What to Wear to Dinner on an Alaska Cruise – Expert Tips

When embarking on an Alaskan cruise, the stunning landscapes, wildlife encounters, and captivating excursions are sure to take center stage. While the breathtaking destinations and adventurous activities garner much attention, it’s crucial to remember that evenings aboard the ship can offer an array of dining experiences that call for appropriate attire. From elegant formal nights to casual yet stylish dinners, the dress code for each evening can vary. To ensure you're perfectly prepared for every dining occasion onboard, expert tips on what to wear and how to navigate the dress codes will help you strike the perfect balance of comfort, style, and appropriate attire while enjoying delicious cuisine amidst the enchanting Alaskan scenery.

Do You Need Formal Wear on an Alaskan Cruise?

When considering what to wear to dinner on an Alaska cruise, it’s important to note that formal wear isn’t typically required. Most Alaska cruise ships don’t have a formal night, and even if they do, it’s usually optional. This means that you’ve the freedom to dress comfortably and casually for dinner.

Instead of packing a cocktail dress or a tuxedo, opt for more relaxed attire that’s suitable for the casual and adventurous atmosphere of an Alaska cruise. Comfortable and practical clothing such as jeans, khakis, and casual skirts are acceptable for dinner. Pair them with comfortable shoes or sandals that you can wear throughout the day as well.

Layering is key when packing for an Alaska cruise, as the weather can vary greatly throughout the day. Bring a mix of short-sleeved and long-sleeved shirts or blouses, along with a lightweight jacket or sweater for cooler evenings. Additionally, don’t forget to pack a waterproof jacket or raincoat, as rain is common in Alaska.

Accessories such as scarves and hats are also recommended to protect against the chilly winds and occasional rain showers. It’s a good idea to bring a small crossbody bag or a backpack for carrying essentials during excursions or day trips.

Tips for Packing for an Alaska Cruise in Terms of Layering and Versatility

  • Pack clothes that can be easily layered for the fluctuating temperatures.
  • Choose versatile pieces that can be mixed and matched.
  • Include lightweight, moisture-wicking base layers.
  • Pack a few pairs of warm socks and thermal underwear.
  • Bring a waterproof and windproof outer layer.
  • Include a variety of sweaters and jackets for insulation.
  • Don’t forget to pack gloves, hats, and scarves for added warmth.
  • Bring comfortable and sturdy footwear for outdoor activities.
  • Include swimwear for possible hot tub or pool usage.
  • Pack a backpack or day bag for excursions and carrying essentials.
  • Consider bringing binoculars and a camera for wildlife spotting.
  • Bring a compact umbrella or rain poncho for unexpected rain showers.
  • Include a small first aid kit with basic medications and sun protection.
  • Pack a universal power adapter for charging electronic devices.
  • Don’t forget to bring any necessary prescriptions and medication.
  • Include a reusable water bottle for staying hydrated throughout the day.
  • Pack travel-sized toiletries and personal hygiene items.
  • Bring a comfortable day pack for hiking or exploring on shore.

On an Alaska cruise, the dress code for dinner in the ship’s main restaurant is typically “smart casual.” This means that women can wear a smart dress, skirt, pants, or jeans with a casual top, and men can dress in pants or jeans with a short-sleeve sport shirt.

Do People Dress Up for Dinner on an Alaska Cruise?

When it comes to dinner on an Alaska cruise, the dress code can vary depending on the cruise line. However, many cruisers often opt for a stylish and comfortable outfit, commonly known as “smart casual.”. This attire allows for flexibility and can be suitable for both the onboard dining experience and the casual ambiance of the scenic Alaskan surroundings.

Typically, women can choose to wear a smart dress, skirt, or pants paired with a casual top. This provides a perfect opportunity to showcase your personal style while still maintaining a sophisticated look. For a more relaxed vibe, jeans can also be a suitable choice, as long as they’re paired with a nice top or blouse.

Men, on the other hand, have the option to dress in pants or jeans with a short-sleeve sport shirt. This combination allows for comfort and versatility, making it ideal for a cruise setting. It’s important to remember that even though the dress code is smart casual, maintaining a neat and polished appearance is still expected.

To complement your outfit, consider adding accessories such as statement jewelry, a stylish handbag, or a trendy belt. These small details can elevate your overall look and add a touch of elegance to your ensemble. Additionally, opting for comfortable yet stylish shoes is essential, as you may find yourself exploring the sights and attractions of Alaska before or after dinner.

Packing Tips for an Alaska Cruise: This Topic Would Provide Readers With Advice on What Clothing Items to Pack for an Alaska Cruise, Including Both Dinner Attire and Day-Time Outfits Suitable for the Climate and Activities in Alaska.

  • Warm, waterproof coat
  • Layered clothing (long-sleeve shirts, sweaters, and thermals)
  • Hiking boots or sturdy walking shoes
  • Rainproof pants or waterproof leggings
  • Hats and gloves
  • Scarves and neck warmers
  • Swimsuit (for heated pools or hot tubs on board)
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen
  • Binoculars for wildlife spotting
  • Backpack or day bag for excursions
  • Camera and extra batteries
  • Slippers or cozy socks for your cabin
  • Outlet adapters if needed
  • Formal attire for fancy dinners or events (check the cruise line’s dress code)
  • Casual attire for daytime activities and exploring ports


Layering is key, as the weather can be unpredictable and vary greatly throughout the day. Opt for lightweight, moisture-wicking base layers, followed by insulating mid-layers such as sweaters or fleece jackets. Pair these with water-resistant outerwear to protect against rain or snow. For formal dining nights, consider packing a dressier outfit such as a cocktail dress or a suit. Don't forget to bring comfortable shoes suitable for walking and exploring the ship's deck.

Scroll to Top