Packing for an Alaskan Cruise

Each summer Adam and I plan at least one epic trip. Last year, we went to St. Lucia, where we got married, and then took a cruise around the Mediterranean with Seabourn. Both trips were amazing and I can’t wait to head back to both destinations. However, this summer, Adam and I are going somewhere new – Alaska! Since I haven’t been to a cold destination before, I did quite a bit of research about what to pack. So, here are some things I learned about packing for an Alaskan cruise.


When conducting research, there was one, overwhelming theme: layers. Apparently, in Alaska the weather varies, starting off quote cold in the mornings and heating up in the afternoons. Of course, this also depends on whether it’s raining and where you are, but it’s always best to be prepared.

I’ve learned that I’ll be taking off and putting on clothes throughout the day. I did assume this would happen when Adam and I go out on our hiking excursions, but imagined it being cold every other time. Since we’re cruising, I learned that it’ll be super cold on the ship, in the breeze (which I also kind of assumed) but that the weather really isn’t what I thought it would be.

Adam agrees that layers are key and added that I needed to get a waterproof outer shell. To be honest, I’m not too excited about wearing all of this “hiking” gear, but it leads perfectly into my next point.

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According to all of the posts I’ve read, Alaska is either beautiful, sun-filled, and warm…or it’s cold and wet. When packing for an Alaskan cruise, be sure to include waterproof items.

I’m making sure to take a thin waterproof jacket – I chose this North Face one – and a pair of waterproof pants that can be carried in my backpack and pulled on if needed. I tried to pick out a petite pair but found that they were still too big – even in the waist. I’ll be testing out some children’s pants, I suppose.


Waterproof gear is important but so are things needed for adventuring. I’m making sure to bring athletic-wear, including leggings, workout pants, and these Aerie joggers (ps: these joggers are super soft and are on sale!).

Included in this so called adventure gear, are some “hiking” boots (I’m quite sure the Emu Australia boots I chose aren’t actual hiking boots – in fact, the description states that the boots are hiking inspired!) and other comfortable shoes, including sneakers and these Sperry Duck Boots (but in navy and grey). Oh, and I also picked up the Fjallraven Kanken backpack.

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I’ve heard that the mosquitos are nuts in Alaska. I’m actually a bit worried, because mosquitos love me – and I seriously mean love me. They love me so much that my mom jokes about wanting to stand next to me when we’re outside…because, if she does, the mosquitos ignore her. I guess I’m just too sweet. Haha!


Adam has already warned me about needing to carry around and pack tons of sunscreen. I’m not hesitating either, because the one time I got a sunburn that peeled, I was in Wisconsin, on a boat in the middle of a lake on a cloudy, cool day.

Believe me, sunscreen is going to be my best friend, especially since I probably won’t be wearing a lot of makeup during the day. I plan on packing my NARS tinted moisturizer. It’s SPF 30 too, so I’ll probably put it on top of that initial SPF 1000000 base layer.

And, last but not least, don’t you dare forget the most important thing of all.

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Alaska is beautiful. You’ll want to capture amazing shots of the glaciers and wildlife. If you adventure into an ice cave, you’ll want the snaps to prove it (and remember it too, right?!).

I know Adam and I will be bringing our Canon 80D and Sigma lenses. He also has a Go Pro that I’m sure will make an appearance. The one thing I wish we could bring but can’t? Our drone. Our cruise won’t allow it.

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