Our Alaska cruise packing guide

Cunard’s helpful packing guide for Alaska cruises, for every style and season.

An escape to the Last Frontier requires clothing for a surprisingly wide range of climates and temperatures, from the crisp air of a woodland hike to the bracing winds of a whale-watching expedition, as well as relaxing in warmth and comfort on board.

To help you pack for a cruise to Alaska, here’s our simple packing guide, full of clever packing hints and tips to ensure you’re appropriately packed for your Alaskan adventure.

Alaska cruise packing list

Alaska cruise packing essentials

You won’t want to forget any of these essentials for your Alaska cruise, so make sure they’re safely stowed in your baggage.

  • Passports
  • Driver’s licenses
  • Travel documents
  • ESTA confirmation paperwork
  • Travel insurance paperwork
  • Any prescription medication you take, plus a doctor’s note
  • Spending money
  • First aid kit – painkillers, antacids, allergy relief, bandages, etc.
  • Device chargers

Alaska cruise clothing guide

Next up, your Alaska cruise wardrobe. Winter clothing can take up a lot of suitcase space so it’s important to prioritize pieces that are multi-functional. Opt for layers you can use to build up warmth and remove easily, when you want to.

Alaska cruise day wear

Days on board your Alaska cruise are all about comfort and ease. There’s no need to be formal – jeans, slacks, casual tops, sweaters, sneakers and boots are all perfect.

It can be windy on deck, especially when the ship is moving, so have a warm, windproof jacket on hand for impromptu deck strolls and wildlife spotting.

Don’t forget activewear if you’re planning on using the gym or joining any on-board fitness classes.

Alaska cruise swimwear

Queen Elizabeth features two outdoor pools, a relaxing hydrotherapy pool, and a thermal suite in her spa, so don’t forget your swimwear and flip-flops if you plan to enjoy these during your voyage.

Alaska cruise evening wear and formal nights

Every Cunard cruise offers the opportunity to dress-up in the evening, and our Alaska cruises are no exception. Not every evening requires full formal dress, however. Smart attire is ideal for informal nights on board.

Think cocktail dresses or jumpsuits, chinos, shirts and blazers, paired with the kind of shoe you might wear to the office or a party. We do ask that guests refrain from wearing shorts, sandals, ripped jeans or sleeveless T-shirts in the evenings.

If you’d like to join one of our glittering Gala celebrations, we encourage you to pull out all the stops. These are truly decadent events, made for those outfits you reserve for truly special occasions.

Formal dresses: For Gala Evenings, full-length evening gowns or formal pantsuits are perfect for women.

Men’s formal suits: For men, suggested attire for Gala Evenings include dinner suits, formal jackets with cravats, and other formal accessories.

Alaska cruise excursion/shore wear

Cunard offers a range of thrilling shore experiences to enhance your cruise and help you to discover the majesty of Alaska firsthand. When embarking on one of these Alaskan adventures, you’ll need warm, comfortable layers, good quality walking shoes or boots and a warm, waterproof jacket. Think about bringing a light raincoat or windbreaker too, for days when it’s not so chilly.

Depending on the weather, you may also need a hat, scarf and gloves. Consider touch-screen compatible gloves so you never miss a photo opportunity. Wicking socks are also a must for days exploring Alaska’s ports, forests and lakes.

Alaska cruise accessory packing list

What you hope to see and do on your Alaska cruise will have a bearing on the accessories you bring with you, but we recommend not forgetting the following:

  • Sunglasses
  • Binoculars
  • Camera and tripod
  • Waterproof day bag or backpack
  • A dry bag for your cellphone
  • Water bottle

Alaska cruise toiletries packing list

These are the toiletries to pack for your Alaska cruise:

  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen, with a high SPF suitable for face and neck
  • Toothbrush and travel-sized toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Face moisturizer
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Lip balm
  • Cosmetics


In your stateroom you’ll find complimentary Penhaligon’s toiletries, including shampoo, hand and body wash. Additional toiletries and cosmetics are also available to purchase on board Queen Elizabeth in the Royal Arcade, found on deck 3.

What not to pack for a cruise

There are several items that we ask you not to bring on board our ships.

The electrical systems in Queen Elizabeth’s staterooms do not support high-current electronics. We provide lower current hair dryers in all staterooms and irons are available in our laundrettes. Please do not pack your own iron as this will not be permitted on board with you.

Extension cords are also not permitted on board, unless with essential medical equipment (e.g., CPAP and nebulizer machines). These will be checked for electrical safety along with your medical equipment, prior to sailing. Surge-protected extension cords are not accepted in any circumstances, as they interfere with the ship’s electrical distribution.

You may bring one bottle of wine or Champagne on board to enjoy within your stateroom. You are welcome to buy alcohol ashore as a gift or souvenir, which will be held for the duration of your cruise, and returned to you when you disembark.

There are also a few items you won’t need to bring with you on your Alaska cruise, as these are provided, such as hair dryer, iron and pool and bathroom towels.

See our list of prohibited items for further information on what not to pack.

How to pack light for an Alaska cruise

The key to keeping your Alaska cruise baggage weight down is to plan a practical capsule wardrobe that enables you to mix and match daytime and evening outfits. Daywear should be all about versatile layers and comfortable separates, while you can streamline your evening wardrobe by switching up accessories, such as jewelry, ties and shawls. Where possible, try to pack lighter base layers, fleeces and long-sleeved t-shirts, and avoid bulky knitwear.

Remember, all of our ships offer a laundry service on board, and we also provide complimentary pool and bathroom towels, so there’s no need to bring these from home.

What to pack for a cruise to Alaska FAQs