In May we took an amazing Alaska adventure cruise with UnCruise. I researched for months on the right gear to bring along, but never found the perfect list. Here’s what needs to be on your Alaska cruise packing list if you’re traveling with UnCruise, and what you can leave behind.
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Alaska Packing List for an UnCruise Adventures Ship
1. Rain Jacket
The weather in Alaska is anything but predictable. During the month of May we had two days of rain and some sprinkles here and there. I would say a good rain jacket is essential. Make sure it’s waterproof, not water resistant.
2. Rain pants
Honestly, I had never heard of rain pants before our trip with UnCruise, but I’m so glad I brought them along for our journey. Rain pants are worn over your regular pants and they will keep you mud-free and dry during excursions.
Rain pants are also essential when riding skiff boats as the water can splash over the side of the boat. If it’s raining, the pants also keep you dry. I would highly recommend packing at least one, if not two pairs.
3. Sunscreen and insect repellent
Most days you will be off exploring the Alaska wilderness, so it’s important to bring sunscreen and insect repellent. The bugs weren’t bad in May, but it is my understanding they can be terrible later in the summer months.
4. The best shoes for exploring Alaska
Ideally, you should have 2-3 pairs of shoes. A pair of hiking shoes, a pair of boots (more on this in a bit), and a pair that is easy to slide on and off (perfect for going to meals or the lounge).
These Adidas Terrex Swifts Gore-tex hiking shoes are perfect because they are waterproof and are good on uneven surfaces.
When it comes to boots, UnCruise recommends the Alaskan sneaker, Xtratuf, but I think you would be fine with Hunter boots or something similar. There are a limited number of boots available onboard the ship, but I would rather be prepared ahead of time.
As far as shoes that are easy to slide on and off, I would recommend regular sneakers, ballet flats, or flip flops. Whatever makes you comfortable.
Let’s just say the sun is BRIGHT in Alaska and so is the reflection off the glaciers and water. We highly recommend a good pair of polarized sunglasses with UV protection for your trip.
6. A bathing suit
There are two hot tubs on the top deck of the Wilderness Legacy, which are perfect for relaxing after an active day.
One day is the “Polar Plunge” where you jump into the frigid Alaskan waters. We would highly recommend bringing a suit to enjoy this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
7. A pullover sweatshirt or sweater
I’m not going to lie, it can get chilly any time of day on an Alaska cruise. Pack a pullover sweatshirt or sweater you can throw on when going between your room and the lounge and/or dining room.
8. A day pack/backpack
Every day there’s an adventure off the ship, sometimes multiple times per day. Bring a backpack or day pack that’s easy to carry.
Throw in some snacks, water bottles, sunscreen, and bug repellent before heading off toe explore.
9. Waterproof gloves
When out on the boat, it can be cold and wet. We recommend a pair of waterproof gloves to stay warm!
10. Moisture wicking clothing
One of the most important things to remember when packing for Alaska, is you will want to dress in layers!
We recommend a base layer on top and bottom, followed with a t-shirt, and then a rain coat. This was perfect in May, and my guess would be that in June, July, and August, you can skip an extra layer.
11. Breathable hiking socks
Be sure to pack some breathable hiking socks that help keep your feet dry. Bring several pairs and just hang them to dry in your cabin each night.
12. Quilted vest
It’s great to bring along a vest in case you get chilly. I loved THIS vest because it is lightweight and easy to pack.
13. Camera with a zoom lens
Sure a cell phone can be great for photos, but if you want to see wildlife close up, you’ll want to have a camera with a zoom lens.
We didn’t want to rent a lens for our camera, so we used our point and shoot instead, which worked out pretty well. Here’s the camera we recommend.
14. Waterproof cell phone case and holder
What Not to Pack for Alaska UnCruise adventure
If you’re not traveling with UnCruise, you might need some of these things on your Alaska cruise packing list. Thankfully, UnCruise allows you to leave the following at home.
Binoculars are very useful because they can help spot Alaska wildlife. However, you don’t need to bring your own as UnCruise provides them. There are typically a set of binoculars in each cabin and in the lounge area as well.
We used binoculars to watch brown bears from a distance, as well as whales, dolphins, and a large variety of birds.
2. A refillable water bottle
UnCruise provides refillable water bottles for guests. Pick one up on your first day in the Pesky Barnacle, label it with your name, and it’s yours to keep for the week. You can fill the bottles in the sink (the tap water is treated and filtered) and bring it along on excursions.
3. An umbrella
You won’t need it if you have a rain jacket and rain pants. And no one wants to dodge your umbrella on the ship or skiff.
This is a personal preference, and I would probably recommend a pair for lounging around the boat or hiking in the summer months. In May, we didn’t need them because it was always cool enough to wear pants.
5. Dressy clothes
UnCruise is all about adventures (and comfort). The dressiest thing I wore was a pair of jeans with a cardigan sweater. Save room in your luggage for boots instead, since you’ll definitely need them.
Tips for this Alaska cruise packing list
- Download books and movies ahead of time. UnCruise ships have DVDs onboard, and you can watch them on the small televisions in your cabin. The ship’s library is very limited, so download books to read or bring some paperbacks along and leave them behind when you’re done. *If you’re looking for a quiet reading spot, check out the Pesky Barnacle, the top deck, or the dining room (when it isn’t be used).
- If you have motion sickness issues, consider throwing in a pack of Sea-Band Motion Sickness Bands. I have used these on big cruise ships before, but honestly, I did not need them on UnCruise.
- If you are going to bring a hat, be sure it has a string to secure it to your head. When you’re on the skiff you want to be sure a hat won’t fly away, and a string will prevent that. It’s not a bad idea to throw in a beanie in case you’re there early in the season when it’s colder.
- Bring your own form of entertainment. Whether that’s books and movies, or a deck of cards, there isn’t a lot to do in the evenings except for a daily lecture or game. There are puzzles available and plenty of new people to meet.
- We packed some trail mix and granola bars. However, UnCruise has a basket in the lounge 24/7 with granola bars you can take on your day trips.
- There is no wi-fi onboard UnCruise. We had cellular service one day (we have Verizon), AT & T users had signal a couple of days, and GoogleFi users had the most coverage throughout the trip. So put the phone away and enjoy an unplugged vacation!
We hope this Alaska cruise packing list will help plan your vacation. A trip with UnCruise Adventures is the adventure of a lifetime!