Packing for an Alaskan cruise is no ordinary affair. Instead of sun, sand, and summer heat, Alaskan cruises are usually cooler and full of nature. Knowing what to wear on an Alaskan cruise is an art form in and of itself.
As you prepare to set sail, you may wonder how to pack a comfortable, versatile, and adaptable wardrobe for Alaska’s unique weather.
From cozy layers to versatile gear, we've got your back with over 30 tips, tricks, and outfit ideas to make your Alaskan cruise extra special.
Get ready to enjoy Alaska’s breathtaking and rugged landscape with this ultimate packing guide for what to wear on an Alaskan cruise.
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Alaska Cruise Dress Code
The dress code on an Alaskan cruise is pretty laid-back and informal. There’s no need to dress super fancy while on your cruise.
Your outfits should be comfortable, flexible, and easy to wear. Alaskan cruises are all about comfort and relaxation, so make sure your wardrobe reflects that.
The only exception is if your cruise has a formal dinner night. During these select evenings, guests can wear semi-formal outfits to a classy dinner.
Dress in Layers
You’ll spend plenty of time between the ship's temperature-controlled interior and the chilly outdoor decks, so wear jackets, cardigans, and other outerwear you can easily take off if need be.
Scarves, beanies, and gloves are other great layering accessories you can wear based on how warm or cold it is.
A High-Quality Parka
If you get cold easily, a high-quality parka will be your best friend on an Alaskan cruise.
Bundle up with a heavy-duty parka over jeans and a sweater. Invest in a high-quality, sustainable parka that will last you for years.
Check out our selection of the best sustainable and affordable parkas.
Fleece is a naturally warming material that will keep you warm against the icy chill of the Bering Sea and Pacific Ocean.
Layer a fleece sweatshirt over a colorful t-shirt, a long-sleeve thermal top, or a knit sweater.
Explore our selection of sustainable sweatshirts for your Alaska cruise.
A Hoodie and Jeans
You can’t go wrong with a hoodie and jeans on an Alaskan cruise.
A hoodie will keep you warm without overheating, so it’s a great outfit if you plan to stay inside the ship or take the views in on the deck.
Don’t miss this selection of our favorite USA-made hoodies.
The weather can vary wildly on an Alaskan cruise, depending on what time of year you go. Long-sleeve shirts are an excellent wardrobe staple because they’re easy to layer.
Wear a long-sleeve cotton shirt with high-waisted jeans, boots, and a puffer vest for an outdoorsy vibe.
You can also wear a long-sleeve as the centerpiece of your outfit if the weather isn’t too harsh.
Fleece-lined leggings are comfortable, versatile, and warm. Pack a pair or two to have on hand during your cruise.
Wear a pair of warm black leggings with a flannel and knee-high boots for a cute casual cruise outfit.
You can also create a relaxing athleisure look by wearing leggings with an oversized pullover and simple jewelry.
Explore our selection of the best sustainable and affordable leggings.
A Cozy Beanie and Gloves
Get cozy on your Alaskan cruise with a beanie and gloves.
These winter accessories look great with just about any outfit, from a lightweight layered look to a heavy-duty parka.
Cruises in Alaska are known for being wet and rainy. A waterproof windbreaker is a must to withstand these conditions.
Wear a waterproof windbreaker over jeans and a long-sleeve t-shirt during port days. This piece of outerwear will withstand any amount of adventuring you may get up to during your vacation.
Check out our favorite waterproof jackets that won’t break the bank.
Thermal Base Layers
Thermal base layers are essential for an Alaskan cruise, especially if you go in the fall or winter.
Wear long-sleeve shirts, skin-tight leggings, and long underwear underneath your outfit to stay extra warm out in the elements.
Puffer jackets are an excellent essential to pack because they’re insulated, warm, and waterproof.
Throw on a puffer jacket over your blouse and jeans to protect yourself from any wind, rain, or water that might come your way on the Alaskan seas.
Explore our selection of the best puffer jackets.
The weather will most likely be wet and rainy during your Alaska cruise. Pack plenty of rain gear, like lightweight windbreakers, umbrellas, and moisture-wicking socks.
Keep sustainable waterproof fabrics, like recycled polyester, in mind when shopping for high-quality rain gear.
Check out our favorite sustainable outerwear for when the weather is wet and rainy.
Alaska can be rainy and wet, so pack a pair of waterproof shoes if you plan on seeing the sights during port days.
You can wear anything from waterproof sneakers to heavy-duty hiking boots. It all depends on what is most comfortable and useful for you.
A cruise is all about relaxing. What better way to relax than by wearing your most comfortable athleisure wear?
Sport high-waisted leggings with a cozy pullover, a moisture-wicking top, or a skin-tight sports bra.
Check out these sustainable activewear brands from Europe for the best athleisure wear options.
Alaskan cruises tend to be more outdoorsy than other cruises, but that doesn’t mean there are no opportunities to dress up. Pack a few fancy cocktail dresses for the cruise’s formal nights.
Wear a flowy midi dress with strappy heels or a sleek metallic cocktail dress with stilettos and understated hoop earrings.
Explore our selection of affordable, American-made cocktail dresses.
A Blouse and Black Pants
A feminine blouse and black pants make a classy cruise outfit for brunch, lunch, or dinner.
Wear a cute floral top with tailored slacks or a cropped blouse with high-waisted wide-leg pants.
Find your perfect match with our selection of sustainable blouses.
A Jumpsuit and Cardigan
A jumpsuit layered with a cute cardigan is a fun way to add flair to your Alaskan cruise wardrobe.
This look is great for an evening dinner or attending one of the many entertaining shows on board.
A Black Dress and Tights
You can’t go wrong with a classic black dress for those fancy cruise dinners. Add some tights for a classy layer of extra warmth.
You can pack anything from a floor-length halter dress to a sizzling black bodycon dress. You’ll be inside the dining room for these fancy dinners, so you won’t have to worry about staying warm.
Looking for a new black dress? Check out our selection of the best sustainable options.
A Casual Suit
A casual suit is an excellent option for formal dinner nights on your cruise.
Wear a sustainably made linen or cotton suit with a dress shirt and loafers for a laid-back, polished look.
Don’t miss our selection of the best suits for men and women.
One Pair of Dress Shoes
To minimize your packing list, pack only one pair of dress shoes for your cruise.
Wear the same heels or loafers to dinner during formal nights, and plan your outfits accordingly.
You can’t go wrong with classic black heels or brown vegan leather Oxfords.
Packing a swimsuit for an Alaskan cruise might seem unnecessary, but it will come in handy.
Don’t worry, you won’t be freezing when you want to take a dip in the pool. All cruise ships have heated pools and hot tubs that are often indoors.
Pack a swimsuit or two to make sure you get the full cruise experience.
Check out our mega-list of the best sustainable swimwear brands.
Warm Socks and Hiking Boots
Warm socks and sustainable hiking boots are essential if you want to do some adventuring during your Alaskan cruise.
Many cruises have port stops with fun activities like kayaking, hiking, and dog sledding.
Make sure you’re prepared for the rugged terrain and cold weather with gear that uses sustainable fabrics like regenerative cotton, recycled nylon, and lyocell.
Explore our selection of vegan hiking boots that are affordable and high-quality.
A Cozy Sweater
A cozy sweater creates a fashionable, warm outfit for any Alaskan cruise.
Wear a soft knit sweater with a scarf, beanie, and knee-high boots for a wintery vibe. You can also wear an oversized sweater with leggings and hiking boots for a chill, adventurous look.
Check out our selection of cozy sweaters and cardigans that use sustainable alternatives to wool.
Sweatpants and Slippers
Be sure to pack a pair of cozy slippers and your favorite sweatpants for those days you just want to lounge on the ship.
Cotton, flannel, and linen are amazing, sustainable fabrics that keep you warm and comfortable.
Treat yourself to a cozy new pair of recycled, ethically-made slippers.
A Scarf and Jacket
A scarf and jacket are a simple yet effective way to stay warm and stylish on your Alaskan cruise.
Wear a cozy hand-knit scarf with a zip-up canvas jacket, or layer an infinity scarf over an insulated bomber jacket.
Flannel shirts are a cute and trendy way to stay warm on your Alaskan cruise.
Pair a cozy button-up flannel with classic jeans and knee-high boots, or layer an earth-tone flannel with leggings and a puffer vest.
Check out these cozy American-made flannel shirts.
An Insulated Vest and Long-Sleeve Shirt
Wear a sleek long-sleeve shirt with an insulated vest to keep your arms free and your core warm. This easy outfit looks great on men, women, and children.
Plus, it’s one of the most versatile outfits you can wear on an Alaskan cruise. It’s sporty but also totally comfortable and fashionable.
Jeans and Knee-High Boots
Jeans and knee-high boots are the perfect combination. This look is easy to wear and looks great on everybody.
To stay warm, complete your look with a cozy sweater, puffer jacket, or any other wintery outerwear.
Explore our selection of cute and comfy knee-high boots.
A Rain Poncho
A rain poncho is an easy, cost-effective way to protect yourself from the elements.
Throw a poncho over your outfit during unexpected rainstorms on the open seas.
You can pack a foldable, waterproof one or sport a cozy cotton poncho for a coordinated look.
Just because the weather is cold doesn’t mean you don’t need sunblock!
Protect your skin from UV rays with reef-safe sunscreen on your face, ears, and any other part of your body exposed to the sun.
Sunglasses are a must when it comes to cruising. No matter the season, the sun will reflect off the water and cause some serious glare.
Protect your eyes and well-being with fashionable, sustainable sunglasses.
If you’re looking for a new pair, check out these sustainable eyewear brands.
A hat is an excellent layer of protection against sun, wind, and rain.
Wear any style you like, from a baseball cap to a waterproof bucket hat.
If you plan to see the Alaskan sights during your cruise, pack a waterproof backpack and thank yourself later.
A waterproof backpack comes in handy when the weather gets rainy and cold. Protect your things during your trip while looking fashionable.
What Not to Wear
Most people opt out of packing shorts for their Alaskan cruise.
Alaska is a pretty temperate region, even during summer. Wearing shorts might make you feel cold and uncomfortable during your cruise.
Summer dresses are best worn on warmer tropical cruises. While you can certainly wear a dress layered with tights and a sweater, thin summer dresses are not recommended.
Spaghetti straps, mini dresses, and sheer bathing suit cover-ups will most likely leave you feeling cold in the fresh Alaska air.
If you take an Alaskan cruise during the summer, chances are the temperatures will still be on the cooler side.
While coastal temperatures can reach the upper 70s, they can also drop to the low 30s. Avoid packing thin fabrics to stay warm during your vacation.
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