Alaska’s travel season runs from May through September with weather that ranges from cool and rainy to mild and sunny depending on where your itinerary takes you on a given day.
With that in mind, common items to pack include rain gear, and clothing you can use to dress in layers. The following list includes items often overlooked when considering what to pack for an Alaskan cruise.
- Insect repellent: Mosquitoes don’t often come to mind when thinking of Alaska, but the state actually has 35 species of mosquitoes. They are usually not a problem until early June and continue through July. No matter when you plan your trip, it’s better to be prepared than scratching. Be sure to purchase a pump spray because aerosol cans will be confiscated.
- Sunscreen: Just because Alaska is known for cooler temperatures doesn’t mean the sun’s UV rays won’t burn you. The Alaskan sun is strong and reflects off water and ice, increasing your chances of getting burned. Don’t forget the sunscreen, and be sure to apply it before you go on a glacier tour.
- List of Phone Numbers: Prepare a list of contact numbers to report lost or stolen credit cards or traveler’s checks, along with emergency numbers at home. Don’t depend only on an electronic copy of the list. Print it out and carry it with you.
- Waterproof Boots: If you plan to do any amount of hiking during your time ashore, hiking boots or sturdy shoes are a must, and waterproof hiking boots are even better if you plan to hit the trails often. Whether you get caught in the rain or inadvertently step in a stream, you don’t want to walk around with wet feet for any length of time.
- Binoculars: For those heading to Alaska to see the wildlife, quality binoculars make it possible to witness wildlife up close. Whether you’re whale watching or viewing a bear snatching a salmon, binoculars offer an up-close view. If you can afford it, it’s nice for each person to have their own set of binoculars so you don’t miss a thing.
- Extra Memory Cards: The Alaskan landscape is breathtaking, and offers great opportunities for wildlife shots. Be sure to bring extra memory cards for your camera so you aren’t forced to delete photos in order to take more.
For some people, visiting Alaska is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and for others, it’s a favorite cruise destination they return to time and again. No matter which type of person you are, you’ll want to be sure to know what to pack for your Alaska cruise to make the most of your trip.