This summer our teen contributors Skylor and Corey took an Alaskan cruise on Norwegian Bliss. They had an amazing time sailing from Seattle to Juneau, Skagway, and Ketchikan, Alaska and were very excited to share their ideal Alaska packing list. Here’s their recommendations for what to pack for an Alaskan cruise.
Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means we may receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended. Please check out our disclosure policy for more details. Thank you for your support!
What to pack for an Alaska cruise
1. Pink & Gray Rain Jacket: Although I was prepared for a lot of rain on my trip, I never used my raincoat once over the course of the week. When I arrived in Ketchikan, my tour guide told us that we were very fortunate because there wasn’t going to rain all week. I was very lucky on my trip to Alaska, but I would still pack raincoat. Especially since Ketchikan gets an average of 141 inches of rain per year! Also, don’t forget to check the weather before you go. Even if there is a slight chance of rain, I recommend bringing your raincoat along.
2. Binoculars: Binoculars are very useful because they can help spot Alaska wildlife. My binoculars helped me to spot whales, bald eagles, and much more from a far distance. Many of the best sights in Alaska are the wildlife themselves, so you need to keep your distance. Binoculars help you to see the animals clearly from a safe distance.
3. Flip Flops: I only wore flip flops on the ship. Flip flops are perfect because you can wear them for water use. They are perfect for going to the pool, hot tub, slides, and water park. They’re also fine for just hanging out or heading to the buffet. However, avoid wearing flip flops to nice restaurants and off the boat. Ideally, bring three pairs of shoes. Bring a pair of sneakers, flip flops, and formal shoes and you’ll be all set for your cruise.
4. Sunscreen: It was only really sunny on the first day of the cruise. That first day was the only day I really wore sunscreen. The rest of the cruise, it was chilly and we wore sweatshirts. If you forget sunscreen, there is some to purchase on the ship, it just might cost more than at home.
5. Portable Charger: My portable charger came in handy many times on my Alaskan trip. Most of the time, I was on a long bus or a train ride and was constantly taking pictures or listening to music. If I didn’t have my portable charger, my phone would have died and I would have missed a lot of photo opportunities. The portable charger allowed me to charge multiple phones at the same time, so we were always ready. For teens a portable charger would be a good idea because on long bus rides, it will help keep your phone alive and giving you something to do.
6. Pink Polarized Sunglasses: We didn’t have many days of sunshine, but I was glad I had my sunglasses on the day it was sunny. The reflection of the sun off the water and the icebergs can be blinding.
7. Pink Duck Boots: I would definitely pack some type of boot with a tread if you’re going to go on one of the adventure excursions. Sneakers are fine for a lot of the walking in towns, but if you go on a hike or it’s raining you’ll want to have something more substantial.
8. Insulated Water Bottle: A refillable water bottle is essential. It’s perfect to bring on excursions instead of paying for bottled water. You can fill up your water bottle on the ship. We brought a water bottle with a filter to share with our family. A water bottle is especially beneficial if you are walking around a lot.
9. Navy Striped Bikini: For my Alaskan rip I brought my bathing suit because there were waterslides and pools on Norwegian cruise ship. I am glad that I brought my bathing suit because we spent a lot of time on the ship, and the pool and slides were very nice. While on the cruise ship, there were not a lot of things to do except swim or eat. Definitely pack a swimsuit (or even two) to make use of the down time when you’re not in port.
10. Sea-Band Motion Sickness Bands: If you get sea sick, do not forget to bring something for motion sickness whether it be Dramamine or a sea band. I felt sea sick the first couple of days and I really wish I would’ve had something to help. Make sure to bring multiple medicine/homeopathic options if you have never been on a cruise before.
11. Pullover Sweatshirt: Although I didn’t use my raincoat in Alaska, I wore a sweatshirt or a hoodie everyday. Even when it is not raining in Alaska there is usually a breeze and a sweatshirt is a good way to counter the cold wind. Even on sunny days I still wore my sweatshirt because of the cold breeze. If I didn’t bring my sweatshirt I would have been freezing while we were out exploring. A sweatshirt will help block out the wind, but not make you sweat while doing so. I would highly recommend packing a few sweatshirts for your Alaskan cruise.
12. Navy Nike Running Shoes: Comfortable sneakers are essential. We did a lot of exploring and walking off the ship. I wore Converse one day and my feet hurt terribly by the end of the day. I switched to sneakers and my feet felt great at the end of the day. Bring sneakers too if you want to use the gym and participate in go karting and laser tag on the ship. Sneakers are not required on the ship, you’ll be fine with any footwear. Just don’t bring too many pairs of shoes because there is barely anyone storage in the rooms.
13. Packable Backpack: A backpack that fits inside your other luggage is perfect to take for day trips. Pack some snacks, your water bottle, rain coats, and an umbrella and you’re prepared for any excursion.
14. Compact Umbrella: Like I said, it didn’t rain when we were there, but it can (and does) rain often in Alaska. A small umbrella won’t take up much room in your suitcase and you’ll be glad you have it.
15. Light Pink Baseball Cap: A hat will protect your face from the sun and help with any glare issues. It doesn’t take up much room in a suitcase, so throw it in just in case.
16.. GoPro: If you’re taking any excursions on the water you’ll want a GoPro. This waterproof camera is perfect for adventure photography when you can’t take your cell phone.
Other items to pack for Alaska that you might want to bring include: gloves (it can get chilly), a lightweight down coat, and leggings. If you have all of this, you will be set and ready to enjoy your Alaska cruise!