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What To pack For An Alaska Cruise or Cruise Tour

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Sponsored by Alaska Cruisetours Online : Alaska Cruises. Alaska Cruisetours. 1926 Departures.112 Unique Cruise and Cruise Tour Adventures. Celebrity,  Disney,  Holland America,  Carnival, Norwegian,  Princess,  Royal Caribbean.  Our 2011 Alaska program offers travelers a full range of cruise and cruise tour options whether you want to explore Denali National Park in depth, plan independently, enjoy the attention of an expert guide, or venture off the beaten path to places like Copper River, Kenai or Prudhoe Bay.
 

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Alaska

Some Things To Know Before You Go:

Tips on weather, packing, proper identification and more.


 

Alaska Cruise Tips :

What to Wear - Climate - When To Go - Photography and Viewing The Sights

More Tips And Information


Combine a seven-day cruise with a four- to ten-day land tour and see the best of Alaska. Alaska Cruise tours range from 10-17 nights and include your 7-night Alaska cruise. Most cruisetours feature an inclusive tour into Denali National Park, a 6.3 million acre park, home to Mt. McKinley and one of the largest wildlife habitats in the world. Alaska Cruise Tours accommodate every lifestyle, from mild to wild.

 

Cruise tours offer the best of both worlds, combining a seven-day cruise with a three- to eight-night stay on land. All you have to do is decide where you'd like to go. Here  is information about Alaska's favorite places. From it's historical towns and cities to its National parks, Alaska has something to offer everyone.

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At Alaska Cruisetours Online, we specialize in Alaska cruising. We have the knowledge and expertise to answer all your questions so that your Alaska holiday is the best cruise vacation you have ever experienced.

Questions?

To ask questions or to book any of  the Top 40 "Best For Less"  Alaska cruisetours. Call us at 800.365.1445.

 

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Things to know before you go

Read the Alaska Wildlife Guide       

Read Cruise Reviews of Alaska cruises and Alaska cruisetours.

Check out the Insider Tips

 
 

What to wear onboard.....

You are about to take what many people consider to be the trip of a lifetime. We are delighted that you have chosen Alaska Cruisetours Online to help you plan for this special journey.

Alaska is truly The Last Frontier and you are traveling to this wonderful land to experience something new and different. Here are some things to know before you go. By no means is this all you need to know. You should read thoroughly your cruise line brochure about Alaska, paying close attention to the fine print found in the back of the brochure. You should go to the book store and read up on everything about Alaska and ask others about their experience. That way, you will be well-informed and your vacation experience will be that much more enjoyable. From May through September, temperatures range from 40°F to 70° F during the day and drop into the 30’s and 40’s at night. The best way to prepare for this range of temperatures is to dress in layers and to be prepared for anything from bright sunshine—don’t forget those sunglasses—to light rain.  Here’s a list of items to include when packing for an Alaska trip.

  • Waterproof jacket

  • Wool or fleece sweater or liner

  • Turtleneck or a comfortable protective long sleeve shirt

  • Comfortable footwear suitable for hiking and walking in wet conditions (Be sure to break in new shoes before your trip.)

  • Good socks

  • Warm hat/rain hat

  • Gloves

  • Insect repellent

  • Sunscreen

  • Travel umbrella

  • Good camera with extra batteries and variety of film speeds

  • Spare memory card and battery for digital cameras

  • Travel-size binoculars

  • Sunglasses

  • Day pack/backpack

 

Explore Alaska...

AN ALASKA CRUISE.....

"Where a balcony cabin becomes a front-row seat for one of the most breathtaking shows in nature."

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Cruise Traveler Magazine is an online cruise magazine offering an unbiased cruise guide, cruise tips, feature articles, and need to know information about cruising. Editorially independent of travel providers or cruise lines.


 

Things To Know Before You Go....


Climate
Alaska and Canada offer a wide variety in their climates as well as in their scenery. Within the course of your cruisetour, it is not unusual for temperatures to range from 40 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the time of year. Southeastern Alaska’s temperatures range, in general, from the high 40s to the low 80s with strong possibility of rain. The interior of Alaska (Fairbanks, for example) as well as areas of Washington State, the Yukon Territory and British Columbia can heat up in June and July with temperatures often reaching the upper 80s.

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Windy and rainy conditions are not uncommon in Alaska throughout the cruise season. If you want to spend time on deck while the ship is under way, the temperature can feel much colder, especially if you are near the bow.

 Average daily high temperatures:

  May June July August September
Anchorage 54°F 62°F 65°F 63°F 55°F
Fairbanks 70°F 70°F 75°F 64°F 53°F
Denali Nat.Park 58°F 68°F 70°F 64°F 53°F
Juneau 62°F 64°F 64°F 62°F 56°F
Ketchikan 56°F 61°F 65°F 65°F 60°F
Skagway 57°F 63°F 63°F 61°F 57°F
Vancouver 64°F 69°F 74°F 73°F 65°F

Daylight Hours

  May June July August September
Anchorage 18 hrs 19 hrs 18 hrs 16 hrs 13 hrs
Fairbanks 20 hrs 21 hrs 20 hrs 16 hrs 14 hrs
Denali Nat. Park 18 hrs 20 hrs 19 hrs 16 hrs 13 hrs
Juneau 17 hrs 18 hrs 17 hrs 16 hrs 11 hrs
Ketchikan 17 hrs 18 hrs 17 hrs 16 hrs 11 hrs
Vancouver 14 hrs 15 hrs 16 hrs 15 hrs 13 hrs

Packing
First and foremost, dress for comfort. Because of the variable weather conditions, casual clothes that can be layered easily are highly recommended. Bring a jacket if you are traveling to the glaciers or to the Arctic, as it is often cool and windy in these locations. On some days, you will want a light raincoat and a waterproof hat or umbrella. An all-weather jacket or windbreaker with layers to wear underneath is ideal. Comfortable, sturdy walking shoes are a must. Dressy evening wear is not needed in the casual atmosphere of Alaska. Always carry your medication, travel documents, money & jewelry with you in your carry-on. Do not pack these items in your suitcase. Please be sure to bring a sufficient supply of medication and carry it in its original container.

What to Pack for Alaska

From May through September, temperatures range from 40°F to 70° F during the day and drop into the 30’s and 40’s at night. Be prepared for rain, and fog. The best way to prepare for this range of temperatures is to dress in layers and to be prepared for anything from bright sunshine—don’t forget those sunglasses—to light rain. 

Here’s a list of items to include when packing for an Alaska trip.

  • Waterproof jacket

  • Wool or fleece sweater or liner

  • Turtleneck or a comfortable protective long sleeve shirt

  • Comfortable footwear suitable for hiking and walking in wet conditions

  •  Be sure to break in new shoes before your trip

  • Good socks

  • Warm hat/rain hat

  • Gloves

  • Insect repellent

  • Sunscreen

  • Travel umbrella

  • Good camera with extra batteries and variety of film speeds

  • Spare memory card and battery for digital cameras

  • Travel-size binoculars

  • Sunglasses

  • Day pack/backpack

What to wear onboard.....

Days onboard are casual. To be most comfortable, we recommend:
 
Jeans or slacks
Several sweaters, a jacket, a windbreaker and a raincoat
Warm socks
Low-heeled shoes for deck activities
Don't forget your swimsuit, camera and a pair of binoculars (towels are provided)

For evening wear, count on three basic types of attire:

Casual: Dresses or slacks and blouses for women, sport shirts and trousers for men
Smart Casual: Dresses or pantsuits for women, jackets for men
Formal: Cocktail dresses for women, suits and ties or tuxedos for men (you can arrange to rent a tuxedo onboard)

Ashore, you'll need comfortable walking shoes or hiking boots. Cruisetours are casual, both during the day and in the evening.

Immigration and Customs
NEW... All citizens, regardless of age (infants included ) will be required to show a passport. Guests sailing in mid December 2006 whose itinerary transits or ends its voyage in the United States on or after December 30, 2006 will be required to present a valid passport during ship check-in formalities. Guests sailing on or after December 30, 2006 will be required to present a valid passport during ship check-in formalities. Passports must be valid for at least 6 months after sailing. For details see Passport Information later in this e-mail.  You are responsible for having the proper documentation with you when you travel.  In addition Visa's may be required to enter certain countries while on a cruise. So, well in advance of leaving home, check with the cruise line for the exact documentation requirements for your cruise or cruisetour. Failure to have the proper documentation ( Passport, Visa, Health Vaccination Certificates etc. ) as required will result in denied boarding and you will not get a refund for your cruise. . Citizens of other countries must carry valid passports and the necessary visa.

We are confident you will enjoy your trip to Alaska and will be overwhelmed by its beauty and friendly people.

When to Go

The tourism season in Alaska is May to September. The best time to go is very subjective:

1. For maximum daylight hours, go in May, June, or July. In Fairbanks, there

    are 24 hours of daylight from late May to late June.
2. For the warmest days, travel in July or August.
3. For the best chance at seeing the northern lights (aurora borealis), sail in
    September. Even so, you may not see them - the northern lights are
    primarily a winter phenomenon when the nights are darkest and longest.
4. To avoid mosquitoes, try May (but be prepared anyway).
5. For the best cruise prices, you can't beat May and September.
6. To have a good chance at seeing bears at fairly close range, go during the
    salmon spawning season
7. Fishing is good throughout the tourist season
8. For the smallest crowds, May and September are best.

Photography and viewing the Sights
Bring your camera, camcorder, lots of film and binoculars.

A telephoto lens or a built-in zoom is strongly recommended. Know how to use the features of the camera you will be using - know them instinctively, and be able to use them quickly. Oftentimes you will only have a few seconds in which to set up your camera, aim, focus and shoot. The quicker you can do that the more likely you are to catch just the right image. If you have a heavy telephoto lens, you should learn how to keep it steady without the aid of a tripod. If you want to take pictures while on deck, learn how to keep the camera steady in a buffeting wind. A tripod won't help here, but the ship's rails can be quite useful for steadying the camera. Use the high quality setting on digital cameras. While you can place many more images on each Media/Memory card, it significantly reduces your options for post-cruise processing of the images.  You will likely be behind glass much of the time on any organized tour of Alaska.

Bring binoculars. You will need them to spot most wildlife. Most people may have 7x35 binoculars, but you will find them marginally adequate. Try 7x50 or higher power glasses.

Be Realistic.
Alaska is a beautiful and breathtaking place, but after all it is wilderness - it is not a zoo. The animals don't wander out to see what's happening when a cruise ship, train, or bus passes nearby.  You may see some wildlife while on an Alaska cruisetour - whales, bears, eagles, caribou, moose, otters, seals, and more - and a great deal of it. Cruise ships are not often close enough to shore to see wildlife with the unaided human eye - both strong binoculars and a great deal of patient observing is necessary.

Take Time To See The Sights

If you spend only one night at a land location, you will find yourself rushed through the various sights, and will feel as though you didn't get an adequate chance to explore.

Don't overbook your shore tours. Allow yourself plenty of time to explore on your own, do some shopping, or just relax. Taking too many excursions in a port will likely leave you feeling as though you missed something. Tours often take longer than scheduled, so allow at least 1-1/2 hours between excursions.

Book your shore excursions early. Some cruise lines, including Princess, allow you to book your shore excursions some time before your cruise begins. Take advantage of this to avoid long lines and disappointments. It is especially important to do so with excursions that have strictly limited participation, such as those that involve flightseeing.

Seek out tours not promoted by the cruise line. You are not limited in your choices of excursions to just those offered by your cruise line. Often, you can find something that will be much more to your liking than the standard options. Get on the web, do your own research or contact us.

Denali National Park

Denali National Park is a beautiful and majestic place, and many Alaska visitors consider it the highlight of their trip. To fully enjoy your stay there, it is helpful to understand that your accommodations are only used during the summer season and the amenities they offer are limited. Most hotels consist of several buildings scattered over the hillside. You will need to walk to the restaurant for meals and the terrain can be challenging. There are a few paved walkways or trails so sturdy walking shoes should be worn at all times. Denali National Park is very brown in May and June, extremely green in July and August, and very colorful (primarily red and yellow) in September.  Snow-topped mountains may be seen any time, but the best time is May.

Arctic

(Kotzebue, Nome or Barrow) The average daily high temperature in the Arctic is 55 degrees Fahrenheit between June and August. However, on occasion warmer weather can be expected. Dress casually, and you may want to bring along a raincoat and umbrella.
 


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