What to pack for an Alaskan cruise.

If you’re planning for a 7-day Alaskan cruise or just dreaming of one, chances are you’ve researched the weather. And if you’ve researched the weather you know that it’s NOT HELPFUL AT ALL. The weather on an Alaskan cruise will vary from 30 degrees to 90 degrees depending on where you are (and when you’re going).

And if you’re anything like me, that lack of info is SUPER STRESSFUL for packing purposes. Add in some gala nights and a no-jeans rule for dinners and the packing stress has hit a dangerous level.

I made far too many lists and definitely brought a couple pieces I didn’t wear. So here’s what I found I actually wore for my Alaskan cruise in June:

alaska cruise packing list outfits


A couple tips.

  • Bring multiple pairs of jeans. I could’ve actually used another pair by the end of it. There is laundry on the ship, but – like everything else – it costs money. Whatever you wear on the days while you’re in port is what you’ll be wearing ALL DAY. Think hiking in the wilderness to shopping downtown to grabbing a drink at a local bar. My two pairs were done for by the end of the trip.
  • Mix and match your formal attire. There are two gala nights (on the Holland America Line at least) that are very dressy. The other nights vary, but the dining room is formal in terms of the meal so you won’t want to wear your street clothes. BUT I only brought one pair of heels, one pair of wedges, and two clutches. Bring pieces you and mix with each other – this is not the time for your Barbie pink pumps.
  • Bring layers you can dress up or down. I wore my long black cardigan more than anything else because I could wear it during the day but also over my formal wear after dinner. We had a drink on the deck every night and it was COLD! If you don’t want to change three times a day, bring versatile layers.
  • Pack some shorts. People will scare you into thinking Alaska is freezing. It can be, but the sun comes out and the ship can get warm.
  • Bring a swim cover-up. You do not want to walk to the pool in a towel or your bikini. I had to walk through two bars and a dining room to get to the pool and I was so thankful for my cover-up. Also, flip flops! The boyfriend didn’t bring them and regretted it. I brought leather ones that I wore to the pool and to dinner with a maxi dress.


My packing list.

  • Raincoat
  • Fleece jacket
  • Puffy jacket
  • Puffy vest
  • Flannel
  • Long cardigan
  • 3 long sleeve shirts
  • 1 t-shirt
  • 2 tanks
  • 2 jeans
  • Leggings
  • 2 shorts

  • Swimsuit
  • Swim cover-up
  • 2 hats (1 beanie, 1 full-brim)
  • 2 scarves (1 warm, 1 light)
  • Sunglasses
  • Backpack
  • Running shoes
  • Short rain boots/Chelsea boots
  • Warm socks
  • Ankle socks
  • 3 necklaces

  • 2 clutches
  • Jumpsuit
  • Fur vest
  • Little black dress
  • Maxi dress
  • Sweater tank
  • Linen pants
  • Jean jacket
  • 3 sundresses
  • Strappy heels
  • Clogs
  • Flip-flops

Here’s as exact of a packing list as I could link. They’re either exact or same brand but updated!

Now for the fun part: my favorite Alaskan outfit.

I got this Brixton hat with the cruise in mind, and with many “explorer” jabs from friends and family. But I loved it! I paired it with a waffle knit sweater, Madewell mom jeans, Chelsea rainboots, and a warm wool scarf. And I always keep my nanopuff jacket in my backpack because San Francisco’s weather is honestly not that different from Alaska’s.

I wore this to our rainforest hike in Ketchikan and recreated it with the lovely Julia O Test back at Ocean Beach in San Francisco ’cause ain’t nobody got time for fashion shoots while on a family cruise.

packing list alaska outfits




More to come about my first experience on cruise soon! What do you want to know about a cruise? About Alaska in general?





Becca Hawk

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