Alaska Cruise Packing List With A PDF Printable

My Alaskan Cruise was one of the most difficult trips in terms of figuring out what to pack. If you learn anything from this post, it is that the weather in Alaska is ever-changing. Since I like to travel with only a carry-on suitcase, I have to be strategic in what I pack. After my research and personal experience, below are all the items I recommend for your Alaska Cruise Packing list! Get my Free packing list printable PDF at the end!

Alaska Cruise packing list

I want to start out by saying that having layers in Alaska is very important. It can be sunny and hot one moment and feel like winter the next. I have also traveled to the Arctic, so I am well-versed in layering.

We went to Alaska at the beginning of June (the first week), so if you are heading in July or August, you can expect it to be a little warmer than when I went. September may be similar to June weather, and May and October will be a little colder (could possibly snow). With layers, this list will have you covered for the Alaska cruising season.

P.S. I was able to pack everything I needed for this seven-day cruise in my carry-on and backpack.

Skagway on the ship with Samantha wearing black shirt and jeans.

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Rain Jacket or Poncho

You would be extremely lucky to experience zero rain on your cruise to Alaska. In fact, Ketchikan is one of the rainiest cities in the USA, averaging 13 feet of rain. I used my Columbia lightweight winter parka, which is water-resistant. Unfortunately, they don’t make this style anymore, but they have something similar here.

Samantha and mom standing under Ketchikan Sign in light rain.

You will want to make sure you have room to layer in your jacket. I also suggest a poncho or small travel umbrella if you know you will be walking around with a bag or camera. This will help keep the rest of your stuff dry.

My mom opted to bring her heated winter jacket. She didn’t need to use the heated element at any point of our trip, and it is also water-resistant.

Rain poncho in rainforest Alaska Ketchican

Light Nano Puffer

Any time I am traveling somewhere that requires layering, I always bring my Patagonia Nano Puffer, and it worked great for this trip. They are small, insulating, and lightweight, making them easy to pack. It actually folds into itself. I opt for the one without the hood, making it easier to layer.

TRAVEL TIP: Also, make sure to check out all my travel tips to know for visiting Alaska!

Samantha on the cruise ship for Alaska wearing an orange nano puffer

Fleece Jacket

On days that were not as cold or just walking around the boat, I wore my Columbia hooded fleece. In all honesty, I love fleeces, and I almost always take one unless I am going to a very tropical destination. If I wear this with the nano puff, it goes over it.

Samantha wearing a green fleece and light blue jeans looking off the edge of the ship to the Alaska inside passage.

Sweaters and Long Sleeve Shirts

No matter what time you’re visiting Alaska, you will want some sweaters and long-sleeved shirts for early mornings and evenings. You likely have something in your closet that will have you covered. If not, I found some nice basic tops from Old Navy.

The flannel is from Patagonia, which I got from REI.

Samantha wearing a orange flannel shirt and jeans standing by the edge of the cruise ship looking at the water and mountains in Skagway, Alaska.


July and August are known for mosquitos and June can still be cold, so I was happy I packed two pairs of jeans. I packed one dark and one light. I even wore them for the “dressier night” on the ship. More on that later.

Water taxi in Victoria Canada with Samantha and her mom taking a selfie.


Obviously more geared towards the ladies, but a pair or two of leggings for around the ship and even as a base layer are a great addition.

I actually brought one pair of long johns as well and wore them once. This was when we visited the glacier up close. I probably would have been fine without them, but since I spent most of my time outside, I was happy I wore them.

My favorite Leggings are Prana, and my long Johns are REI’s brand.

FYI- If you’re an REI member, you have free shipping and returns for up to one year. Becoming a member is around $30 and you’re a member for life. I love shopping with them, personally.


If you are heading to Alaska in July or August, I would definitely pack a couple of t-shirts. I only wore 1 T-shirt, and it didn’t last too long, as the weather changed. I found some nice basic tees from Old Navy if you’re in the market for new ones. The little crop tops are from Shein.

Celebrity Edge Oceanview Room with Samantha in the window.

Waterproof Boots or Shoes

This goes back to the probable chance it will rain a little on your cruise – which, by the way, will not ruin the experience at all. It was raining our entire time in Ketchikan, and it didn’t hinder our experience.

My go-to is my Blundstone Boots. I basically wear these boots everywhere because they are weather-resistant, making them the perfect travel shoe for me. I haven’t tried the Vessi sneaker yet, but I’ve heard good things about it if you don’t want to do a Chelsea boot.

I also brought my Converse sneakers (cushioned) for around the boat and a pair of Old Navy rubber flip-flops to have for the pool area on the ship.

Samantha leaning off the edge of a boat looking at ice burgs in Endicott Arm.
Dawes Glacier tour.

Bathing Suit

Depending on your ship, it is definitely worth packing a bathing suit on your Alaskan cruise. Our ship, the Celebrity Edge, had a heated outdoor pool, a heated indoor pool, and several jacuzzis. My mom forgot her swimwear, and she couldn’t find one to buy in any of the ports.

Pool on Celebrity Cruise to Alaska.

Warm Socks

I basically live in Darn Tough Merino socks, and they work perfectly for this trip. They are sweat-wicking and work well if your feet get wet. For hotter days, I wear the shorter no-show pair. I brought both a longer pair for cooler days and short for walking around the boat and warmer days.

Samantha wearing a brown parka, black shirt and jeans in Skagway with mountains in the background.
Skagway Klondike Passage.

Formal Wear

This was one of my biggest questions when packing for this cruise. I wasn’t sure if we really needed to get dressed up or not. It turns out that jeans and a nice sweater are just fine. It is way more laid back on the Alaskan cruises. Some people were dressed up, but most people were wearing more casual wear (jeans and a nice shirt).

Beanie or Winter Hat

Any time we were outside on the boat or on a boat tour, my beanie came in handy. For one, it helped keep my hair from blowing all around. It also kept my head warm. With cool air and the boat moving, it can be a little chilly no matter the month you go. Plus, these are small and easy to pack.

Samantha looking at glacier wearing beanie and winter parka

Light Gloves

You may be able to forgo the gloves, but for me, they came in handy. During our whale-watching tours, my hands were getting pretty cold, but I wanted to take photos. So, I was glad to have the gloves with me.

You could opt for the hand warmers. I packed several of these with me, but in all honesty, we used them twice. You are probably less likely to need them in July and August unless you are doing glacier tours or higher altitude tours.

Samantha leaning off the train in Skagway wearing camel parka and black gloves.

Small Bag

I would recommend bringing a small backpack to hold your things when leaving port. I brought this bag, which worked great. It has two bottle holders, so I was able to bring both mine and my mom’s bottle. Speaking of bottles, I recommend bringing a reusable water bottle that you can keep refilling on the ship.

Camera Gear

Alaska is known for its incredible landscapes and wildlife, so this is not the trip to leave the photo stuff at home. Technically, a cellphone can do a decent job, but if you’re not a photographer, I would at least consider getting a point-and-shoot. These create beautiful, crisp photos. You will want one that has the ability to zoom!

Orca Whales popping out of the water.

Here is my camera gear if you’re curious.

Samantha at Dawes Glacier holding camera


If you don’t care too much about taking photos, you should still consider binoculars. I used my camera zoom as binoculars, but without the camera, it would have been hard to see some of the seals on the ice or whales from afar.

Sea lions on a rock in Alaska.


Definitely don’t forget to add sunglasses to your Alaska cruise packing list. Even on foggy days, it feels bright in your eyes, and at the glaciers, it is super bright.

Glacier in Alaska.

Plastic Compression Bags

If you have read any of my other packing guides or even follow me on social media, you will know these compression bags are one of my biggest travel flexes. They allow you to fit so much extra in your bag and separate your stuff. I don’t travel without them!

Travel compression bags are a essential

Extra Items From Port

If you decide to opt out of the drink package, you should know that you are still allowed to bring some closed food and drink onto the boat.

We brought two 12-packs of soda and some room snacks. Just make sure to get in touch with your cruise line to see what the limits are. I know most also allow you to bring some alcohol as well. While in Seattle, we just stopped by Target to grab some stuff.

Also, I suggest leaving room in your bag if you want to buy anything from any of the ports. Juneau and Ketchikan had nice sweaters, rain jackets, and windbreakers for good prices.

Busy Streets on Juneau, Alaska.
Busy Streets on Juneau.

Additional Items to Bring

Here are some additional items you shouldn’t forget.

  • Airtags in case your luggage gets lost.
  • Sunscreen for sitting by the pool.
  • The normal toiletries (although most boats have shampoo, soap, and conditioner).
  • Seasick medicines or remedies. I used the sea bands, and they helped me for rocky days on the ship.
  • Earplanes if you have trouble with ear pressure on the flight. These really help!
  • Pajamas
  • Pants belts
  • Battery pack
  • Short extension cord. So my camera charger wouldn’t fit into the cubby that Celebrity gave us to charge. I am not sure about the configuration on every boat, but it was difficult to charge it.
Samantha in Ketchikan on Creek Street boardwalk in the rain.

Alaska Cruise Packing List Wrap-up

This concludes everything you will want to pack for your upcoming Alaska cruise. Additionally, you can check out my essential packing list of things I always bring with me. If you have further questions on what you need to pack, feel free to leave me a comment below!

Alaska Cruise packing list

I would greatly appreciate it if you could share the packing list below if you find it helpful!

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Samantha Oppenheimer

Samantha Oppenheimer (Sam Opp) quit her corporate marketing job in 2018 to travel the world and become a travel writer, blogger and content creator. She loves experiencing authentic travel experiences, photography, and nature. Sam shares helpful travel itineraries, travel tips, budget tips, and travel advice from her personal experiences. You can also find Sam's words featured in large publications including Mirror, Thrillist, and Well + Good. Learn more here:

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