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In the Bag

Monday Mantra

In the Bag

A luxury cruise to Alaska stretches packing strategies to the limit.

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I will begin packing…I will begin packing…I will begin packing…

 

In just two days, I’ll be off to Vancouver to board Silver Shadow for an 11-day Alaska cruise. I’ll be combining two of the world’s most extraordinary travel experiences — Alaska and Silversea Cruises — and, unless I get moving, I won’t have a thing to wear.

I’ve always prided myself on my packing skills, condensing everything I need into a compact wheeled carry-on that slips easily into a plane’s overhead compartment. A week in the Caribbean? A carry-on. Nine days in the Med? A carry-on. An expedition trip around Iceland or a December Christmas Markets cruise along the Danube? A carry-on.

And then along comes Alaska and I’m, like, this is nuts.

My suitcase (I’ve abandoned any hope of carry-on) has been lying open and empty on my bedroom floor for a week, its little side pockets and zippered compartments mocking me each time I pass by. I’ve bookmarked a popular weather website and several times a day I check the forecast in each port hoping to see a new pattern that will convince me that I really don’t need to pack both a swimsuit and gloves.

But a heavier-than-usual suitcase is a small price to pay for an Alaska experience:  majestic landscapes, thunderous calving glaciers, breaching whales, and soaring eagles will show this New York City girl a whole new world and teach her that there’s more to wildlife than pigeons in Central Park and a few hardy squirrels out in the suburbs.

Tonight, I’ll pack what I’ll need for Alaska, the layers that I’ll pile on for the 40-degree mornings and remove as the temperature rises into the 70s. I’ll add hiking boots and comfortable walking shoes but I won’t forget some fabulous dresses and a pair of stiletto heels. After all, it is Silversea.

I love all sorts of cruising: voyages to cold climates and warm ones, the casual sailing and the elegant. I just never thought I’d be packing for all of them at the same time.

See you next week from the ship!

 

Alaska pic cropped

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2 Comments

  1. Packing light for a cruise in Alaska? It can be done, even when cruising on a luxury ship like Silver Whisper. Plan evening outfits around one pair of stilettos that go with everything (I’m thinking black here). Hiking shoes and comfortable walking shoes? If there’s still time to shop, purchase a hybrid version that works for both purposes. You really don’t need heavy duty hiking shoes on even the toughest of Alaska Cruise excursions, and I’m speaking from experience. Layer, layer, layer. Wear daytime excursion clothing multiple times and follow my simple rule for nights on the ship….every item has to be worn at least twice. It’s easy to pull off you’re clothing is mix and wear/mutli-purpose. Most of all, have fun!

  2. Right you are, Donna, and the end result–once I focused…was far, far less than I expected….particularly when I realized I had an enormous advantage: My suite is right next to the laundrette!