship and land. Thank you for the packing suggestions.

    This is a great post. I went on an Alaskan cruise last year, and it was great. You really do need to pack accordingly when you head to a place like Alaska.

    I’d love to do one of these some day. I’ll have to take your advice when it comes to packing because I’ve never gone on a cruise like that!

    Thanks for this detailed list! I’m not sure I ever want to go on a cruise though I would love to go on a European river cruise.

    Wow! This is an amazing packing list! Thank you very much for the tips! Our family will definitely try to do an Alaskan cruise and your lists will come in handy! 🙂

    Alaska is one of my favorite places to cruise to! This is very similar to our list when we cruise to Alaska.

    Alaska is on my list of places to see. Thank you for this awesome and detailed packing list!

    Great list! I have been wanting to go to Alaska, maybe on a cruise. Thanks for the guide!

    This list will be so handy for many! Planning on going on a cruise, will definitely use this. Thanks for a great post.

    Now this is definitely some awesome advice for a cruise – will make use of it once we do have one.

    I have never been on a cruise of any sort but I absolutely love your list of what to pack on the cruise

    I have never been on a cruise but I have always wanted to go so badly. An Alaskan cruise sounds like so much fun and you sound like you have everything set for your trip!

    Such a great packing list! I don’t know that I’ll be taking a cruise to Alaska anytime soon, but I really love these suggestions as a reference!

    What a nice idea to write out your packing list. I’m so bad at over packing. Maybe if I made a list like this and noted what I didn’t use I would stop taking too much stuff on my trips.

    Alaska, how cool to travel there! I’ve never been, but thanks for the tips! In case I do go, I’d be very well prepared.

      GLad you found the post useful Pickett Family. Definitely get out there and explore Alaska. It is a great family vacation, especially when you travel by cruise ship. Appreciate the comment. Thanks for reading.

    All I can tell you for an Alaskan trip is have a great time. I’m staying here where its warmer. Much warmer! I’m definitely not a person for cold temperatures. brrrrrrrrrrrrr just thinking about it makes me shiver!

      LOL Dolly. Alaska is certainly a beautiful place to visit, but honestly it is not too cold when you travel in the summer. We got lucky with some great weather, so it was unseasonable warm. Thanks for the comment!

    which did you wear more your uggs or your hunter boots? I am going on this cruise in august. I excited and want to start shopping around for what i need!

      Thanks Claire for the comment. The wife only wore the uggs one day, during our glacier excursion, and those were not necessary as the tour company provide adequate footwear. Pack the hunter boots! Those were essential given the rainy weather. You can always pack some sock liners in case it is cold. Have a great cruise!

        Thank you for answering that! We are heading to Alaska (cruise & land) in August and I wasn’t sure about the Hunter boots (in replacement of or in addition to the Uggs) because they are so bulky to pack! Glad to hear that it’s worth it to take them ………

        regarding pants – would running pants/leggings (nylon/polyester) be better than jeans? Concerned about jeans taking so long to dry & I was afraid I couldn’t get as many wears out of them.

        thank you for putting together such a helpful list!

          HI Cindy. Sorry for missing this message. We packed Jeans as well as some hiking pants which came in handy. These were lightweight, nylon material that are “weather proof”. You can get them at LL Bean or other outdoors stores. Those really came in handy. My husband also wore some more traditional snow pants for the glacier tour, but it really wasn’t necessary. We suggest both a pair of jeans and a pair of versatile all weather pants. Thanks for reading and appreciate the kind words about the list. We can’t wait to get back to Alaska!

    Soooo glad I found this post. I can’t wait for my trip to Alaska!

      Thanks Carol for the comment. We are glad you found the list too! When do you sail to Alaska? If you have any questions, just let us know. Have a great trip!

      Thanks Carol for the comment. We are glad you found the list too! When do you sail to Alaska? We can’t wait to get back there as it is an amazing place to visit. Happy Cruising.

    My 12 year old son and I are going on our very first Alaskan cruise in 4 weeks!! So glad I found this list…

    Awesome list! We are headed to Alaska in 3 1/2 weeks for the first time ever! So excited! I’ve copied this list to help with our packing! Thanks for all the details!

      Hi Tricia, thanks for the comment. Glad you found the list useful. We are all about the details! We are a bit crazy. Would love to hear about your cruise. Which ship are you sailing on?

    We are going on an Alaska cruise next week, so this list is very welcome. I’ve been on Caribbean cruises, so packing for Alaska will be different in terms of clothing but the cruise “essentials” are about the same.

    This is great! My husband and I are going on our Honeymoon trip to Alaska in a couple weeks and couldn’t be more excited. I’m happy to have a packing list to compare mine too 🙂

      HI Amanda. Congrats to you and your husband. An Alaskan cruise is a great honeymoon. We would love to hear how your list compares to ours. Appreciate you reading the post and leaving a comment. Have a great cruise!

    Nice list! Would be helpful to know how long your cruise was – or did I miss that?

      Hi LJ, thanks for the comment. Glad you found the list useful. We did a seven night Alaskan cruise, departing from Seattle. We did a pre-cruise stay the night before, so a total of 8 nights. When is your Alaskan cruise. Appreciate you reading the post.

    This was most helpful. Some sites list the basics but not the quantities. I especially like the recommendation for the Belkin outlet…great find. We go in september and we tend to pack a lot. I’d rather not have to do laundry during our cruise. Also we will be going on to Vancouver and Victoria afterwards so will need clothes for that too.

    One question…did you find the ship chilly like in the dining room, performances, etc? Or will a 3/4 sleeve Tee be enough onboard? We also always take a flash light, nite light,

      Hi Gina, Thanks for reading and the comment. We go a bit overboard when it comes to packing for our cruise. Good idea about adding a flash light-we actually just started bring a batter operated nightlite and a compact room freshener. We did not find the ship to be cold. We packed night time clothes we normally wear on a Caribbean cruise and found the temperature onboard to be just right. The wife did bring two light cardigans to wear in case she needed them, but she never broke them out. Happy cruising.

    We are heading to Alaska on the Solstice this Friday and am using your list. I always overpack so its great to have a guide. I also sent it to my son who is meeting us in Seattle and he tends to do everything last minute so I hope it helps him to remember things without his mom harassing him. Did you wear your 3 in 1 coat on the ship or was it mainly for the excursions? Thanks!


    Thank you for posting your list as a guideline. We are gong to Alaska next May on the Solstice. We are going on the 9-day with a 3-day stay afterward in Seattle. I have read to pack and dress in layers, so I am working on my list already. How dress were the formal nights? What did you like best about the Solstice? I have never been on a cruise before, nor been to Alaska. Also, did you do some of the excursions? I’m not really into “touristy” things so much, but do want to go whale watching.

    Thank you,

    Thanks so much for your list. Do you consider formal for women a long dress or cocktail dress? and did you find heels a pain with all the walking on the ship? Do you have temperature control in your room? I did not see robes listed. Do you need layers while on the ship or just excursions? I like a nice sweater or shrug with a cocktail dress but I don’t want to be sweltering at the dinner table or at a show! I am a notorious overpacker. and can’t wait til our cruise in September!

      I’m concerned about temperature control especially in my room as I like it cold.

    It’s extremely convenient and I’m not going until next September of 2017. In the meantime, I am reading everything I get my hands on! Thank you so much.

    You were rude in your comments. Typing in all capital letters is equivalent to screaming.

    We pack for one week (going for 3 weeks) and laundry is $7 per day…so we send it out and it comes back ready to wear. We will ea bring one medium suitcase (2 of us) and a third med suitcase for cold/rainy gear (jackets, hoodies, gaiters, gloves, beanies, vests (must bring a vest!) workout clothes, water bottles, hiking and riding clothes, etc…bug spray and sunscreen go here. We both carry our backpacks and small carry on with thing you can’t check. And we also each carry a bottle of wine (preferably bubbles) on board for disembark and gala nights. It helps we come from CO, so know about layering and waterproof stuff.

    Thank you for the great and detailed packing list! My family of 4 is heading to Alaska on Thursday! I will be adding and deleting to my suitcase in the morning! Thanks again for the tips!

    An impressive share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a coworker who was conducting
    a little research on this. And he actually bought me dinner simply because I stumbled upon it
    for him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thanks for the meal!!
    But yeah, thanx for spending the time to discuss this topic here on your internet site.

    Thanks for your list! We will be going on a 14 day cruise from June 21, til July 5th, 2020, land and train trip from Vancouver, BC to Fairbanks. So it looks like we will have to pack for all kinds of weather.

      We are looking forward our Alaskan cruise in September. My first trip to Alaska. Suggest using a vacuum bag to pack your clothes in to help with space and with bulky clothing. Puff jackets take up a lot of space but using the vacuum bags will allow you to pack additional clothing if needed. I bought the bags on Amazon, comes with a hand pump and easy to seal and pack. It also keeps your clothes organized day time, night time bags. You can also use them organize your toiletries, make-up, accessories so they won’t be “floating” around your luggage. And if you bring any liquids, meds, etc, you can put them in the bags, vacuum them and they are all there air-tight and spill proof. Hope this suggestion helps and have a wonderful cruise be safe and healthy!

    I was so happy to read about suggested items to pack for our Alaska cruise. But you recommended a battery pack that I ordered….and it cannot be taken on a plane. You should be clear when making this suggestion.

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