Clothing for Alaska in September

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Raymond Terrace Australia
2,921 Posts
Joined Sep 2008
We are going on the Mercury to Alaska in September for 7 day's And 4 day's in Vancouver before heading onto Hawaii. My question is what type of clothing is appropriate for this time of year for Alasaka and Vancouver? We are from Australia so we don't experience the type of cold weather as you all do. I don't want to fill my suitcase with unnecessary items. What would all you seasoned cruisers recommend to pack ?
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Inverness, IL
276 Posts
Joined Jun 2001
We visited Alaska twice in September. One year we wore shorts; the next year raincoats. My advice to you is layer, layer, layer. It would be best to bring a vest and a waterproof jacket. Hat. If you add or subtract a sweater, you will be fine. The temps are not cold enough for winter clothing, but if it's raining, the dampness can be chilly. It's a great time of year to visit as there are fewer tourists and the stores usually are giving good deals because they're getting ready to close.

By the way, the cruise to and from Hawaii can get chilly too. So your jackets will serve double purpose. Judy
Eureka, Ca.
225 Posts
Joined Oct 2006
Layer...Layer..Layer. It won't be that cold, unless you are out on the glacier or perhaps in the snow on an excursion. We always bring a lightweight rain coat (you never know when it will rain there), long sleeve shirts, undershirts for layering, some sort of water resistant shoe, socks (a few extra in case they get wet). A polar fleece vest or coat can be nice, but not required. Gloves, hats and scarves are nice if it is cold or windy on deck and on shore. We use them to bundle up and enjoy the view from the balcony. Have been there in September and you could wear shorts and short sleeve t shirts, other times in September it was rainy and cold, you never know.

Remember to bring binoculars. Some rooms come with them, but they are not that good. You will have lots of opportunities to see whales, dolphins and beautiful scenery..the binoculars can come in handy.

I don't think you need to worry about the cold, as much as the wet weather. Rain happens alot in Alaska

We are also sailing to Alaska in September, on board the Infinity.
Enjoy your cruise!
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Chicago, IL
2,585 Posts
Joined Dec 2005
Shorts or jeans for in port....light jacket or waterproof windbreaker....Both times our port weather was in the mid 50's or higher...

We are headed back to Vancouver for the September wine cruise that ends in San Diego...For us it will be the same as we have done in the past..

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G.K. Chesterton
6,138 Posts
Joined Aug 2008
I'm from a cold weather state, and yet I still ended up buying a sweater on board, on our Alaska cruise one September! It can get quite cold..and suddenly warm up, especially on shore. We always pack gloves and heavy socks --standing on deck, watching animals or glaciers, it can get quite chilly. But it's worth it!
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Austin, Texas
287 Posts
Joined Jun 2005
It was pretty cold on my Alaska cruise in September. Vancouver weather was much warmer. We walked around in shorts and capris (with a light jacket at night) while we were there.

It was quite chilly in our Alaska ports...especially when we were in a boat or near a glacier, so plan accordingly on those days. We wore turtlenecks with fleece vests, a fleece jacket, and a rain the day goes on you can peel off whatever you don't need. You'll also need a hat and gloves.

I would not recommend jeans as it rained a lot when we were there and there is nothing worse than wet jeans in the cold. I bought a few pairs of these (they have them for men too) and wore long underwear under them. They were fantastic....water just rolled right off them and they were never uncomfortable. They don't wrinkle either which is a plus.

The last thing I would recommend is water-proof shoes. I don't like hiking boots so I bought a pair of Gore-Tex lined trail running shoes. They were my best investment. I still wear them all the time when it's rainy

Enjoy your trip!!!
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666 Posts
Joined Sep 2009
I was there last Sept. We could not get warm at times. I would suggest hat, gloves. I usually had on something like this for all days we were there.. a long sleeve t-shirt, sweater, fleece type jacket . And I also had on armour leggings under my jeans. We could not get warm enough at times. It is very hard to know what your weather will be like for that time.
2,177 Posts
Joined Sep 2005
I love AK in September and go most years............only once (when I inroduced my daughter to the great state) have I had rain.
You will be in a very moderate area of AK.............I don't know what cruise you've chosen, but if you're mostly in the Inside Passage the only snow you will see will be at Mendenhall Glacier unless you take a helicopter ride over glaciers.
Last year we wore shorts ashore............there are no assurances regarding weather here in the great northwest.
Just layer, take mittens/gloves and a head sure to have sunglasses............and something for rain.
The cruise to/from Hawaii may get cool if you're on deck at night (and a bit rocky when crossing the Pacific)'s a great cruise. I love Sea Days.