The Best Time Of Year To Go On Different Types Of Outdoor Adventures
Alaska is a great place for outdoor adventures, with activities like hiking, biking, fishing, and camping available throughout the state. If youre looking to go on an outdoor adventure, the best time of year to do so depends on what you want to do.
Hiking and biking are best done in the summer when the weather
Alaska is a great place for outdoor adventurers, with plenty of activities to choose from depending on the time of year. The best time of year to go hiking is in the summer when the weather is warm and there are long days. If youre looking to bike, the summer or fall are great times to go, as the temperatures are mild and the leaves start changing color.
If youre looking to fish, Alaska offers some of the best fishing in the world. The best time to go fishing is during the summer and fall when the salmon are running.
And if youre looking to camp, the best time to do so is in the summer when the temperatures are warm and there is plenty of daylight. So no matter what type of outdoor adventure youre interested in, Alaska has something to offer.
Accessibility On Viking Oceans Alaska Cruises
Viking Ocean Cruises welcomes guests with disabilities onboard, though not all services and shore excursions may be available. The Viking Orion features elevators throughout the ship and two ADA-approved accessible cabins. These rooms are penthouse junior suites with balconies, though the room configuration varies. Guests must bring their own collapsible wheelchairs onboard motorized scooters are not allowed. Guests who need regular assistance throughout the cruise must travel with a physically-able companion. Contact a Cruise Specialist for more information regarding accessibility onboard a Viking Ocean Cruise to Alaska.
Why Cruise To Alaska
The 49th U.S. state is home to a beautiful mountainous landscape and an abundance of wildlife, from bald eagles to bears and moose. It possesses a unique Gold Rush history and a vibrant mix of native Alaskan cultures. You wont find this blend of scenery, outdoor pursuits, history, and culture in any other cruise itinerary.
Plus, many of the Inside Passage ports are tricky to visit by land. For example, Ketchikan is only accessible by air or sea. You cannot visit the breathtaking glaciers of Glacier Bay by car. If you want to explore this region of Alaska, youll need a ship to get there.
Unlike other cruise destinations, Alaskan ports arent separated by vast swaths of ocean. When you cruise the Inside Passage, the ship is constantly within site of land. Most sea days offer something to see, even if not an official scenic cruising day. Its a different kind of cruise experience, and one many travelers are eager to pursue.
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Best Time Of Year To Drive To Alaska
If youre looking to drive to Alaska, the best time of year to do so is during the summer months. The weather is warm and the days are long, making for a pleasant road trip. Keep in mind that different parts of Alaska experience different climates the Interior region is best visited in the summer, while coastal towns like Anchorage are best enjoyed in the summer or fall.
The best time to visit the Denali National Park is during the summer months when the weather is warm and there are long days. The park is located in the Interior region of Alaska, and its worth visiting for its beautiful landscapes and wildlife.
Best For Teens And Adventure
If youve got active kids who have an interest in nature and the environment, an expedition voyage could be exactly what will keep them engaged and off their devices. Anyone else looking to really explore Alaska should also consider an expedition cruise where youll hop aboard skiffs for up-close looks at glaciers, go hiking in Tongass National Forest and kayak the calm waters of the Inside Passage. Look to UnCruise Adventures, Alaskan Dream Cruises, Hurtigruten, Lindblad Expeditions , Ponant or Silverseas expedition ships .
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Alaska Cruises From Seattle
Alaska cruises from Seattle sail roundtrip Inside Passage routes. They are popular for their ease of travel, especially for travelers connecting to Seattle from elsewhere in the continental U.S.
Princess Cruises, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, and Royal Caribbean all offer roundtrip Alaska cruises that sail from Seattle. The specific itineraries vary, but generally cruises on this route spend two days at sea traveling between Seattle and Alaska, and one full day sailing through places like the Endicott Arm, Tracy Arm, or Glacier Bay National Park. Ports of call vary, but often include Skagway, , and Ketchikan. These cruises wrap up with a final port call in the British Columbian capital of Victoria before returning to Seattle.
If you’d like to see more of Alaska, check out Alaska cruises from Vancouver. These voyages include one-way glacier route cruises to Whittier or Seward that pair perfectly with pre-cruise or post-cruise Alaska land packages.
And while you’re at it, visit our Cruise Finder. You can use this easy tool to search for specific cruises based on the routes you’re interested in, sailing dates, and even cruise line. Through the finder you can also quickly request a quote for the compelling cruises you find.
When To Visit Alaska On A Cruise
Cruise season in Alaska begins in May and ends in September. The schedule sometimes includes a few sailings in late April or early October as well.
There are only minor differences in weather by month. Temperatures are warmest in July and August, but even in May you can expect temperatures in the mid-50 and mid-60s. Anchorage is also much drier than other parts of Alaska, the wettest month, August, only still only averages about 10 rainy days. You might also find a little extra elbow room and a few deals in May, early June and September.
Late summer sailings have one other tantalizing prospect: by late August, the skies of Alaska are once again dark during the night. That means aurora viewing is a possibility.
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Longer Sailings From The West Coast
Finally, youll find some San Francisco round-trip itineraries usually 10 nights long as well as longer sailings between San Francisco and Vancouver. These cruises are best suited to travelers who love days at sea. Youll have four sea days plus a day of scenic cruising at a spot like Tracy Arm , Endicott Arm, Hubbard Glacier or Glacier Bay National Park. The waters before you enter the Inside Passage can be calm, rough or anything in between, depending on when you go and luck of the draw.
Ports on these longer sailings may include Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, Icy Strait Point and Victoria, British Columbia.
Best Time To Go To Anchorage Alaska
The best time to go to Anchorage, Alaska, is during the summer or fall. The summers are short but beautiful, with long days and temperatures in the 60s and 70s. The fall is also a great time to visit, with fewer tourists and cooler temperatures in the 50s and 60s. So, when is the best time to go to Alaska?
The answer depends on what you want to see and do! Anchorage is located near the Arctic Circle, so the winters can be long and cold. The summers are short but beautiful, with long days and temperatures in the 60s and 70s.
The fall is also a great time to visit, with cooler temperatures in the 50s and 60s. So, when is the best time to go to Alaska? The answer depends on what you want to see and do!
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Choose An Alaska Cruise Line
Just about every line offers sailings to and from the Anchorage area. From big ships to small vessels, luxury sailings and adventure-oriented expeditions, theres something for everyone. Azamara, Cunard, Crystal, Celebrity, Holland America Lines, Norwegian, Ponant, Princess, Regent, Royal Caribbean, Silversea, Windstar and Viking Ocean Cruises all have offerings in this part of Alaska.
Best Time To Go On An Alaska Cruise
The best time of year to go on a cruise to Alaska depends on what you want to see. The Inside Passage, which runs along the coast of Alaska, is best viewed in the summer when the weather is mild and the days are long.
If youre interested in seeing glaciers, the best time to go is in the summer or fall when the days are shorter and the temperatures are cooler. No matter when you go, be sure to pack plenty of warm clothes Alaska can be chilly even in the summer!
The best time of year to visit Alaska depends on what you want to do. If youre interested in seeing the Northern Lights, December through March is your best bet. However, no matter what time of year you visit, be sure to pack plenty of warm clothes Alaska can be chilly even in the summer!
The Interior region of Alaska is a vast area of mountains, rivers, and forests, and its best explored in the summer when the trails are clear and mosquitoes are gone. If youre interested in going on a fishing trip during the winter, be prepared for cold weather the average temperature in Alaska during January is below freezing!
The warmest time to visit Alaska is during the summer months when the weather is warm and the days are long. The Inside Passage, which runs along the coast of Alaska, is best viewed in the summer when the weather is mild and the days are long.
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Insider Tips For Alaska Cruises
Transfer day is a sightseeing day The trip between Whittier or Seward and Anchorage travels one of the most scenic stretches of road in the state. Youll cross the mountains and follow the coast of Turnagain Arm. Transfers are typically by motorcoach, private shuttle or train, but this is far more than getting from A to B. Keep your camera at the ready, and dont be surprised if you spot wildlife and incredible natural landscapes along the way.
Day cruises get even closer to glaciers Its worth adding a day cruise either in Prince William Sound or Resurrection Bay/Kenai Fjords. These nimble vessels are able to slip into smaller spaces than the big ships, better navigate to sea lion haulouts, bird nesting areas and whale watching hot spots in the moment, and get closer to glaciers and then linger in silence. These incredible sights also makes day cruises a great option for independent travelers as well. If spending nights aboard a ship doesnt appeal to you, day cruises are a great way to sample the marine ecosystem and keep the start of each day on solid ground.
Anchorage as flightseeing capital Anchorage isnt just the spot to catch the flight into or out of Alaska. With a huge concentration of pilots and small aircraft, its also a prime spot for sightseeing tours by air. Flights from Merrill Field or Lake Hood in Anchorage take off for glaciers in the nearby Chugach Mountains, the waters of Prince William Sound, or even circle Denali by air.
Cheaper Prices And Less Crowds
Cruising to Alaska in April, May, and early June is in less demand than the peak summer season. Because the temperatures are not as high and school is still in session, prices tend to be lower for the first few weeks of the season.
As an example, the price for a balcony cabin on a 7-night cruise to Alaska on Serenade of the Seas in May is $815 per passenger, whereas it is $1,193 in July. This isnt necessarily always the case, as cruise prices can fluctuate greatly from sailing to sailing, so there is always a possibility of scoring a good deal during the peak season, too.
Shore excursions may be priced slightly lower during the early season, and onboard capacity can be lower as well. With fewer kids and families onboard, the ship and ports you visit may be quieter than during peak season.
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Best Traditional Cruise: Princess Cruises
Courtesy of Princess Cruises
- Ship Name: Royal Princess
- Itinerary: Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Whittier
Royal Princess is a gorgeous ship that like all Princess cruises focuses on a more traditional experience . As passengers sail through Glacier Bay or the College Fjord they can stroll around the stunning skywalk a glass walkway that overhangs the vessel or relax next to a lovely water fountain in the pool area. In the evenings, passengers catch movies under the stars. The cruise concludes in Whittier, Alaska, where most cruise lines do not visit. Although Whittier is industrial, its ideal for those extending their stay in Alaska on land. The Alaska railroad connects Whittier to Anchorage so travelers can also enjoy a scenic ride to Anchorage and hop on a connecting flight.
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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Do The Math On Balconies Versus Interior
If you can afford it, its preferable to sail on a balcony versus and interior cabin. But there is a lot of demand for these rooms and the prices can be significantly higher than an interior cabin. While a balcony is nice, its not like there arent places around the ship to take in the scenery. In other words, if the price difference it outrageous, book the interior cabin, save the cash, and still get to experience 95% of what passengers with a balcony get to see.
Accommodations On Viking Oceans Alaska Cruises
The Viking Orion has six stateroom categories to choose from, starting with the 270-square-foot Veranda and going up to the 1,448-square-foot Owners Suite. In between, there are Deluxe Verandas, Penthouse Verandas, Penthouse Junior Suites, and Explorer Suites. Each room across the ship comes with Wi-Fi access, 24-hour room service and purified water refilled daily, a mini-bar with soft drinks and snacks, a king-size bed, a spacious closet and plenty of drawer storage, and a large bathroom with a glass-enclosed walk-in shower, heated bathroom floor, and anti-fog mirrors. Relax in a cozy luxury robe and slippers while using premium Freyja toiletries. Guests staying in a Penthouse Veranda or Suite also receive a welcome bottle of champagne, premium binoculars, a coffee maker, and cashmere blanket to use onboard.
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Best Luxury: Regent Seven Seas
Courtesy of Regent Seven Seas
- Ship Name: Seven Seas Mariner
- Itinerary: Sitka, Juneau Skagway, Ketchikan, Vancouver
For a luxury cruise experience though the Inside Passage, Regent Seven Seas has a few sailing dates on the Seven Seas Mariner, an all-suite ship. On Mariner, all staterooms have a private balcony perfect for watching the glaciers and fjords float past and a minimum of 300 feet of space. Onboard, guests can unwind in the award-winning Canyon Ranch spa, take in an evening show, and dine on gourmet cuisine. Being a smaller ship , its size allows the staff to anticipate guests needs and personalize the experience. On the Alaska voyage, the ship calls on many popular ports and also treats passengers to Sitka, a unique port steeped in Tlingit culture and Russian history, before concluding in Vancouver.
Expect To Spend More On An Alaskan Cruise
One of the big draws of cruising is that it can be a cheap vacation. Head to the Caribbean for a few days and you might find a fare as little as $200 per person. Thats not the case for Alaskan cruises. Expect to spent significantly more, although fares do seem to have tempered somewhat. Most trips for a week start at $500 per person for the cheapest rooms in the shoulder seasons. Peak times to sail see prices start at $800 for an interior cabin.
Have questions about sailing to Alaska? Let us know in the comments below.
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Best Modern Cruise: Celebrity
- Ship Name: Celebrity Solstice
- Itinerary: Seattle, Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway, Alaska Inside Passage, Victoria
For an upscale Alaska cruise without the luxury price tag, Celebrity is a fantastic option. The award-winning, Celebrity Solstice is a dignified ship that focuses on modern well-being. Activities include culinary classes, silent discos, and educational lectures. Theres also a half-acre of fresh grass with hot glass demonstrations, private cabanas, and outdoor movies. The ship also has a fabulous fitness center and programs, and the Canyon Ranch Spa situated right next to the Aqua Class cabins. These cabins include access to a health-conscious restaurant as well as the relaxation room and other spa perks. This voyage includes a full day cruising Endicott Arm for fabulous views before concluding in Victoria.