Ah! Alaska in the summer – sparkling icebergs, majestic glaciers, incredible whales, interesting totem poles, shopping at ports – it can all be the makings of a vacation of a lifetime. But if you are caught with too many tank tops and not enough layers, you may end up spending the cruise shivering inside the ship during an Alaskan cruise.
Alaskan Temperate Rain Forrests
Ketchikan, Sitka and Juneau are typical ports for many Alaskan cruises. It is common to have rain in all of these beautiful cities which are all found at the base of the Coastal Mountains and are technically located in temperate rain forests. In fact, locals in Juneau will tell you it seems to rain there four out of five days. Although the rain is usually light and full of sprinkles instead of downpours, it can be annoying if you do not pack a light rain jacket with a hood and reliable easy-to-carry umbrella. Jeans and another pair of casual pants are also advised along with shorts and capris for women to cover all weather possibilities.
The ports all have walking trails for the travelers’ enjoyment. A good pair of walking shoes are also a must for this trip, as well as plenty of socks. One pair of wool socks are advised in case of lower than normal temperatures in the ports – there is nothing like cold toes to ruin an outing! It is also good to put in a pair of gloves – even if it is July or August – and a winter hat, just in case a cold front moves in while you are at sea.
All Alaskan cruises are held from May to August, and although you should bring the sandals you are sporting at home, you need to put some closed-toe casual shoes in your suitcase as well. These will be good for passengers who want to spend their time taking advantage of all the great deals on jewelry, furs, and Ulu knives while shopping in the many stores at the ports catered to travelers.
On the Alaskan Cruise Ship
The ship itself can also be chilly and windy, especially on days at sea or the days observing spectacular glaciers. Loaner wool blankets are usually next to the pool towels for those passengers who want to lounge around the pool, but unless you are drinking a very warm drink you probably won’t spend a lot of time there. Unless the pool is heated or inside, or you hit a really nice day at a port, the hot tub may be the only water you get into while on an Alaskan cruise. If you have never experienced a dip in the hot tub with crisp air all around, the experience is refreshing, so don’t forget your bathing suit and a warm cover-up or robe.
If you enjoy going to the ship’s restaurant in the evening, you will also want to plan a few outfits for close-toed shoes for those chillier days. Of course, cruises always have formal nights, so the ladies should pack a shawl or jacket that will match their dresses as well as nylons in case it is a cooler day.
Alaskan Cruises Could Also See the Sun
However, you should not only bring warm clothes. You will also want to pack shorts and short-sleeved shirts in case there is a warm front which can happen in the summer. Temperatures can get into the 70s and 80s. This being said, the smartest outfits to bring are those in which you can layer. Outfits that have a light jacket or long-sleeve shirt that can be worn in the morning and/or evenings but taken off during the day are smart to have on hand. A neutral sweater that will go with several outfits is an absolute must.
All cruise ships have wonderful workout facilities as well. Be sure to bring workout gear. If you plan to run on the deck, a wind breaker would be a smart thing to bring as well as running gloves and your choice of ear coverage.
Alaska is one of the most majestic places on earth, offering amazing views into nature that you can see in very few places. Be sure to get the most out of the cruise by packing for all types of weather.