Alaska still chilly during summer

Q and A

June 18, 2006|By COX NEWS SERVICE

We are going to Alaska in August for a Princess cruise-land trip. What would you suggest we pack?

A lot. This is the one time you don't want to pack light.

The biggest packing mistake travelers make when they go to Alaska in summer is not being prepared for cold weather.

Here are average highs and lows in August for places you will be visiting:

Denali National Park and Fairbanks, 66 and 47;

Anchorage, Seward and Kenai, 63 and 49;

Juneau, Ketchikan and Skagway, 62 and 47.

Taking into account wind chill on the ship's decks, and especially if you plan to take small boats to look at glaciers and wildlife, you could be shivering. On the other hand, if you are hiking on park trails, you may be working up a sweat and peeling off sweaters.

So at the very least take a waterproof jacket, a wool sweater or fleece pullover, and lightweight wool pants. I would probably take a coat, and stuff gloves and a wool hat into the pockets. Carry the coat onto the plane so you don't have to pack it.

I would also take a poncho, which will keep you and your camera and bags dry in rain or heavy mist.

Pack comfortable walking shoes with rubber soles, preferably waterproof. Bring a hat and sunglasses for the glare from the water and ice. Also bring sunblock and mosquito repellent.

There are two formal nights on Princess' seven-night cruises, so pack a couple of cocktail dresses, although dressy pants and blouses are fine. Men should bring a dark suit or tuxedo. The indoor areas of cruise ships can be chilly, too, so bring a dressy sweater or shawl to throw over your shoulders at dinner.

Cox News Service

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