An Alaskan cruise is an unforgettable experience. The scenery is breathtaking, the wildlife diverse and the air bracing. Far from an easy, breezy tropical holiday, it is an adventure that takes a little preparation! From sleeves to keep you warm to zoom lenses for wildlife photos, these are Cruise Sale Finder's best Alaska cruise packing tips.
1. Warm layers
Alaskan cruises take place in the warmer months, from May to September. However, Alaska is far from balmy, even in July. You will cruise past glaciers and icebergs while also enjoying some sun, especially in the southern extremities of the state and in Vancouver or Seattle where many cruises start or finish.
Layers are the best way of adapting to all temperatures you might encounter. Bring long-sleeved shirts, sweaters, jackets, tights, hats and gloves which you can take on and off as the weather demands, as well as some polypros for chilly mornings. However, don't forget shorts, T-shirts and a swimsuit for the spa too, along with sturdy walking shoes for excursions.
2. Travel Documents
This is an important consideration for any holiday! US residents can get away without a passport if their cruise is not calling into any Canadian ports, but still need a copy of their birth certificate and a photo ID. Everyone else will need a passport. Visitors to the US require a visa for the country. Most can apply for an electronic visa waiver via the Electronic System for Travel Authorisation online.
Other important documents on your Alaska cruise packing list include tickets for planes and the cruise, medical history if travelling alone, itinerary details and emergency numbers.
The sights you will see on a cruise in Alaska will be etched in your memory forever, but it's nice to share the love with those back at home - and that's where a camera comes in. A zoom lens is a great idea for pictures of whales, seals and other wildlife, along with extra batteries, a charger, power adapter and, if you have the space, a laptop so you can empty your memory card and keep shooting. Ziploc bags are great for keeping your camera and all electronics dry on deck when it's raining or misty, so pack a few in your suitcase.
4. Spending money
A cruise in Alaska is the trip of a lifetime, with opportunities to do and see things that don't exist elsewhere. All lines offer shore tours and excursions. These can get pricey, but in such remote areas it is worth the cost to see more of amazing Alaska. Plan to spend more than you might on a typical cruise, and have a look at the tours offered to see what strikes your fancy. One of our top Alaska cruise tips: this isn't the time to skimp on spending!
5. Formal wear
A cruise in Alaska is more than scenery and nature - it is still a cruise, and that means formal nights where you get to dress up and enjoy a little glamour. Many people forget this aspect of their Alaskan adventure and err on the casual side when packing, so don't embark without a cocktail dress and suit to fully take advantage of an elegant dinner and show.
Check out the Alaska cruise offerings on Cruise Sale Finder and get in touch with one of our friendly cruise consultants to start planning your Alaska journey!