How to Pack for an Alaskan Cruise - RainCaper

June 04, 2019 3 min read

Have you finally booked the cruise of your dreams? An Alaskan cruise is on almost everyone’s bucket list and it’s no wonder – a chance to see the Northern lights, commune with wildlife ranging from sled dogs and salmon to moose and bears, sight see from a floatplane, helicopter over glaciers, tour the wilderness or explore an independent and rugged way of life distinct from the lower 48 is truly a once in a lifetime opportunity.

People sitting in a cart drawn by sled dogs who are training in summer off road, with no snow

While you may think bulky parkas and snow gear are essential, the reality is that the weather in Alaska is relatively moderate during the popular summer and early fall cruising months. Plan for average temperature highs of 55 degrees Fahrenheit in both May and September; average temperatures range between 62 and 65 degrees Fahrenheit in June, July and August. What this means from a packing perspective is that layering is key.

Woman wearing a Black & Royal RainCaper with the hood up

While Alaska is clearly a wilderness experience, most cruise lines don't allow overly casual clothing such as jeans, shorts or tees in the main dining areas in the evening. On a typical seven-night cruise you can plan on at least two formal or dressy nights, so you’ll want to pack cocktail dresses or dressy pantsuits for women and suits or jackets with collared shirts for men. Save the flannel shirts, cargo pants and casual gear for land excursions where you’ll be in and out of buses, boats and planes – comfortable active and casual wear is appropriate for most land-based activities.  

Woman wearing a black & white houndstooth print RainCaper with the hood up

Comfortable footwear and mix of slacks, tops and jackets will make it easy to explore, whether you are strolling the decks of your cruise ship, enjoying a salmon bake, embarking on a city tour or trekking to the tundra. Because you’ll be spending so much time outside and staying on or near the water, rain gear is a must, yet no one wants to be hot and sweaty in a standard yellow slicker or a cheap plastic rain poncho that sticks to your body. A breathable, rain repellent jacket or coat is ideal, especially if you can find something versatile enough to wear multiple ways.

Close-up of a smiling woman wearing a hooded rain cape by RainCaper

For women, we recommend a RainCaper – it’s a reversible travel cape that doubles as a windbreaker. In case you don’t know, the mosquitoes can be fierce in Alaska – a soft and silky travel cape offers a unique level of protection – toss it on over your shirt or sweater to ward off insects and keep your cool. Because it's a fluid fabric that drapes and moves with you, there's none of that annoying crinkle of plastic plus it's breathable so you remain comfortable and dry in damp or wet weather. A lightweight and packable hooded RainCaper offers versatility – wear it rain or shine – with a solid side and a print side you can maximize your wardrobe options without worrying about heavy bags. Even better, you’ll arrive in style at those dressy dinners – a RainCaper is the perfect wrap, especially when you want coverage in overly air-conditioned environments such as dining areas.    

Woman wearing a reversible rain cape which is black on the outside and features a green peacock print reverse

Naturally you’ll be taking photos to document your trip, so why not pack something that keeps you cool, dry and comfortable, yet also allows you to look your best, whatever the weather? We love the Black & Peacock RainCaper – show your true colors and watch the Northern Lights in style – the Peacock side makes it easy to strut your stuff; reverse to Black for a touch of elegance when you grace the Captain’s table… all eyes will be on you! Enjoy!


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