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What Time Of Year Is Best For Alaska Cruise

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Alaska Cruises In July

Best and Worst Time to Cruise Alaska

The month of July is a great time to enjoy the many things that the Alaskan wilderness has to offer. The sunny days and amazing wildlife activity make July cruises very special indeed.

What better way to celebrate July 4th than to be aboard the Sikumi experiencing all the beauty Southeast Alaska has to offer.

Whales have already made their return trip to Alaska from Hawaii by this time, providing a spectacle for passengers.

Frederick Sound is a favorite spot to visit this time of year, as thousands of whales can be observed bubble net feeding with their babies. Brown and black bears are out and about hunting and fishing for salmon in the streams and rivers of Alaska.

Wildlife is not the only active part of Alaska in July. Alaska’s glaciers are actually active and alive year-round. But the warmer temperatures of July cause the glaciers to calve and tumble into the sea, which is a powerful and extraordinary force to witness.

Watch this video from the deck of the M/V Sikumi.

We will take you as close as humanly possible to these glaciers, so you can see firsthand just how massive the bergs are. Because of the high temperatures, the waters are generally free of debris, allowing some of the closest iceberg viewing of the year.

All the things you envision Alaska Cruising to be about blooming, colorful wildflowers, lush, majestic mountains and active glaciers and wildlife, are yours to experience during the month of July aboard the Sikumi.

Alaska Cruise Weather In August

Like July, nights and early mornings can be very cold, so late nighters and early risers should be prepared to bundle up for icy temperatures. Plenty of layers are also essential in August, and travelers should be sure to pack waterproof jackets, shoes, and bags as August and September are among the rainiest months of the year.

Advantages Of Visiting Alaska In August

  • Warm weather, with temperatures between 45-65 degrees and 18 hours of daylight.
  • Abundant fishing opportunities, as halibut, northern pike, rainbow trout, and salmon are all in season.
  • Numerous cruise and land tour packages on offer, giving you access to the breathtaking fall foliage of the Last Frontier.
  • As for wildlife, August is peak migration season for songbirds and youll see numerous caribou, bears, beavers, orca, and loons on your adventure.

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When Should I Book My Alaska Cruise

We always recommend booking your cruise early, even nine to 12 months in advance, to get the lowest prices and best pick of cabins. You can probably wait until January or February, when cruise lines put out Wave Season sales and promotions, to see if you can get a deal on your Alaska sailing.

Once it gets to be March or April, your booking is considered last minute. You might find a low fare, especially on shoulder-season cruises, but you might also find that the room types you prefer are sold out or that fares have gone up on a nearly full ship.

When Is The Best Time To Cruise To Alaska To See Whales

Best Time of Year to Go on an Alaskan Cruise ...

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.

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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 .

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Which Cruise Line Is Best For Alaska

Nearly every major cruise line sails to Alaska, so you have your pick of price points and onboard personalities.

Among the big-ship lines, Holland America and Princess are known as the Alaska experts. These lines typically base the most ships in this region every summer, and offer the largest selection of cruises and cruise tours. They schedule Alaska-specific special events onboard, such as Princess Puppies in the Piazza and Klondike Festival, and even have their own train cars and hotel properties in Denali and Fairbanks.

However, if other lines, such as Royal Caribbean or Norwegian, suit your familys needs and budget better, you will still have a wonderful cruise vacation in Alaska. You might find that these lines offer more competitive pricing, your preferred onboard activities, or more robust kids programming, making them the best Alaska cruise choice for you.

Travelers looking for luxury should consider upscale lines such as Crystal, Regent Seven Seas, Seabourn, and Silversea. These cruise lines offer more intimate ships, inclusive fares, and attentive service, but wont have as many onboard attractions or as expansive kids facilities or activities as the bigger ships.

Choose expedition cruise lines, such as UnCruise Adventures, American Cruise Line, or Alaskan Dream Cruises, for intimate, adventure-focused ships that sail off the beaten path.

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When To Visit Alaska For Glacier Hikes And Boat Tours

The best time to visit Alaska is dependent upon what you hope to see and do while there. The best months of the year for viewing wildlife such as whales, moose, bears, and caribou vary depending on what part of Alaska you plan to visit and what time of year. If youre hoping for a glimpse of the aurora borealis, or Northern Lights, then your best bet is to head north in early fall or winter.

June 1 to October 15 is best for hiking

While weather is always unpredictable in Alaska, mid-June through early July will offer the nicest days and least chance of rain.

The trails are still open during winter. But hikers should be well equipped with warm clothing and the possibility of cold temperatures and snow.

Be prepared for the possibility of wet weather, even on a summer hike on an Alaskan trail.

Late August and early September will offer slightly warmer temperatures and less rain.

Alaska Cruise Weather In July

How to Cruise to Alaska 2021

The late nights and early mornings can be very cold, but these are also the hours when most people are asleep in their cabins. Travelers cruising to Alaska in July should be sure to pack plenty of layers along with some waterproof outerwear, but they should pack light, removable layers to adjust to the warmer temperatures of the afternoons.

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So Whens The Best Time To Cruise Alaska

May to September marks the best of Alaska cruise season, with the fall and winter being a bit too unpredictable. But of those months, which is the best time for an Alaska cruise? Thats difficult to say because every traveler is unique. If we had to pick just one month, wed lean toward June for its low rainfall and abundance of daylight hours, but you cant go wrong any time during cruise season. When you decide on what month to take your Alaskan cruise, be sure to think about factors such as the following.

Consider what you and any travel partners want to experience and any other needs you have before you book. Are you prone to seasickness? Do you need optimal conditions to get some sleep and prepare for the next day? If you cant decide on one month or dont have any particular concerns, you can always make multiple trips to experience all that Alaska has to offer!

The 8 Best Alaska Cruises Of 2021

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âAirport transfers, shore excursions, meals, wine and spirits, and park admission is bundled into the price.â

Best for Adventure: Alaskan Dream Cruises See Rates

âExcursions focus on local culture such as totem carvings, folk dances, and other Tlingit cultural presentations.â

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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.

Featured September Cruises To Alaska

Whatâs the Best Time of Year to Visit 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 For Families To Visit Alaska

Summer break, which is peak cruising season, is an ideal time for families to go on an Alaska cruise. Depending on your familys interests, youll want to decide whether to book earlier or later in the season, since there can be a difference in weather and activities between the end of June and mid-August.

Some of the shore excursions you can experience when going on an Alaska cruise with kids include hiking the Tongass forest, whale-watching tours, kayaking, and learning about Tlingit culture.

Aim for the week right after school ends or the week before school begins if youd like to get there just ahead of the most crowded part of peak season. A cruise to Alaska is an unforgettable summer family vacation experience your kids will cherish forever.

If Youre Interested In Wildlife Viewing

In addition to having the warmest temperatures, June and July are the best months to see the humpback whales when they migrate to Alaskas Inside Passage. But as long as nature parks and trails are on your itinerary, you can pretty much count on spotting wildlife from late May through mid-September. Angling to get an up-close look at a grizzly bear? Take a guided tour into Denali National Park and keep your eyes peeled for these solitary giants along rivers and among blueberry bushes, where they like to feast. In Ketchikans Tongass National Forest the largest national forest in the country be on the lookout for deer, seals, black bears and bald eagles. And in Skagway, you can mingle with a playful team of huskies and take part in the traditional practice of dog sledding, still Alaskas state sport.

When planning your Alaska trip, youll find endless activities to choose from that will let you view the wildlife up close. A whale watching tour in Sewards Kenai Fjords National Park, where youll also encounter brightly colored puffins and spirited sea otters, is a favorite. A ride on a flightseeing plane will give you an eagles-eye view of these cold-weather critters in their natural habitats. And if youre up for a little exercise, hop in a kayak and paddle into the icy waters of Glacier Bay National Park to watch as mother seals drop their babies off at floating icebergs while they hunt for lunch.

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Alaska Cruise Weather In September

September is the last month of the cruise season in Alaska and it is also one of the coldest, with temperatures staying in the low to high forties on average. As the month advances, the temperatures drop lower and lower, and the nights and early mornings can be bitterly cold.

The abundant cloud cover and frequent rain make the landscape all the more beautiful, but visitors should dress properly for a better overall experience. Travelers still get at least twelve hours of sunlight for excursions and deck activities, but they should pack thick pants, knit sweaters, and insulated shoes to combat the cold along with waterproof rain gear.

While Alaska might be colder than other summer vacation spots, it offers unique experiences that cant be found anywhere else. These include sightings of wild orcas, sea lions, and humpback whales and riding one of the worlds longest ziplines.

Youll also have a chance to visit the incredible Butchart Gardens, witness glaciers, pan for gold, hike through temperate rainforests, and much more. If youre prepared for the weather and pack the right attire for your destination, nothing can get in the way of having a good time.

Monthly Averages In Alaska


Keep in mind that these temperatures are averages for the entire state, which is quite large. There could be regions where it might be considerably colder or warmer.

Days are short and very cold, with temperatures in the teens, single digits, and even negatives.

Days are a bit longer , but temperatures are still cold. It seldom gets above freezing.

March is probably the best winter month to visit. Temperatures consistently reach the 20s and even into the 30s, and you get closer to 12 hours of full daylight.

April temperatures are in the 30s and 40s, meaning that the snow has melted, but its still a bit too cold for any blooms or much wildlife activity. You may get some good discounts on hotels and packages, and the Northern Lights are visible through the middle of the month.

May May gets into the 50s, and spring really begins to bloom. Daylight hours can be as many as 20 in the Arctic region. Theres little rain, and its a great time to see whales and seals.

During mid-June especially, temperatures are comfortable, reaching into the 70s. Conditions and late spring or summer-like and continue through July.

Autumn comes early to Alaska, and temperatures cool down as the month progresses. Its still an excellent time for viewing wildlife, especially grizzly bears and caribou.

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Best Time To Cruise To Alaska

The Alaska cruise season is short, running mainly from May to September, with a few lines offering sailings in April and October. The best time to cruise varies based on what you prioritize most.

The best Alaska cruise weather is typically found in June, when the summer rains havent ramped up, but the air temperatures are rising. This is the time when the sun barely sets and its light nearly all day long. July and August are the rainiest months in Alaska and see the most mosquitos September is starting to get chilly, with rougher waters and shorter days.

May is the best month to see waterfalls and wildflowers. June is when the salmon start to run, and the different species will appear and disappear throughout the cruise season. Denali lodges and the park road open in June, so your best bet for visiting the national park is in July and August for full accessibility and wildlife activity. However, if you want to see baby animals, plan your Alaska visit for May or June.

The best prices are found in the shoulder seasons: April-May and September-October. The biggest crowds and highest cruise fares come mid-June through mid-August.

Travelers who want the best shot at viewing the Northern Lights should book a cruise at the very end of the season, and tack on a cruise tour up to Denali and Fairbanks for the greatest potential.

Types Of Cruise Ships That Sail Alaska

An UnCruise Adventures ship in Alaska

There are several different types of cruise experiences in Alaska: smaller, more adventure-focused ships and larger, traditional cruise-liners.

Large cruise ships, from Carnival Cruise Line, Princess Cruises, Celebrity Cruises, Holland America Line, Royal Caribbean, and Norwegian Cruise Line, are ubiquitous in Alaska.

The lines traditionally sail seven-night cruises from either Vancouver, Seattle, or Anchorage, stopping at the three primary ports Juneau, Ketchikan, and Skagway with a stop for glacier viewing typically included.

The experience onboard these ships is comparable to what youd expect in the Caribbean or Europe, and youre sailing with a few thousand other passengers.

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Smaller expedition ships, like those from UnCruise Adventures, Lindblad Expeditions, and American Cruise Lines host, at most, a few hundred cruisers, and often much fewer than that, making for a more intimate, personal cruise experience.

But most importantly, these expeditions sail unique itineraries in Alaska, stopping at smaller ports, cruising closer to the shore for wildlife spotting, and offering more adventure-focused excursions and activities.

In the middle, youll find luxury cruise lines like Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Seabourn Cruises, Windstar and Silversea Cruises.

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