In the Bag

Monday Mantra

In the Bag

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


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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