When Is The Best Time To Explore Alaskas Cities And Towns
Theres no question that the best time for most cruisers to go to Alaska is during peak season, and alternately in shoulder season.
In addition to the spectacular scenery and rich native wildlife, youll also find the ports of call on your Alaska cruise to be welcoming and full of interesting things to see and do.
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.
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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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.
If You Want To See The Northern Lights
There are only a few places in the world where you can see the aurora borealis. Fairbanks, Alaska happens to be one of the greatest spots to catch them. The best time to see the Northern Lights in Alaska is in September when the sun sets earlier, yielding darker skies that are ideal for witnessing the aerial lightshow. Temperatures start to drop around this time of year, but its a small price to pay to cross this awe-inspiring natural wonder off your bucket list. Whats more, prime time for viewing the Northern Lights coincides with Alaskas transition into its off-season, which means youll be able to take advantage of Alaska cruise deals and discounts on onshore activities across your adventure a triple win for any savvy traveler.
When Is The Best Time To Find Special Offers On An Alaska Cruise
If you have a flexible travel schedule and dont have a specific stateroom in mind, consider visiting Alaska during shoulder season.
Shoulder season for the Alaska cruise season includes the months of May and September. The weather is still cool or cooling down , and with school still in session or just beginning, special offers can be found during these months.
During May cruises to Alaska, its still on the cold side , so you may find the states wildlife just emerging. The weather may also play a role in your cruise ships route, as some areas may still be unpassable with ice. However, May is the states driest month, with little to no rainfall.
Look for reduced fares when booking a cruise to Alaska in late shoulder season with the same travel benefits of still fine but changing weather.
Winter In Alaskadecember Through March
Winters in Alaska can be harsh and beautiful. Weather is extremely cold and storms are severe. Winter activities such as dog sledding, snow shoeing and skiing are possible. A popular attraction during Alaskas winter is viewing the northern lights . Specialty lodges offer comfortable accommodations for hearty travelers willing to brave cold long nights to witness this spectacle of nature.
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The Best Time For An Alaska Cruise To Avoid Crowds
The Alaska cruise season runs between May and September, but there are definite;ebbs and flows to demand and crowds in the ports you will visit.
If you are looking for the months with the lowest crowds in Alaska, try for May or September.; These are the “shoulder season” months, which is when the season begins and ends, and is when you will find less people vying for a cruise.;
Moreover, going during May or September is also when most kids are still in school, which means families are unable to cruise during this period.
The downside to these months is the weather tends to be the most unpredictable, and that can be an issue with possibly impacting your shore excursions.; Most notably helicopter and boat excursions are the most at risk.
Read more:;What is the best time to cruise to Alaska?
When To Cruise Sitka
Also rich in history, Sitka is on the southern part of Baranof Island and is known for its role in the US purchase of Alaska. Once inhabited by the Tlingit people, Sitka became a Russian settlement and was then sold to the USA in the 1860s. Transfer celebrations took place there on 18th November; creating what is now known as Alaska Day.
Sitka is a popular start and end point for cruises to the Northern Passages but there is plenty to enjoy at Sitka itself. The Alaska Raptor Center is a highlight for bird fans, whilst history lovers will no doubt enjoy the Sitka National Historical Park. Cruises from Sitka also offer a variety of wildlife spotting and sightseeing opportunities, shore excursions and relaxation time.
Both spring and summer are great times to visit Sitka. For something different, consider visiting in November for Sitkas WhaleFest. This annual unique event celebrates the wonders of the northern ocean with a science symposium, art, wildlife cruises and more.
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When To Cruise The Glacier Bay National Park
The Glacier Bay National Park is within the Inside Passage and some cruises spend their itinerary focussed on this unique area. The scenery is staggering, as you would expect for the largest UNESCO protected biosphere in the world.
Glacier Bay National Park cruises combine wildlife watching with dramatic landscapes, adventurous activities such as paddling a skiff or kayaking, and visiting remote villages. It goes without saying youll be surrounded by glaciers in this national park, with the chance to see huge blocks of ice calving away.
As with the rest of the Inside Passage, there is plenty of wildlife to see and summer is the best season to visit for warmer temperatures. April to June are usually the driest months, with Glacier Bay experiencing the most rainfall during September and October.
If you have the chance to visit in winter, there is still plenty to enjoy amidst the cold and foggy landscapes.
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Temperature & Daylight Hours
For the warmest temperatures, cruise between mid-June and mid-August.
For the most Midnight Sun, come 3 weeks before or after the summer solstice and longest day of the year, June 21.
Want to see the northern lights? Thats a long shot during cruising season. It does get dark enough at night to see them by the second week of September, but it’s still not as brilliant as what youll see on a winter, land-based Alaska aurora viewing vacation.
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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.
When Is The Best Time To See Alaskas Glaciers
Alaskas glaciers are magnificent, and Celebritys Alaska cruise itineraries take in two of the most accessible glaciers in Southeast Alaska: Hubbard Glacier and Endicott Arm and Dawes Glacier.
The height of the Alaska cruise season is the best time to cruise Alaska on these itineraries to ensure youll be able to see and enjoy the glaciers on each of the routes.
Cruising during peak season increases the probability that warmer temperatures have allowed more of the winter ice to melt, allowing for smooth sailing through the Inner Passage and the fjords, and the captains ability to get as close as possible to the glacier to give you the most spectacular experience possible.
When sailing the Hubbard Glacier itinerary, your ships captain will slowly turn the ship so that passengers on all sides will be able to enjoy the view and witness any calving that might occur while the ship is in the glaciers vicinity.
Sailing the Endicott Arm fjord toward Dawes Glacier is just as spectacular an itinerary, and this Alaskan glacier is just as magnificent.
For these peak season Alaska cruise routes, its advisable to book early so you get the best stateroom. Booking a veranda stateroom ensures that youll have your own private space to see glaciers during your cruise.
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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.
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.
For more information on when to visit Alaska, view our How to Choose Your Alaska Cruise guide. If you are still looking for advice on the best time of year to visit Alaska, just give us a call, our experts are ready to help.
This guide on the best time to visit Alaska is amongAdventureSmithExplorations extensive collection of travel guides; the content is regularly updated by our team for accuracy. Visit our Alaska Travel Guidesfor even more resources and inspiration in planning your Alaska trip.
Have a question about the best time to visit Alaska? Use the comments below and well answer ASAP.
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Best Time To Visit Alaska In 2021 For The Weather
Due to Alaskas cold and harsh winter weather, the best time of the year to visit is between mid-June and mid-September. The summer months see the weather warm and the days grow longer as well. It is a wonderful time of the year as you are able to remain outdoors for long periods of the day.
In the summer, the weather can reach highs of 18°C, or 65°F. The weather is comfortable but it can still get cold at night, dropping as much as double digit degrees when the sun goes down. Alaskas weather can change on a moments notice, even in summertime. Travellers may have excursions cancelled by tour operators due to a change in the weather. Many tour companies stop operating altogether in September as the winter weather begins.
It is best to avoid visiting Alaska in the winter months. If you fancy winter sports or experiencing the Northern Lights, then September to May can be a good time to go. However, the weather can be extremely harsh during the winter months, making a visit uncomfortable, especially if you want to go into the bush.
Mid-June to mid-July offers the best weather window for a trip. You wont save much money and may not avoid the crowds, but you will have the best outdoor experience thanks to comfortable weather.
Taking An Alaska Cruise In June
June is a bit of a sweet spot for an Alaska cruise. The weather is fairly dry and warming up, crowds and prices still have not reached peak levels, and wildlife aplenty will be out and about.
The days will be longer still, including the summer solstice on June 21, on which you will experience nearly 24-hours of daylight, depending on how far north you happen to be. Denali, in particular, is an incredible place to experience the summer solstice.
With average temperatures in the low 60s, youll still have chilly nights, but as far as Alaska goes, June offers what amount to ideal conditions.
Unfortunately, the mosquitos agree, so youll want to pack some bug spray. You will want to be outside, however, because everything will be in bloom and it can be remarkably beautiful.
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Taking An Alaska Cruise In September
Youve now reached the other shoulder!
The kids are back in school and the end of cruise season is near, meaning youve got your best chance to catch a sweet last-minute deal on an Alaska cruise in September. Things will be relatively quiet and cool, and September will often be just as rainy as August.
The nights are longer, days are shorter, and the weather getting colder, but its not all doom and gloom for September! Especially not if youre a moose or caribou, as September is the mating season! You might even catch them in the act right out in the open.
Early autumn is also a great time to spot bears near berry patches and salmon streams. At this time, gray, bowhead, and beluga whales will be migrating back south along the Alaskan coast.
But what brings most people out for an Alaska cruise in September is a chance to spot the Northern Lights. Youll likely need your waterproofs and some heavy layers, but if you are lucky enough to catch a clear night up near Fairbanks, youll give yourself the best chance to catch a glimpse of the aurora. This chance alone is often enough to bring people out for a September cruise.
This monthly break down should give you a better idea of what you can expect during the Alaska cruise season. However, if youd prefer to search in terms of certain attractions, continue reading below.
Best Time To Visit Alaska In : Conclusion
Alaska is one of the USAs most unique states. It is an incredible escape that puts you in touch with nature like no other American travel destination. Summertime is the ideal period to visit the 49th state thanks to the warm weather.
You may want to skip the state in winter when the weather can be harsh and cold. If you really want to get a deal and avoid crowds, be sure to book in May or September to experience The Last Frontier.
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What Is The Best Month To Cruise Alaska 2020
By , Co-President & Founder ;;|;;December 23, 2019;;;;;;
Every summer, the hot beating rays of the Caribbean appeal to most cruise-goers. But after taking several Caribbean cruises and/or coping with the melting temperatures of your home state, you’re probably looking for a change of pace – your own icy getaway.
Or maybe you’ve grown accustomed to your hometown’s snow capped mountains and zipping up your winter coat. But you’ve always dreamed of getting close enough to see the Northern Lights and the fascinating wildlife that roams even farther north.
Regardless of where you live and where you’ve cruised , you’ll likely find your own pocket of serenity when you cruise Alaska in 2020.
From awe-inspiring glaciers to up-close views of wildlife to quaint neighborhoods and towns, Alaska won’t just become another destination to tick off your bucket list – it’ll create memories for a lifetime.
But before you book that cruise, you’re probably wondering what the best month is to cruise Alaska in 2020. That answer depends on what intrigues you about America’s Last Frontier.