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What to Wear on an Alaskan Cruise: 10 Outfits to Pack

Updated: Jun 24

An Alaskan cruise offers stunning landscapes and exciting adventures, but packing for the varying weather conditions can be challenging. Here is a guide to ensure you are well-prepared with the right outfits for your trip.

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. Meaning that, at zero cost to you, Dale, Let's Travel! LLC may receive a small commission if you finalize a purchase through the links below. Thank you for supporting the blog!

Cold Weather

Glacier in Alaska

Typically, if you are going on an Alaskan cruise, it will be cold. As such, it is essential to pack the proper clothing to survive the cold and enjoy the gorgeous scenery. 

1. Base Layer Outfit

A base layer consisting of a thermal top and thermal underwear is crucial for keeping warm during colder days. The best type of base layer to keep you dry and warm are lightweight, moisture-wicking fabrics.

2. Clothing for Warmth

The base layer is necessary, but do not forget to pack everything that goes on top of it! For the torso, this includes a warm sweater, fleece jacket, fleece vest, long-sleeved shirts, and a flannel shirt.

For the bottom layer, sweatpants, joggers, leggings, and a pair of jeans are great for keeping you warm. Moreover, a pair of gloves, a warm hat like a beanie, and wool socks are also important to pack to stay warm and target all the essential body parts that lose heat the quickest. 

Warm Weather

Juneau mountain range in the background and wildflowers in the foreground

In general, Alaska is a cold weather location; however, it does tend to have warmer days, especially towards the end of Spring, in the Summer, and at the beginning of Fall. As such, it is almost as essential to pack clothing for warm days as for cold ones unless you like to dress warm all the time no matter the weather. 

3. Warm Weather Outfits 

Great options to bring with you onboard include a pair of shorts (maybe even a few pairs), short sleeve shirts, regular socks, and a lightweight jacket. A lightweight jacket is essential for those chilly breezes that do not constitute a fleece material or puffer jacket.

Rainy Weather

Cruising through the Inside Passage in weary weather

4. Water Resistant Outer Layer

It rains a lot in Alaska, so prepare for those rainy days with a waterproof jacket and waterproof pants to protect you from the elements, especially during land excursions when it is not always easy to find shelter. Additionally, pack rain boots or waterproof shoes for extra protection.

On the Ship - Dinner Outfits

Cruises often have formal nights where you will want to wear something fancy like a nice top and some dress pants. However, you do not have to partake in this.

We always enjoy wearing something nice at dinner every evening because it is not something we do all the time on land, plus the main dining room is set up formally every day.

5. Formal Wear

Some great pieces for formal wear include a nice top, dress pants, black pants, and a pair of dress shoes. If you want to elevate the scene and go for ultimate formal wear, you can pack cocktail dresses, a cute little black dress, a dress shirt, and a suit and tie

On the Ship - Other

Indoor Pool and Whirlpool

6. Bathing Suit

Even though it is an Alaskan cruise, the ship will have at least one hot tub and pool, so pack a bathing suit for these facilities. However, before you pack a bathing suit, check what your specific cruise ship offers.

For instance, if they only have pools and hot tubs on the outside deck, you may want to pack a warmer bathing suit. Moreover, if they have an indoor pool and hot tub, you should be good to bring a bikini set or swim trunks

7. Gym Clothing

Ellipticals and treadmills at the Fitness Center

Most cruise ships have a gym and sports complex, so pack gym clothing such as shorts, a short sleeve top, and a pair of sneakers. It will ensure you stay active and comfortable during workouts. However, if you are anything like me, you will pack the gym clothing, never go to the gym, and wear them as comfortable outfits. 

8. Pajamas and Comfy Outfits

Do not forget to pack pajamas and casual wear for relaxing in your cabin! A pair of lounge pants and a soft top will help you unwind after a day of exploration. I cannot stress this one enough!

I packed two comfy outfits, a cold and warm set, and I used both almost daily. I was so happy to get out of the jeans, long-sleeved shirts, and puffer jackets in my cabin and be comfortable! The warm set was perfect for napping during the middle of the day, and the cold set was great for sitting out on my balcony. 

Other Wearable Essentials 

The city of Juneau with a mountain in the back, paved roads, and a few cars

9. Comfortable Shoes

Pack comfortable walking shoes for exploring ports and uneven surfaces during land excursions. Sneakers are also essential for casual days and activities on board.

10. Outdoor Adventure Gear

On top of everything mentioned above, for glacier hikes and other outdoor activities, you may want to pack hiking boots, trekking poles, and a large backpack to keep these essentials when not needed. 

Not clothing related, but a good camera with a zoom lens is essential for capturing breathtaking landscapes and wildlife. You can also capture things with your smart phone - some great phones with a good camera include the Samsung S24 Ultra, iPhone 15 Pro Max, and the Google Pixel 8 Pro

How cold is it on the cruise ship during an Alaskan cruise? 

Juneau, Alaska mountain range with a lake in front

The quickest answer is "Overall, the ship is a comfortable temperature." To break it down further, it is typically only freezing cold outside, and indoors I found it to be a mix.

Some areas were nice and cool while others were a bit warmer, like in the theatre and the hallways to the cabins. However, if the housekeepers were cleaning a balcony along the hallway, it would be freezing in that area and back to normal once you pass it. 

On our trip, we carried a drawstring backpack with a puffer jacket and lightweight jacket inside to always be prepared for our next adventure. We also took the "warm day" approach while onboard during the day, so we would wear shorts and a short-sleeved shirt and then put our jackets on if we needed them. 

Besides clothing, what else do I pack for an Alaskan cruise?

Check out my blog post, Your Alaska Cruise Packing List (PDF Checklist Inside), for a complete guide on what to pack for your Alaskan cruise. Within you will find a visual listing with links to purchase the items.

Do you just want the checklist emailed to you?

Preview of the Free Printable Packing List for your Alaskan Cruise created by Dale, Let's Travel! LLC

Fill out the below form with your first name and email address to receive the link for a downloadable PDF version of this listing that you can print out and treat as a checklist.

In need of a great travel credit card for your next adventure?

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Check out my blog post, 10 Reasons Why the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card is Worth the Annual Fee, and discover why it is an ideal choice for your travel needs.

Ready? Set. Get Packing!

Snow topped mountains and mountains covered in trees along a lake

By packing these essential outfits, you will be ready for all the experiences an Alaskan cruise has to offer. Enjoy your wonderful time exploring the beautiful landscapes and unique adventures of Alaska!
Is there anything you think is missing from this Alaskan Outfit Packing List? Let me know in the comments below! Share this article with the person or people you want to go on your next adventure with! Also, be sure to SUBSCRIBE below to learn about other places you should add to your "To Visit" List! Ready? Okay, vamos. Time to have fun!

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