Weather & Packing For Alaska Travel
Weather in various Alaska destinations is unpredictable and travelers should prepare themselves for a range of conditions, no matter what month you travel. We have developed comprehensive Alaska planning guides for our booked clients, with expertise culled from years of our own living, working, guiding and traveling in Alaska.
Prepare for a range of conditions, no matter what month you travel.
Layers are essential for a comfortable Alaska vacation, using fast-drying wicking materials. A raincoat and rain pants are also must-haves, as is a warm hat and gloves. Many boats and some lodges will provide rubber boots. With a well-packed bag, you can appreciate the opportunities created by varying weather, which in turn creates the cornucopia of landscapes and wildlife that brings travelers to the Last Frontier.
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Why Cruise To Alaska
If you have decided you want to visit Alaska, I will suggest you go on a Cruise to Alaska. You will get to explore a lot of things if you choose to cruise Alaska. This is an easy way to travel. You will be taken through so many different places and destinations that will be the best decision you are making!
I am listing down some of the reasons why you should Cruise to Alaska.
Featured September Cruises To Alaska
Increase your chances of seeing fall foliage on an Alaska Southbound Glacier Cruise itinerary that sails from Seward, Alaska down to British Columbia. The northern ports youll visit along the way may already be showing signs of autumn, and by beginning in Alaska, you can enjoy a couple of days before your embarks to explore on land when the first signs of the impending Alaskan winter are just starting to show.
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When Is The Best Time To Take A Disney Cruise
Going on a Disney cruise is a popular vacation choice for families, and offers so many opportunities to make lifelong memories together.
One of the most important aspects of planning is choosing a time to go. So what is the best time to take a Disney cruise to fully experience the magic of the trip?
There are quite a few things to consider, and in this post, well cover everything that you need to know.
Alaska Cruises In April
During the early season you can expect discounted pricing and fewer crowds. Beginning in March and April, humpback whales migrate from Mexico and Hawaii to Alaskas Inside Passage. Its also the season when brown bears and other wildlife emerge from winter cocoons.
During this shoulder season, small-ship cruise lines like Alaskan Dream Cruises and UnCruise Adventures begin sailing to Alaska. The advantage to sailing on small ships is there are fewer passengers. Best of all, small ships sail into pristine little nooks, letting you experience the states nature and wildlife without crowds, says Jamie Bartosch.
Some larger ships, like Norwegian Bliss out of Seattle, set sail for Alaska toward the end of the month.
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Advantages Of Visiting Alaska In June
- Warming coastal temperatures between 40-60 degrees and even warmer interior temperatures of 50-70 degrees.
- Between 18 to 20 hours of daylight, giving you lots of time to enjoy the Alaskan wilderness and wildlife.
- Wildlife is everywhere in June, with caribou, black bear cubs, mountain goats, moose calves and even polar bears out in force. On the water, pods of beluga whales can be spotted, along with plentiful seabirds and seal pups.
- Cruises offering land tours are available, as all the major national parks open in June.
- The warmer weather and longer daylight hours mean that tourist attractions in towns like Anchorage, Juneau and Fairbanks are fully open.
Alaska Cruise In June
Alaska Weather in June: June in Alaska brings mild temperatures and relatively dry skies. Highs are in the low 60s degrees and lows are in the upper 40s. Compared with the rest of the summer months, the weather in June is optimal and shore excursions are less likely to be rained out. While Alaska weather in June brings out the flowers and even greener scenery, expect mosquitoes to be biting.
Alaska Cruise Prices in June: Cruises to Alaska get more expensive in June, with the average cost of a seven-day cruise above $1,300. Nearly every major and mainstream line cruises to Alaska in June, so you’ll have your pick of price points and may even find itineraries under $1,000. You can expect fewer families and crowds in early June than you’ll find in July and August, helping keep demand and prices down just a bit.
Hours of Daylight in June: Like the rest of the summer, June days are long in Alaska. Expect an average of 19 hours of daylight .
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Wildlife Viewing During Alaska Cruise In July
In July, there are enough Salmon in the waters of Alaska to start attracting the bears.
Expect to see a lot of bears trying to get their share of Salmon.
You can also visit the seabird colonies from Southeast to Northwest Alaska.
In July, fur seal pups and Steller sea lions start giving birth to young ones, which is quite popular amongst the kids on Alaskan cruises.
In the North of Alaska, you can see a lot of walruses.
Alaska Cruises In May
May is a good month for cruise deals and to enjoy the sights with fewer crowds before the Alaska cruise season gets fully underway. The larger cruise lines like Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Royal Caribbean and Disney Cruise Line make their way into the ports.
As the driest month, May means warmer weather. Have your cameras ready for brown bears, moose with their calves and humpback whales. Towards the end of the month, shops and restaurants begin operating on peak-season hours.
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So When Is The Best Time To Visit Alaska
Considering everything stated above, we advise travelers that June 15 through August 15 is the best time to go to Alaska. But not everyone can schedule their trip during this time and as weve noted, each season has its benefits. If you plan your trip during the peak season, then plan ahead and book early as these are the dates that sell out first.
If you like this guide to the best time to visit Alaska, youll love our comprehensive travel planning services. Our experts have more information on when to visit Alaska, planning your Alaska trip or the best time of year to visit Alaska. When you are ready to book the trip of a lifetime, just give us a call, our experts are ready to help.
Scenic Cruise Destinations In Alaska
Glaciers are a must-see in Alaska, and every cruise itinerary features at least one day of scenic cruising. Glacier Bay National Park is the top pick for glacier-viewing because of its multiple glaciers and generally passable channel. However, so many cruise lines wish to visit that the national park issues a limited-number of day-use spots each year.
Other scenic cruising sites along the Inside Passage include Tracy Arm with its Sawyer Glacier andEndicott Arm with Dawes Glacier. One-way Alaska cruises that travel to/from Seward and Whittier may also visit the spectacular Hubbard Glacier.
Typically, the big ships will open up all the outer decks for passengers to crowd the railings to watch the glaciers calve and scan the area for wildlife. If you want to get out on a kayak or small boat to get closer to the glacier or the marine life, youll need to book an expedition cruise.
Compare the options in our guide to scenic cruising in Alaska.
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Alaska Cruise Guide: Planning Tips And Best Cruise Itineraries
Most people equate cruising with tropical destinations or the Mediterranean. Why would anyone cruise to chilly, rainy Alaska, where you might be wearing fleece jackets and knit hats and gloves in July?
Look beyond the iffy weather, and youll find many reasons to cruise Alaska. Perhaps youre drawn to the gorgeous scenery, the areas cultural and historic riches, or its abundant wildlife. With a variety of itineraries, cruise ships, destinations, and activities to consider, no two cruises to Alaska will be the same. However, first-timers can easily become overwhelmed choosing the best Alaska cruise itinerary or picking the perfect cruise line or cruise tour.
In our definitive Alaska cruise, well take you through everything you need to know to choose and plan the Alaska cruise vacation of your dreams.
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Book Your Alaskan Cruise Adventure
At AAA, we offer a wide selection of cruise itineraries to those explorers who want to get up close and personal with Alaskan wildlife, landscape, and culture.
While youre on the boat, youll enjoy delicious and local cuisine, with many of our cruises offering fine-dining options. And in addition to the glaciers outside, you can stay entertained with phenomenal live music performances featuring musicians from The Juilliard School, B.B. Kings Blues Club Memphis, and other institutions.
Interested in planning your next Alaska cruise with AAA?Call your travel agent directly or your nearest AAA store to get pro tips, travel guides, and more.
Interested in planning your next road trip with AAA Washington? Call your travel agent directly or your nearest AAA store to get pro tips, TripTik maps, and more. Find more Pacific Northwest scenic drives and road trips.
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When Is The Best Time To Cruise To Alaska To See Whales
Watching a humpback or an orca arc gracefully out of Alaskas blue-green water is a sight youll never forget.
On an Alaska whale-watching cruise, youll have the chance to see some of the states eight magnificent species of whales that frequent its icy waters. As luck would have it, the entire Alaska cruise season is also prime whale-watching season.
Depending on which itinerary you sail and when you choose to cruise, you can increase your chances of seeing certain species, including humpbacks, orcas, and Minke whales. Dont forget to throw in a good pair of binoculars when planning your Alaska cruise packing list.
You can spot whales on Alaska shore excursions like a safari vessel whale-sighting tour in Stephens Passage, Juneau, to evening whale-quest cocktail cruises where sighting a whale is guaranteed.
You may even catch a glimpse of a whale swimming alongside your cruise ship as you sip morning coffee on your stateroom veranda its just one of the joys of cruising to Alaska.
Humpback whales start making their journey from the warm waters of Mexico and Hawaii in March and April, and by June and July theyre happily feeding in the waters of Alaskas Inside Passage.
Seeing a single whale, as they prefer to travel, or in small pods, as they like to feed, is highly likely. If humpbacks are your favorite, book an Inside Passage cruise during late June, July, or August.
Alaska Cruise In April
Expect to pay around $1,200 per person for a seven-day Alaska cruise. The season doesn’t really kick off until late in the month, and you’ll have to consider factors like weather and wildlife visibility before dropping your money on an April cruise. There are also far fewer lines and itineraries available, keeping prices a bit higher than you might expect.
Alaska Weather in April: While April is considered one of the driest months of the year in Alaska, that doesn’t mean you’re guaranteed sun and clear skies. Southeast Alaska, where most April cruises sail, is a rainforest, and there are still plenty of light showers and fog to be found. Temperatures are relatively mild, with daytime highs in the upper 40s and into the 50s depending on where you’re visiting and cloud cover. You will still see snow on the ground in the mountains.
Hours of Daylight in April: Alaska sees about 11 hours of daylight in April, though toward the end of the month in Southeast Alaska you can expect up to 13 hours.
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Final Thoughts On The Best Time To Book A Disney Cruise
Booking a cruise is one of the best ways to spend time with family, explore different parts of the world, and relax on your vacation.
If youve decided to book one, you may be wondering what is the best time to take a Disney Cruise, one of the most popular types of cruises.
This answer really depends on where you decide to go on your cruise, and can vary from the middle of summer to the middle of winter!
But in the end, a Disney Cruise is never a bad vacation choice, no matter the time of year.
What Is The Best Cruise Line For An Alaskan Sailing
You can absolutely take your coworkers perspective into consideration, but the experience they had on a multigenerational family reunion cruise might be different than what you are looking for on a budget-friendly couples-only getaway.
The best cruise line is the one that meets the needs of you and your travel party!
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Best Time To Visit Alaska For Northern Lights
Many people travel to Alaska to see the aurora borealis or Northern Lights. The closer you are to the North Pole, the better your chances of seeing this amazing natural phenomenon. January through March is your best bet for viewing the Northern Lights around Fairbanks, or from anywhere in Alaskas interior. In the coastal regions, youll have a better chance of viewing them from October through February.
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Whats The Best Time To See Whales On An Alaska Cruise
Gray whales, humpback whales, orca, beluga whales Alaska has them all. Here are some quick tips to help you increase the odds of seeing whales during your cruise.
- Humpback whales: June and July are the best months for seeing these giants of the deep. Over 500 humpback whales spend summer within the Inside Passage, so select a cruise that passes through this route and visits the Barren Islands.
- Beluga whales: You can spot belugas in Turnagain Arm from mid-July through August, just south of Anchorage. September is also a good month for belugas, as long as your cruise passes Nome.
- Gray Whales: April and May are ideal for gray whales, as they feed around Kodiak, Sitka, Ketchikan and Seward.
- Orca : The ideal time for orca spotting is between early May and early June when you can find these colorful behemoths feeding in Resurrection Bay and along cruise routes going between Seattle and Alaska.
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Cruising To The Caribbean During Peak Season
Expect more crowds and higher cruise prices from December to April. On the plus side, youll have more cruise options. For many families, holidays, summer vacation and spring break are the popular time to cruise. Kids programs and activities will be in full swing during this high season for families.
Arrive In Seattle The Day Before Your Cruise Begins
If youre flying to Seattle before your cruise, be sure to arrive the day before embarkation day. Flying can be unpredictable, and allotting wiggle room in the case of any airline delays or cancellations is recommended.
Plus, by arriving in Seattle a day early, youll have more time to enjoy the citys attractions. Whether admiring skyline views from the Space Needle or eating your way through Pike Place Market, there are plenty of ways to keep busy in Seattle before your cruise begins.
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Booking Best Alaska Travel Cruise And Planning Ahead
It means it is almost time for thousands of visitors from around North America and abroad to flock to one of Alaskas many scenic destinations to experience Alaskas wildlife, national parks, and scenic attractions.
But it may also mean you are thinking about booking an Alaska cruise and planning your next backpacking adventure through Denali National Park or kayaking through Glacier Bay. So perhaps the real question is when is the best time of year to visit Alaska?
When it comes to booking an Alaska cruise, the sooner you plan, the better. Many cruises sell out months in advance, so its important to start your research early. There are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a cruise. First, decide what type of experience youre looking for. Are you interested in wildlife viewing? Glacier sightseeing? Hiking and outdoor adventure?
Once youve narrowed down your options, its time to start thinking about logistics. What is your budget? How many people will be traveling with you? What are your preferred travel dates? By answering these questions, youll be able to start narrowing down your options and finding the perfect cruise for your needs. With a little planning and some patience, youll be on your way to an unforgettable Alaska adventure.
To Answer That, Lets Start by Breaking Down The Three Major Seasons and What to Expect During Each One.
Best Alaska Cruise Itineraries
Big ships and smaller luxury cruise lines tend to follow similar cruise itineraries.
Alaska Inside Passage cruises sail roundtrip from Seattle or Vancouver, perhaps with a stop in Victoria, B.C., and explore Southeast Alaska, never reaching Anchorage. They call at the big, tourist-focused Inside Passage ports.
One-way cruises travel between Vancouver and Whittier or Seward in Alaska. These cruises typically visit several Inside Passage ports, but swap Victoria for a more northern Alaska stop, such as Sitka. They take cruisers through the Gulf of Alaska to Southcentral Alaska, close to Anchorage.
Note that if your cruise begins or ends in Canada, you will be required to carry a passport with you. If youre taking a closed loop cruise from Seattle or San Francisco, a birth certificate and state issued ID will suffice .
The best Alaska cruise itinerary for you depends on what you want to prioritize for your vacation. The benefit of a roundtrip cruise is easier and cheaper airlift to the departure ports. You wont have to bother with one-way flights and the longer transit time to/from Anchorage. A one-way sailing is best for cruisers who want to tack on extra vacation time on land to visit Denali National Park or the Kenai Peninsula.
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