Featured May Cruises To Alaska
Get to Alaska right when the cruise season begins on an Alaska Northbound Glacier Cruise that departs in May from Vancouver, British Columbia. Youll see something new every single day of your cruise in May, from sailing the Inside Passage to visiting Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point, Juneau, Hubbard Glacier, and Skagway before ending your cruise in Seward, Alaska, where you might even be able to see some snow on the ground.
Whats The Best Time To Take An Alaska Cruise
I have taken Alaska cruises during all the major seasons and can promise you that no two are alike, from the weather to the wildlife to the cost of tickets.
Most Alaska cruises run between late April and early September, with peak season in June and July.
Here is what you can expect from each cruising season.
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When Is The Best Time For A Cruise To Alaska
If only there were an easy, universal answer! But like Alaskas wild country, mixed culture, and fabled history, its difficult to put the whole thing in a pretty box. The easiest way to break down when you should take an Alaskan cruise is to take a look at things by the month.
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The first thing you should know is that the Alaska cruise season is just five months long, lasting from May to September, with the summer months of June, . However, this doesnt necessarily make them the best.
Each month sort of has its own niche.
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How To Choose The Best Time To Cruise To Alaska
Alaska. The land of adventure. The land of rugged beauty. The combination of majestic glaciers, wilderness, mountains and wildlife make it a once-in-a-lifetime vacation of discovery for many.
Although visitors travel to Alaska year-round the Alaska cruise season begins in May and ends in September creating limited availability. Learn more about when to book your Alaska cruise, and how to choose the best time to visit the 49th state of wonder.
How To Visit Alaska
Cruise ship is by far the most convenient way to visit the mountainous coast of southeast Alaska, from the Canadian border as far north as Anchorage, not least because some ports can only be reached by sea or air and road distances are long. The adventure begins with a full day at sea en route from Seattle or Vancouver, where youd typically join your cruise. Steaming through the island-strewn Inside Passage, youll gaze at mile upon mile of pristine spruce and hemlock forest, set against a backdrop of snow-capped mountains. Whale watching is possible as soon as you leave port and further north youll also be on the lookout for bears, sea otters, seals and majestic bald eagles. Cruises operate either round-trip, which is handy for flights, or one-way, for example, from Seattle or Vancouver to Seward, hopping off point for a land extension in the rugged wilderness of Denali National Park. Some small expedition companies operate round-trip from state-capital Juneau, so youd connect in Seattle.
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Wildlife Viewing During Alaska Cruise In June
One of the highlights of an Alaskan cruise in June is the possibility of witnessing a Moose giving birth to a calf.
To increase your chances of seeing a herd of Caribou you can book a float trip down one of the rivers in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Fairbanks.
If you are interested in birds, June offers a chance to see not-so-common birds such as Asian accidentals etc.
Best Time Of Year To Take An Alaskan Cruise: Crowds
There are also certain times of the Alaska cruise season that are preferred if you would like to avoid crowds. The busiest time of year for cruises to Alaska usually coincides with warmer weather and summer break. To avoid the crowds, you should skip cruising in the middle of the season, especially July. If you cruise during this time, be prepared to share Alaska with thousands of other cruisers.
If you take an Alaskan cruise during the shoulder seasons, you will not only save money but you will avoid the crowds, especially families. In April/May kids are usually still in school, and they are usually back to school by September. The number of families and kids will of course vary based on the cruise line and cruise ship you choose. Popular mega-ships from brands like Norwegian Cruise Line and Royal Caribbean will inevitably have more families onboard.
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Best Time Of Year To Travel In Alaska
Best Time To Travel Alaska or Best Time To Visit Alaska? Both Questions Work for us. just follow our Alaska Travel recommendations and Thanks for reading.
Its that time of year again for your Alaska Travel Cruise Tours. The days are getting longer, the temperatures are starting to rise and Alaskas major airlines have just announced their summer flight schedules.
Alaska Cruises In July
In July, the early weeks bring the warmest weather, with average daytime temperatures of 62F or 17C in Juneau. Although as the temperatures rise, the chances of rain increase.
Being one of the busiest months, expect to pay higher prices for your Alaska cruise. The peak Alaska season brings more crowds to ports. While this might not be a problem in the Caribbean, in contrast, Alaska ports are small. Skagway, a gold rush town, has a population of under 1000 residents.
Warmer temperatures cause glaciers to melt and calve. For the best calving action , consider a Hubbard Glacier cruise, as the galloping glacier provides a spectacular show.
In July, cruise passengers can see the salmon run. Silver salmon swim up the river to spawn, which attracts hungry bears. When walking on Creek Street in Ketchikan, look down into the creek below. Its hard to miss the thousands of salmon swimming upstream. If youre lucky, you might even spot an otter or two.
During the peak of the summer, all trails are accessible. If you prefer to forego an expensive shore excursion, all Alaska ports offer trails suitable for all fitness levels.
With warmer, wetter weather come pesky mosquitoes. But dont let that stop you from enjoying the outdoors. Just be prepared with a mosquito repellent or choose a cruise earlier in the season.
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The Best Time To Visit Alaska
Among the most common questions we receive, and indeed an important consideration when planning Alaska travel, are What is the best time to visit Alaska? or What is the best time to cruise Alaska?
The answer is complicated and depends on many factors. Alaska is huge and weather is vastly different in the north vs south or interior vs coast. The travel season is short and can vary greatly between spring, summer and fall. Combine all this with Alaskas notoriously unpredictable weather and it can be a challenge to determine the best time to visit Alaska.
What follows is our expert advice and a month by month guide with tips on weather, wildlife, daylight and the benefits of each month, to get you thinking about the best time to go to Alaska.
IN THIS POST Best Time to Visit Alaska:
The Best Time To Book A Cruise
When it comes to booking a cruise, everyone wants to get a good deal. And the truth is that you can get the same exact cruise for hundreds — and sometimes thousands — of dollars less just by sailing during the right part of the season. So when is the best time to book a cruise? Below, we’ll explain exactly the best time to buy your vacation. Before we get too far, however, you should know that the biggest factor in how much you’ll pay depends on one thing: timing. And when it comes to timing your purchase, there are
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Things To Do And See In Alaska In August
Alaska Events in August: The Alaska State Fair, which takes place in the Mat-Su Valley, starts in late August and typically runs into early September. There are also plenty of food- and wildlife-centered events throughout the month .
Alaska Wildlife in August: Alaska’s bears are still in full view throughout August as they search for salmon and berries, which are still plentiful. Bald eagles can also be seen congregating near salmon-spawning streams in August. Later in the month you can spot plenty of other birds around freshwater sources before they flee for warmer climates.
Alaska Fishing in August: In Alaska, pink salmon run until mid-August and silver salmon run through the entire month. Seward’s Silver Salmon Derby is always the second week of the month, one of the oldest and largest fishing derbies in the state. In late August, Dolly Varden trout have been known to practically jump into fishing boats on the Upper Kenai.
What to Eat in August: in Alaska, from salmonberries to cloudberries and the most famous of them all, Alaska’s blueberries. You’ll find festivals celebrating them across the state, with some of the most well known at the Alyeska Resort in Girdwood, as well as Ketchikan.
Better Pricing And More Value
Not only do you get a much better selection of staterooms and itineraries, but most cruise lines offer early booking discounts that are usually coupled with value-adds such as drink packages, onboard credits and free upgrades.Plus, with many cruise lines offering reduced deposits you can lock in the low cruise price and get the cabin that is right for you and a cruise experience you will never forget!
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When Is The Best Time To Travel Alaska
This answer is complicated and depends on many factors. The state-wide average temperatures vary significantly depending on the region as do rainfall averages. Here are some general guidelines:
Generally. You can choose your best time to visit Alaska by identifying what you want to do and then choosing a timeframe that closely coincides with it e.g. If you plan to hike or fish, early summer is the best time to visit Alaska. For those who prefer wildlife viewing, mid-summer is generally best.
Best Large Cruise: Royal Caribbean
Courtesy of Royal Caribbean
- Ship: Ovation of the Seas
- Duration: 7 nights
- Itinerary: Alaska Inside Passage, Juneau, Skagway, Victoria
If youre looking for a cruise to Alaska with all the theme-park-like attractions, then the Ovation of the Seas will not disappoint. Built in 2016, Ovation is currently ranked as one of the 10 largest cruise ships in the world with onboard features like a skydiving simulator, a cocktail bar tended by robots, aerial performances in the theater, and the North Star, a moving observation pod with surreal views. The first two days of the voyage are spent at sea so theres plenty of time to explore the ship and try different activities. Or, dine at specialty restaurants like Chops Grille, Royal Caribbeans iconic steakhouse Wonderland, an eclectic array of dishes, or Giovannis table, a favorite Italian restaurant.
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Advantages Of Visiting Alaska In September
- Pack warm clothes and enjoy Septembers cool temperatures that vary between 35-55 degrees. If youre on an arctic tour, pack winter coats, as youll experience daytime temperatures of 28-33 degrees.
- Looking for a bargain? September increases your odds of finding low-cost tours and other Alaska cruise deals.
- Elk, caribou, bears, moose and deer can be spotted across the wilderness. Above, raptors and gulls migrate south and bald eagles hunt for prey. Below, harbor seals and sea lions dot the beach, and pods of gray whales pass your cruise ship.
Taking An Alaska Cruise In May
With 17 hours of daylight, youll have plenty of time to work with on deck or shore. But you can leave the t-shirts and shorts at home, as the beginning of the Alaska cruise season, temperatures here are just starting to warm with an average high in the mid-50s.
Youll still need to pack layers, as the nights will be quite chilly, but you might luck out and not need your rain gear, as May is historically Alaskas driest month.
Cruise prices and excursions will also be lower in May, especially during the first week of the season. You can even find cruises for as low as $100 per day.
This early season is also a great time to view wildlife as the vegetation has not completely grown in yet, meaning it will be easier to spot animals between the trees.
Migratory birds should also have begun to arrive, and the fishing season will be just kicking off .
For those looking to hop on shore and take a hike, you still may encounter some snow on the ground, depending on where you are and at what elevation.
There are also numerous opportunities to walk on a glacier should you so choose. Just check to see what excursions are available in each port.
If youre pulling into port in Seward, keep an eye out for Alaskas resident orca whale pods, as May is the best time to spot these locals of Resurrection Bay. Its also your best chance to spot the elusive gray whale before they migrate north to colder waters.
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Featured July Cruises To Alaska
Choose a longer vacation that lets you soak up the warmer weather that July is known for in Alaska. The Grand Heartland Adventure Cruisetour combines a 7-night Alaska cruise with seven days of touring the inland area of Alaska through Denali National Park and up into Fairbanks. You can also choose tours tailored to your interests during your .
Best Time To Visit Alaska In : What To Explore
If you are going to Alaska on a holiday, then you are sure to be visiting for the great outdoors. One of the most popular outdoor experiences you shouldnt miss is the Northern Lights. You may be able to see the Northern Lights beginning in mid-August all the way up to April.
Alaskas local native cultures host a variety of festivals throughout the year. You can learn more about the great history of the state by attending a festival. If you are an outdoor lover, you will find plenty of great hiking, mountain biking and trail running paths. Trails around Anchorage are possible to hike from mid-May.
Fishing is another popular outdoor activity in Alaska. Salmon and halibut fishing are two popular seasons for fisherman. You can book your trip around the specific fishing season to maximise your vacation.
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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.
Taking An Alaska Cruise In August
Youre still in peak season here, but at the back end, so you might see some deals emerge toward the end of the month. However, you should likely expect to pay full price for an August Alaska cruise.
Your chance of rain for the month is at more than 50 percent, so you should surely expect to see some rain during your cruise.
Waterproof shoes and wool socks are your best friend during July, as well as any other breathable rain gear you own. Count on getting wet, so its best to be prepared.
The famous Alaska blueberries will be in season in August so snatch up your favorite berries. You know the bears sure will be, as July still offers great chances to view them feeding on branches or salmon. Youll even have a solid chance of spotting bald eagles near salmon-spawning streams.
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The Best Time For A Cruise To Alaska If You Want To The Northern Lights
Unfortunately, if your goal is to see the Northern Lights, you will have to compromise in terms of ideal weather conditions. You will have slim-to-none chance of seeing the lights during the summer months, but if you come during September, you might just have a shot!
Whats interesting is that the conditions that create the aurora borealis are present all year long, but in order to be seen, youll need dark, clear skies and a bit of luck. Because Alaskas summer days are so long, it does not create dark enough conditions to view the lights.
The ideal time to view the Northern Lights is actually outside of the cruise season window, between late September and April. However, there is some opportunity in September for you to spot the aurora during a particularly fortunate night.
While going on an Alaska cruise this late in the season also gives you the opportunity to catch a last-minute deal, youll give yourself the best chance of spotting the Northern Lights. There is certainly no guarantee that youll see them, but the later you can go, the better, as there will be long nights late in the season.
You can also improve your chances by taking a land or sea tour that includes one or more nights in Fairbanks, which lies just under 200 miles below the Arctic Circle. This area is considered one of the best in the state, and the world, to see the aurora, especially if you are able to venture away from the city lights.