What to Wear on an Alaskan Cruise: Outfit Ideas to Look Stylish and Feel Comfy

Going on an Alaskan cruise is an adventure of a lifetime, where you’ll witness breathtaking landscapes, majestic glaciers, and plenty of wildlife. However,  knowing what to wear can be challenging.

That’s because the weather in Alaska is unpredictable, varying from month to month and hour to hour. Here are some tips for what to pack for an Alaskan cruise and some cute outfit ideas that perfectly balance comfort and style.

What to Pack for an Alaskan Cruise- Consider the Season

Cruising season to Alaska starts in May and goes to September.  July and August are the best months because the days are longer, temperatures are warmer, and there’s less rain. September is slightly less crowded since many families return to work and school, but it’s colder and cloudier.

Weather fluctuates greatly in Alaska.  It can be clear and chilly in the morning, then rainy and mild, or sunny and hot in the afternoon, and finally back to cold again all in one day. Be sure to plan your wardrobe around versatile, layered outfits.


Long cardigans layered are good!

Daywear For Onboard Ship and Excursions

Layering is the key to dressing for an Alaskan cruise vacation. Your daywear should be comfortable and easy to clean since you will be outside a lot in nature. Pack:

  • Base layers – thin first layers like long underwear in fabrics that don’t retain water and are warm and quick drying
  • Leggings
  • Comfortable pants like jeans or utility pants
  • Lightweight T-shirts with long sleeves
  • Sweatshirts
  • Warm sweaters
  • Light, thin waterproof jacket (a must-have for rainy days!)
  • Light, thin puffer jacket or puffer vest
  • Fleece hoodie or jacket – keeps you cozy
  • Denim jacket (comes in handy)
  • Scarf
  • Gloves
  • Wool socks or moisture-resistant socks
  • Dark, waterproof shoes like sneakers or hiking boots for when you are on the trails (White will get dirty)
  • Extra pair of sneakers that are always clean for on deck
  • Baseball cap or Bucket Hat as when there is sun, it’s strong
  • Wooly hat- Beanie (toque) for when you are near the Glaciers
  • Swimsuit- The cruise ship has an outdoor hot tub and usually an indoor pool
  • Flip-flocks for the pool deck
  • Pair of shorts or cargo pants that unzip into shorts, in case you get a hot day.
  • Sunglasses – good quality as the sun reflects off the snow and water


Also, don’t forget to add these to your Alaska Cruise Packing List

  • High-quality camera
  • Binoculars to see all the wildlife -one pair per person, so you don’t miss out.
  • Insect repellent- important
  • Lip balm
  • Backpack to use on excursions or travel pouch for your waist
  • Phone charger
  • Sunscreen- very important as the sun can be strong
  • Rain poncho or windproof umbrella (optional if you have a rain jacket with hood)



Some Alaskan cruises have formal nights that invite women to wear fancy cocktail dresses or gowns and men to wear suits or tuxedos. However, the vast majority of Alaskan cruises are very laid-back and casual. Many women wear jeans or black pants and a nice top or sweater at dinner. You can also wear a simple, casual dress with low heels or wedges.

Usually, there will be at least one more dressy dinner night where the dress code is more Evening Chic. For that, you can wear a nice dress or understated cocktail dress, skirt, dress pants, or designer jeans with an elegant or feminine top. If your dress or top is sleeveless, a pashmina wrap is s good idea to keep from feeling chilly.

Putting it all Together – Alaskan Cruise Outfit Ideas


Alaska - Cardigan

Layers are Key – cardigan | tee | jeans | joggers | flats

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Light Jacket to Wear on an Alaskan Cruise

Take a sweater! Peach cable knit | leggings | light warm jacket | rain boots |crossbody flat bag

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1. Layered Perfection

Start with a lightweight base layer, such as a long-sleeved thermal top, to keep you warm. Pair it with a cozy sweater or cardigan for added insulation. Complete the look with dark-washed jeans or leggings, ensuring comfort and style. Accessorize with a patterned scarf and ankle boots for a touch of sophistication.


2. Nautical-inspired Chic:

Channel the maritime spirit with a nautical-inspired ensemble. Opt for a striped, long-sleeved shirt reminiscent of the sea, and pair it with high-waisted jeans or white pants for a fresh, clean look—layer with a lightweight trench coat or a utility jacket. Complete the outfit with boat shoes or comfortable sneakers, and don’t forget a wide-brimmed hat to shield yourself from the sun or light rain.


3. Cozy Cabin Vibes: For those days when you want to embrace the cozy ambiance of the ship’s cabin, go for a relaxed yet stylish outfit. Slip into a chunky knit sweater or a soft turtleneck. Pair it with leggings or comfortable joggers for maximum comfort. Add a touch of flair with fluffy socks and slippers. This outfit is perfect for lounging around, reading a book, or enjoying the stunning views from your cabin.


4. Outdoor Explorer: Alaska offers numerous opportunities for outdoor exploration, and you’ll want an outfit that can keep up with your adventures. Start with moisture-wicking base layers, such as thermal tops and leggings, to k—layer warm and dry. Layer with a fleece or softshell jacket to provide insulation and protection against wind and light rain. Don’t forget to pack hiking pants or convertible trousers that offer flexibility and comfort. Complete the look with sturdy hiking boots, a wide-brimmed hat, and polarized sunglasses.


5. Rainy Day Chic: Alaska’s weather is unpredictable and changes on a dime,  so be prepared with a stylish rainy-day outfit. Start with a lightweight, waterproof trench coat or a rain jacket with a hood. Pair it with slim-fit jeans or waterproof trousers. Choose ankle boots or rain boots to keep your feet dry. Complete the look with a patterned umbrella to add a pop of color and .protect yourself from the rain.


Rain Jacket outfit to wear on an Alaskan cruise

You need a raincoatwaterproof shoes | athleisurewear hoodie | leggings | backpack

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6. Glacier-ready Attire: One of the highlights of an Alaskan cruise is witnessing the awe-inspiring glaciers up close. For glacier excursions, prioritize warmth and protection. Start with a thermal base layer, followed by a fleece or down jacket for insulation. Consider packing waterproof and windproof pants or overalls for added protection against icy conditions. Don’t forget to wear thermal socks and waterproof boots with good traction for walking on uneven surfaces. Finish the look with a beanie, warm hat, and gloves to keep your extremities cozy.


7. Formal Evening Elegance: Alaskan cruises often include formal or semi-formal evenings, allowing you to dress up. Opt for an elegant cocktail dress or a dressy jumpsuit in a rich color or classic black. Pair it with a tailored blazer or a shawl to add warmth and sophistication. Accessorize with statement jewelry, a clutch, comfortable heels, or dressy flats. This outfit will make you feel glamorous while enjoying the ship’s fine dining and entertainment.


8. Casual Daytime Comfort: For casual daytime activities, create a comfortable and functional outfit. Opt for a cozy knit sweater or a flannel shirt paired with jeans or leggings—layer with a lightweight down vest or a denim jacket for added warmth. Complete the look with comfortable walking shoes or sneakers to explore the ports of call. Don’t forget to bring a spacious tote bag to carry essentials like a water bottle, sunscreen, and a camera.


9. Active Adventure Gear

If you plan on engaging in kayaking, hiking, or ziplining activities, prioritize functional and moisture-wicking clothing. Choose quick-drying tops, such as performance tees or moisture-wicking shirts, paired with lightweight, breathable pants or shorts. Look for athletic shoes or hiking boots with good traction for rugged terrains. Don’t forget a moisture-wicking cap or a visor to protect yourself from the sun.


10. Thermal Delights for Cooler Days

Alaska’s temperatures can dip, especially in the mornings and evenings. On cooler days, layering is crucial. Start with a thermal base layer, then add a cozy cable-knit sweater or a fleece top. Pair it with dark-washed jeans or corduroys for a chic and warm ensemble. Ankle or knee-high boots will keep your feet warm and add a touch of style. Consider accessorizing with a blanket scarf for extra warmth and versatility.


11. Relaxing Spa Days

An Alaskan cruise often includes luxurious spa facilities where you can unwind and pamper yourself. For spa days, prioritize comfort and relaxation. Choose a soft, plush robe and slippers to wear before and after your treatments. You can also opt for comfortable loungewear like joggers and a cozy hoodie. Don’t forget to bring a swimsuit for enjoying the onboard pool or hot tub.

Puffer coat to wear on an Alaskan cruise

 Glacier Exploration- thin puffer | jeans | fanny pack | scarf | sweater | warm, waterproof boots

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Dinner, Drinks – Warm, elevated leisurewear onboard – boots | bag optional | earrings

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Tips for Packing and Styling:

  • Plan ahead: Research the weather forecast for your cruise dates and pack accordingly. Also, research the dress code for your particular cruise line.
  • Mix and match: Pack versatile pieces that can be mixed and matched to create different outfits. This will help maximize your wardrobe options while minimizing the number of items you need to pack. Neutrals are easiest to mix and match.
  • Accessories are key: Accessories can transform and elevate your outfits. Bring scarves, hats, and statement jewelry to add style and personality to your looks.
  • Comfortable footwear: Invest in comfortable and weather-appropriate footwear. Make sure to break in new shoes before your trip to avoid discomfort or blisters.
  • Consider laundry options: If your cruise offers laundry facilities, you can pack fewer items and plan to do laundry onboard.

An Alaskan cruise offers a unique blend of nature and adventure. When choosing your outfits, prioritize comfort, versatility, and layering options for changing weather conditions. Whether exploring the rugged outdoors or enjoying the ship’s amenities, these outfit ideas will ensure you stay comfortable, stylish, and prepared for the incredible experiences awaiting your Alaskan cruise.

Going somewhere else on a cruise? Check out:

12 Cruise Outfit Ideas

Best Cruise Swimwear

Stylish Ideas to Wear on a Cruise

Cute Cruise Dresses

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