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Best Alaska Cruise Outfits: Discover What to Wear & Pack

Imagine yourself standing on the deck of a majestic cruise ship, surrounded by breathtaking scenery of glaciers and snow-capped mountains. These cruises offer incredible opportunities for whale watching, as you sail through picturesque landscapes aboard luxurious ships.

Whether you’re exploring warm destinations or navigating through icy waters, having the right cruise packing essentials, including warm layers, is important. 

Alaska cruise outfits

Best Alaska Cruise Outfit Ideas

Embarking on an Alaskan cruise vacation calls for a wardrobe that strikes the perfect balance between style and functionality.

One essential item to pack is a warm jacket, as temperatures can drop to below freezing.

Let’s dive into some outfit ideas that cater to different activities both on board and ashore, including the perfect jacket to keep you warm in colder temperatures.

Variety of Outfit Ideas for Alaska

Layering is your best friend. The weather can be unpredictable, ranging from chilly mornings to warmer afternoons. It’s important to have a jacket handy, especially when the temperature drops to single digits.

Start with a base layer made of moisture-wicking fabric like merino wool or synthetic blends to keep you comfortable throughout the day, especially when wearing a jacket in colder temperatures. 

Here are some outfit ideas to consider:

  • Base Layer: Opt for long-sleeved tops, leggings, and jackets made from breathable materials.
  • Mid-Layer: Add warmth with cozy sweaters or fleece jackets.
  • Outer Layer: Protect yourself from wind and rain by investing in a waterproof jacket or parka. We love the Marmot rain jacket, but anything that is made of quality material should work!
  • Bottoms: Choose comfortable pants or jeans that allow ease of movement during excursions. Don’t forget to pair them with a jacket for added warmth and protection.

Versatile Clothing Options

Packing light while still having plenty of outfit options is a top priority for many travelers, and having a versatile jacket is key.

Opting for a versatile jacket allows you to create various looks with minimal clothing items. Consider these mix-and-match options:

  • Pack a few neutral tops that can be paired with different bottoms, including a jacket.
  • Invest in convertible pants that can be converted into shorts or capris for versatility. These pants are a great investment for those looking for a versatile clothing option.
  • Versatile Dresses with a jacket: Bring along a dress that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion, and pair it with a stylish jacket.
  • Accessories: Add flair to your outfits with scarves, hats, and statement jewelry.

Find Outfits That Cater to Different Activities on Board and Ashore

An Alaskan cruise offers a plethora of activities both on board and during shore excursions. Here are some outfit ideas tailored to specific activities:

  1. Glacier Viewing: Layer up with thermal base layers, waterproof outerwear, and sturdy hiking boots.
  2. Wildlife Spotting: Dress comfortably in moisture-wicking clothing, binoculars around your neck, and a hat for sun protection.
packing Alaska cruise

Complete Guide: What to Pack for an Alaska Cruise

Embarking on an Alaskan cruise promises breathtaking landscapes, wildlife encounters, and unforgettable experiences.

To ensure you’re fully prepared for this adventure, we’ve put together a comprehensive packing guide tailored specifically for your Alaskan voyage.

From essential items to maximizing space in your suitcase, here’s everything you need to know about what to pack for an Alaska cruise.

Essential Items for Your Suitcase

There are a few must-have items that should find their way into your suitcase. First and foremost, make sure to bring layers of clothing suitable for varying weather conditions.

The weather in Alaska can be unpredictable, so having a mix of lightweight and warm garments is essential.

Include long-sleeved shirts, sweaters or fleeces, waterproof jackets or windbreakers, and comfortable pants.

Don’t forget about footwear! Sturdy walking shoes or hiking boots are vital if you plan on exploring the wilderness during excursions.

Pack a pair of waterproof shoes or boots to keep your feet dry in case of rain or wet conditions.

Maximizing Space While Ensuring You Have Everything You Need

Packing efficiently is crucial when preparing for any trip, especially when luggage space may be limited. Here are some tips on how to maximize space while ensuring you have all the essentials:

  1. Roll your clothes: Rolling clothes instead of folding them can save significant space in your suitcase.
  2. Use packing cubes: These handy organizers help compress clothing and keep everything neatly arranged.
  3. Choose versatile pieces: Opt for clothing items that can be mixed and matched easily to create different outfits with fewer items.
  4. Utilize vacuum-sealed bags: These allow you to compress bulky clothing like coats or sweaters while protecting them from moisture.

Must-Have Clothing, Accessories, and Personal Items

Now let’s dive into the specific clothing, accessories, and personal items that are essential for your Alaska cruise:

  • Warm hats and gloves: Protect yourself from the chilly temperatures during outdoor activities.
  • Swimsuit: Although Alaska may not be known for its warm waters, some cruise ships offer heated pools or hot tubs.
  • Binoculars: Enhance your wildlife spotting opportunities by bringing a pair of binoculars.
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses: Even on cloudy days, UV rays can still harm your skin. Don’t forget to protect yourself.
  • Waterproof backpack or daypack: Ideal for carrying essentials during shore excursions or hikes.

By following this packing list tailored specifically for an Alaskan cruise, you’ll be well-prepared to make the most of your adventure.

Remember to check with your specific cruise line for any additional recommendations they may have.

So pack your bags, embark on that incredible journey, and get ready to create memories that will last a lifetime!

stylish Alaska cruise outfits

Stylish Outfit Suggestions for Different Months of the Year

It’s essential to consider the changing weather conditions throughout the year. Each month brings its own unique climate, and adapting your wardrobe accordingly will ensure you stay stylish and comfortable during your trip. From summer to winter, here are some outfit suggestions to inspire your fashion choices.

Summer (June – August)

During the summer months in Alaska, you can expect milder temperatures and longer days. This is the perfect time to embrace cute outfits that are both fashionable and practical. Here are some ideas:

  • Opt for lightweight clothing such as dresses or skirts made from breathable fabrics like cotton or linen.
  • Pair your outfit with a stylish hat to protect yourself from the sun.
  • Don’t forget to pack a bathing suit for any shore excursions that involve water activities.

Fall (September – November)

As autumn arrives in Alaska, cooler days call for layering options and warmer attire. Consider these outfit suggestions for a fashionable fall look:

  • Layer up with a vest or jacket over your favorite shirts or blouses.
  • Swap out shorts for dress pants or dark jeans.
  • Embrace long-sleeved tops or sweaters in cozy materials like cashmere or wool.

Winter (December – February)

Winter in Alaska can be quite chilly, so it’s important to bundle up while still maintaining your style. Here’s how you can stay warm and fashionable during this season:

  • Invest in a good-quality coat that provides insulation against the cold.
  • Layer thermal shirts under sweaters or flannel shirts for added warmth.
  • Pair your outfit with boots that are both stylish and suitable for icy conditions.

Spring (March – May)

Springtime brings milder temperatures as Alaska starts to thaw from winter. Here are some outfit suggestions that capture the essence of this transitional season:

  • Embrace lighter fabrics like chiffon or silk for dresses or blouses.
  • Opt for short-sleeved tops to stay comfortable during the warmer days.
  • Consider incorporating floral patterns and pastel colors into your outfits to celebrate the arrival of spring.

In each month of an Alaska cruise, you’ll find unique fashion trends that reflect the season. From summer sundresses to cozy winter coats, adapt your wardrobe accordingly and embrace the style of each month. Remember to check the weather forecast before your trip and pack versatile pieces that allow you to layer up or down depending on the day’s conditions.

So whether you’re enjoying cocktails on deck, exploring charming port towns, or attending dinner events onboard, these outfit suggestions will ensure you look stylish throughout your journey through the top Alaska cruise ports.

outfits for Alaska cruise

Layering Tips and Tricks for Alaska Cruise Outfits

One of the most important things to consider is how to dress in layers. The weather in Alaska can be unpredictable, with temperatures fluctuating throughout the day. By mastering effective layering techniques, you can ensure that you stay comfortable and prepared for any weather conditions that come your way.

Stay Comfortable with Effective Layering Techniques

Layering is not only practical but also essential. It allows you to adjust your clothing according to the changing temperatures and activities during the day. By adding or removing layers as needed, you can maintain a comfortable body temperature without feeling too hot or too cold.

To effectively layer your outfits, start with a base layer made of moisture-wicking fabric such as merino wool or synthetic materials like polyester. These fabrics will help keep sweat away from your skin and prevent you from feeling damp and chilly.

On top of your base layer, add a mid-layer for insulation. Fleece jackets or sweaters are excellent options as they provide warmth while still being lightweight and breathable. Opt for pieces that have zippers or buttons so that you can easily adjust ventilation if necessary.

Finally, top off your outfit with an outer layer that offers protection against wind, rain, and snow. A waterproof jacket or shell will keep you dry in case of unexpected showers while blocking out chilly winds during outdoor excursions.

Flexibility in Changing Weather Conditions

One of the advantages of layering is its ability to adapt to changing weather conditions throughout the day. In Alaska, mornings may be cool and misty, while afternoons could bring sunshine and warmer temperatures. By wearing multiple layers, you can easily adjust your outfit accordingly.

For instance, if it’s chilly in the morning but expected to warm up later on, start with a base layer and mid-layer combination. As the day progresses and temperatures rise, you can remove the mid-layer and rely on your base layer to keep you comfortable. If the weather takes a turn for the worse, simply add back your mid-layer and outer shell for added warmth and protection.

Best Fabrics for Layering in Cold Climates

Choosing the right fabrics is crucial. Opt for materials that are lightweight, breathable, and moisture-wicking to ensure maximum comfort throughout your cruise.

Here are some fabric options that work well for layering:

  • Merino wool: Known for its excellent insulation properties, merino wool keeps you warm while effectively wicking away moisture.
  • Synthetic materials: Fabrics like polyester or nylon are durable, quick-drying, and ideal for base layers.
  • Fleece: A popular choice for mid-layers due to its warmth-to-weight ratio and breathability.
  • Gore-Tex or other waterproof materials: These fabrics provide reliable protection against rain or snow when used as an outer layer.
boots for cruise

Essential Footwear for a Comfortable Alaska Cruise Experience

Choosing the right footwear is essential.

From wet excursions to exploring ports of call and enjoying onboard activities, having the appropriate shoes can make all the difference in ensuring a comfortable experience.

Here are some options to consider when selecting your footwear for an Alaskan adventure:

Waterproof Shoes for Wet Excursions

Alaska’s stunning landscapes offer plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventures, but they often involve encounters with water.

To keep your feet dry and comfortable during wet excursions, waterproof shoes are a must-have. Consider investing in a good pair of waterproof hiking shoes or boots that provide both durability and protection against moisture.

These shoes will not only keep your feet dry when trekking through rain-soaked trails but also offer excellent grip on slippery surfaces.

Comfortable Walking Shoes for Exploring Ports of Call

Exploring the charming ports of call along your Alaska cruise itinerary requires comfortable walking shoes that can handle long hours of strolling.

Opt for sturdy walking shoes that provide ample support and cushioning to prevent fatigue and discomfort.

Look for features like arch support and shock absorption to ensure maximum comfort throughout your explorations ashore.

To give you some options, here are a few types of walking shoes suitable for port excursions:

  • Sneakers: Lightweight sneakers with breathable materials can be great choices if you prefer casual comfort.
  • Trail Running Shoes: If you plan on venturing off the beaten path or tackling more rugged terrain, trail running shoes offer enhanced traction and stability.
  • Slip-On Shoes: For those who value convenience without compromising style, slip-on shoes provide ease of wear while still offering comfort and support.

Best Footwear Choices for Onboard Activities and Lounging

While onboard your cruise ship, you’ll want footwear that is versatile enough to accommodate various activities while keeping you at ease during relaxation times.

Opting for shoes that are easy to slip on and off will save you time and effort.

Consider packing a pair of comfortable rain boots or waterproof shoes to navigate wet decks or enjoy outdoor activities without worrying about soggy feet.

Prioritize comfort above all else. Slippers or lightweight sneakers can be ideal choices for casual strolls around the deck or relaxing in your cabin.

warm outfits for cruise

Cozy Outerwear Options for Excursions on an Alaskan Cruise

When embarking on an Alaskan cruise, it’s essential to be prepared with the right outerwear to keep you warm and comfortable during excursions in the chilly climate.

Alaska’s breathtaking landscapes offer a myriad of opportunities for exploration, from hiking through majestic forests to witnessing glaciers up close.

To fully enjoy these adventures, you’ll need cruise wear that provides both warmth and mobility. Here are some cozy outerwear options to consider:

Insulated Jackets

Insulated jackets are a must-have when venturing into Alaska’s colder regions. These jackets are designed to trap heat and provide excellent insulation against the frigid temperatures.

Look for options like puffer jackets or parkas filled with down or synthetic materials that offer exceptional warmth without adding excessive weight.

Insulated jackets are lightweight, making them easy to pack in your luggage space while still offering ample protection against the cold.

Fleece Sweaters

Layering is key. A fleece sweater is an ideal mid-layer option as it provides extra warmth without restricting movement.

Opt for a lightweight fleece that can easily fit under your jacket or coat.

Fleece sweaters are not only cozy but also quick-drying, making them perfect for those unexpected rain showers or misty excursions along the Inside Passage.

Waterproof Coats

Alaska is known for its rainfall, so having a reliable waterproof coat is essential.

Look for a durable rain jacket made from waterproof materials such as Gore-Tex or nylon with sealed seams to keep you dry even during heavy downpours.

A waterproof coat will not only protect you from rain but also shield you from strong winds and potential splashes while exploring by boat or participating in water-based activities.

Stylish Options

Who says staying warm can’t be fashionable? You don’t have to sacrifice style for comfort during your Alaskan cruise.

Many outdoor brands offer a wide range of stylish jackets and coats that are both functional and trendy.

Look for options with unique designs, faux fur trim, or interesting color combinations to add a touch of personality to your outfit.

Feeling good in what you wear can enhance your overall experience as you traverse Alaska’s stunning landscapes.

When packing for your Alaskan adventure, consider the specific activities you plan to engage in during excursions.

Will you be hiking through forests, kayaking, or even taking a dip in an outdoor pool or hot tub? Ensure your outerwear accommodates these activities while keeping you warm and dry.

Remember to pack essentials like a lightweight backpack for carrying extra layers or rain gear during excursions. This will allow you to easily adapt to changing weather conditions without feeling weighed down by bulky items.

cruise outfits for a cruise to Alaska

Must-Have Accessories to Enhance Your Alaska Cruise Outfits

It’s essential to consider not only style but also functionality. The right cruise accessories can elevate your look while protecting you from the elements.

Protecting Against the Elements

Alaska’s unpredictable weather calls for accessories that provide protection against wind, rain, and cold temperatures. Hats, gloves, scarves, and sunglasses are key items to consider.

Hats: A good hat is a must for any Alaska cruise outfit. Opt for a waterproof or water-resistant hat to keep your head dry during unexpected showers. Choose a hat with a wide brim or ear flaps to shield your face and ears from chilly winds.

Gloves: Don’t forget about gloves! When exploring the Alaskan wilderness or spending time on deck, insulated gloves are crucial in keeping your hands warm and protected. Look for gloves made with materials like fleece or thermal insulation for maximum comfort.

Scarves: Scarves not only add a stylish touch to your outfit but also provide an extra layer of warmth. Opt for thick and cozy scarves made from wool or cashmere blends. These will keep you snug when temperatures drop while complementing your overall look.

Sunglasses: Protecting your eyes from the sun’s glare is essential even during an Alaskan cruise. Choose sunglasses with polarized lenses to reduce eye strain and block harmful UV rays. Opt for wraparound styles that provide additional coverage against wind and dust.

Statement Pieces without Compromising Practicality

While practicality is important on an Alaskan cruise, there’s no reason why you can’t incorporate statement pieces into your outfits. Here’s how you can accessorize with flair without sacrificing functionality:

  • Jewelry: Choose jewelry pieces that make a statement without getting in the way. Chunky bracelets, bold earrings, or a statement necklace can add a touch of glamour to your outfit while still being practical for everyday wear.
  • Belts: Cinch your waist with a stylish belt to add definition and flair to your cruise outfits. Opt for belts made from durable materials like leather or fabric that can withstand the elements.
  • Scarves as Belts: Get creative by using scarves as belts. This not only adds color and pattern but also serves a functional purpose. Secure the scarf around your waist to accentuate your figure while keeping it handy for extra warmth when needed.

Style and Functionality Combined

Accessorizing on an Alaska cruise doesn’t mean compromising style for functionality. There are plenty of options that serve both purposes:

  • Waterproof Bags: Invest in a waterproof bag or backpack that is both stylish and practical. Look for bags with multiple compartments to keep your belongings organized during excursions.
cruise accessories Alaska cruise

Elevate Your Style on an Unforgettable Alaska Cruise

Congratulations! You are now armed with the best outfit ideas, packing tips, and styling suggestions for your upcoming Alaska cruise.

Whether you’re cruising in the summer or braving the chilly winter months, you’ll be prepared to look stylish and feel comfortable throughout your journey.

Remember to layer up, choose versatile pieces, and pack essential accessories to enhance your outfits. With these tips in mind, you’ll be ready to explore the stunning landscapes of Alaska while turning heads with your impeccable style.

Now that you have all the tools to create fabulous Alaska cruise outfits, it’s time to start planning and packing for your adventure.

Don’t forget to check the weather forecast before your trip and make any necessary adjustments to ensure you’re prepared for various conditions.

And most importantly, have fun with your outfits! Use this opportunity to express yourself through fashion while enjoying the breathtaking beauty of Alaska.


Can I wear jeans on an Alaska cruise?

Yes, jeans can be a great option for casual days onboard or exploring ports of call during an Alaskan cruise. Opt for darker washes or black jeans for a more polished look.

What type of shoes should I bring?

For an Alaska cruise, it’s essential to have comfortable walking shoes such as sneakers or hiking boots for shore excursions. Pack a pair of dressier shoes like flats or loafers for evening activities onboard.

Are thermal layers necessary?

Thermal layers are highly recommended for an Alaskan cruise as they provide extra warmth when temperatures drop. Consider packing thermal tops and bottoms made from moisture-wicking materials.

Can I wear dresses on an Alaska cruise?

Absolutely! Dresses can be a versatile option for both casual and formal occasions onboard. Choose longer lengths and pair them with leggings or tights during colder months.

Do I need rain gear?

Rain gear is essential when cruising through Alaska, as the weather can be unpredictable. Pack a waterproof jacket and pants to stay dry during outdoor activities.