10 Must-Pack Items for an Alaska Cruise

Forget bikinis and Hawaiian shirts: Bring the bug spray and rain gear.

ByABC News
April 26, 2010, 12:24 PM

July 6, 2010— -- Alaska cruises certainly aren't anything like a day at the beach. So when it comes to packing, what ends up in your luggage won't likely resemble the bikinis and Hawaiian shirts you'd choose for a tropical getaway. We were curious about what our members thought were the most essential items to pack for the unpredictable weather conditions and rugged terrain found on an Alaska cruise.

In a poll on the Cruise Critic Message Boards , we asked members -- many who've already experienced a sailing in the scenic state -- to vote for the most important things to remember to take for a cruise to Alaska. The results are in, and we've compiled a list of the top 10 things you can't leave home without. For anyone planning a journey to the 49th state, be sure to heed this valuable packing advice.

1. Hiking Boots: You'll need a sturdy pair of hiking boots or shoes to tread upon Alaska's mountainous terrain. Cruise Critic member sue450 recommends "a pair of waterproof hiking shoes (they look like tennis shoes but the Gore-Tex makes them absolutely waterproof). I wore these A LOT."

2. Alarm Clock: You wouldn't want to miss wildlife sightings or be the last off the ship in port, so it's important to rise and shine early on port days. If you don't like wake-up calls, take an alarm clock with you (most cabins don't include one) -- after all it's the early bird that gets the worm!

3. Collapsible Backpack (Gym Sack): Many of our members suggested taking a backpack that folds up and can be stored in your pocket until you need to use it (to store extra clothing layers that are peeled off or souvenirs bought in port). The sacks are very lightweight and have a drawstring to keep your belongings safely tucked away.

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