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What To Pack For Alaska Cruise In May


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Mandy Melgoza



Embarking on an Alaska cruise in May promises an unparalleled adventure amidst breathtaking landscapes and diverse wildlife. As you prepare for this exciting journey, it is essential to pack wisely to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable trip. The weather in Alaska during May can be unpredictable, with cool temperatures and a mix of sun, rain, and even snow in certain regions. Therefore, it is important to pack a variety of clothing options and be prepared for changing conditions.


Alaska cruises offer a unique experience, with opportunities to explore magnificent glaciers, encounter majestic whales, and witness the untouched beauty of the Last Frontier. Whether you’re sailing through the Inside Passage, visiting iconic ports like Juneau and Skagway, or venturing further into remote areas like Glacier Bay National Park, your packing list should cater to the activities and weather you may encounter.


In this guide, we will provide you with a comprehensive list of items to pack for an Alaska cruise in May, ensuring that you are well-prepared for whatever adventures await you. From clothing and footwear to accessories and toiletries, we will cover all the essentials to make your cruise experience comfortable and convenient.


Keep in mind that the specific items you should pack may vary depending on the length of your cruise, your planned activities, and personal preferences. However, the general guidelines and recommendations outlined in this article will serve as a useful starting point for packing for your Alaska cruise.


Now, let’s delve into the details of what to pack to ensure you have everything you need for a memorable Alaska cruise in May.



When it comes to clothing for an Alaska cruise in May, layering is key. The weather can vary greatly throughout the day, so having layers allows you to adjust your clothing accordingly and stay comfortable. Here are some essential items to consider:

  • Base Layers: Pack lightweight, moisture-wicking base layers like thermal shirts and leggings to keep you warm and dry. These are great for wearing under other clothing items.
  • T-Shirts and Tops: Bring a mix of long-sleeved and short-sleeved tops for versatility. Opt for breathable fabrics like cotton or synthetic blends.
  • Sweaters and Fleece Jackets: Pack a few warm sweaters or fleece jackets for layering on cooler days or when out on deck. These will provide extra insulation.
  • Pants and Shorts: Include a combination of jeans, lightweight pants, and shorts to accommodate different weather conditions and activities.
  • Dresses or Skirts: If you prefer a dressier option for onboard dinners or special events, pack a couple of dresses or skirts that can be paired with cardigans or sweaters.
  • Sleepwear: Don’t forget to pack comfortable sleepwear for cozy nights in your cabin.
  • Swimwear: Although the water may be chilly, some cruise ships offer heated pools or hot tubs. Bring your swimwear if you plan on taking a dip.

Having a variety of clothing options allows you to adapt to the changing weather conditions and different activities onboard and onshore. Remember to pack clothing that can be easily mixed and matched, reducing the need for excessive items.


In the next section, we will discuss the footwear you should bring for an Alaska cruise in May.



Choosing the right footwear for an Alaska cruise in May is crucial to ensure comfort and safety throughout your journey. The terrain can vary, from rugged shores and gravel pathways to slippery decks and wet environments. Here are some essential footwear items to consider:

  • Hiking Shoes or Boots: If you plan on embarking on hiking excursions or exploring nature trails, a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or boots is a must. Look for waterproof options with good traction to protect your feet and provide stability on uneven terrain.
  • Comfortable Walking Shoes: For everyday activities and walking tours, pack a pair of comfortable walking shoes with good arch support. Opt for waterproof or water-resistant shoes to keep your feet dry in case of rain or wet conditions.
  • Sandals or Flip-Flops: Include a pair of sandals or flip-flops for lounging by the pool or walking around the ship. These are also handy for quick trips ashore or visiting the ship’s spa.
  • Waterproof Shoes: With the possibility of rain or wet environments, having a pair of waterproof shoes like rubber boots or water-resistant sneakers is advisable. These will keep your feet dry and protected.
  • Dress Shoes: If you plan on attending formal events or dining in upscale restaurants onboard, pack a pair of dress shoes for those occasions. Comfortable heels or dressy flats are suitable options.

Having a variety of footwear allows you to be prepared for different activities and environments. Make sure to break in any new shoes before your trip to avoid discomfort or blisters. Additionally, consider bringing extra pairs of socks to keep your feet comfortable and dry.


Next, we will discuss the importance of outerwear for an Alaska cruise in May.



When packing for an Alaska cruise in May, it is essential to have the right outerwear to protect yourself from the elements. The weather can be unpredictable, so having versatile and functional outerwear is key. Here are some essential outerwear items to consider:

  • Jacket or Coat: A waterproof and windproof jacket or coat is a must-have for an Alaska cruise in May. Look for options with a removable liner or layers for adaptability to different temperatures. This will keep you warm and dry during outdoor activities and excursions.
  • Windbreaker: In addition to a jacket or coat, it’s a good idea to pack a lightweight windbreaker. This can be easily folded and carried in your daypack for additional protection against gusty winds.
  • Hat or Beanie: Bring a warm hat or beanie to protect your head and ears from the cold. Opt for options that cover your ears for added insulation.
  • Gloves: Pack a pair of gloves to keep your hands warm during chilly days and for outdoor activities like glacier viewing. Look for waterproof or insulated options for better protection.
  • Scarf or Neck Gaiter: A scarf or neck gaiter can provide warmth and protect your neck against the cold. It can also be used as a face covering when needed.
  • Umbrella: While it may be tempting to leave the umbrella behind, having a compact, lightweight umbrella can come in handy during unexpected rain showers.

Having the right outerwear will ensure that you stay comfortable and protected during your Alaska cruise. Layering your clothing and combining various outerwear options will allow you to adjust according to the weather conditions and activities.


Next, we will discuss the essential accessories you should pack for your Alaska cruise in May.



When it comes to accessories for an Alaska cruise in May, there are several items that can enhance your comfort and enjoyment during the trip. These accessories can range from functional necessities to personal items that add convenience and style. Here are some essential accessories to consider packing:

  • Sun Protection: Alaska may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of sun protection, but the sun can be intense, especially when reflecting off glaciers and water. Pack a wide-brimmed hat, sunglasses with UV protection, and sunscreen with a high SPF.
  • Daypack or Backpack: A small daypack or backpack is useful for carrying essentials during shore excursions or outdoor activities. Look for one that is comfortable to wear and has enough storage space for your belongings.
  • Binoculars: Having a pair of binoculars will allow you to observe wildlife, glaciers, and other scenic sights from a distance. Look for compact and lightweight binoculars that are easy to carry and provide clear magnification.
  • Camera or Smartphone: Capture the breathtaking moments of your Alaska cruise with a camera or smartphone. Make sure to bring extra batteries or a power bank to ensure you don’t miss any memorable shots.
  • Reusable Water Bottle: Staying hydrated is essential, so bring a reusable water bottle to refill throughout the day. Some cruise ships even have water stations where you can fill up your bottle as needed.
  • Travel Adapters: If you plan on charging electronic devices, such as cameras or smartphones, in your cabin, be sure to pack the necessary travel adapters to accommodate the electrical outlets onboard.
  • Snacks: Pack some snacks to keep you energized during excursions or while exploring ports of call. Granola bars, trail mix, or dried fruits are convenient and easy to carry.

These accessories will add convenience, comfort, and practicality to your Alaska cruise experience. Remember to pack any personal items that you consider essential, such as reading materials, travel journals, or even a travel pillow for added comfort.


Next, we will discuss the toiletries you should consider packing for your Alaska cruise in May.



When it comes to toiletries for an Alaska cruise in May, it is important to pack the essentials while keeping in mind any specific preferences or personal care needs. Although most cruise ships provide basic toiletries, having your own preferred items can make you feel more comfortable. Here is a list of essential toiletries to consider packing:

  • Toothbrush and Toothpaste: Pack a travel-sized toothbrush and toothpaste for maintaining oral hygiene during your cruise.
  • Shampoo and Conditioner: While cruise ships usually provide shampoo and conditioner, you may prefer using your own brands or have specific hair care needs. Consider packing travel-sized bottles of your preferred products.
  • Body Wash or Soap: Bring a small container of body wash or soap to ensure you have your preferred option for showering.
  • Deodorant: Don’t forget to pack your preferred deodorant or antiperspirant to stay fresh throughout your journey.
  • Face Cleanser and Moisturizer: Maintain your skincare routine by packing your preferred face cleanser and moisturizer. Consider travel-sized options to save space.
  • Sunscreen: Protect your skin from the sun’s rays by packing sunscreen with a high SPF. Choose a water-resistant option if you plan on participating in water activities.
  • Razors and Shaving Cream: If you prefer to shave, bring your own razor and shaving cream. Disposable razors are a convenient option for travel.
  • Hair Styling Products: If you use hair styling products, bring travel-sized portions of your favorites to keep your hairstyle intact during your cruise.
  • Personal Hygiene Items: Pack essential personal hygiene items such as feminine hygiene products, contact lens solution, and any medications you may require.

Remember to pack these essentials in a toiletry bag that can be easily stored in your bathroom onboard the cruise ship. Additionally, consider bringing a small first aid kit with basic medical supplies like band-aids, pain relievers, and motion sickness medication.


Next, we will discuss the importance of packing medications for your Alaska cruise in May.



Bringing necessary medications is essential when preparing for an Alaska cruise in May. It is important to have a sufficient supply of your regular medications, as well as any additional medications you may need during your trip. Here are some important considerations regarding medications:

  • Prescription Medications: Make sure to bring an ample supply of any prescription medications you take regularly. It’s advisable to pack enough to last the entire duration of your cruise, plus a few extra days in case of unexpected delays.
  • Over-the-Counter Medications: Include over-the-counter medications like pain relievers, motion sickness pills, antihistamines, and any other medications you typically rely on. These can come in handy for minor ailments or discomforts that may arise during your journey.
  • Medication Containers: Keep your medications organized and easily accessible by using pill organizers or travel containers labeled with the days of the week. This will help ensure you take the correct dosage at the right time.
  • Documentation: Carry a list of all the medications you are taking, including their names, dosages, and directions. It is also recommended to have a copy of your prescriptions or a letter from your healthcare provider, especially if you are carrying controlled substances.
  • Sea sickness Medication: If you are prone to motion sickness, consider bringing sea sickness medication to relieve any discomfort you may experience during rough sea conditions or when partaking in activities like whale watching.

It is important to consult with your healthcare provider before departure to ensure you have all the necessary medications and information needed for a safe and healthy trip. They can provide additional guidance specific to your needs and offer advice on managing medications while traveling.


Next, we will discuss the electronics you should consider packing for your Alaska cruise in May.



In today’s digitized world, electronics have become an integral part of our lives, even during vacation. When packing for an Alaska cruise in May, consider bringing the following electronics to enhance your experience and capture memories:

  • Camera: Whether it’s a professional DSLR camera or a compact digital camera, be sure to bring a device to capture the stunning landscapes and unique wildlife encounters. Don’t forget to bring spare batteries, memory cards, and a camera bag for protection.
  • Smartphone: Your smartphone can serve multiple purposes during your Alaska cruise. Aside from being a camera, it can be used for navigation, communication, and accessing useful travel apps. Make sure to pack your charger or a portable power bank to keep your device charged.
  • E-book Reader or Tablet: If you enjoy reading, consider bringing an e-book reader or tablet to have a selection of books at your fingertips. It can also be used for entertainment, browsing the internet, and staying connected with loved ones back home.
  • Portable Speaker: If you enjoy listening to music, podcasts, or audiobooks, a portable speaker can enhance your onboard experience or provide entertainment during downtime on shore.
  • Adapters and Chargers: It is essential to pack the necessary adapters and chargers for all your electronic devices. Cruise ships typically have outlets that accommodate both US and European plug types, but it’s always a good idea to check and bring the appropriate adapters.
  • Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot: Depending on your onboard internet plan or Wi-Fi availability in ports, a portable Wi-Fi hotspot can ensure you stay connected wherever you go. This can be useful for accessing maps, researching local attractions, and staying connected with family and friends.

While it’s important to bring electronic devices that enhance your experience, remember not to rely solely on them and take the time to appreciate the stunning landscapes and immersive experiences Alaska has to offer.


Next, we will discuss some miscellaneous items that you should consider packing for your Alaska cruise in May.


Miscellaneous Items

When packing for an Alaska cruise in May, there are several miscellaneous items that can come in handy and enhance your overall experience. While these items may not fit into specific categories, they can be essential for your comfort and convenience. Here are some miscellaneous items to consider packing:

  • Travel Insurance: It is highly recommended to have travel insurance that covers medical expenses, trip cancellation, and lost or delayed baggage. This will provide you with peace of mind during your journey.
  • Travel Documents: Ensure you have all the necessary travel documents, including your passport, visas, cruise tickets, and any other identification required. Keep these documents in a safe and easily accessible place.
  • Travel Locks: Bring travel locks to secure your luggage and valuables in your cabin or when you’re out exploring. This will provide an extra layer of security and peace of mind.
  • Motion Sickness Remedies: If you are prone to motion sickness, consider bringing remedies such as wristbands, patches, or medication to alleviate any discomfort during your cruise.
  • Travel-Sized Laundry Detergent: Some cruise ships offer guest laundries where you can do your own laundry. Packing a travel-sized laundry detergent can be useful if you prefer to wash some of your clothes during the trip.
  • Power Strip: As there are limited outlets in most cabins, bringing a power strip can be convenient for charging multiple devices simultaneously.
  • Cash and Credit Cards: While credit cards are widely accepted onboard and in most ports, it’s a good idea to have some cash on hand for small purchases or in case you encounter establishments that don’t accept cards.
  • Reusable Tote Bag: A foldable, reusable tote bag can be useful for carrying souvenirs, snacks, or any items you may acquire during your excursions or trips ashore.

These miscellaneous items can add convenience, security, and practicality to your Alaska cruise experience. Consider your personal needs and preferences when packing these items to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey.


As we conclude this guide, remember to refer to the specific guidelines provided by your cruise line regarding baggage restrictions and any prohibited items.


We hope this comprehensive packing guide helps you prepare for an extraordinary Alaska cruise in May. Bon voyage!



Preparing for an Alaska cruise in May requires careful consideration and packing to ensure you have everything you need for a comfortable and enjoyable journey. The key is to pack versatile clothing that can be easily layered, as the weather can be unpredictable. Outerwear, including waterproof jackets and warm accessories, will provide protection against the elements. Footwear should be chosen for both comfort and functionality, with options for hiking, walking, and formal occasions.


Along with clothing, packing the right accessories can enhance your experience. Sun protection, a daypack, binoculars, and a camera or smartphone are essential items to capture the beauty of Alaska. Essential toiletries and medications should also be included, and electronics like e-readers or tablets and portable speakers can provide entertainment and convenience during your cruise.


Remember to pack miscellaneous items such as travel insurance, locks, motion sickness remedies, and a power strip for added comfort and security. Having the necessary travel documents and some cash on hand is also important.


By following this comprehensive packing guide, you will be well-prepared for your Alaska cruise in May. Remember to also refer to any specific guidelines provided by your cruise line regarding baggage restrictions and prohibited items.


Now, get ready to embark on a remarkable adventure through Alaska’s stunning landscapes, fascinating wildlife, and unforgettable experiences. Bon voyage and enjoy every moment of your extraordinary cruise!