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Frequently Asked Questions

Packing for Alaska


The experts at Holland America Line, the largest and most experienced Alaska travel company, have some tips on packing when you’re headed north on a cruise or CruiseTour.


On an Inside Passage cruise you will be traveling along the protected waterways of Southeast Alaska, also
known as “the Panhandle.” The weather here is temperate, with summertime highs usually between 50 and
60 degrees Fahrenheit, climbing occasionally into the 70s and 80s.


If you venture farther North you will find the climate to be drier. Summer temperatures in Fairbanks and
other parts of the Interior often reach 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. In the Arctic, for those traveling to
Prudhoe Bay or Nome and Kotzebue, temperatures are cooler, in the 40s and 50s.

Alaska is casual, but be prepared to dress for dinners (see dinner dress below). The best approach is to
bring clothes that can be layered more layers for cooler, windier weather, fewer layers for warm, dry days.
Be sure to also bring:
•  A lightweight, waterproof coat or jacket, as well as a sweater or warm vest for strolling the decks of the
ship and for glacier viewing
•  A warm hat and gloves
•  Women may want to bring two or three pairs of washable slacks or jeans (combined with polo shirts,
blouses or light sweaters and accessorized with a belt, scarf or jewelry this basic outfit can be worn just
about anywhere. Depending on weather and occasion, add a blazer, cardigan or windbreaker jacket)
•  Men may want to add an extra pair of slacks, but they’ll find that the same basic dress theme works for
them, too (there is no place in Alaska a man cannot go in a sport coat and slacks. Also, a dark suit is
appropriate for dinner on board ship)
•  Sturdy walking shoes for every day use (two pairs are suggested) both leather, to stand up to rain if
necessary, and a pair with a good arch support
•  One or two pairs of dress shoes to accompany your dinner outfit

There are three casual, two informal and two formal evenings on every seven-day cruise. Please note,
informal wear or formal wear is recommended at the Pinnacle Grill at all times.
•  Informal nights – sport jackets for men and dress slacks, casual dresses or skirts for women
•  Formal nights –jacket and tie required or tuxedo suggested for men, cocktail dress or gown for women
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Please note: your daily program will contain a notice of the dress for each evening. Jeans, t-shirts, hats,
shorts, tank tops, swimwear and workout attire are not permitted in the dining room or Pinnacle Grill at
any time, but are allowed in the Lido restaurant. Not sure what to wear? While on ship, contact the cruise
director or other cruise staff at the Front Desk and they will gladly offer advice.
If you’re a fitness fan or just like to stroll around the decks be sure to pack your exercise clothes. There are
aerobics classes on the ships, treadmills, exercise bikes and other equipment in the fitness center on board
each ship. The free Passport to Fitness program has the added fun of a reward at the end of the cruise for
participating in onboard activities. Be sure to bring your running or aerobics shoes, swimsuit and a 
cover-up (for lounging, if not for warming up.)

•  Bulky or winter-weight sweaters or jackets
•  Rain boots and long underwear (outfitters throughout Alaska provide special gear needed for their
activities, such as warm “moon boots” for walking on glaciers, waterproof rainwear, boots and life vests
for river rafting or sea kayaking)

•  Be sure to take toiletries and prescriptions for both medication and eye glasses to aid in replacement in
the unlikely event they become misplaced
•  A travel alarm clock (although wake-up calls are offered on all Holland America Line cruises)
•  Binoculars if you enjoy bird watching or would like a closer look at wildlife and glaciers
•  Your camera film is available just about everywhere you will visit

Holland America Line’s ships have laundry service, dry cleaning and pressing service on all ships.
•  There are self-serve laundry rooms complete with ironing boards and irons (laundry soap is available
for purchase) on all ships but the Vista Class Oosterdam, Westerdam, Noordam and Zuiderdam
•  Self-service laundry facilities also are available at many of the hotels at which CruiseTour 
passengers stay



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 Packing Advice        
 Packing for Alaska        
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