Cruise Diva's Packing
& Planning Suggestions
by Linda Coffman
for Cool Cruise Destinations
are a must-have for wildlife sightings
Packing for a cruise to Alaska, or
other northern destinations, isn't a lot different than packing for
most other cruises. After all, these cruises are seasonal and you
will be there in summer. While you might think the weather is
chilly, don't be surprised to see residents in shorts.
Begin planning where you normally
do—with Cruise Diva's Original
Packing List (tailored for women), where you'll find the
basics. Unless you choose a cruise line with an "elegant
casual" dress code, you'll need the usual dressier outfits for
formal nights. Packing
for Men has that covered.
for those special Cool Cruise requirements...
Dress in Layers: Trust me on this, you'll be far more
comfortable in a cotton turtleneck topped with a light sweater and
windbreaker-style jacket than bundled up in a parka. Add and
subtract layers as the weather warrants. You will find that
temperatures can fluctuate wildly. If you intend to purchase long
underwear, consider silk—it feels nice and is extremely effective.
Jeans and corduroys are fine for days ashore in cool climates. Yes,
you're on a cruise and you won't want to wear jeans to dinner, but
they are quite acceptable for daytime.
"Wind Suits": These are a staple in some women's
wardrobes and the nylon suits lined with cotton are ideal for cool
weather. You might
want to add a pair of leggings under the pants if temperatures
dictate something heavier.
Jackets: No, you won't necessarily need a down parka;
however, if you are visiting the North Cape you will need a warm
jacket or coat. With layers beneath to trap warmth, an anorak-type
jacket, lined windbreaker, or a slicker (particularly useful if it
rains) should be sufficient. Items made of Gore-tex are very
effective at cutting the wind. Remember, with all the spectacular
scenery, you'll want to spend some time on deck, especially the day
your ship stops alongside a glacier. Extended time outside can mean
you'll be cold if you're not properly dressed.
Accessories: Comfortable shoes go without saying—try to make
sure yours are water-resistant and wear warm socks with them. Gloves
and a hat or knit headband that covers your ears are necessary for
that day at a glacier.
Gear: Bring along your camera, plenty of film, and batteries.
Binoculars are a must for viewing wildlife—you don't want to miss
seeing a bald eagle up close! A lightweight backpack or tote bag is
handy for carrying your gear, both on board ship and ashore. You
never know when a whale or a bear will decide to take a look at you
and you'll want your binoculars handy.
Miscellaneous: I find that if I have an umbrella, I won't need
it—pack one that folds up. Insect repellant is also handy in
Alaska in summertime when the native mosquitoes can be fierce. Good
facial moisturizers and body lotions will keep your skin from
feeling dry and chapped.
that sound like a lot of extras? Keep in mind that by dressing in
layers, you can mix-and-match for versatility. Three or four light
tops can take up less room in a suitcase than one heavy sweater or
sweatshirt. You'll get a lot more in your
suitcases by compressing garments, as outlined in Cruise
& Packing Tips.
A few words about
sweatshirts—if you plan to buy one as a souvenir, wear it during
your cruise and don't pack one.
And, because you're on a
cruise, DO pack bathing suits and at least one pair of shorts. Most
cruise ships have a heated or covered pool and hot tubs for
relaxation and you may find the weather balmy on the southern
reaches of your itinerary.
© Author's Collection
- The Alaska cruise experience by Linda Coffman
Cruise Norway & The North Cape
- By cruise expert Mary Ann Rizzo
Ports of Call
- Exclusive Alaska port profiles from
Cruise Diva's FOCUS on Cool Cruise Destinations
- What you need to know
before you go!
- The world's largest gateway to the
circumpolar North, from arts and culture to science and tourism.
Alaska history, articles, and links to related resources by Murray
Lundberg, historian, writer and photographer.
You'll find great gear for serious travelers in
Catalog, including Eagle Creek packing organizers and the
Pack-It Compressor Set.
Baltic Ports of Call
- From the white cliffs of Dover to intriguing
St. Petersburg, the centers of power, charm, history, and art in
Baltic Cruise Diary
- Follow our progress from Dover to Stockholm.
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from Cruise Diva & Expert
by Cruise Diva & Past
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