An Alaskan cruise is bigger dream come true than a Caribbean
cruise for some people. After all, Alaska offers glaciers, whales, moose and the opportunity to visit the last great American frontier. Unlike sunny cruises
, however, the Alaskan cruise necessitates some very special packing considerations.
The Alaskan cruise season runs from May through September, but even during the summer months, the temperature can drop from the 70s during the day to the 30s at night. The best way to dress for an Alaskan cruise is with layering, so bring along some T-shirts for use when the temp climbs near 80 and a long-sleeved shirt for most days, with a sweater for the colder nights and a windbreaker to beat back ocean spray and rain. Speaking of rain, a small umbrella is an absolute must.
Pack some athletic shoes with proven traction to get around on the slippery open decks. A pair of dressier shoes is nice to have for going to dinner either on or off board at a full service restaurant. If you don't already have a pair, be sure to break in some hiking boots for hiking purposes or for walking in snowy or icy areas.
Just because you're not on a warm cruise does not mean you're safe from sunburn. In fact, an Alaskan cruise may even wind up being more likely to result in sunburn because you may not think the UV rays are as dangerous. Pack plenty of sunscreen as well as sunglasses.
You may have heard that mosquitoes don't live in cold weather climates, but you have been misinformed. Mosquitoes are a common complaint among those who return from an Alaskan cruise, so be sure to pack what form of insect repellent repels you the least.
A pair of binoculars can mean the different between seeing some amazing wildlife up close and missing it entirely. Pack batteries so you don't miss out on a picture-taking opportunity and bring along battery rechargers for your cell phone, razor and any hand-held electronic device you may want to enjoy.
Timothy Sexton is an award-winning author who started writing in 1994. He has written on topics ranging from politics and golf to nutrition and travel, and his work appears online for Zappos.com, Disaboom and MOJO, among others. He has also done work for "Sherlock Holmes and Philosophy." He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of West Florida.