I’d been on Caribbean cruises, so I was sure the only difference for a cruise through Alaska’s Inside Passage was the temperature – wrong! In order to avoid replicating my cold, wet, bug-eaten, and generally uncomfortable experience, be sure to pack these important items for your next Alaska cruise.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to pack a poncho or umbrella on your Alaska cruise. You may also want a waterproof jacket with a warm lining and a hood. The area is a temperate rainforest – with the word ‘rain’ right there in the description. If you are lucky, the sun will shine; throughout your cruise, it will likely mist or rain often. Remember to take your rain gear on shore excursions since the weather can change quickly. Finally, bring a ‘dry bag’ to use in the cabin for wet and muddy clothes.
In addition to staying dry, you’ll want to stay warm. The daytime and nighttime temps will vary; and showers during the day will chill the air. Layers are the best option (cotton shirts under flannel or wool covered by a jacket). Also, pack a couple pair of wool socks. You’ll be glad you have them walking on glaciers or even around the towns. Also take a cozy toboggan cap of some sort. I wished I’d had one for chilly nights on deck – which was every night.
You will also want sturdy hiking shoes/boots for any wilderness shore excursion in Alaska. Yes, rugged is the word for all terrain beyond the streets in town. Additionally, pack sunscreen, sunglasses, and bug spray (insect repellant). Just so you know, the mosquito is the state bird of Alaska, and you may have to negotiate with them to keep the smallest people in your group from being carried away!
You’ll want to snap photos, record videos, and never blink while on your Alaska cruise. Yes, it IS that breathtakingly beautiful! Be sure to have enough memory storage for your camera(s). You may also want to pack a zoom lens and tripod for the DSLR to capture the whales breaching or the glaciers calving. Remember that your phone will also record pics and videos in a pinch – so don’t miss the shot. Finally, on the topic of never blinking, bring binoculars. The world looks different up-close; and binocs are the perfect way to experience the details.
Since you’re going to be smarter than I was and pack all the right items for your next Alaskan cruise, you’ll want a backpack or daypack. This is vital for shore excursions so you can have all the above items close at hand. And, it’s convenient as you make your way around the ship throughout the cruise. There are times when a gorgeous scene is slipping by the rails, and you haven’t time to run to the cabin for your camera.
Carry your backpack with these gear suggestions, and be ready for every eventuality.
Angela is a professional freelance travel writer and published indie author – AngelaMinor.com