In today’s post I’m talking about What To Wear On An Alaska Cruise and sharing what I wore in each port. This Blog Post is long overdue. I’ve been meaning to make a post where I can update shopping links to some of the items I mention. I do have a YouTube video sharing What To Pack For An Alaska Cruise and my Alaska Cruise Outfits. That cruise was several years ago but the videos continue to be in my Top 10 most watched videos each year. So here I’ll be able to update links to popular similar items like this red jacket, which was a favorite of mine and viewers while cruising Alaska.
If you ask anyone who’s been to Alaska either by land or sea, they’ll tell you LAYERS are key and it’s true. The temperature can fluctuate from day to day and month to month. We cruised on Ruby Princess in early June and had temps in the 50’s to 70’s. It may rain a little everyday (did you know Alaska is actually a rain forrest?!) or it may be sunny and 70 degrees. We had a mix of everything on our trip and I was happy I packed what I did. Keep in mind some items depend on what excursions you may be doing. Hiking through the woods on a sunny day may mean shorts and a t-shirt. Dog sledding on top of a Glacier may mean hat, gloves, boots and heavier coat.
- Rain Jacket w/Hood: This is my number 1 must have. You’ll need it for rainy days plus it’s a great outer layering piece. Make sure it has a hood for easy use. Umbrellas are nice but sometimes too big in a crowded port. Shop similar Red, shop similar Navy.
- Waterproof Boots/Shoes: My Duck Boots fit the bill perfectly. They kept my feet dry and warm.
- Semi-warm Jacket/Coat: A packable down puffer jacket is perfect for this. Warm enough but not too bulky and the packable versions take up little space. I wore this on the Glacier watching day and under the rain jacket while whale watching.
- Comfort/Walking Shoes: You could do all sorts of options here. I personally used my running shoes when it wasn’t raining and that was perfect for me. I did bring a pair of slip on shoes from Ecco but not sure if I wore then while in port.
- Rain/Waterproof Bag: My favorite is the Baggallini bag. They are water resistant and hold quite a lot without being heavy. It was nice to have a place for my phone when it was raining.
- Sunscreen/Bug Spray: Now this totally depends on what kind of excursions you are doing. But keep in mind, if it’s warm and sunny you may need both.
- Camera/Phone: I used both my iPhone and a digital camera with a long zoom. This came in handy for spotting eagles and other wildlife. I didn’t want to bring my bulky DSLR with lens but you’ll see a lot of that.
- Binoculars: Again for spotting the wildlife and anything else along the way like whales off in the distance. This pair has great reviews and perfect for travel.
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The day we arrived in Seattle (day before cruise) was sunny and beautiful. Perfect for walking around and exploring. However, the next day was typical Seattle weather – a little cool and cloudy but thankfully no rain. The sun did come out as we were leaving port. This is what I wore to board the ship and I was perfectly comfortable. I do have a tank layered under this lightweight sweater. Again, layers were the theme of the cruise.
I could tell right away that Alaska Cruises were more casual. We typically dress up in typical resort/cruise wear when cruising the Caribbean. Of course you won’t see anything like that in Alaska. Some do dress up but it has a more casual vibe overall. Think sweaters or button down shirts with jeans for men and nice tops with pants or jeans for women. So I wore the same jeans as I had on when boarding and put on some heels, added jewelry and a nice black top. I knew I could wear this top with black pants as well if needed.
There were still two formal nights like usual on a 7 night cruise. Not as many dressed up but I’d say half or more did. I wore what I’d typically wear on formal nights which is usually a long dress. I’ve worn cocktail dresses in the past and sometimes a nice pant outfit but I’ve found I’m most comfortable in a long dress. It’s simple but looks nice.
Before Whale Watching Tour and after. This picture makes me laugh because I remember being cold and wet. We didn’t walk around much before heading back to the warm ship. This was probably the coldest day and the most rain other than the first full day at sea. Can’t really complain about that. I wore this for Whale Watching because I knew we’d be out on the water. The boat is enclosed but I wasn’t sure how much or if it was heated. I had on a long sleeve t-shirt under this sweatshirt. Then I layered my lightweight packable down jacket (best thing ever!) under my rain jacket. I bought these rain boots the winter before and have loved them ever since. They were the perfect rain/walking shoes for me while in Alaska!
I don’t think I took many pictures this day but this was my outfit for Glacier Bay. Basically you’re on the ship all day cruising into and out of Glacier Bay National Park or Tracy Arm Ford (whichever your cruise goes to). It gets colder the closer you get to the Glaciers. This was one of our favorite days though! The ship stays anchored for hours in front of the Glacier. We always get a balcony cabin but I think it’s a must have for Alaska. All we had to do was walk out on our balcony to view the Glaciers. Perfect since the main decks of the ship were crowded with others doing the same. The ship will rotate so everyone on both sides of the ship will have great views.
I wore a sweatshirt under my puffer jacket, joggers, thicker socks with my rain boots and a hat and gloves. Yes, it’s that chilly! At least the day we were there because it was overcast as well. Again, it may be sunny and warm when you are there. I’m glad I brought everything I did!
I wore this dress on the second formal night. If you’ve followed any of my other cruise outfits videos, you’ve seen this one a lot. It’s been a personal favorite for years as well as a viewer favorite. I’m not sure they make this exact print anymore, but I’ll link similar ones from the same brand.
Our first real sunny and warm day! I wore this in Skagway for the Train ride tour. I highly recommend that by the way! Helicopter tours are also popular there. I wore a simple white tank under this flannel button down and my favorite travel jacket. I didn’t need the jacket as the day went on. I haven’t mentioned this bag yet, but it was one of my must-haves. I also used it when traveling through Scotland the next year since weather can be similar to Alaska. It holds a ton, is lightweight and most of all water resistant.
The weather was so nice that day that I wore a dress to dinner. I packed a few but didn’t wear them other than the two formal dresses. I think one night we skipped dinner in the dining room all together and had something casual. This photo was taken about 8pm. It was still light out and beautiful. That’s one of the perks about Alaska, it stays daylight until 10-11pm. Thankfully the dark curtains in the room help for sleep but the daylight is great for seeing the stunning coastline.
This was one of my favorite outfits and perfect for Alaska. The boots are comfortable to walk in and also nice if it’s wet out. A long sleeve tee under my denim button down was perfect under my rain jacket. Again, can’t say enough about a lightweight hooded rain jacket for this trip. I’ve since taken it on may trips around the globe. I wore jeans the entire trip but my Husband did wear waterproof cargo pants a few days along with jeans. It’s really your preference as to what you feel comfortable in.
Thanks for stopping by and I hope you found this helpful. You may also find this Travel Must Haves post helpful and you can find all of my Amazon Travel Must Haves here. Be sure to watch my videos for more detail and enjoy your Alaska Cruise!
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What to Wear on an Alaska Cruise
When it comes to packing for an Alaska cruise, it's important to keep in mind that the weather can be unpredictable, with temperatures fluctuating from day to day and month to month. Layering your clothing is key to staying comfortable in varying conditions. Here are some items that are commonly recommended for an Alaska cruise:
1. Rain Jacket w/Hood: A rain jacket with a hood is a must-have item for rainy days and as an outer layer. It's recommended to choose a jacket that is waterproof and has a hood for easy use.
2. Waterproof Boots/Shoes: Having waterproof boots or shoes is essential to keep your feet dry and warm. Duck boots or other waterproof footwear options are popular choices.
3. Semi-warm Jacket/Coat: A packable down puffer jacket is a great option for staying warm without being too bulky. The packable versions are convenient as they take up little space in your luggage.
4. Comfort/Walking Shoes: It's important to have comfortable shoes for walking and exploring the ports. Running shoes or other comfortable walking shoes are recommended.
5. Rain/Waterproof Bag: A rain or waterproof bag is useful for protecting your belongings, especially if it's raining. Look for a bag that is water-resistant and lightweight.
6. Sunscreen/Bug Spray: Depending on the excursions you plan to do, you may need sunscreen and bug spray. It's important to be prepared for warm and sunny weather.
7. Camera/Phone: Bringing a camera and/or phone with a good camera is essential for capturing the stunning landscapes and wildlife you may encounter. Consider bringing a digital camera with a long zoom for better wildlife spotting.
8. Binoculars: Binoculars can be handy for spotting wildlife and enjoying the scenic views from the ship. Look for a pair with good reviews and that is suitable for travel.
These are some of the key items mentioned in the article for an Alaska cruise. It's important to adjust your clothing choices based on the specific excursions and activities you plan to do. Layering your clothing and being prepared for varying weather conditions will help ensure you have a comfortable and enjoyable cruise experience.
Please note that the article also provides specific clothing suggestions and outfit ideas for different occasions during the cruise, such as boarding the ship, formal nights, whale watching, and exploring the ports.